When you’re inspecting a car, you probably overlook floor mat retainer clips. Some of you probably don’t even know they exist. However, they can be vital for your safety.
Have you ever seen your car floor mats out of place in the back, on the passenger’s, or on the driver’s side? Whether your answer is yes or no, they can move and even bulge at any moment.
It is crucial to understand that it’s not a minor inconvenience. A bunched up mat can jam the pedals and put your life in danger.
Therefore, in order to prevent this from happening you’ll need to secure your car floor mats. You can do that easily with floor mat retainer clips.
What are Car Floor Mat Retainer Clips?
Car floor mat retainer clips are usually small pieces of plastic that either work as real clips or, on some occasions, as pins.
Their purpose is to secure car floor mats in place. You may see them as a way to keep the aesthetics of your car floor intact. However, they are also a safety measure since floor mats that are out of place can get in the way of pedals.
Hence, you should use retainer clips on all mats that don’t have small spikes on their underside to grip the carpeting.
Depending on the type of the floor mat and the vehicle itself, retainer clips can have various shapes. Therefore, they will grip the mat in different ways.
Some cars may come without retainer clips, and some even without floor mats. In those cases, you’ll have to buy universal retainers that fit in most vehicles.
Retainer clips are usually made out of plastic. Therefore, depending on their quality, some of them can break if you’re not too careful. Their durability also has to do a lot with retention methods. You can also use retention methods to differentiate between them.
Plastic retainer clips use different retention methods. These methods include:
They usually secure the floor mats through anchor points that are already located on the vehicle’s floor. In other words, you’ll be able to use them on all cars where the manufacturer originally intended to secure mats this way.
However, the anchor points can also be installed afterward. Furthermore, there are also means of using universal retention clips if you have some space between your vehicle’s carpeting and the floor.
Car manufacturers like Toyota usually use retention hooks to secure floor mats in place. Therefore, these vehicles usually have predetermined holes where you should place hooks.
How to Install Them
You can install retention hooks in no time. All you have to do is line up the hooks with their respective holes and then push them into the floor.
Locks usually come with the hooks, so the next step would be to push the locks into them. The final step would be to hook the floor mat on, and you’re ready to go.
There are also hooks used by manufacturers like Lexus. You can install them with less hassle than the previously mentioned ones. All you have to do is to place them on anchor points in the floor and put the mat over them.
You can often find retainer clips in vehicles like Dodge, Chrysler, or Jeep. They secure floor mats by clipping the carpeting and hooking the mat. They are one of the most common ways to secure mats. However, sometimes they tend to be less durable, simply because the clip part can break if you step on it aggressively.
How to Install Them
In order to install retainer clips, you’ll need to lift the sides of your carpeting. The lower part of the clip should go under it. Then you should let the upper part fall over. That way the clip will securely grip the carpeting.
Once the clip is placed, take your mat and place the hole over the hook on the clip. Push the mat down until it falls into place. Be careful not to push too hard or the hook will break. Also, it’s a good piece of advice to avoid using your foot or a hammer for pushing.
If your new mats don’t have predetermined holes, then you’ll have to make them. Put the mat in place over the hook, and mark where the hole should bed.
Put the mat on a flat surface like the workbench. Then, proceed to cut the holes either with some sharp tool or by placing a small metal tube on the mat and hammering it down. Just make sure that the holes aren’t larger than the diameter of the hook’s head.
Retainer twists are somewhat similar to retainer hooks. The only difference is in the twist lock that secures the mat from above. Some BMW series use these to keep the mats in place.
How to Install Them
You’ll need to push the retainer twists into the anchor points. Once you finish, you should take off the security lock from the top. Then, place the holes in the mat over them and push the mat down until it falls back into place.
Finally, secure the mat by screwing the twist lock on top of it.
Manufacturers rarely use spike retainers to secure the mats. Spike retainers are basically universal retainers you can use on different vehicles that have carpeting inside. Therefore, they are quite useful if you can’t find the right retainer clips for your car.
How to Install Them
In order to install retainer spikes, you’ll have to check whether there’s any space between the floor and carpeting. You can do that by knocking. If you hear a deep sound, then you’re ready to proceed.
First, you’ll have to check whether your mats have holes in them. If they don’t, then you’ll have to cut out the holes. If they do, then you can continue to install the spikes.
You’ll see that retainer spikes usually have two parts. Unscrew the upper part and leave it aside. Place the spiky part underneath the hole in the mat. Then, put the upper part above it and screw it tightly.
Some spike retainers have cutaways on top that allow you to insert a coin or a screwdriver in order to tighten them.
Once you’ve installed all retainer spikes on your mat, place the mat on the carpeting. Even it out, and make sure that there are no bulges. The car floor should be flat and dry for proper anchor installation.
Finally, hit the retainers with a hammer or stomp them with your foot with enough force for the anchor spikes to penetrate the carpeting.
Why You Need Car Mat Retainers
You are probably aware that the purpose of car mats isn’t just the aesthetics. Yes, they help the interior of your vehicle look nice and clean. However, they also protect the vehicle’s floor from dirt, wear, and salt corrosion.
Nowadays, we can’t imagine a vehicle without car mats. They are easily removed; therefore we can change them if they wear off. What’s more, cleaning them isn’t as hard as cleaning the carpet.
The problem with floor mats starts when they are not secured to the vehicle’s floor. Loose floor mats are especially the case with older vehicles.
If you haven’t secured a floor mat properly, it can go out of place and all the dirt from your shoes can end up on the floor. Furthermore, just imagine a kid spilling the milk directly on the carpeting.
However, the damage can be even worse than that if the liquid gets on the metal underneath. If you don’t notice and tend to it soon, that part of the floor will probably corrode.
Above all, the main reason for having retainer clips is security. Loose mat on driver’s side can pose significant problems and get in the way of your feet.
Aside from bulging in certain places, a mat can bunch up near the pedals and jam them. Once that happens, you can lose control of your vehicle. You should never put yourself or your passengers in such danger just because you didn’t have retainer clips.
Safety comes first. Retainer clips are widely available and you won’t have to break the bank in order to get them.
5 Reasons Why You Should Use Retainer Clips:
- Retainer clips prevent the mat from bunching up and jamming pedals.
- They will also prevent dirt from getting underneath the mat.
- Retainer clips will stop the water and liquid from wetting the carpeting.
- You won’t have to put the mats back in place every now and then.
- The car interior looks better when floor mats are secured than when they are loose.
Where to Buy These Retainers
Nowadays, you’ll find most mat retainers alongside mats that come with vehicles. However, it may happen that some retainers will wear off or break over time.
In those cases, you can buy replacements from official distributors and vendors. In some cases, if you’re unable to find them in shops, you can order them straight from the manufacturer.
Another good piece of advice is to look for retainers that will fit your vehicle on used car sales, markets, and even junkyards. You will surely be able to bargain a good price.
Last, but not least, the Internet is always there as the ultimate solution. Websites like Amazon are heaven for finding even the tiniest car parts. Therefore, you can be sure that you’ll find the right retainers there.
Top Car Floor Mat Retainers Available Online (2021)
In order to ease up the buying process for you, I’ve decided to select some of the retainer clips that are available on Amazon.
1. Mopar Hold Down Retainer
You can consider Mopar Hold Down Retaining Clip to be a mixture of clip and hook retention methods.
They are mainly intended for vehicles such as Jeep, Chrysler, and Dodge. However, since the clip’s anchor point is carpeting and not the floor, you’ll probably be able to use it in cars by other manufacturers.
2. Azerone Car Mat Carpet Clips
Azerone Car Mat Carpet Clips are actually twist retainers. The bottom part goes into the carpeting. After you put the mat on top of it, you should screw the upper part to secure it in place.
They are one of the cheapest solutions on the Internet. Furthermore, they are also durable because they are small, and it will be almost impossible to break them with your foot.
3. Toyota Custom Fit Mat Clip
If you’re driving a Toyota, then Genuine Toyota Accessories Custom Fit Mat Clip is the way to go. It is cheap, reliable, and will probably work for most Toyota models. However, the ones featured here are made for Toyota Camry vehicles.
I’ve already mentioned how to install clips that are similar to these in the Retention Methods section of this article. If you’re patient enough and inspect everything before you start, you’ll be able to do it in no time.
4. Eagle Claw Floor Mat Clips
Eagle Claw Floor Mat Clips are one of the most popular mat clips nowadays. The reason is that they fit all vehicles that have some space between the floor and the carpeting. You can consider them to be a spike type of retainers.
You’ll find them efficient because they include multiple hooked spikes on the bottom part. These spikes serve as a perfect anchor point for every carpeting.
Furthermore, the upper part is really convenient because you can tighten it with a simple coin if you don’t have a screwdriver around.
Above all, they proved to be quite durable. When I’ve set them in place, they didn’t move even after some serious stomping. The only weakness of these retention clips is if you hit them sideways, as they will break. So, be careful how you hit them when you’re fastening them to the carpeting.
Loose car mats are not just messy. They can also pose some serious safety issues like jamming your pedals during the ride.
Therefore, think about investing in car floor mat retainer clips as soon as possible. With them, you won’t need to put your mats back in place after each trip. Furthermore, it goes without saying that they can actually be a real lifesaver.
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