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Q: Auto running boards broke, hard to get into the car now

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When I bought my 2007 Ford Explorer, a big selling point was the running boards which would lower automatically to assist passengers getting into the vehicle. Now I can hear the little motor running, but the boards no longer drop down. This is tolerable for me, but I bring my elderly father to doctor appointments at least twice a month and he cannot get into or out of the vehicle without a step. It is a serious inconvenience in a vehicle with only 54,000 miles on it. How can I fix this cheaply and quickly?

The power retractable running board consists of a motor, module, and the running board assembly. The module sends power to the motor when you open or close the door. The motor turns the gear to the running board and moves it in or out. The test consists of opening and closing the door to check if the motor comes on and moves the running board. If not, then a computer scan is performed to check for codes and diagnose based on the codes received. Since you say the motor is running, you may have a binding issue with the mechanisms or the motor itself. This can be tested by removing the motor and manually moving the step in and out to make sure it moves smoothly, without binding. If it binds, then it may just need to be cleaned and lubricated, or if damaged, may need to be repaired or replaced.

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