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Why is Ford F150 Running Boards Loose?

Why is Ford F150 Running Boards Loose?

Running boards are the metallic structures attached to the door of the Ford F 150 to serve as a platform on which you can step to enter the vehicle. It is essential in trucks where you have to step higher to get into it.

It also serves as a barrier against all the dirt that can enter the Ford from the outside. These boards can become loose or detach from the truck due to many faults. 

Why is Ford F150 Running Boards Loose? Ford F150 running boards are loose due to untightened nuts and bolts of the mounting brackets and corroded rocker panel. Furthermore, broken wiring and faulty motor of the power running boards cause this issue. In addition, this happens due to damaged bolts and rusty surfaces of their plates.

Although the hardware and all the other parts of the Ford truck are durable, they can still get damaged due to many reasons. For example, they can become detached due to problems in the hardware or control module of the truck.

Fault in mounting brackets

Running boards are attached to the Ford F150 with the help of mounting brackets. These brackets are responsible for fixing them on their position.

Any fault in these mounting brackets will make the running boards unstable or loose on their position.

These brackets are made from aluminum or stainless steel and have a distinct shape. These brackets are attached to the rocker panel by different bolts and washers.

These bolts get loose due to wear and tear, and the mounting studs become detached from their position. Loose brackets cannot hold the running boards upright and become saggy.

These are present outside of the vehicle and are exposed to all kinds of dirt, debris, and humidity.

As a result, the brackets can suffer from corrosion due to moisture in the environment. Due to corrosion, the fasteners of brackets become loose and cannot hold the boards.

Putting more load on them will make the bracket fasteners less tight, and these boards can get detached from their position.

To resolve this problem, you should inspect the bolts, washers, and nuts of the brackets.

If they are loose, tighten them up with a screwdriver and replace the rusty bolts with new ones. It is better to replace the worn-out parts to fix this issue.

You can use second-hand mounting hardware for a Ford vehicle from any spare parts shop.

Fault in the rocker panel

It is an integral part of the Ford F150, and it connects the front of a vehicle to the rear side.

It is a metallic piece that is present beneath the doors and runs throughout the length of the F150 truck. In addition, the rocker panels contain different holes to attach brackets to them.

When the rocker panel is faulty, it will not support the brackets, and running boards become loose.

Over prolonged use, the dust and filth start to accumulate in the holes of the rocker panel.

The holes where you have to insert a bolt to attach a bracket become clogged due to debris. When it is filthy, you can not fasten the brackets with bolts on their respective site.

Another common issue with the rocker panel is rusting. It can occur due to many reasons, like driving the truck on rainy days or accidental collision with any object.


Rusting can progress from surface rust to penetrating rust that can destroy the whole vehicle. In addition, rust can break the rocker panel metal, and the running boards can completely detach from the truck.

To resolve this issue, you should examine the rocker panel and decide the level of damage it is going through.

In case of surface rust or rusty spots, you can apply paint on it to resolve the problem. You can clean up the clogged holes by using tiny brushes.

Then lubricate the nuts and bolts to make them rust-proof. In case of a broken panel, you have to replace it with a new rocker panel. You should consult a mechanic to replace it because you cannot do it in your garage.

Fault in running board plate

Running boards plates are metal pieces on which we place our feet to get inside the truck. These plates are fixed on the brackets by different bolts and nuts.

Each Ford F150 has its own mounting kit to mount these boards. During driving on uneven or rocky areas, the bolts on the plates lose their grip, and they become saggy.

Rusting or corrosion also makes the bolts loose, and their plates become unstable and lose their upright position.

Damage to the paint or any protective coating on the plates will also make them vulnerable to corrosion and damage.

These plates are made from plastic, metal, or rubber. They have a lifespan ranging from a few months to many years depending upon the type of metal.

Running boards block the entry of dirt and debris into the vehicle. Due to exposure to environmental pollutants, these plates get damaged.

We step on these plates every time we enter the truck, and they can break due to handling of excessive load.

You should tighten up all the bolts and nuts on the plates to solve this problem. Then, replace the corroded bolts with new ones and fasten the plates again on their respective site.

You can replace the broken board plate with a new one to resolve this issue. Finally, cover these with paint and prime to protect them from corrosion and dust.

The damaged motor of power running boards

The latest generation Ford F150 is equipped with power-retractable running boards. As a result, any fault in the motor or wire harness of the electric motor will make them loose.

These are connected to the electric motor by different wires. Therefore, any damage to them will make the motor faulty.

Overheating can cause the wires and motor to burn completely.

When the wiring of the wire harness is loose or detached, they can not maintain their upright position. When a motor is damaged, these boards become loose or get stuck in one position.

The function of the power boards is controlled by a control module system of the truck.

By default, Ford F150 power running boards are set at the off position in the control module. In such a situation, the boards become loose or stop working.

To solve the problem, check the motor and wiring of the retractable boards. 

Connect these wires in the correct order and replace the burnt wires. Then, you can change the worn-out motor with a new one.

In case of a change in the setting in the control module, change its setting to ON position. Finally, lubricate the nuts, bolts, and motor to protect them from any damage.

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