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Power wheels are designed to be used on flat surfaces so they can stop quickly. Power wheels have a specific braking system that works well on flat surfaces but have trouble on hills.

Most Power Wheels do have brakes. Their braking system works by shorting the motor to a resistor when the accelerator pedal is released for effective brakes. However, some instances can compromise how the braking system works.

In this article, I’ll discuss questions about Power Wheels braking system and how it works. Additionally, I’ll touch on how some modifications may affect the Power Wheels motor and other components. Finally, I will also answer some frequently asked questions about Power Wheels and how they operate. 

Power Wheels Brakes: How It Works & How to Modify It

Do power wheels have brakes?

Parents should use caution when letting their children play with Power Wheels toys in areas where there may be sudden drops, such as stairs. Steep hillsides and other sudden drops could result in serious physical harm for both the rider of the Power Wheels and pedestrians nearby. 

Power Wheels brakes work by shorting the motor to a resistor when the accelerator pedal is released, instantly slowing down or stopping power wheel motion. The resistance, in turn, causes heat and wear as it tries its best to keep up with stopping all of the energy coming from rotating motors. 

The Power Wheels Braking System is designed to stop a Power Wheel's drive wheels from spinning when you step on the brake pedal inside the car. The brakes work by pressing down on rubber bands or metal springs that press against an axle near the Power Wheel’s wheel hub, stopping it from turning. 

To prevent these occurrences, parents should always supervise their kids when riding them around the house or yard and make sure that no one else is nearby while doing so. In other words, Power Wheel braking is an essential safety feature that can save your child's life!

To Modify a Power Wheels Braking System:

  • You can disassemble Power Wheels and remove the brakes by twisting off two bolts.
  • The brakes are located at each rear wheel and work with a resistor placed on top of it. If this resistor overheats, you will see smoke coming from where it connects to the brake rotors and smell an odd burning odor. 

Remember, any modifications, such as adding a brake pedal, will add stress to the motor that controls the system and could cause it to overheat and stop working. 

Do Power Wheels Use a Brake Reduction Module?

Brake Reduction Module is the Power Wheels version of a brake system. It's designed to be used with Power Wheels only, so it may not work with other brands or similar designs. The Power Wheel Brake Reduction Module does have its downsides, though, and for starters: 

  • This system won't be effective at stopping your Power Wheel vehicle in most cases if you release the pedal when driving downhill – which could lead to an accident. This module won't do anything at all about potential rollbacks (which are very common).
  • Accordingly, power wheels use a brake reduction module to decrease the amount of strain on the motor during braking by using friction created from kinetic energy instead of mechanical force generated by breaking parts such as steel drums. 
  • These break reduction modules don't stop Power Wheels vehicles from moving; they keep them at a lower rate of speed.

The braking force is not applied constantly during driving but rather activated by releasing the pedal. This means that there will be some delay between releasing the pedal and feeling any significant speed slowing, plus any time is taken up by simply waiting for the module's activation. 

And while power wheels use brake reduction modules (to decrease the speed of the Power Wheels vehicle), these are not to be confused with actual brakes. 

Should I Modify a Power Wheels Braking System?

Some modifications include adding a brake pedal or adding LED lights to Power Wheels. Though these additions may be convenient, they could have detrimental effects on your Power Wheels battery. 

You should not modify a Power Wheels braking system. If a Power Wheel has been modified, the system might not function as it was intended to. Additional stress to the motor may cause it to overheat. 

For example, installing aftermarket items such as LED lights will cause some Power Wheel motors to overheat more quickly than usual due to prolonged periods spent driving with these resistors on. Power Wheels are not designed for this type of use. 

Any modifications to a Power Wheel may result in excess stress to the motor and decrease the Power Wheels battery life.  Power Wheels are best used as they were designed and with the original Power Wheels battery.

Can I Add a Brake Pedal to My Power Wheels?

Some Power Wheels are compatible with a brake pedal addition so that once your child has mastered using a Power Wheel, a brake pedal can be added for increased safety. 

The brake pedal is typically an add-on that can easily be attached to any Power Wheel vehicle without needing special tools. Keep in mind, though, that you should only do so if your particular model of Power Wheel toy vehicle is designed to be compatible with this type of accessory. 

The brake add-on typically includes two parts: 

  • The actual pedal is attached to the Power Wheels' chassis frame.
  • A bracket to hold it in place securely (typically made out of metal). 

Installing the brake pedal can be done once your child has mastered using the Power Wheel acceleration pedal. Most Power Wheels models will come equipped to be compatible with this addition. To install the brake pedal addition:

  • You'll need to drill holes into your Power Wheels frame where you want the bracket anchors/clamps to go – these will need to line up correctly between both top and bottom brackets so that all four screws can fit snugly through them when positioned. 
  • Then, once the holes have been drilled and everything is positioned correctly, you can screw in the four screws that will hold it securely.
  • Add included wiring for the new brake pedal.
  • Before tightening them up completely, though, remember not to tighten too hard and strip the threading.

Test the new brake pedal to be sure it is working correctly before use. 

Why Aren't My Power Wheels Brakes Working?

A broken wire can interrupt power flow from batteries to motors or stop Power Wheels altogether, so locating the damage quickly is necessary before proceeding anywhere else in troubleshooting Power Wheels. If any part of the wiring has been harmed during installation or misused, then there's no guarantee what other problems might come up down the line. 

If Power Wheels are not working, the first step is to check for a broken wire. Even if you cannot find it visually, this will be an obvious cause of Power Wheel failure and should always be checked as a top priority when dealing with Power Wheels that do not work. 

The next place to look would be:

  • Both terminals need to have tight contact with your battery connections and show zero corrosion for Power Wheels to work correctly. 
  • Next, check the Power Switch; if it's not in the correct position or has been damaged, Power Wheels will stop working until corrected. 
  • Lastly, make sure Power Wheel motors aren't clogged with dirt. Check for any hairline cracks on their housing and that there is no debris blocking the wheels from turning freely during operation – clean out these areas as needed, so things run smoothly when they're put back together. 

If you have a battery-powered vehicle and your batteries are fully charged, but your Power Wheels still won't move, this could be due to an incorrectly positioned switch. This will need to be switched back into place before anything can start again.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Power Wheels Braking System

Power wheels are great to give your child independence while still being safe; this promotes their curiosity in all things around them! It also provides entertainment when combined with friends who want to take turns driving each other’s toys. There are many advantages to the way Power Wheels brake, but there are some disadvantages as well!

Advantages of the Power Wheels Braking System:

  • Brake reduction modules that are used in Power Wheels keep the vehicle speed low.
  • The one-pedal system is easy to use for children.

Disadvantages of the Power Wheels Braking System:

  • The brake reduction modules make it hard to stop on declining hills.
  • This system creates a dangerous rollback effect on inclines.
  • Power Wheels with brake reduction modules should only be used on flat surfaces.

Though there are many disadvantages to the Power Wheels braking system, additions like brake pedals can be used on some compatible models to make them safer. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some frequently asked questions about power wheels and how they work. 

Why Won't My Power Wheels Move?

Power Wheels are not designed to go in reverse. If the Power Wheels do not run forward, ensure it is appropriately connected and some obstruction on the wheel or vehicle. If you have a car with four-wheel drive, this might be why it's stuck. 

The most common reason Power Wheels will not move forward is that they're disconnected, or some other obstacle is under the wheel. Make sure the Power  Wheels are connected to the Power Wheel vehicle, and then make sure that nothing is blocking it from moving forward.

Power wheels can also run into an obstruction (like a rock) and get stuck if the wheel is turned one way, but something is blocking it from turning in another direction. The best way for your child to enjoy power wheel toys cars is through safety and regulations when using them outdoors! 

Can Power Wheels Be Left Out in the Rain?

It isn’t a good idea to leave Power Wheels outside where there is a lot of salt on the ground or by your sidewalk when you shovel off all that snow! This could get into their gears and corrode them quickly.

Power Wheels should not be left out in the rain or snow because they are sensitive to water damage and easily cause rust. 

It's best to keep Power Wheel vehicles inside during these months until winter is over so that they won't have any problems with corrosion from exposure.

How Do You Charge a Power Wheels Battery?

Power Wheels batteries should be regularly charged. Each Power Wheels comes with a compatible charger and instructions for regularly charging them.   

You can charge a Power Wheels battery by hooking up the vehicle to the charger that comes with it or an extension cord and plugging it in for 12 hours

Can You Overcharge a Power Wheels Battery?

Power Wheels Batteries need to charge for at least twelve hours, but charging them for an extended period of time may have detrimental effects on the battery’s life. 

It is possible to overcharge Power Wheels batteries. The company stipulates that you need to charge a toy car 18 – 30 hours before the first use or at least 14 hours after every use. Plugging in the battery for more than 30 hours for the first will cause the battery to deteriorate.


Power Wheels have a braking system that is designed to work on flat surfaces, not hills. When the brakes are applied quickly and forcefully enough to stop the vehicle, it will short out the motor, which causes an electric current to flow through resistors. 

This process can take longer than stopping with regular brakes because of how much energy needs to be used for this mechanism to function properly. If you’re using your power wheels on a hill or incline, make sure you don’t apply full force when hitting the brake pedal, as this could cause your power wheel’s motor – and battery to die prematurely.