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Power Wheels toy vehicles are trendy gifts for children between two and seven years old. Notably, kids that fall within this range aren’t always responsible or careful with their belongings. It’s not uncommon to find your child’s Power Wheels toy sitting outside on a rainy day, leaving many parents to wonder, “Can Power Wheels get wet?”
Power Wheels vehicles can get wet if left in the occasional downpour because they have plastic around the battery. But they aren’t designed to be left outside for extended periods, rain or shine. Keeping them dry and clean can avoid unwanted battery failures, mold growth, and wiring problems.
Power Wheels vehicles can survive occasional rain and humidity, but they work best when they’re kept dry and clean. This guide will explore what happens to Power Wheels vehicles when they get wet and what you can do to keep your Power Wheels toy in top-notch shape, even if it gets drenched.
Can Power Wheels Be Left in the Rain?
Technically, it’s ok to leave your Power Wheels vehicle in the rain, so long as it’s only an occasional habit. That’s because the majority of Power Wheels toy vehicles have enclosed battery compartments protected by thick plastic parts.
However, Power Wheels toys aren’t entirely waterproof. Flash flooding and heavy rain can quickly reach a Power Wheels car’s internal electronic components, causing them to fail.
While you could remove a Power Wheels toy’s battery to help reduce water damage, the wiring beneath and inside the toy can still mold, short-circuit, or fail due to excess humidity. As such, you probably shouldn’t leave your Power Wheels vehicle out in the rain.
Can Power Wheels Be Left Outside?
Generally, there’s no harm in leaving your Power Wheels vehicle outside on a mild, sunny day. Parking the toy vehicle in a shady spot can reduce UV damage and help keep the battery from overheating.
Still, it’s always far better to keep your child’s Power Wheels inside. You don’t necessarily need to devote living room space to your kid’s toy car. But you may want to set aside a small area in your garage, on your front porch, or your back patio area for the Power Wheels toy.
Can Power Wheels Be Stored Outside?
If you’re willing to build a small garage or shelter for your child’s Power Wheels vehicle, then you could opt to store it outside. However, it’s crucial to note that partially open shelters and hutches are still prone to some environmental dangers.
For example, wind can push rain into such storage spaces, causing flooding or mold growth. Additionally, insects and pests may set up homes inside partially exposed outdoor storage spaces.
Spiders and snakes are both known to seek dry places during wet weather, and the last thing you want is for your child to suffer an unexpected bite while playing outside. As such, it’s often wiser to choose an enclosed outdoor storage space.
Small portable sheds are an excellent compromise between indoor Power Wheels storage and outdoor storage. They provide plenty of shelter from wind, rain, sun, and snow while also keeping most dangerous pests at bay. If you have limited outdoor space, you might want to choose a light option like the YardStash IV.
This heavy-duty storage tent sets up in minutes and has a thick weatherproof floor and roof. The easily zippable door is accessible enough for children and adults, ensuring that your child feels confident about putting away their Power Wheels after each use.
Can Power Wheels Get Wet: Before and After
Let’s explore what happens to Power Wheels vehicles when they get wet by comparing consistently dry Power Wheels and their wet counterparts. This way, you’ll have a more comprehensive understanding of why it’s vital to keep your Power Wheels toys as dry as possible.
Power Wheels Before Getting Wet
Before a Power Wheels toy vehicle gets wet, it’s a sturdy and relatively trustworthy machine. Its primary components are in excellent condition, and it’s capable of running for several hours on a single charge.
A 12V compact battery powers the majority of Power Wheels vehicles. This battery connects to the toy’s primary wiring hub to control the internal motor and any audio or light accessories.
Dry Power Wheels vehicles kept in indoor or outdoor storage areas tend to have batteries that last up to three years. The terminals of these batteries are heavily corroded, and they transmit power fluidly.
The majority of Power Wheels frames are made of molded plastic. However, some also feature steel cores or frames. When kept dry, a Power Wheels toy’s body should be shiny, mold-free, and relatively clean. Dry, well-maintained exteriors don’t tend to crack, splinter, or fade.
Power Wheels vehicles tend to have hard plastic seats, but a few of the ATV models feature plastic-covered cushioning. Power Wheels toys that are properly stored and maintained tend to remain comfortable and clean, encouraging repeat usage.
There are very few Power Wheels vehicles with roofs, which ensures that riders of varying heights fit comfortably. However, it also means that debris and water can collect at the bottom of the toy. Power Wheels toys that are kept dry tend to have relatively clean, debris-free floors that make for safe, easy driving.
Power Wheels toys don’t often use rubber wheels. Instead, their wheels are plastic. Rubber is far heavier than plastic, adding unwanted weight to your child’s toy car.
But though plastic is less prone to rot and water damage (and is less heavy) than rubber, it’s not impervious to damage. Still, Power Wheels toys that are kept dry and clean have strong, crack-free wheels that remain sturdy and strong after years of use.
Power Wheels After Getting Wet
Now that you know what to expect with a well-maintained, properly stored Power Wheels toy, let’s explore what happens when you leave your Power Wheels out in the rain. I’ll explain what happens after a single rainstorm, then expand to include the effects of long-term outdoor storage.
The standard Power Wheels 12V battery is both protected by a plastic hood and encased in thick plastic. Still, heavy rainstorms can drive rain through the hood’s small cracks and flood the internal battery compartment.
If this happens only once or very rarely, the battery may be able to survive. Fortunately, many Power Wheels battery compartments have wiring holes and passageways that help water drain away from the battery.
However, the wires that flow from this space and beneath the vehicle can become soggy while the compartment drains. If the cable covers deteriorate or tear and water comes into contact with the wiring, they’ll likely short-circuit and burn out.
Over time, this partially broken circuit can negatively affect your Power Wheels vehicle’s battery life. Additionally, areas prone to flash floods or heavy rainfall can be tough on Power Wheels toys.
Though small amounts of water might not cause an immediate electrical or mechanical failure, a Power Wheels toy that’s suspended in rainwater for several hours each week is bound to have a few problems, including mold growth.
A Power Wheels toy that’s consistently left outside in the sun and rain is not going to look as attractive as one that’s kept indoors or in an outdoor shed.
The hard plastic Power Wheels seats endemic to the toy line might be easy to wipe clean, but their bucket-like design often collects rainwater. When your child goes to use their toy, they may end up with a wet bottom.
Power Wheels seating that’s been exposed to the elements briefly (left outside overnight in the rain) can be quickly dried, cleaned, and restored. However, seating left outdoors for several weeks or months can be challenging to repair.
Though it may surprise you, many strains of mold can eat through plastic. A wet and moldy Power Wheels toy isn’t likely to remain sturdy (or hygienic) for very long. Additionally, mosquitoes can flourish in the small pools of water that form in the seats. Overall, it’s a soggy situation.
Leaving your Power Wheels car outside is a great way to collect water. Most Power Wheels vehicles don’t have drainage holes in the vehicle’s floor. At best, rainwater might drain away from the floor by seeping through the pedal mechanism.
However, when a wire-powered pedal endures long-term exposure to rainwater, it often corrodes and fails. Even worse, excess water pooling in your child’s Power Wheels could become a breeding ground for common pests.
Additionally, don’t be surprised to find mold and mildew growing throughout the body of your Power Wheels toy if rain’s been allowed to collect along the bottom of it. As I mentioned earlier, mold can eat through plastic, resulting in a weaker Power Wheels toy.
Plastic Power Wheels tires tend to work best when they’re kept in excellent condition, which often means keeping them as clean and dry as possible. When you leave your Power Wheels vehicle outside, the tires can begin to weaken and decay thanks to UV damage and mold growth.
While your child’s Power Wheels vehicle might not immediately malfunction after spending a day in the rain, it’s crucial to remember that these toys aren’t designed for permanent outdoor storage. Consistent rain and sun can damage a Power Wheels toy’s internal components, including its battery and wiring.
Additionally, excess moisture can promote mold growth in both the plastic and fabric components of a Power Wheels vehicle. To keep your child safe from moldy seats, wet floors, and electrical short-circuiting, always store your Power Wheels car beneath in a sheltered area.