How to Install Running Boards: A Step-by-Step Guide

How To Install Running Boards

If you own a truck or SUV, installing running boards is a great way to enhance its look and functionality. Running boards provide an extra step to help you get in and out of your vehicle, and they can also protect the body from debris and rocks. In this article, we’ll provide you with an easy-to-follow guide on how to install running boards on your vehicle.

Types of Running Boards

Having the right tools and materials is essential for a successful running board installation
Having the right tools and materials is essential for a successful running board installation

Before you start the installation process, it’s essential to know the different types of running boards available in the market. Understanding the types of running boards can help you make an informed decision when choosing the right one for your vehicle.

Side Steps

Side steps are the most common type of running board. They are flat, broad steps that run along the side of your vehicle, providing an extra step for passengers to step onto when getting in or out. They come in various materials, including aluminum, stainless steel, and plastic. Side steps are also available in different styles, including oval, round, and rectangular.

Nerf Bars

Nerf bars are similar to side steps, but they typically have a tube-like design. They are perfect for off-road vehicles as they provide extra protection from rocks and debris. Nerf bars come in different sizes and materials, including stainless steel, aluminum, and powder-coated steel.

Electric Running Boards

Electric running boards are an advanced type of running board that automatically extends and retracts when the doors are opened or closed. They are perfect for people who want a sleek and stylish look for their vehicle. Electric running boards are also available in different materials and styles, including stainless steel and aluminum. However, they are typically more expensive than other types of running boards.

Stay tuned for the next section on the tools and materials you’ll need to get started with your running board installation.

Necessary Tools and Materials

Before you begin the installation process, you’ll need to gather all the necessary tools and materials. Here are some of the essential tools you’ll need for the installation:


  • Drill
  • Socket wrench set
  • Screwdriver
  • Measuring tape
  • Torque wrench
  • Razor blade

Running Board Kits

Most running board kits come with all the necessary hardware and brackets needed for installation. When purchasing a running board kit, make sure to choose the one that is compatible with your vehicle’s make and model.

Steps on How to Install Running Boards

Now that you have all the necessary tools and materials let’s get started on the installation process. Follow these simple steps to install running boards:

Pre-Installation Preparation

  1. Park your vehicle on a flat surface and turn off the engine.
  2. Gather all the necessary tools and materials.
  3. Open the package containing the running board kit and make sure all the parts are included.
  4. Determine the location where you want to install the running boards.

Installation of Mounting Brackets and Hardware

  1. Position the mounting brackets on the underside of your vehicle and mark the holes where you will drill.
  2. Use a drill to make holes in the marked areas.
  3. Secure the mounting brackets using bolts and nuts included in the kit.
  4. Repeat this process on the other side of the vehicle.

Installation of Running Board

  1. Position the running board on the mounting brackets and make sure it is leveled.
  2. Secure the running board to the mounting brackets using bolts and nuts included in the kit.
  3. Make sure the running board is secure and level.

Adjustment and Final Touches

  1. Adjust the running board to your desired height and position.
  2. Tighten all the bolts and nuts to ensure the running board is secure.
  3. Use a razor blade to remove any excess sealant around the edges of the running board.
  4. Test the running board by stepping on it to ensure it can support your weight.

Congratulations! You have successfully installed running boards on your vehicle. In the next section, we’ll provide you with some tips and tricks to help you maintain your running boards and keep them in top-notch condition.

Tips and Tricks for Running Board Installation

Installing running boards can be a challenging task, especially if you’re doing it for the first time. Here are some tips and tricks to make the installation process more manageable:

Safety Precautions

Before you start the installation process, make sure you take the necessary safety precautions. Wear protective gear such as gloves, goggles, and a dust mask to prevent injuries. Make sure you have a stable and level working surface to avoid any accidents. Additionally, ensure you have someone to help you with the installation process, as running boards can be heavy and challenging to maneuver.

Proper Maintenance

Once you’ve installed your running boards, it’s essential to maintain them correctly. Regular cleaning can help prevent dirt and debris from accumulating, which can cause damage over time. Use a soft-bristled brush or a cloth to clean your running boards, and avoid using abrasive materials that can scratch the surface. Additionally, make sure you check your running boards regularly for any signs of damage, and repair them immediately to prevent further damage.


Installing running boards is an easy way to enhance the look and functionality of your vehicle. Whether you choose side steps, nerf bars, or electric running boards, following the steps outlined in this article can help you install them successfully. Make sure you have the necessary tools and materials, take the necessary safety precautions, and maintain your running boards properly. With these tips and tricks, you’ll have a stylish and functional vehicle in no time.