How to Replace Carpet in a Car

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Replacing your own car carpet is surprisingly inexpensive and a fairly straightforward process. You may need an extra set of hands to help out, though, when it comes time to removing and replacing the seats. If you have a friend who is willing to help, you can complete this three-part process in an afternoon.

Order your new carpet

Note that it may take up to two weeks to arrive.
Step 1: Check with a local car dealership that sells your vehicle make to find out if they sell a replacement carpet and how much it is.
Step 2: Go online and do a bit of window shopping. Companies like CarParts sell carpet replacement kits for $125 to $250, depending on the car and type of carpet you choose.
Step 3: Order from a reputable company. After you compare prices, order from a company with a good service rating and a reasonable price.

Remove the old carpet

Materials Needed
  • Allen or hex wrenches
  • Battery terminal wrench
  • Screw driver
  • Socket wrench
Step 1: Disconnect the car battery before you begin removing the carpet. Use a battery terminal wrench to loosen the cable and lift the cable off of the post.
Wait 10 to 15 minutes before you begin to prevent airbag deployment when you remove the seats.
  • Tip: Unpack the new carpet and lay it out the night before or at least a few hours before installation.
Step 2: Remove the bolts that hold the front and rear seats to the floor with a socket wrench. Place the bolts in a sealable container where they won’t get lost.
Step 3: Disconnect the wiring harnesses beneath the seats. When you look under the seats, you will see the little, plastic connectors.
Step 4: Lift the seats out of the car. Set them out of the way and cover them with plastic to protect them.
If the seat belts are held in place on the seats with a plastic trim piece, remove the trim piece from the seats and leave the seat belts in place.
They should not be removed as they are difficult to put back in correctly.
  • Tip: Do not remove the catalytic converter cover, if your vehicle has one.
Step 5: Remove the trim and center console, if there is one in your car. Use a screwdriver, allen or hex wrench, or plastic trim removing tools, depending on how the trim is held in place.
The screws holding the center console down can usually be found on the inside of the console, although there could be some on the outside as well.
Step 6: Remove the carpet. Be careful to feed any wiring down through holes in the carpeting so that it doesn’t get pulled out with the carpet.

Install the new carpet

Materials Needed
  • Allen or hex wrenches
  • Battery terminal wrench
  • Box cutter or carpet knife
  • New carpet
  • Screw driver
  • Socket wrench
Step 1: Take a few minutes to give the floor of your car a good cleaning. Sweep up the dirt with a whisk broom or vacuum and give it a good scrub with glass cleaner and a damp sponge.
Let it dry completely before installing the new carpet.
Step 2: Drop the new carpet in. Carefully feed the wiring harnesses through the appropriate holes in the carpeting.
They may be pre-cut. If not, you may need to use a box cutter or carpet knife to slice the holes where needed.
  • Tip: Lay the new carpet over the old carpet to make sure it is the right fit before you begin installing it.
Step 3: Re-install the center console, car seats, and trim pieces. Simply reverse the order in which you removed them.
Step 4: Replace the battery cable. Wait until you have everything hooked back up and bolted down.
New carpet can make your car seem almost like new again, and removes a lot of the old dirt, oil, and grease on the old carpet. Use rubber car mats in winter or wet climates to reduce the wear and tear on your new carpet to keep it looking clean for longer.

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