How To Keep Your Retractable Truck Steps In Good Shape
You're a lucky person if you have automatic retractable truck steps; they make getting into and out of the truck much easier, especially if you're short. But the steps can malfunction, or not function at all, if you don't take care of them. All too often people think the steps can just keep working on their own for years without any care, but that's not true. By taking some simple steps to keep the steps maintained well, you can continue to get that boost up when you need it.
Clean off Shoes and Steps
Caked-on dirt can really interfere with the steps when they try to retract and extend, so if you have to step up when your shoes are very dirty, try to knock some of the dirt off first before stepping up. When you're done with the steps, look for obvious dirt and brush it off before retracting the steps. When you clean the truck in general, extend the steps and give them a good cleaning, too.
Extend and Retract Occasionally
If you haven't used the steps in a while -- say, you haven't driven for a few days, or you have retractable steps on the passenger side that rarely get used -- extend the steps just for the heck of it, and then retract them. If you let them go unused for too long, they can freeze up. Often when this happens, all you have to do is manually pull them out and push them back in, but check with the manufacturer first. Models can vary, and you don't want to force the steps to move if it will harm the arms that extend out.
Professional Inspections for Corrosion
The steps are exposed to mud, water, sand, and a lot of other muck whenever you use them, and all that can work its way into the wiring. Take the truck in occasionally to have the steps inspected for corrosion. If the wiring fails, the steps won't extend or retract as they should. Also, if you have a particular issue with a lot of mud getting into the wiring, look for covers that can protect the part from spraying from the wheels in front.
Despite their simple looks, these are mechanical and electric parts that need maintenance like any other part of your truck. If you have already started experiencing trouble with the steps, contact the manufacturer to find out what DIY actions you can take to get the steps working again.