Bumper Step Pad Buyer's Guide
- Bumper step pads are safety measures attached to the bumper step of your truck, SUV, or MPV. They provide protection against slipping and damage to the rear bumper of your vehicle.
- When choosing the right bumper step pads for your truck, you need to consider the design, color, finish, and compatibility. It’s also important to consider the type of replacement - whether it’s an OEM part or OE replacement. OE replacements are sometimes better than OEM parts and are more easily sourced and have a wider variety.
- Bumper step pads here on CarParts.com can cost you anywhere from $11 to $355 depending on how many pads you need or if you need an entire set.
- Your bumper step pad will need replacing if it gets damaged from a collision. It’s also time to replace it if it no longer fastens security to the bumper, or if it’s worn out and doesn’t suit the aesthetics of your vehicle anymore.
Normally, people won’t think minor accidents associated with loading or unloading your truck aren’t much of a deal. The most you can get is a few scratches or a slight dent in your cargo. However, accidents have happened because people overlooked what seemed like a minor detail.
If you own a pickup truck, an SUV, or a van, you’ll know what a hassle it is to load heavy cargo into your vehicle. A rear bumper step makes it easy to access the back of your vehicle so you can perform your tasks more efficiently and without a hitch.
You might ignore your vehicle’s bumper step pad, but without it, you’re more susceptible to major falls and crashes. If you ignore a broken bumper step pad, you’d also be putting your precious cargo at risk that might cost you more than the average rear bumper step pad replacement.
How do you know when it’s time to replace your bumper step pad? What are the options out there in the market? Use this guide as a helpful tool in getting a new bumper step pads replacement.
What is a bumper step pad and what does it do?
Bumper step pads connect to a vehicle’s step bumper. Step bumpers and their corresponding step pads usually appear on SUVs, trucks, and multi-purpose vehicles. These serve as an additional step or a stepping platform to make it easy to access the rear of your vehicle.
Bumper step pads provide traction as you stand on your bumper. Rear bumper steps often use smooth materials like steel, aluminum, etc. If you step on these with no kind of protective or textured bumper step pads, you’re likely to slip and fall.
These pads comprise relatively thin pieces of textured rubber and/or plastic, although that depends on what kind of step bumper the vehicle has. Some bumper step pads use a high-grade adhesive to stick to the bumper, while some bumper step pads get fixed in place by pins and tabs that run underneath the bumper itself. Meanwhile, some pads rely on clips that firmly hold it in place.
Bumper step pads protect you from accidents, but they also protect and prolong the life of the bumper and the bumper step. As you move cargo in and out of the rear storage area of your vehicle, your bumper and bumper step can get nicked or scratched. That’s also what the bumper step pad is for. Plus, it’s a more cost-effective option than replacing your whole bumper or bumper step.
Choosing the right bumper step pad replacement
Your vehicle’s bumper step pad also serves as decorative trim and can come in different finishes, colors, and styles. This makes it a really great option if you want to revamp your vehicle’s look or to just replace and refurbish old-looking bumper steps.
Bumper step pads can definitely make your car look new with minimal effort. Customization projects can also use a cool-looking bumper step pad. Below are some factors you have to consider when choosing the right bumper step pad for your vehicle.
Finish, color, and trim
Bumper step pads can come in a variety of finishes. You can get bumper step pads that received a paint job or have primer applied. Most often, you can get bumper step pads that are the same finish and color as your vehicle.
Though for customization projects, step pads that come with primer are ideal so you can apply your own coat. Some step pads can also come with chrome trim if that’s what your vehicle or customization project requires.
It’s important that you match the replacement bumper step pad to the overall design, paint color, finish, and trim of your vehicle. Also, the replacement part should complement the contour of your vehicle.
When looking for a bumper step pad replacement, choosing a direct fit will make sure that installation will be easy. A universal bumper step pad might not be as easy to install and it can allow for errors that will affect the part’s performance. The design might be a factor in choosing a bumper step pad, but functionality and compatibility should come first.
Here on CarParts.com, we have a vehicle selector tool where you can input your vehicle’s year, make, and model. This should make it easier to choose the best bumper step pad replacement that complies with both the functional and aesthetic needs of your vehicle.
OE replacement bumper step pad vs OEM parts
Some people argue that OE replacements might not work or fit like OEM parts. Times have changed and so has the technology to make OE replacement parts. In fact, most OE replacement parts work better, if not just the same, as OEM parts.
Aside from that, OE replacements come in a wider variety than OEM parts. You can get an OE replacement bumper step pad with your desired chrome trim, for example. If you plan on customizing your car, chances are, you have more options with OE replacements than with OEM parts.
In addition, it’s easy to source OE parts. Their prices are more flexible and you can get them in a lot of physical and online shops. In comparison, OEM parts can only get sourced at authorized merchants and they are most often quite expensive.
How much is a bumper step pad replacement?
Bumper step pads here on CarParts.com can cost you anywhere from $11 tp $355. Bumper step pad replacements can get purchased individually, according to the location of the bumper step. There are also sets of bumper step pads available on the site. Some bumper step pads come with bumper step replacement or step pad replacement sets, making it easier if you want to re-do the entire thing.
Symptoms of a bad bumper step pad
Some bumper step pads run the entire length of the rear bumper, while some are just found on the deep-drop bumper step itself. These pads are very much prone to damage caused by a collision or wear. Note that it’s pretty dangerous to ignore a damaged pad, especially if you regularly carry heavy loads in your truck or van. Below are just a few signs that you need to replace your bumper step pad right away.
- The bumper step or the entire rear bumper has been subject to collision damage.
- There are cracks in the bumper step pad.
- The bumper step pad becomes misaligned and/or loses the adhesive or fastening device to hold it in place.
- It looks old and worn and doesn’t fit in with the general aesthetics of your vehicle.
How to Shop for a New Bumper Step Pad
The bumper step pad of your vehicle can help you avoid slipping when you need to access your vehicle via the rear bumper. This relatively thin piece provides the right amount of grip that the smooth painted or chromed surface cannot offer to you. More than that. It also serves as protection from scratches and bumps whenever you move your stuff at the back. The part is often found in vehicles that have a deeper rear storage area like wagons, sport utility vehicles, and pick-up trucks. Some of this accessory runs through the entire length of the rear bumper while others are just found in the middle. So when you are out in the market to get a new one, consider narrowing down your options with the help of these factors.
Compatibility with your vehicle
Not all kinds of bumper step pad can be fitted on your vehicle. You need one that falls in place snuggly on top of the panel without leaving any gaps. To be able to do so, you should be very specific with the details of your vehicle. Narrow your choices down according to the year, brand, model and trim. You get luckier if you find direct fit products. You can be assured that the pad will definitely flow with the contours of your bumper with very minimal possibility for misalignment.
There are different brands that offer replacement bumper step pads. They can provide products comparable to the original in terms of look and durability. You can consider using getting from them. However, if you are very particular about staying very close to the original, you can also go look for stocks from the auto manufacturer itself. Finding one for newer models should not be hard. But you might want to start hunting for new old stock if you are dealing with a much older vehicle.
Texture, color and design of the step pad
The step pad have a few variations that which you can match to your vehicle. They may differ in terms of surface texture and a bit of design. Keep in mind that the best buy for this part falls under the function over form notion. But you can still get one that still looks good. Besides, you can find a color that should complement the body paint.