Toyota Tacoma Electric Running Boards

Are Toyota Tacoma Electric Running Boards Worth It?

If you own a Toyota Tacoma truck, chances are that you’d like to learn more about the ideal running board for it. So, do you stick to the good old-fashioned boards or invest in a savvy electric board? Stick around as we break down everything for you.

What Are Electric Running Boards?

Electric boards are stepping surfaces typically fitted on the bottom of vehicles to provide a comfortable place to step on. As their name suggests, these boards are electrically powered as they come with a motor.

You see, one challenge people face with normal boards or side steps is that they can ruin ground clearance. What’s more, having them exposed all time means they are always in harm’s way in case you’re driving through places with many obstacles.

As such, the idea behind powered running boards is that they are automatically unleashed when you open the door. Likewise, they also retract within a couple of seconds of closing the door.

Read More: Cause of High and Low-Temperature Gauges in Cars.

Difference Between Normal Running Boards and Power/Electric Running Boards:

Debate has been raging with truck enthusiasts arguing for or against making the switch to power running boards and vice versa. For now, the jury is still out even though electric boards seem to be taking over.

One of the key differences between the two is that one is powered by an electric motor and comes with hinges. Of course, the idea is to automate the deployment and retraction of the board (but in essence serving the same purpose).

Power boards are generally believed to be more stylish than their regular counterparts. Of course, that observation may vary depending on who you ask. But there’s no arguing that electric boards tend to give trucks a cleaner look.

Lastly, automatic running boards drop down further than an ordinary board would thereby providing you with a more comfortable place to step on. Of course, this benefit stems from the fact that ground clearance is never an issue when it comes to the use of power boards.

Why Do You Install Electric Running Boards On Your Toyota Tacoma?

1.    Ease of Use

The first benefit of getting your auto fitted with a quality board is that it makes it easier to board and get out of the truck. This is particularly so given the fact that these boards drop down really low thereby providing ease of use to everybody else.

By everybody else, we’re referring to children, the elderly, and anyone who might be vertically challenged. Fixed running boards cannot be installed this low as that would significantly reduce the vehicle’s ground clearance.

2.    Aesthetic Appeal

These boards are not only stylish but also quite clean. They can make a truck look really nice especially when up. And it’s no wonder they’ve been getting a ton of compliments.

That said, some critics find them weird when fitted on lifted trucks. Obviously, personal preferences vary but we think that these boards can indeed, make your truck look even more aggressive.

3.    Better Aerodynamics & Efficiency

If you normally drive for long distances, an electric board will go a long way in helping you get better gas mileage. How? You might be wondering.

Well, ordinary running boards affect the streamline of your vehicle thereby increasing wind resistance. As such, they can reduce gas mileage to a small extent.

And with the prices of gas going over the roof, even the slightest improvement in fuel consumption can go a long way.

4.    They Won’t Pick Up Snow During Winter

Have you ever used ordinary running boards? If yes, chances are that you know just how they tend to pick up dirt, crud, and even snow, particularly during winter. By investing in retractable boards, you can effectively address that problem.

And fortunately, an article on the Garage Deed website can help you get a good idea of running boards for Toyota Tacoma. That way, you get to spruce up your vehicle’s looks and even reduce its maintenance cost.

Factors to Consider When you Pick the Electric Running Boards for Your Toyota Tacoma Pickup Truck:

·        Ease of Installation

As you can guess, the process of installing electric running boards is a bit more complicated than that of typical boards. But there’s nothing you can’t handle especially when you have a detailed installation guide provided.

·        Number of Motors

Most cheap running boards for Tacoma trucks come with one motor per side. And while that is perfectly fine in most cases, you might need to go for something with dual motors for added reliability.

Dual motors per side mean that should one motor fail to function, the other one kicks in automatically. And that alone can save you lots of trouble for years to come.

·        Find The Right Size

As far as length is concerned, you want to go for something that provides wheel-to-wheel coverage. And then for the width, you want to go for something that’s wide enough so you can step on it comfortably. A width of between 4 and 6 inches is recommended.

·        Select the Correct Finish

Never underestimate the importance of a good finish. Generally, running boards come in finishes ranging from powder-coated to polished and chrome.

Just to give you the idea, you can go for a polished finish if you’re looking to add a lustrous shine to your truck. Alternatively, you can go for a powder-coated finish as it’s mature and durable.

Installing or Replacing Process of Toyota Tacoma Electric Running Boards

The typical process of installing (or replacing) retractable running boards to your Tacoma truck takes roughly 5 to 8 hours. It might be ideal to have a professional do this task for you. You can also do it by yourself, then need some tools for the job done. Like: Impact Wrenches, Socket Wrench, Ratchet Wrenches, Safety Gloves &  Glasses, Car Creeper, etc.

It goes as follows:

Step 1: Start by disconnecting the brake line retainer bolt found at the driver’s side. Follow this up by removing the brake lines from the frame taking care not to break anything.

Step 2: Fit in the motor linkages and secure them (don’t overtighten, finger tight only). Then through-bolt to the frame.

Step 3: Mark a hole on the front idler using the template provided. Then center-punch it using a 1/8-inch bit before finally re-drilling with a 9/16-inch bit. Kindly repeat these steps for the passenger side as well.

Step 4: Re-install the brake line while also replacing the brake line fasteners. Now center your running boards as you mount them using the T-nuts provided. You should measure at least 18 inches from the end of the board all the way to the linkage.

Step 5: It’s now time to torque linkage to the frame and also attach the motor onto the linkage assembly.

Step 6: Start by removing the fuse then you want to carefully secure the controller to the provided wire loom. Do this using the provided wire ties.

Step 7: Run the wires down both sides of the vehicle into the cab. Then under the hood, locate the “door ajar” signal wires for both passenger and driver side and connect the stripe wires to them accordingly.

Step 8: At this step, connect the wire harness to the motor on each side of your truck. Secure all loose wires and then re-install the fuse.

Step 9: Open and close the doors to confirm if the running board activates when the doors are opened or closed. Finally, re-install any remaining panels of your car.

Final Thoughts

The Toyota Tacoma electric running boards can be a gamechanger in terms of user-friendliness and the aesthetics of your truck. What’s more, they can provide added functionality without compromising your vehicle’s ground clearance. It is, therefore, wise to get a set for your Tacoma.

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