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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
In another thread I mentioned that I was removing my running boards. It generated quite a few posts. So as not to hijack that thread, I have reposted here:

I think the running boards are poorly designed. They do not sit low and underneath as they should to be a proper step into the vehicle. Instead, they protrude out about three inches making it a difficult stretch for entry and exit, and impossible to not rub against pants.

My wife, who is petite, cannot comfortably enter and exit the car.

I would not advise anyone to order the running boards. The dealer is removing them and restoring the original trim at Volvo's expense, but I am essentially out the $1700 cost of the running boards.

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I noticed when getting out the vehicle than I put more weight on the outside bottom of the seat and I'm afraid of wearing it prematurely. I thought of picking up the running boards to alleviate this, I guess I'm happy I waited. Sorry you had to go through this, I'm sure this will be the last of your troubles with the XC90 for a few years.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I noticed when getting out the vehicle than I put more weight on the outside bottom of the seat and I'm afraid of wearing it prematurely. I thought of picking up the running boards to alleviate this, I guess I'm happy I waited. Sorry you had to go through this, I'm sure this will be the last of your troubles with the XC90 for a few years.
There is a great deal of pressure on the side bolster of the seat as you have to slide in with the running boards. They exacerbate this problem...

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your petite wife is supposed to step ON the running board when entering and exiting (not over the running board) - maybe ask your wife to try that before going to the expense and hassle of removing them?

this has been a problem with running boards since forever - I am surprised Volvo is eating any cost on your car.

I have running boards on my 04 XC90 and the issue is the same, and I am guessing there are many threads on this forum and on other forums that discuss this

Fortunately for you, I am guessing you will be able to sell your running boards and not take too much of a bath on them. Running boards are awesome if you need the top of your car for storage (bikes, etc.).

If you use the XC90 as an SUV, then the running boards are just fine. If you use it like a minivan, then perhaps you don't really need them.

I also find the running boards to be valuable when I clean my car. I'd rather step on a running board than step on the doorsill. Much safer and much easier, imo.

But I understand 100% why a small person might dislike them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
your petite wife is supposed to step ON the running board when entering and exiting (not over the running board) - maybe ask your wife to try that before going to the expense and hassle of removing them?

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Could you make a video on the proper step pattern for entry and exit into the car? It would be hysterical. Better yet, can I give you my wife's number and have YOU walk her through the appropriate procedure? :)

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Could you make a video on the proper step pattern for entry and exit into the car? It would be hysterical. Better yet, can I give you my wife's number and have YOU walk her through the appropriate procedure? :)

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I appreciate the smiley!! It's good to keep our sense of humor. Otherwise this stuff will just piss you off, and that ain't worth it!!

OK then. YOU said you wanted video....:partywave:

IMO, most people who complain about running boards simply don't know how to use running boards.

You don't step OVER a running board. You step on it.

"Getting in and out of your high clearance vehicle shouldn't be an arduous task. Running boards offer the safe step up and step down that you and your passengers should come to expect. In addition to helping you get in and out, they provide a non-slip, grip-able area to place your feet. Snow, sleet, mud, ice, dirt, grit, and any other oily mess that the road carries is no match for the side step board!" (emphasis added)
http://www.realtruck.com/running-boards/

Here is a video showing proper use of a running board to enter and exit a car
I realize this is not easy for a woman wearing high heels.

and because the Volvo's running boards are skinny, they aren't easy to use when exiting the vehicle. I do agree with that.
 

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My kids always use the running board to get into the car, it saves on them stumping on the car frame and its a few inches lower for them.

I don't use them as I am tall - just side step them. They also have another function (apart from great looks and amazing illumination). They prevent most cars from giving your car a ding. Also all what adp mentioned above easy to mount the cargo box, wash the car etc.

To each his own I guess.
 

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your petite wife is supposed to step ON the running board when entering and exiting (not over the running board) - maybe ask your wife to try that before going to the expense and hassle of removing them?

this has been a problem with running boards since forever - I am surprised Volvo is eating any cost on your car.

I have running boards on my 04 XC90 and the issue is the same, and I am guessing there are many threads on this forum and on other forums that discuss this

Fortunately for you, I am guessing you will be able to sell your running boards and not take too much of a bath on them. Running boards are awesome if you need the top of your car for storage (bikes, etc.).

If you use the XC90 as an SUV, then the running boards are just fine. If you use it like a minivan, then perhaps you don't really need them.

I also find the running boards to be valuable when I clean my car. I'd rather step on a running board than step on the doorsill. Much safer and much easier, imo.

But I understand 100% why a small person might dislike them.
As has been mentioned elsewhere...it's not getting in the car that's the problem.
It's the exit procedure. There is absolutely no way to exit gracefully or even safely by placing ones foot on the running board. They are simply too narrow. The ONLY way to make use upon exit (without sliding on the edge of the seat) is as follows:
1. Use right arm to leverage ones butt out of the seat while placing ones left foot on the edge of the board
2. There are only 2 ways to place that left foot on the board: left heel (tricky and unsafe) or pivoting the left foot pointing the toes to the rear and foot parallel to the side of the car.
I have tried every possible combination, and I consider myself fairly nimble and flexible; and there is absolutely no way to face forward and place ones left foot on the board facing forward - which is the natural way to exit a car, with or without boards.
Larger and deployable boards work by being wider and when deployed have a space to allow ones toes to slip under the car body
I challenge anyone to post a video with a graceful exit from an XC90 with the narrow OEM boards.
 

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Narrow??
This isn't an off road desert storming hum-v you know.

The running boards about as wide as you will get on ANY luxury SUVs of this type. The ML, X5 etc.

For comparison, I took a picture of both my X5 and XC90's running board. The XC90 was a small fraction WIDER than the X5 as you can see.

Do your research folks. The OP is lucky to have a good dealer.

XC90


X5
 

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A 3.5 inch wide running board is okay if there's tow space inboard of it, as with deployable running boards and the fixed but low-set ones on some older SUVs. The XC90 is not alone in having no such toe space, probably so as to avoid reducing the XC90's ground clearance or increasing its width.
 

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Posted a thread to the same effect back in July after I took delivery of my XC90 with boards. My wife is nagging me to get rid of them but the kids use them, they make it easier to load bikes on the roof and they look good. So I worked out the best way of entering and exiting which works for me. The counter intuitive part is exit. Place your foot sideways on the step and as you exit turn out of the car facing the rear and step down. Reverse for entry. Not sure I'm going to get my way so may have to ditch the boards eventually!
 

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A 3.5 inch wide running board is okay if there's tow space inboard of it, as with deployable running boards and the fixed but low-set ones on some older SUVs. The XC90 is not alone in having no such toe space, probably so as to avoid reducing the XC90's ground clearance or increasing its width.
Agreed! Width, or lack of it is not the problem; it's the closeness to the side of the car and the lack of toe space.
In fact my Range Rover deployables are about the same width, but once deployed, they move away and down from the sides of the car, effectively creating a real, usable step so you can place your foot however you like.
adam01234 is right on track with his method, but I think even he acknowledges its not intuitive and by the sounds of things, that maneuver involves sliding on the side of the seat.


Video link: That toe space is the trick......
 

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and deployable running boards would have cost another $1K, right?
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Agreed! Width, or lack of it is not the problem; it's the closeness to the side of the car and the lack of toe space.
In fact my Range Rover deployables are about the same width, but once deployed, they move away and down from the sides of the car, effectively creating a real, usable step so you can place your foot however you like.
adam01234 is right on track with his method, but I think even he acknowledges its not intuitive and by the sounds of things, that maneuver involves sliding on the side of the seat.


Video link: That toe space is the trick......
Cool.

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