|CAR||1999 W202 C43 AMG|
|UPDATES SINCE LAST REPORT||As winter approaches we take measures to prepare our Mercedes for changes in the weather|
Winter Worries – Winter 2014
As the mercury drops, it’s time once more to prepare our Mercedes for winter.
We could debate for hours whether the UK’s winters are becoming harsher or not, but either way, it is prudent to ensure that your Mercedes-Benz is ready for winter.
So here at Mercedes Enthusiast we’ve given some thought to getting our C43 AMG prepared. Of course, we will take our Bridgestone Blizzak LM-32s out of storage and fit them to ease progress, as 302bhp through the rear wheels on slippery roads can make life, well, interesting! But there’s more.
In our C-Class saloon’s life as a hardworking pool car it roams across the country and gets all manner of things thrown into it, not to mention muddy, dusty, grubby shoes and boots which, of course, are often muddier, dustier and grubbier come winter. After 14 years (well, we believe them to be the original items), the AMG branded floor mats were looking rather worn – and the driver’s side one had, perhaps unsurprisingly, developed a hole. Time for something new, we thought.
CLEAN AND TIDY
Hitech Autoparts Ltd specialises in providing OEM accessories, including floor mats. Available finished in carpet or rubber, and with a range of trim colours, ours cost just £32.50 a set for the rubber mats, £18.99 a set for the carpet ones. We ordered a carpeted set in demure black with black edging, as our existing mats are carpet ones, plus a rubber set. Within a few days, a large package was at our door.
Given that Hitech refers to these products as ‘OEM grade car mats’, we expected them to fit our C43 as well as the originals. Interestingly, they did, even going as far as having the same issues as those they replaced!
The carpeted driver’s side mat fouls the throttle pedal ever so slightly, just as the original did – however the rubber finished equivalent does not. For this reason, and because winter is approaching and these might be easier to clean, we’ve chosen to put the rubber mats to the test first.
Both sets came with plastic plugs that, the manufacturer says, should be used to keep the mats in place. Not keen on screwing anything into the footwell floor of our C43, we’ve not done this. The rubber mats feel secure as they are, so unless they start moving about, we will leave them like this for now.
We also got a boot mat from Hitech Autoparts (£24.99). Of all the areas in our C43 AMG, its carpeted boot is one of the most vulnerable when it comes to being stained or damaged. The car didn’t come with any mat or covering, so this extra measure will, we hope, help save the boot from harm and keep it looking smart. It is also easier to remove a mat to clean it than to fold yourself in half to get into the boot cavity! The mat feels very heavy duty and therefore we hope it will be up to the task. Granted, the left-hand side is not a perfect fit, but then it doesn’t need to be. Of course, we are keeping the C43’s original AMG floor mats, as they are the authentic items and part of the car’s history.
GETTING IT COVERED
And there’s one more thing we want to do. As in the recent past we’ve invested a lot in getting our Mercedes’ bodywork up to scratch and its alloy wheels refurbished, we don’t want these ruined so we’re getting a car cover to protect it from salt, the elements and the muck that gets thrown from the nearby road. Investing in the car has given us renewed appreciation of it and we want to keep it looking good as long as possible. Maybe it will inspire you to give your Mercedes-Benz a little extra TLC this winter?