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Has mat? Hazmat

Simple Answers from Protech Auto Service

In the sloppy weather months, many drivers rely on protective mats to keep moisture, grime, ice and snow from making a mess of a vehicle’s interior. But if your vehicle has a mat it could become a hazardous mat if you don’t follow some safety precautions.

Here are some things to avoid with your vehicle’s mats in the driver’s footwell.

Make sure your mats aren’t creating a safety problem by jamming the pedals. One way this can happen is by a driver buying an all-weather floor mat and putting it on top of another mat. Stacking the mats can make them sit up too high on the floor. One result can be a jammed accelerator that causes the vehicle to speed up and stick. Another result can be an obstructed brake pedal that prevents the driver from stopping. Experts say don’t stack mats, period.

It’s also important to make sure any mat is affixed to the floor, so it doesn’t slip into spots it shouldn’t. Many vehicles have a Velcro-type fastener on the back of the mat; others have a hook that fits into a hole in the mat. Use these features. They could save your life.

Keep in mind, too, that if you have loose objects rolling around in your vehicle, especially under the driver’s seat, a hard turn or stop can propel those forward, into the driver’s footwell. Something could get stuck under the brake pedal and prevent you from stopping; another could stick between the accelerator pedal and the floor or carpet.

Finally, it’s best to get mats that are designed especially for your vehicle since they are contoured correctly for the pedals. Using ill-fitting mats can cause the same problems as stacked mats.

If you have any questions about which mats will work best for your vehicle, ask the friendly and knowledgeable mechanics at ProTech Auto Service. They are located at 410 W. J St., Ste. G and their phone number is (661) 822-1100.