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Dodge Dakota Nerf Bars

Key Maintenance Pointers for the Dodge Dakota Nerf Bars

Keeping the nerf bars of your Dodge Dakota well-maintained may be a hassle, but it is essential if you want to make the most out of it. The Dodge Dakota nerf bars are still susceptible to wear after all, and without proper care, you may end up repairing or replacing it sooner than you think. Below are some key pointers to follow in maintaining the nerf bars:

  • Clean the bars regularly.

Washing the nerf bars on a regular basis will not only keep it shiny but it will also prevent the onset of rust caused by dirt, mud, and moisture. You can use your preferred car shampoo to clean the bars; steer clear of any products that contain ammonia or other harsh chemicals that might strip the wax or polish off the bars.

  • Remove rust spots as soon as possible.

Because of their mounting location in your Dodge Dakota, the nerf bars are frequently exposed to mud and dirt. So it shouldn't be much of a shock to find rust spots on the nerf bars after several months of use.

The process of removing corrosion depends on the type of nerf bars you have. For bars that have chrome finish, for instance, rust spots can be removed using a ball of aluminum foil soaked in vinegar. Simply rub the foil against the bar, and the aluminum and vinegar will react with and dissolve the rust particles. For painted or matte bars, you will need to apply rust dissolver gel on the corroded area followed by good scrubbing using a wire brush. Keep in mind that this may leave scratches on the bar's surface, so repainting of the bars may be necessary afterwards.

  • Buff stainless steel nerf bars with aluminum polish.

Nerf bars made of stainless steel aren't much prone to rusting, but their glossy appearance can fade over time. To prevent this, you can polish the bars with aluminum polish after every wash. The aluminum polish can restore or even improve the sheen of stainless steel bars, as well as hide small scratches and scuffs on the surface. Regular polishing will also add a protective layer that will help repel moisture, stains, and mud over the bars.

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  • Three Helpful Tips to Use When Installing Dodge Dakota Nerf Bars

    The nerf bars are just one of the many accessories you can install on your Dodge Dakota, but unlike most truck accessories, you don't need the help of a mechanic to install one. Dodge Dakota nerf bars are typically sold in kits, which also includes the mounting hardware and the installation manual, so even those with minimal experience in handling truck accessories would be able to install these parts properly. If you are going to install a new set of Dodge Dakota nerf bars, here are a few tips that you might find helpful:

    Tip #1: Make sure that the bars are on the right side.

    Although they appear to look exactly identical, each nerf bar in the kit is designed to fit a specific side. This is why if you attempt to install a bar on the wrong side, it's likely to result in brackets not lining up with the step pads or the truck door. You can check with the manual to see which nerf bar goes where. In the same manner, you should make sure that the brackets of the nerf bars are on the correct side as well.

    Tip #2: Do not completely tighten the mounting bolts at first.

    It's very rare for nerf bars, even those that are custom-made for a specific model year, to be of perfect fit on the first try, so expect to do a lot of adjustments during the installation process. To this end, you can leave a bit of slack on the bolts, as this will save you the time and effort involved in loosening them whenever the bars need to be adjusted.

    Tip #3: As a rule, the mounting brackets must not come in contact with the body mount brackets.

    Here is another reason why it is important to adjust the nerf bars. If the body mount brackets, which are factory-welded into the frame of the truck, come in contact with the mounting brackets of the nerf bars, both brackets will rub against each other while driving and produce rattling noises. Once the brackets are in position, tighten the bolts adequately so that the bars and their brackets remain stationary even when driving through a rough terrain.