What are Electric Running Boards?

Electric running boards, also known as power running boards, use electric power to detract or retract. They swing out of the way and below your vehicle when not in use while the best power running boards tuck away to prevent you from losing ground clearance. These electric running boards activate when a door is opened and the car is unlocked, and they can be programmed to work when a leg moves past the sensor.

Electric running boards are a perfect way of getting in and out of your truck without using the traditional step-up. These can be installed on any vehicle with side steps, and this means most trucks are the way to go if you want an easy entryway every time. The electric running board automatically rises when you approach it with one foot on the lower step, and all you have to do is hop onto it and then into your truck or car.

If you go off-roading and don’t like the look of the running boards, there is the option of retractable running boards, which will solve the issue. However, if you opt for the standard running boards, you will get fixed running boards that will not include the same feature.

Why are Running Boards Called Running Boards?

Running boards are narrow step pads that fit on your trolley’s side, jeep wrangler, ram truck and SUV, meaning it’s useful for the high vehicles. They are known as running boards because they run the whole length of your car. However, the origin of the name is unknown, and they don’t have similarities with nerf bars in terms of origin.

Unlike nerf bars mounted on race cars as a means of protection against your opponent’s car when it comes to a collision. However, as much as running boards are similar to nerf bars, they come from a different place.

How Long Do Power Running Boards Last?

Power running boards are also known as power steps, and they last for about five years, giving you 60000 miles. Since the average manufacturer’s warranty covers the first three or five years of operation, you can figure out it should last around that. Notably, the longevity of your power running boards depends on the quality and how frequently you use them.

Some users have reported that it lasted longer, but others have claimed that their power running boards got one stuck down and the other side refused to extend, meaning they were stuck with one half. Luckily, you could peg one up or down until you can get it fixed, but most running boards users report that AMP Research running boards work well and last for years.

Factors to Consider Before Purchasing the Best Electric Running Boards

The best electric running boards should have several features such as:

1. Quality Build

This is among the most important factors you will need to consider when shopping for your vehicle’s power running board. You will want to think of it as purchasing new clothes or shoes. Some materials usually hold better than others, but they come up at an extra cost.

Steel and aluminum are some metals that you will come across so many times, and this is because they are sturdy and durable. However, another thing about these materials is that they are lightweight, and this is something you will appreciate.

2. Electric vs. Traditional

You may want to check the difference between electric and traditional running boards, and you may guess the traditional will cost less. Also, traditional running boards remain mounted in place or will fold into your vehicle, and in case of an accident, your car won’t incur too much damage. The running boards will take the hit.

On the contrary, electric-powered running boards will cost more since they are mechanical and fold down when you open your vehicle’s door. However, they will automatically fold back into place when you close the door.

The mechanical system will wear down after a while, but you can ensure that electrical power steps give you the functionality you need.

3. Padding Materials

You should also think about the stepping pad as you look for the perfect running board. Most are made from plastic, but the issue is that plastic usually wears down over time.

This leaves you with rubber as the next suitable option. When used as a padding material, you will get remarkable traction that will be handy, especially when driving in poor weather.

4. Board Width

It can be easy to disregard the running board’s width, but it’s an important factor you should consider. The correct width will protect your car’s paint job if it experiences a bashing.

In addition, the right width will provide a larger surface for you to step on. Ensure you don’t get a big footpad, as it will hinder your ability to get under a car to fix something or change the oil.

You don’t want to go the extra mile to get a jack to lift your four-wheel drive or a ramp to get underneath. A lift kit will come at a price you may want to avoid.

5. Running Board Types

There are several kinds of running boards you can choose from since running boards offer a wide stepping surface thanmost nerf bars in a variety of designs and options to get a perfect style.

There are size step bars that you can position wherever and this could be a great pick if your major interest is easy to access when getting in and out of your truck or in a crew cab.

There are tread boards that will fit your car’s entire length, and although these give you full coverage, they are quite bulky. Also, there are powered running boards that open automatically when you open your vehicle’s door.

Some of these power running boards have LED lights that will help you navigate low steps in low light conditions, and we would prefer you choose these.

6. The Finish

When it comes to the finish of your aftermarket running board, you will need to pick from a variety where the most popular options will be chrome, anodized aluminum and powder coated. Of course, all these finishes have their pros and cons. For instance, polished and black powder-coated finishes are reasonably priced and will still protect the best power running boards.

On the other hand, the chrome powder-coated running boards will offer the same but at a higher price. Painted and anodized aluminum are not popular because they are not very durable.

7. Warranty

When purchasing automatic running boards, you should never outlook warranties as warranties would matter for every electronic gadget. Instead, you will want to purchase an electric-powered running board from a company offering a trial period to decide whether the product will serve your interests well.

Most running boards serve for up to five years which is quite a reasonable price, while others work with the mileage you will cover over some time. Normally, this is enough time for the power running board to last as long as you own your car.

Nevertheless, always opt for a warranty in your best interest if you plan to drive your car for a while. If you have the finances, it can be better off purchasing a running board that comes with an additional warranty.

However, if you are looking for cheap power running boards to use for a short period, you will not have to worry too much about the warranty.

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Electric Running Boards