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Power Wheels are a life-like vehicle replica toy with the potential to provide children with an endless amount of fun. They usually run off of a 12-volt rechargeable battery, depending on the size of the vehicle. A commonly asked question among Power Wheels owners is, is it safe to use a lawnmower battery in a Power Wheels?
It is safe and possible to use a lawn mower battery in a Power Wheels. To convert your Power Wheels to a lawnmower battery, cut off the battery hookup plug on the Power Wheels, then strip the wires and add a terminal connector to each. Connect the positive and negative accordingly, and you're all done.
This article will go over how a stock Power Wheels and a lawnmower battery work, respectively, and the differences and similarities between them. Next, we will explore whether or not it is possible to install a lawn mower battery in a Power Wheels, and if so, how it is to be done. Finally, we will look at any potential safety risks associated with using a lawnmower battery to power your Power Wheels, so read on.
What Type of Batteries Come Standard in a Power Wheels?
As mentioned at the onset of this article, a typical Power Wheels vehicle comes stock from the manufacturer with a 12-volt battery that can be recharged by plugging it into a standard electrical outlet.
These batteries are not unlike any other battery of their sort, besides the fact that most will come with a trademark Power Wheels logo fashioned on the side.
The Power Wheels battery has a positive and negative wire and a connector plug. This allows it to be easily connected and disconnected from the vehicle's motor.
Can You Put a Lawn Mower Battery in a Power Wheels?
When it comes to whether or not you can use a lawn mower battery to run a Power Wheels, the answer is yes, you can.
However, a few factors must be accounted for to determine whether or not the particular battery you are trying to use is compatible with the Power Wheels vehicle you are attempting to put it in.
The two determining factors that must be considered before we can proceed to make the conversion to a lawn mower battery are the battery's size and dimensions and the type of battery you are using.
The very first thing that will need to be addressed is whether or not the battery fits into the vehicle's designated battery storage area.
Stock Power Wheels batteries tend to be slightly smaller in size than a standard lawn mower battery, despite possessing the same voltage. Moreover, many different models of Power Wheels exist, all with slightly different bodies and structural variations.
If you are lucky, the battery will fit right in, and you may proceed with the conversion. If, on the other hand, the battery you are using does not fit, some modifications may need to be performed where possible.
There may be certain parts or pieces that can be removed or cut out from the inside of the battery storage area to create extra room for a larger battery without compromising the Power Wheels' strength or integrity. This may require some creativity and intuitive judgment, but keep in mind, never damage the Power Wheels trying to fit an inadequate battery into the bonnet.
Measuring the inside of the battery storage area and the battery itself before committing financially is well advised. This will prevent you from running into obstacles or surprises later on when you go to perform the conversion.
Deep-Cycle vs. Starting Battery
To the untrained eye, all 12-volt batteries may look the same, but in fact, this is not the case.
With 12-volt batteries, there are two fundamental types that we will be discussing in this article. These two types of batteries are commonly referred to as deep-cycle and starting batteries. Both serve a different purpose.
A deep-cycle battery is designed to be repeatedly recharged externally and used to provide power for extended periods. This is the type of battery we want for our Power Wheels.
Conversely, a starting battery is merely designed to provide a big burst of energy to start an engine. From there, the starting battery is recharged internally by the power generated by the alternator. Starting batteries are not suitable for powering Power Wheels and should be avoided.
How to Convert Power Wheels to Lawn Mower Battery
Now that we have differentiated between the different types of 12-volt batteries and have determined whether the battery we are attempting to install will fit into the battery storing compartment of the Power Wheels, we can now move onto the explanation of the conversion process.
Converting your Power Wheels to run off of a lawn mower battery is relatively straightforward, but follow each step carefully to ensure you do not damage or wear to your property.
To perform the conversion, you will require a pair of wire strippers and four battery terminal connectors. If you are looking to purchase quality battery terminal connectors at a reasonable price, consider Glarks's 8-piece terminal connect kit.
The wires of the Power Wheels engine will be color-coded to represent positive and negative, and they mustn't be hooked up backward.
Use the following table to determine the correct wire correspondence:
Refer to the steps below in order to properly install a lawn mower battery in your Power Wheels:
- Identify the hookup connector emerging from the Power Wheels' motor. This will look like a rectangular plug with two wires leading to it.
- Carefully cut both wires right where they meet the connector plug, and remove the plug.
- With your wire strippers, remove roughly half an inch of wire casing from the end of each wire.
- Attach a terminal connector to the end of each wire.
- Place your battery in the battery storage compartment of the Power Wheels, and hook up your connectors. Positive to positive, and negative to negative.
Converting the Power Wheels Battery Charger for a Lawn Mower Battery
A similar method to the one listed immediately above can also be used for converting your Power Wheels charger to charge your lawn mower battery; just follow the steps below:
- Remove the rectangular battery hookup plug by cutting it off where the two wires emerge from the box.
- Then, strip each wire and fit them with a terminal connector.
- Hook them up to your lawn mower battery as per the positive and negative symbols, plug the other end into a wall plug outlet, and you can now charge your new battery with your old Power Wheels charger.
Is it Safe to Equip a Power Wheels With a Lawn Mower Battery?
By now, many are probably wondering, is it safe to modify a battery connection in this way? Thankfully, we can assure you it is. Provided that you exercise proper handling and storage practices when dealing with the battery, it is entirely safe to set up and use in this manner.
Never use old corroded batteries. Instead, discard them in an environmentally friendly manner and replace them whenever necessary. Avoid overcharging your battery, and keep it away from extreme conditions such as excessive heat, humidity, snow, freezing, moisture, etc.
In this article, we set out to understand if it is possible to use a lawn mower battery to power a Power Wheels vehicle, and if so, is it safe to do so. We determined that it is possible to do this safely, but minor, albeit simple, modifications must be performed.
By cutting off the connector plugs and fitting the wires with battery hookup terminals, we can immediately hook up the Power Wheels to a lawn mower battery.
Always use a deep-cycle battery and never a starting battery.