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I just bought 2008 Yukon Denali and had the same trouble as many others with erratic driver side power running board. I did the WD-40 treatment suggested by brian_r and it worked great! Boards are back to fully functional. I highly recommend trying the simple WD-40 treatment before any major repairs because of erratic power running boards.
I recently had my battery replaced. After it was replaced, the power running boards do not work any more. I have tried switching them on and off. When the battery was replaced, the power running board switch was in the off position.
I have a 2007 Escalade with the same problem. Being an electrical engineer and familiar with electric motors, I decided to take the housing off of the passenger side articulating running board motor. What I discovered was that the carbon brushes were beginning to wear out and were not making contact. I moved them back and forth with their spring assists and put the housing back on. Well... after that they are working (with abnormal noise) but now the running board function is reversed. I am not sure if the computer is confused at their position now when the door is open or closed.. I will attempt to pull the fuse to the asc controller for a while to see if that resets things.
I do plan to take the motor off and pull the carbon brushes out, measure them, and order new ones online based on the size. It appears to be a little tricky to pull the motor off as there are some star screws holding it into the mount that have little clearance to get to in front of the winding rotor of the motor. I fixed a power window motor on my mom's Toyota this way that would have cost almost $500 to replace.
With a little patience, you can probably replace the brushes and avoid paying the ridiculous price of getting the dealer to fix it, or the price of a new oem motor which is circa $260. Hope this helps you.
If anyone knows how to reverse the logic of the ASC articulating running board controller I would appreciate the info. Thanks.
I'm getting really tired of the crap parts that GM put into these vehicles that appear to be manufactured in Mexico. As another example, I have also replaced all of the power door locks twice!
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