One of the foremost trends for trucks nowadays is big tires. Larger tires make your truck stand high and mighty, literally setting you above every one else.There's a downside to it, though: you'll probably have a harder time getting in and out your vehicle. So will your passengers, especially the kids and the senior citizens. But don't worry. Side steps should make things a lot easier for them.These additional steps install just beside your truck's rocker panels, making vehicle entry or exit easier for you and your passengers. Not only that! These steps, with their ribbed surfaces, can also help you step onto muddy or icy ground more easily. You'll find them helpful when washing and polishing your truck as well.All these and more make side steps a worthwhile addition to your truck. Carparts can help you find the best set for your vehicle.
• Non-slip surface prevents slippage and potential injury
• Crafted from polished aluminum for durability
• Can be mounted to the rocker panels through bolt-on installation
Side Steps Buyer's Guide
- Side steps are individual footholds that are commonly installed on vehicles that have high ground clearance like SUVs, trucks, and Jeeps.
- Side steps are mounted either on the rocker panel or on the vehicle frame.
- People who frequently drive their kids or elderly family members will find these steps necessary in preventing their loved ones from slipping or falling while trying to enter or exit their vehicle.
- You may also find pickup truck side steps installed on the side of the truck bed for accessing items from inside the rear compartment without the need to open the tailgate and hop into the truck bed.
- Some of the reasons to replace your side steps include rust and corrosion damage, collision damage, and for customization purposes.
- The price of side steps will vary depending on your vehicle’s specific year, make, and model. In general, OE replacement side steps will cost you anywhere between $50 for a single part to over $200 for a set.
America is undoubtedly a country where trucks and SUVs reign supreme. Large vehicles have become so popular that countless groups and individuals have made it their passion to either fix up old models or customize new ones. For vehicles that sit taller than sedans, one part that is commonly replaced during repairs or upgrades is their side step.
What are side steps?
Side steps are individual footholds that are commonly installed on vehicles that have high ground clearance like SUVs, trucks, and Jeeps. These steps extend from underneath the doors on the driver and passenger sides, making it easy for people to enter and exit the vehicle.
Side steps are mounted either on the rocker panel or on the vehicle frame. While static steps are more common, there are newer vehicle models that support electric side steps. These extend when activated and fold into the rocker panel when not needed.
What is the function of side steps?
Side steps provide the driver and passengers a stable and non-slip surface for their foot while getting in and out of a vehicle.
While many may think these are only necessary for lifted vehicles, they can also be useful for everyday drivers. People who frequently drive their kids or elderly family members will find these steps necessary in preventing their loved ones from slipping or falling while trying to enter or exit their vehicles.
You may also find pickup truck side steps installed on the side of the truck bed. Truck side steps make it easier for the driver to access items from inside the rear compartment without having to open the tailgate and hop into the truck bed.
What’s the difference between side steps, nerf bars, and running boards?
While shopping for side steps, you may have come across similar terms such as nerf bars and running boards. These three are similar in function—they provide drivers and passengers a stable surface for their feet while entering or exiting a vehicle. However, they have a few differences that set them apart.
A side step, as its name suggests, is an individual step that is installed under each vehicle door. It is flat like running boards, however, the latter typically runs the entire length of the cabin (from the back of the front wheel to the front of the rear wheel).
Nerf bars may be designed as individual steps or a full-length bar that runs underneath both doors on each side. But unlike side steps, they are metal tubes that may or may not have footpads that provide extra grip. There are also sport-style nerf bars that are installed on vehicles with low ground clearance that are purely decorative.
When is a side step replacement needed?
Replacing corroded or damaged side steps may not seem urgent since they don’t affect a vehicle’s drivability. However, there are a few good reasons why you shouldn’t wait to replace these parts.
Rust and corrosion damage
Side steps are constantly exposed to the elements as an external component of your vehicle. Water, snow, and road chemicals can find their way into nooks and crannies that aren’t painted and cause rust to buildup. One of the less noticeable areas that could have hidden corrosion damage is around the bolts that hold the mounting brackets in place.
Failing to replace rusted side steps on your vehicle can cause the damage to spread elsewhere, leaving you with a more expensive repair bill.
Another possible issue that you should keep in mind is collision damage. Because side steps stick out from the sides of your vehicle, they are usually hit during fender benders or sideswiping accidents. Collisions may compromise the integrity of your side steps over time, preventing them from supporting the same amount of weight they did previously. So it is best to have them checked and replaced if needed.
Swapping out your stock side steps for aftermarket ones in a different style or finish can instantly change the look of your vehicle. Polished steel and aluminum reflect light—perfect if you want something flashy to draw attention towards the lower half of your vehicle. If you prefer something more understated, black and textured side steps can blend in with your body paint, giving your vehicle a tough yet sleek look.
How much do side steps cost?
The price of side steps will vary depending on your vehicle’s specific year, make, and model. In general, OE replacement side steps will cost you anywhere between $50 to over $200. You may purchase these parts individually or in sets of two.
These often come with the necessary mounting brackets and bolts for installation. You can further customize the look of your truck, Jeep, or SUV by choosing from a variety of finishes (e.g., powder-coated, textured steel, polished aluminum, etc.)
Finding the right fit
CarParts.com can make your search for the right truck, SUV, or Jeep side steps so much easier. You never have to worry about ordering the wrong parts with our built-in vehicle selector. Simply browse through our catalog of industry-approved replacement parts by plugging your vehicle’s correct year, make, and model into our search filters.
Upgrade Your Ride with a Great Set of Side Steps
You could easily upgrade the look and feel of your truck or SUV by bolting on a set of side steps. Not only would it look better, you'll also give yourself a safer and easier way to get on board your vehicle. Since it's one of the most popular add-ons on the market today, it can be pretty confusing to choose from thousands of different side steps online. Read on to learn from our short guide and find out what you need to look for when choosing the best side steps for your ride.
Are Side Steps Necessary?
Most folks simply add side steps to customize the looks of their vehicles. But you'll have to place more emphasis on a side step's function than just simple eye candy for your ride. Trucks and SUVs keep on getting taller, making it harder for people to get in and out of them. Rather than hurting your back trying to slink up to your seat, or breaking your ankle by jumping on board your truck, you just have to install some side steps. Simply put, side steps are necessary for any vehicle, and there's no reason for you to not have one on your truck or SUV.
The Right Steps for your Vehicle Type
There are a couple of different side step designs that you could choose from, so it's important that you choose the right ones for your vehicle. Most two-door vehicles would want to get shorter side steps while 4-door rides would benefit from longer designs. Make sure that you get steps that are made from strong materials like aluminum and steel, and that they are able to support your weight or the load that you usually carry. Most side steps are rated to hold up to 400 pounds but some may hold less so you should always verify the weight limit before you get one. Finally, when it comes to maintenance, make sure that you get side steps that have some sort of rust protection added to them, so that they will last longer and resist any damage from corrosion and outside elements.
Because of the huge market for side steps, prices tend to vary with simple models available for as low as $35 and higher-end models going up to $1000. It is important that you place far more value for a side step's performance and durability, with style and looks coming in last. Getting some side steps for your ride should be all about ease and safety when coming in and out of your vehicle, and are not to be valued for their looks alone.
Install New Side Steps on Your Ride
You wouldn't want to drive around in your truck or SUV without some side steps installed in it. It's difficult enough to get into your vehicle without hurting yourself, so make it easier for you and your passengers to step into your ride with a couple of additional steps on the side. You won't need to modify your truck to fit in a couple of these add-ons. All you will need would be a socket wrench, a couple of compatible aftermarket side steps, and about an hour of your time to get the job done.
Difficulty Level: Moderate
Tools that you'll need
Step 1: Begin by setting aside all of the tools, parts, and equipment that you'll be working with. Inspect the aftermarket side steps that you'll be using to make sure that all the necessary bolts and brackets are there.
Step 2: Check underneath your truck and find the body-mounting brackets where side steps or step bars are to be mounted. If you're having difficulty finding these, then you should refer to your vehicle's manual for additional help.
Step 3: Once you've found the mounts underneath your truck, you should then line up your side steps with the mounting brackets, fit in the bolts, and tighten them into place. You may need a helping hand with heavier side steps, so you could tighten the bolts properly.
Step 4: Most side steps would have additional support straps and brackets, this will help balance the weight on the steps, allowing them to carry more weight. You should read through your side step's manual to see how you could use these additional equipment if need be.
Step 5: Check your side steps and make sure that they are level. Adjust them if necessary and test them carefully by stepping on them a couple of times. Make sure that everything is mounted nice and tight once you're satisfied with the position of the steps underneath your vehicle.