Chevy Power Running Board Problems: Diagnose, Fix, and Prevent

Power running boards are an innovative and convenient feature on many Chevrolet vehicles, offering easy access to the cabin and a touch of luxury. However, they can sometimes be prone to a few issues that leave owners frustrated. 

In this blog post, we’ll delve into the most common Chevy power running board problems, provide guidance on how to diagnose and fix these issues, and share preventive measures to keep your running boards operating smoothly.

chevy power running board problems

4 Common Chevy power running board problems

Before we get into the nitty-gritty of solving your power running board problems, let’s first take a look at the most common issues you might encounter. You’re not alone; many Chevy owners have experienced these hiccups.

  • Motor failure
  • Wiring issues
  • Corrosion
  • Stuck or binding mechanism
  • Faulty control module
  • Broken or worn gears
  • Damaged hinges or brackets
  • Malfunctioning sensors
  • Intermittent power supply
  • Inadequate lubrication
  • Obstructed tracks
  • Water or debris ingress

How To Diagnose and Fix Chevy power running board Problems?

Now that we’ve covered the common problems, let’s dig deeper and understand their causes and solutions. This will help you diagnose and fix the issue more effectively.

#1- Motor failure

Motor failure is one of those pesky issues that can plague Chevy power running boards. Over time, the motor responsible for moving the running board can wear out, become damaged by water, or experience an electrical malfunction. 

This can lead to the running board either not working at all or becoming frustratingly slow and unresponsive.

The best way to tackle this problem is to replace or repair the faulty motor. It’s a good idea to consult a professional mechanic who can properly diagnose and fix the issue for you.

#2- Wiring issues

Sometimes Chevy power running boards can fall victim to wiring problems, which can cause either intermittent or total loss of power. These issues might be due to frayed wires, loose connections, or even pesky corrosion.

To solve this dilemma, you’ll want to inspect the wiring for any visible damage and repair or replace it as needed. 

It’s also a smart move to have a mechanic perform a thorough electrical inspection to make sure there are no hidden issues lurking beneath the surface.

#3- Corrosion

Corrosion can be a real headache when it comes to power running boards. It might affect the electrical connections, motor, or other components, leading to reduced functionality or even total failure.

Regular maintenance, like cleaning and applying anti-corrosion spray to exposed metal parts, can help prevent this issue. 

If corrosion is already present, consult a mechanic to assess the damage and provide the appropriate fix.

#4- Stuck or binding mechanism

A stuck or binding mechanism can be super annoying for Chevy power running board owners. This issue occurs when dirt, debris, or rust accumulates, causing the running board to become stuck in one position or move with difficulty.

Regularly cleaning and lubricating the mechanism can help prevent this problem. If the issue persists, it might be time to call in a mechanic for a more thorough inspection and repair.

#5- Faulty control module

The control module is the brain of your power running boards, and when it malfunctions, it can cause all sorts of chaos. You might experience erratic behavior, such as the running boards not deploying or retracting as they should.

A professional mechanic can diagnose and replace the faulty control module to get your running boards back on track.

#6- Broken or worn gears

Gears are essential for the smooth operation of your power running boards. When they become worn out or broken, the running boards might not move as intended or make unusual noises.

Replacing the damaged gears can bring your running boards back to life. A mechanic can help you identify and fix the issue.

#7- Damaged hinges or brackets

Hinges and brackets are the backbone of your power running boards, and if they’re damaged, it can cause some serious trouble. You might notice the running boards sagging or not aligning properly.

A mechanic can assess the damage and replace the damaged hinges or brackets to restore your running boards to their former glory.

#8- Malfunctioning sensors

Sensors play a crucial role in the operation of power running boards. If they start to malfunction, the running boards might not deploy or retract as they should, or they might not respond to the vehicle’s doors opening and closing.

A mechanic can inspect the sensors and replace them if needed, ensuring your running boards work seamlessly.

#9- Intermittent power supply

An intermittent power supply can cause your power running boards to act erratically or not work at all. This issue might stem from a bad relay, fuse, or even a loose connection.

A mechanic can help identify the root cause of the problem and fix it , ensuring a consistent power supply to your running boards.

#10- Inadequate lubrication

Lubrication is essential for the smooth operation of your power running boards. Over time, the lubrication can wear off, causing the running boards to move with difficulty or make unpleasant noises.

Regularly lubricating the moving parts of the running boards can help prevent this issue. If you’re unsure about the right lubricant or how often to apply it, consult your vehicle’s owner’s manual or a mechanic for guidance.

#11- Obstructed tracks

Obstructions in the tracks of your power running boards can cause them to jam or not move smoothly. This can be due to dirt, debris, or even small objects getting caught in the tracks.

Regularly cleaning the tracks and removing any obstructions can help ensure smooth operation. 

If the problem persists or if there is visible damage to the tracks, a mechanic can assess and repair the issue.

#12- Water or debris ingress

Water or debris can find their way into the motor, electrical components, or other parts of the power running board system, causing malfunctions or damage. This issue can be especially troublesome in areas with heavy rain or off-road driving.

Regular maintenance and cleaning can help minimize the risk of water or debris ingress. Additionally, make sure all seals and protective covers are in good condition. 

If you suspect water or debris has already caused damage, consult a mechanic for a thorough inspection and repair.

How to avoid issues with the Chevrolet power running board?

Prevention is better than cure! Here are some tips to help you keep your power running boards in top-notch condition and avoid future problems:

#1. Regular inspections

It’s always a good idea to take some time and inspect your Chevy power running board components now and then. 

Keep an eye on the motor, wiring, hinges, and brackets for any signs of wear or damage. If you spot anything unusual, it’s best to address it sooner rather than later.

#2. Keep it clean

Cleanliness is next to godliness, especially when it comes to your power running boards. 

Regularly cleaning the running boards, tracks, and other components can help prevent dirt, debris, or rust from causing issues. 

Make it a habit to give them a good wipe down or gentle scrub when you wash your vehicle.

#3. Lubricate moving parts

Lubrication is key to keeping your power running boards moving smoothly. Make sure to lubricate all the moving parts according to the manufacturer’s recommendations or your vehicle’s owner’s manual. 

This can help prevent friction-related wear and tear, ensuring your running boards work like a charm.

#4. Check for obstructions

Nobody wants a jammed power running board, so take a moment to inspect the tracks and moving parts for any obstructions. Clear out any dirt, debris, or foreign objects that could be causing issues.

 By keeping the tracks obstruction-free, you’ll help your running boards glide effortlessly.

#5. Keep an eye on sensors

Sensors play a vital role in the operation of your power running boards, so don’t forget to check them occasionally. Ensure they’re clean and functioning properly.

If you notice any issues, it might be time to consult a mechanic for a more thorough inspection or replacement.

#6. Protect against corrosion

Corrosion is a power running board’s worst enemy. To keep it at bay, clean and apply anti-corrosion spray to exposed metal parts.

Regular maintenance can help prevent corrosion from wreaking havoc on your running board components.

#7. Regular professional maintenance

While DIY maintenance can go a long way, it’s always a good idea to have your power running boards checked out by a professional mechanic during routine vehicle maintenance. 

They’ll have the expertise to spot potential issues and provide the necessary repairs or replacements to keep your running boards in tip-top shape.

#8. Address issues promptly

If you notice any issues or suspect something might be off with your power running boards, don’t wait to address the problem. 

The longer you wait, the more damage can occur, which could lead to more expensive repairs down the road. Be proactive and consult a mechanic as soon as you spot a problem.


Here, we’ll address some frequently asked questions about Chevy power running board problems. We hope these answers will provide you with additional insights and guidance as you troubleshoot and resolve your running board issues.

Can I manually override my power running boards if they’re stuck?

Yes, most power running boards have a manual override feature that allows you to deploy or retract them in case of a malfunction. Consult your vehicle’s manual for specific instructions on how to use this feature.

How much does it cost to replace a power running board motor?

The cost of replacing a power running board motor can vary depending on the make and model of your vehicle and the quality of the replacement part. On average, you can expect to spend between $200 and $500 for a new motor, excluding labor costs.\

Are aftermarket power running boards a good alternative to OEM ones?

Aftermarket power running boards can be a cost-effective alternative to OEM ones, but it’s crucial to choose high-quality, reputable brands to ensure the durability and performance of your running boards.

Final Words

By following this comprehensive guide, you’ll be better equipped to diagnose, fix, and prevent Chevy power running board problems. 

With regular maintenance and prompt attention to any issues, you can keep your running boards working smoothly and enjoy the convenience and style they add to your Chevy.

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