When you live in winter zones where snow and ice are constant companions, you need to take pains to protect your vehicle against natural and human-derived elements: Excess snow and ice; bitter cold; mud and grime; and road salt and liquid brine. Drivers often focus on winterizing the car’s paint, wheels and engine parts; they should place equal attention on protecting interior parts by accessorizing with rubber floor mats, neoprene seat covers and other winter-oriented car (and truck) gear. Before that first blast of cold and snow hits, caring owners should outfit their cars with the following essential winter accessories from top to bottom.
When you think of winter, you likely imagine gray skies. However, thick clouds are no protection against the sun’s damaging ultraviolet rays, which can destroy vinyl and plastics. Your car’s dash is particularly vulnerable because it sits under the windshield, which acts as a magnifying glass. A thick dash cover is a must for preventing cracks from spreading. These covers are meant to be laid over the dash without impairing your view of driving gauges or blocking vents. As a bonus, a good suede or carpet cover can be used during any season.
Every moment you are driving your car you are gripping your steering wheel. As a result, you should outfit this essential interior piece for winter with a steering wheel cover. Doing so makes sense for three reasons. First, the sun’s rays will slowly erode the steering wheel’s surface as they do with the dash. Second, steering wheels can become slippery in the cold, and covers are made to enhance your grip. Third, grips are made of materials that are warmer to the touch than the vinyl that encases many steering wheels.
When bench seats were popular, standard aftermarket seat covers came in rows of utilitarian, heavy, clear plastic; they were meant to be laid over the two rows of seats. Today’s seat covers for cars are luxurious and form-fitting accessories that can be purchased in a range of materials: canvas, neoprene, leather or leatherette, for example. While these materials vary in their perceived luxury-levels and their care requirements, modern fitted seat covers look good and provide superior protection from dirt and snow caked on your clothes.
The car mats that come as overpriced options on new cars start to lose their plush looks immediately after the first winter rains or snowstorms. Also, they provide a minimal buffer for the underlying carpet against the elements, leading it to harbor permanent stains and mildew. Aftermarket floor mats and floor liners can provide the necessary protection. Purchase brands that build thick mats and liners. For example, you can look for a Weathertech floor mats sale, or just purchase at a standard price; the construction quality of these thick, washable mats is such that they will resist road-salt wear and last for years.
If you love your car, you likely get a chill in the winter not just from the cold but also when you think of all that can invade your car’s interior. By outfitting your car to protect its insides from these elements, you can eliminate one more winter-driving worry for you and your passengers.