How to Repair Running Boards

by Brenda PriddyUpdated July 26, 2023
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Unscrew the running boards from the side of the car with the ratchet. Most running boards attach to a piece called the heater channel. The running boards bolt to the heater channel and to the front and rear fenders. Disconnect the bolts with a ratchet and pull the running boards away from the car.

Inspect the condition of the rubber matting on the running boards. It is likely it is scuffed, peeling or torn in many sections. If so, simply throw it away. New running board rubber is inexpensive and also easier to apply than making repairs to the original rubber.

Peel the rubber off of the running boards using a putty knife. You need to break the bond between the running board and the rubber. Once you are able to grip the rubber, peel it off with your hands.

Inspect the metal underneath the rubber. If there are areas where rust has eaten through the metal, replace the entire running board (or weld a replacement patch on the existing running board, see Step 5). Rub adhesive remover over the entire running board with a soft cloth. Follow this application by scrubbing rusted areas with steel wool.

Weld a replacement patch of sheet metal to the running board. Sand the metal with an orbital sander until the running board is flat and smooth. Follow this step only if you choose not to replace the entire running board.

Spray a coating of rust-inhibiting spray paint on the running boards.

Use pliers to open the edge of the running board where the rubber matting attaches to the board.

Lay the running board on a flat, sturdy surface. Lay the rubber over the running boards, then tap the opening closed with a hammer.

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