Power running boards are simple running boards that swing out of the way when they are not in use. The running boards are activated when a door is opened, when a car is unlocked, or they can even be programmed to work when a leg sweeps past a sensor. These would be more automatic running boards. The true sign of luxury.
They will usually cost around $1,000 to buy and install but for those willing, they can be well worth it. If you lift your truck you can get away with some sleek styling with hideaway power running boards.
They can be almost completely hidden, so when you’re driving off-road they won’t lower your riding height and they won’t stick out and hit a rock or bush. Power running boards are a complete luxury but they do offer additional comforts and practicality. Power running boards are not as common as side steps or running boards but brands do offer plenty of color and styling options.
Can You Turn Off Power Running Boards?
Yes, you can turn off power running boards. You can program most power running boards to act however you want. You can set them to stay hidden, open and close on a delay, to stay open, or whatever you can think of.
If you want to set your power running boards to stay retraced up and away when you are changing your oil, riding in extreme terrain, or other infrequent events you will be able to set them in your advanced settings.
You can also set them to stay extended you can do the same thing. There are situations where you need to have the running boards extended, such as in an action movie, or if you want to perform a sweet stunt for a youtube video.
How Long Do Power Running Boards Last?
Power Running Boards typically last for 5 years or 60,000 miles. The average manufacturer’s warranty covers the first 3 or even 5 years of operation, so you can figure it should last about 5 years or just a little bit more than that. AMP Research is the leading manufacturer of power running boards and their warranties are for 3 and 5 years.
Some users report they last much longer. Others report that one gets stuck down and the other side won’t extend so they are stuck with half of one. The good thing is that you could be able to peg one up or down until you are able to get them fixed. But most users report AMP electric running boards to work well and should last for years.
How Much Are AMP PowerSteps?
The AMP Powerstep’s most economical version starts at $1,075, $1,599 for the Powerstep EXtreme, and $1,899 for the Powerstep XL. Prices change and Amazon usually has the most competitive prices, though AMP’s website has MSRP pricing.
AMP also manufactures a manually retractable Bedstep as well. It is a single step that installs in front or behind the rear wheel on either side of your truck. It works great for stepping up and adjusting or securing things in the bed. They are best for shorter people, or taller people with lifted trucks.
So, What Are The Best Power Running Boards?
AMP Research is the standard and the most popular electric running boards. They are generally regarded as the most reliable (designed and manufactured in the USA) and the easiest to install and use. There are others as well, here is my list of the best power running boards:
Buy if you want the best of the best and don’t mind prices.
Good: Probably the most reliable power running board on the market it boasts a 5 year or 50,000-mile warranty. It features a large platform, lights, extends 9 inches, and tucks away almost completely.
Bad: It’s the most expensive electric running board on this list.
Buy if you are price conscious but want the best brand.
The Good: AMP Reliable is excellent. It can be 100% hidden when retracted. It has a flat and secure 6-inch extension and a 3 year/36,000 mile warranty.
The Bad: It is the most complicated to install.
Buy if you need the double step for the eldery/children.
The Good: It is the only one to offer a “double” step 4-inch at door level and an additional 3-inch platform dropped 8-inch. It offers an industry leading 650 lb weight limit. Installation is simple and it Ares offers a great 5-year warranty.
The Bad: It is more expensive than it’s competitors equivalents.
Buy if you installing is not your strongsuit,
The Good: It has a standard 6.25-inch wide platform extends 6 inches. It connects only with WIFI and boasts the easiest 2-step install, and it come with an industry standard 3 year/36,000 mile warranty.
The Bad: WIFI only connection may turn some off.
Are AMP Steps Universal?
Yes, AMP Powersteps are universal. AMP makes mounting brackets for all major pickup truck manufacturers and custom mounting brackets can be made for other carmakers. AMP also offers a universal mounting bracket that can be modified depending on your truck.
If you have a vintage raised Disco and you want to add some automatic Powersteps you can do it. Like with most work on a vintage truck you will have to cludge what you have to make it work. But it can be done and still look professional. The Powerstep tucks away and is almost completely hidden. Powerstep 2 is larger and has a lower extension and it is designed to be shown off.
How Far Do Amp Powersteps Drop?
The original Powerstep drop 6 inches. The PowerstepXL drops 9 inches, 3 inches lower than the original). They both support up to 600 lbs per side so two sumo wrestlers can even use the Powersteps at the same time and nothing will happen.
How Long Does It Take To Install Amp Power Steps?
2-3 hours. AMP Research states you need about 2-3 hours to install both Powersteps. From a difficulty scale of 1-4, AMP Research rates this installation at a 4.
You will need to cut, strip, and solder wires, run electrical wire, insulate with silicone caulk, tighten bolt and nuts, drill through your frame, and drink 3-5 beers during the installation process. It is complicated though it can be done in an evening or a weekend with ease.
AMP Powersteps are more involved than other power running boards. This is their biggest downside. You need to drill in the frame to run wire and connect it to your existing truck’s electrical system. Sometimes this can take hours itself and require special tools. Though, when it is finished you have a hard-wired system that will fail less than competitor’s systems that use a wireless connection.
How Do I Lubricate My Power Running Boards?
Spray every pivot point and moving part with a spray lubricant (motorcycle/bicycle chain lube or something equivalent works excellent) every few months or when you hear or feel a lack of freedom of movement.
Power running boards come from the factory properly lubricated. Though with time and weather this lubrication needs to be replenished. It is a simple process that can be done in minutes.
Simply open your door to extend the electric running boards. Then at each point where there is bare metal, a pivot point, or a moving piece, spray lube. You may need to get under your truck or use a mirror to view locations under or behind the running boards. Otherwise, you may miss spots and this could lead to further damage that can be easily prevented.
Thanks for reading and stay dirty