Pickup trucks, heavy-duty SUVs, and several passenger cars capable of off-roading all sport running boards of various sizes and styles in the United States.
It is one of the most ubiquitous components of the American style of vehicle modifications; experts suggest that they are as popular as custom rims manufactured by such household names as Fuel Wheels, American Racing Wheels, and Enkei.
As you know well, these boards are the bottom-mounted stepping surfaces seen mostly on bigger vehicles. Some people use them on only one side while others may have them on both.
Originally, running boards were fitted onto vintage cars because they had very high ground clearance, making it difficult for some people to board automobiles. Over time, they have been relegated to elective additions primarily for superior aesthetics.
You can purchase these optional products from any reputable retailer from where you normally buy the latest models of upmarket Lexani Wheels to add that extra touch of oomph and individuality which help your car stand out.
Now, did you know that using running boards comes with certain own pros and cons?
To help you understand these additions slightly better, let’s dive a bit deeper!
The advantages and disadvantages of using running boards
Since these are elective add-ons just like a set of new Fuel Wheels, the boards have a few positives and some drawbacks too. They are the following.
- Helps shorter passengers board taller vehicles: This is the most obvious advantage, and it was why these boards entered the mainstream in the first place. If you own a lifted truck and kids, you’ll probably require running boards.
- Protects the underside of your vehicle: This is a significant point not to be taken lightly. These boards act as a shield that protects the underside of the chassis (and often the doors and side panels) from the sharp rocks, gravel, and other debris thrown up while you drive.
Keep in mind that running boards are mostly made of light steel, plastic, and carbon fiber as well. But if you are looking to protect your beloved vehicle from damage when you are going off-roading, you have to get a pair of aluminum running boards.
However, the aluminum used in these add-ons is not nearly as sturdy as the alloys used in the fabrication of aftermarket Fuel Wheels and other brands. You have to be pretty careful when selecting them; some of the best models are mentioned in the next section for your benefit!
- Helps keep the car’s interiors clean: This is an advantage that’s not as appreciated as it should be. The board acts as a de facto doormat for anyone boarding a vehicle. This prevents the entry of dirt and dust from entering and settling inside.
A good idea is to purchase running boards which have a layer of nylon, microfibers, or other absorbent materials.
Here are a few downsides you must be aware of.
- Large boards ruin ground clearance: This is possibly the biggest drawback of using these add-ons. The modern passenger car already has very low ground clearance; the more premium vehicles almost seem to kiss the roads!
Adding outsized running boards to sedans and smaller vehicles is a terrible idea, especially if you are already using downsized Lexani Wheels.
- Get soiled and stained easily: When you are using running boards during winters and the rainy months, be very careful. These steps get soiled very quickly thanks to the mud and the slush and you might even slip on them while boarding the vehicle.
- Accelerates the wear rate of car seats: If you have ever used these boards, you’ll know how smooth it is to simply ease out of your seat and slide down using the steps as a ladder of sorts!
Just as incorrect usage of even the costliest Fuel Wheels deteriorates their quality in the long run, this fluid motion also damages the edges of the seats, regardless of whether they are the front or rear ones. The outside edges suffer the most.
Which running boards should I buy?
Just like other years, 2022 has witnessed its fair share of all-new models. Here are some expert-backed recommendations.
- AMP Research Powerstep XL: These are state-of-the-earth electric-powered retractable boards that can tolerate significant amounts of weight. It is a full-cab board that helps you retain side clearance as they extend and completely retract when the doors are slammed shut.
The Powerstep XL also has LED lights for use in complete darkness. Plus, they look super sleek and will easily increase your car’s style quotient if you pair them with a handsome set of Lexani Wheels.
Perhaps their only drawback is the hefty price tag!
- Go Rhino Dominator D6: This is the sturdiest and most user-friendly running boards money can buy! With a full stainless-steel body and raised treads on the surface, the Dominator D6 stops the entry of debris inside the compartment and also prevents slipping and falling instances to a great extent.
If you own a lifted pickup truck or a heavy vehicle, this is the model for you!
A few last words
Just like custom tires, it is wise to shun unbranded running boards. Purchase them from a trusted retailer only, and check the warranty periods on offer. Seek professional advice if you have any doubts.