are the brushed stainless running boards really stainless steel?

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Thread: are the brushed stainless running boards really stainless steel?

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    Default are the brushed stainless running boards really stainless steel?

    I noticed from other posts that people have been complaining about rust spots on their factory stainless steel running boards. I scratched mine and they started to rust immediately. I was surprised to see this happen so quickly so i tried the magnet test to see if they are stainless. they flunked the test miserably. I'm wondering if anyone else has noticed this? I'm thinking Toyota switched to ordinary steel this year and never told anyone.
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    Default Re: are the brushed stainless running boards really stainless steel?

    I have had my truck just three weeks and the stepboards already has brown spots on the "stainless" finish. My window sticker clearly calls them "Brushed Stainless Steel Stepboards". So they either are not really stainless steel or they are some crappy grade of stainless that rusts. They were on my truck from the factory so I didn't have a lot of choice, but I think I would rather have a nice set of powder coated tube steps one of these days, instead of these sleazy stainless factory ones. I do like the big rubber step areas and the fact that they match the rubber steps on the bumper though.

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    Default Re: are the brushed stainless running boards really stainless steel?

    Quote Originally Posted by dickinsonj View Post
    I have had my truck just three weeks and the stepboards already has brown spots on the "stainless" finish. My window sticker clearly calls them "Brushed Stainless Steel Stepboards". So they either are not really stainless steel or they are some crappy grade of stainless that rusts. They were on my truck from the factory so I didn't have a lot of choice, but I think I would rather have a nice set of powder coated tube steps one of these days, instead of these sleazy stainless factory ones. I do like the big rubber step areas and the fact that they match the rubber steps on the bumper though.
    Have you checked yours with a magnet??? It would be interesting to know if a magnet sticks to yours.
    My '07 step boards are non-magnetic and have not rusted after 3+ winters of road salt.
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    Default Re: are the brushed stainless running boards really stainless steel?

    Quote Originally Posted by mendonsy View Post
    Have you checked yours with a magnet??? It would be interesting to know if a magnet sticks to yours.
    My '07 step boards are non-magnetic and have not rusted after 3+ winters of road salt.
    Good call - I just did the magnet test and they are magnetic - I used a fridge magnet that sticks to the steel side of my fridge but not to the stainless front. And I paid $624 from the factory for these not really stainless, stainless stepboards. I am going in to the dealer next Wednesday to talk about the other stuff I have questions about -- like why doesn't the voice recognition work on my JBL nav, why are there discolored spots in the paint on the hood of a truck with an MSRP of $45,000, why does the park assist see the front on my garage but not the 4x6 posts that it would hit first, and what are these overpriced stepboards really made of.

    Love the truck - but at this price it should be perfect - not just close.

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    Default Re: are the brushed stainless running boards really stainless steel?

    Got me curious,went and checked my factory stainless running boards off a 2008 DC.They are non-magnetic.

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    Default Re: are the brushed stainless running boards really stainless steel?

    Magnetic does not necessarily mean they are not stainless. There are some variations of stainless that are magnetic. In general the 300 series stainless steels are non-magnetic. The 400 series stainless steels are all to some degree magnetic.
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    Default Re: are the brushed stainless running boards really stainless steel?

    Thanks for the info,did not know that,anyways no rust stains on my running boards.

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    Default Re: are the brushed stainless running boards really stainless steel?

    I got curious too and went out and tested mine. Mine IS magnetic. I have not observed any rust on it though. (They take the beating from four children.)
    2010 Toyota Tundra, Crewmax, 4x4, 5.7, TRD Off Road, SR5, Silver Sky Metalic

    Brushed Stainless Steel Stepboards, Tinted Windows, Pioneer AVIC Z140BH, Pioneer ND-BC5 Rearview Camera, Metra Axxess Steerinng Wheel Control Interface, Line X Extra with Color Match, ValuGard Undercoat, ValuGard Rust Inhibitor, AVS Window Visor, Clazzio (black/red), TRD Cat-Back Exhaust System, TRD Intake, Toyota Hood Protector, Husky WeatherBeater Floor Liners, AMI TRD Third Light Brake Cover, Westin Ultimate Bull Bar, Westin Chrome Off-Road Lights, TRD License Plate Frame, B&W Tow & Stow, Moto Metal 961, Bushwacker fender flares, G-Tek Door Sill Protector, BAKFlip F1, Momo Combat Evo Red Shifter, Diode Dynamics Accent (Console, cupholder, pocket, and door pull inserts), Wheelskin Euro-Tone Steering Wheel Cover, OME 614 kit, LR UCA, Undercover SwingCases, Toyota Tow Mirrors

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    Default Re: are the brushed stainless running boards really stainless steel?

    I got the same running board and I have to monitor and check more closely.

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    Default Re: are the brushed stainless running boards really stainless steel?

    Non-magnetic stainless or quickly rusting or spotty stainless says one thing to me.....crappy chinese stainless.

    From wikipedia:

    n metallurgy stainless steel, also known as inox steel or inox from French "inoxydable", is defined as a steel alloy with a minimum of 10.5[1] or 11% chromium content by mass.[2] Stainless steel does not stain, corrode, or rust as easily as ordinary steel, but it is not stain-proof.[3] It is also called corrosion-resistant steel or CRES when the alloy type and grade are not detailed, particularly in the aviation industry. There are different grades and surface finishes of stainless steel to suit the environment the alloy must endure. Stainless steel is used where both the properties of steel and resistance to corrosion are required.

    Stainless steel differs from carbon steel by the amount of chromium present. Unprotected carbon steel rusts readily when exposed to air and moisture. This iron oxide film (the rust) is active and accelerates corrosion by forming more iron oxide. Stainless steels contain sufficient chromium to form a passive film of chromium oxide, which prevents further surface corrosion and blocks corrosion from spreading into the metal's internal structure.

    Passivation only occurs if the mixture of chromium is high enough, or if the manufacturer performs this last step

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    Default Re: are the brushed stainless running boards really stainless steel?

    no magnet test but my stainless is spotless after 2 years and 84k plus--- no salt though.

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    Default Re: are the brushed stainless running boards really stainless steel?

    You guys in the East have enough salt too make plastic rust. I don't get why they're still using all that crap, we get plenyt of snow/ice here in the NW and manage just fine.

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    Default Re: are the brushed stainless running boards really stainless steel?

    I suspect that the originals which don't seem to have the problem were made from 316 stainless or something very similar. Then newer magnetic ones are most likely made from something like 404 stainless which is what they use to make exhaust pipes. It is less expensive to fabricate and does oxidize somewhat causing a yellowish stain.
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    Default Re: are the brushed stainless running boards really stainless steel?

    Yeah - since some stepboards are magnetic and some are not, they clearly have changed the material somwhere along the way. The spots mine have were there at delivery, but I suppose they could have gotten salt on them on the transporter.

    And +1 on the road salt - A really bad idea IMO. I have a 4x4 and I don't need every flake of snow melted to get around. But then I see idiot drivers with their vehicles on their sides or roofs when there is a 1/2" of snow on the roads. Go figure.

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    Default Re: are the brushed stainless running boards really stainless steel?

    I just installed $45,000 worth of 316 and 304 SS Apollo valves and piping in december and after a short time some of both grades started to rust and stain. Millspec is USA and we did process the valves and pipe with stainless and non stainless wire brushes. I think its how these running boards are processed and treated prior to shipment that causes some of this decay. It was all coted and painted when we got finished every part we touched with a non ss wire wheel rusted and others did not so that may have played a big part of what is going on with our running boards - not to mention switching suppliers and suppliers substituting materials.

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