Though you may not think about the running boards on your Honda Pilot very often, they're there for a very specific purpose. Like all other car parts, running boards are also susceptible to wear and tear as your Pilot gets older. Past a certain point, they will need to be replaced with new running boards in order to remain functional.
Why Does Your Honda Pilot Need Running Boards? Most SUVs and trucks feature running boards beside their doors. The reason for this is that they sit higher up off of the ground than cars. A pair of running boards helps to compensate for this height difference by giving people something to step onto while getting into or out of the vehicle. Having such an extra step makes it less likely that you will trip, especially while getting out of your Honda Pilot. Though it might seem like a small convenience, an extra step is particularly necessary for older drivers and passengers who may have knee or hip problems that prevent them from easily getting into a higher vehicle.
Can a Running Board Wear Out? The running boards of most vehicles are extremely durable. In part, this is because of the fact that they have to be able to bear most of the weight of a full-grown person. Another reason for this general durability is the fact that running boards are extremely simple and feature no moving parts that can wear out through mechanical friction. Nevertheless, even the best running boards can wear out over time.
Primarily, running board wear and tear is a result of weathering and salt exposure. If you live in a part of the country that receives heavy snow or ice storms during the winter, your vehicle may be exposed to road salt almost continuously for periods of up to several months. Much as this kind of salt exposure can cause your car's body panels to rust over time, it can also cause corrosion on the metal parts that hold your Honda Pilot's running boards in place.
In addition to long-term wear, running boards are also frequently damaged in collisions. If another driver hits the side of your Honda Pilot, your running boards are among the most likely parts to suffer structural damage as a result. If this is the case, it will almost always require the installation of replacement running boards.
When to Change Out Old Running Boards In the case of long-term wear, it can be hard to know exactly when it's time to replace your Pilot's old running boards. The best way to tell is to inspect the connecting brackets between the running board and the rest of your vehicle on a regular basis for signs of severe corrosion. Even if your running boards still have quite a lot of life left in them, however, you'll probably see some surface rust. You can remove this rust if you want using an abrasive material, though doing so will only stave it off for so long.
If you don't keep an eye on your running boards for corrosion, you could end up with one of them breaking when it is stepped on. Generally, this will be a problem that only older vehicles or those that have been driven very regularly on salt-covered roads will have. If possible, you should try to avoid letting your running boards deteriorate to this extent. To say the least, it can be jarring when a running board falls out from under you. At worst, it could actually cause a minor injury by making you lose your balance and fall.
Another reason you might choose to replace your running boards is if you are planning to sell your Pilot. Cosmetic appearance plays a large role in whether or not someone will choose to pay the price you are asking. If your running boards are looking visibly worn out, you might consider getting a new pair before putting your SUV on the market.
The Importance of Using OEM Running Boards Like many car parts, you'll find that there are several running boards available both online and in stores that claim to be able to fit any truck or SUV. The reality, however, is that these universal running boards rarely fit the way they are supposed to, as every vehicle is a little different. For this reason, you're far better off to get genuine OEM running boards and running board hardware. These parts will fit your Honda Pilot perfectly and require no adjustment or modification.
How to Replace Running Boards If you've taken a look at your Honda Pilot running boards and decided that it's time they be replaced, you'll find that changing them out for a new set is fairly simple. The exact configuration of your running boards will vary slightly based on what year your Pilot was made, but the principle will always be the same. On the underside of the board, you'll find a set of bracket connectors that support your running board and hold it to the rest of your vehicle. These brackets are simply bolted on, meaning they can be easily removed. After you've removed the running board and the connector if needed, you can simply bolt your new parts into place.
Generally, it's a good idea to replace both of your running boards at once. If one is badly worn, the other probably isn't too far behind it. Replacing both boards at the same time will ensure that all future wear is more or less even. The same applies to running board hardware.
Conclusion If you need new running boards for your Honda Pilot, use the selection tool here on HondaPartsDirect.com to look up the right part for your year and trim. Once you've entered your vehicle, you can view helpful exploded diagrams of your running board assembly and select the parts you need individually. We offer great prices on all of the genuine factory parts you need to maintain your Pilot and keep it on the road for years to come.