Understanding and Installing Running Boards on Your Vehicle


Introduction to Running Boards

Running boards, also known as side steps or nerf bars, are a popular aftermarket accessory for trucks, SUVs, and vans. They provide a convenient step for passengers to get in and out of the vehicle and also serve as a protective barrier for the vehicle’s rocker panels. In this article, we will learn what are running boards and function of running boards in more detail.

Different types of running boards available on the market

A running board is a flat, non-slip surface that attaches to the side of a vehicle, typically along the rocker panel. They come in a variety of materials, including aluminum, plastic, and steel, and can be custom-fit to specific makes and models of vehicles. Running boards come in different designs and styles, such as round, oval, or rectangular tubing, and can be powder-coated in various colors to match the vehicle’s paint job.

Most manufacturers recommend that running boards should be installed at least 5 inches above the ground. If they are too low, they can scratch the paint on the vehicle. Also, if they are too high, they can cause the vehicle to look out of balance.

There are many different styles of running boards on the market today. They range from simple plastic strips that are attached to the outside of the vehicle’s frame to elaborate metal and composite designs that are built into the body of the vehicle.

Aluminum is the most common material for running boards for trucks, and it’s very durable. Fiberglass is also a good choice, but it’s a little more expensive. Plastic is the least expensive option, but it’s not as durable. The best type of running board is one that is well-made and looks good. You should never go with the cheapest option because it will likely break after a short period of time.

Benefits of installing running boards on your vehicle

The primary function of running boards is to provide a step for passengers to easily get in and out of the vehicle, especially for those who have trouble reaching the floor of a high-riding truck or SUV.

Running boards also serve as a protective barrier for the vehicle’s rocker panels, which are vulnerable to damage from rocks, debris, and other road hazards. This not only protects the vehicle’s appearance but also preserves its resale value.

Before installing a running board, you should check the vehicle’s existing running board to see if it needs to be replaced. If it does, you can replace it with a new one. The most common way to install a running board is by drilling holes in the vehicle’s rocker panels. After that, you can bolt the running board to the vehicle. If you don’t have access to a drill, you can use a hand-held drill.

If you are considering installing running boards on your vehicle, you should do it right away. The sooner you install them, the more you will save in the long run. It is best to install them before you have an accident. They can be installed by drilling holes into the rocker panel and attaching them with screws. You can find instructions on the internet or in your vehicle’s owner’s manual. If you don’t have a manual, you can ask a mechanic to help you. You can also install them yourself. All you need to do is to remove the wheels and drill the holes into the rocker panel.

The function of running boards

Running boards also offer additional functionality. Many modern running boards come with built-in LED lights that provide extra visibility at night and make it easier for passengers to get in and out of the vehicle. Some running boards also feature a built-in storage compartment for storing small items, such as gloves, sunglasses, or cell phones.

In addition to their functional benefits, running boards also add an aesthetic touch to a vehicle. They can complement a vehicle’s design and give it a more rugged, off-road look.


In conclusion, running boards provide a convenient step for passengers to get in and out of the vehicle and also serve as a protective barrier for the vehicle’s rocker panels. They come in a variety of materials, designs, and styles, and offer additional functionality such as LED lights and storage compartments. They not only add functionality to a vehicle but also enhance its appearance of the vehicle.

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