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Power Wheels is a battery-operated toy car designed for little kids to ride on but with realistic, working features. This ride-on toy from Fisher-Price has wheels that move forward and backward and also turn. And since it has a pretty powerful battery for a kid's toy and this battery could overheat, it’s equipped with a fuse.
To check on a Power Wheels fuse, unplug the battery, pull the fuse out, examine the metal strip, and make sure it’s still intact. If the metal strip is broken, you’ll need to replace it. Insert the new fuse into the battery while making sure that the contacts are facing down.
This article will discuss the importance of checking the fuse of your kid's Power Wheels and the consequences of not doing so. It’ll also talk you through checking a Power Wheels fuse and give you a step-by-step guide on how to replace a broken fuse with a new one. You’ll learn how to deal with a built-in fuse for more recent models, so read on!
Do Power Wheels Have Fuses?
New models of Fisher-Price's Power Wheels have a 12-volt battery with a built-in thermal fuse. The older models, however, have a removable 25-amp fuse with their 6-volt battery.
The fuse is generally a safety device. The removable fuses protect your Power Wheels' battery from damage when recharging or during use. On the other hand, the built-in fuse is self-resetting, and it trips and shuts down automatically if the ride-on toy is overloaded or driven under severe conditions. Once it has tripped, the fuse resets itself automatically after about 25 seconds before it allows the toy to resume running.
What “Overloaded” and “Severe Conditions” Mean
You can keep your child's Power Wheels vehicle from shutting down repeatedly by making sure its passenger load doesn’t exceed its 130-pound (59-kilogram) maximum weight capacity. It can also become overloaded when it’s towing something behind it.
You should also avoid severe driving conditions. For example, ensure your kid doesn’t drive the vehicle up steep slopes and doesn’t run into fixed objects that can stop its wheels from spinning while the motor's power is still on. It’s also important to teach your kid to stop the Power Wheels before changing directions or switching speeds.
If the battery continuously trips under normal driving conditions, you’ll need to contact your local authorized service center. You’ll know where you can find one nearest you in the official Power Wheels manual.
What Does a Fuse Look Like?
A traditional fuse is a short piece of wire with a specific diameter and composition necessary to conduct current up to a particular level. This wire fuses or melts if the current goes up above accepted levels. When it blows, the fuse becomes an open circuit. It interrupts the flow of electric current and prevents damage to equipment or a piece of electronics.
The fuse wire is typically mounted inside a little ceramic or glass tube fitted with end caps made of metal. This glass cylinder serves as the physical guard for the wire so that when it blows, it doesn't cause injury or damage.
Why It’s Important To Always Check the Fuse
If your Power Wheels has a removable fuse, it’s always important to check it to ensure good running conditions and guarantee your child's safety. Fuses, after all, play a crucial role in preventing damage to the toy — and any equipment, for that matter — caused by electrical overloading. Fuses reduce the risk of electrocution to an equipment user. In this case, it reduces the risk of electrical shock to your child as they ride their Power Wheels vehicle.
You need to check the Power Wheels fuse before charging the battery and before using the ride-on toy. You'll have to see whether the fuse has blown because a blown fuse could signal that a real problem has occurred. If such is the case, you need to fix the problem before any serious damage happens to the Power Wheels and before your child's safety is compromised.
However, there isn't always a need to worry. That’s because a blown fuse isn't always a sign that there's trouble with your Power Wheels or with your equipment. Fuses do degrade over time and are bound to fail, so you’ll have to change them eventually.
If the new fuse repeatedly blows right after changing the previous one, you shouldn’t keep replacing it. You’ll need to call a technician to see what's wrong with your equipment and fix it.
How To Check on a Power Wheels Fuse
To check the fuse of your kid's Power Wheels:
- Unplug the battery and pull it out of the ride-on toy's battery compartment under the hood.
- Sit it on the table or the ground with the top facing up. The fuse box is inserted in the top part of the battery.
- Pull the fuse out of the battery using your fingers. You can also use needle-nose pliers.
- Once you’ve removed the fuse, examine the wire or the metal strip in the middle of the fuse.
If this wire is intact, then your fuse is still in good condition. If the wire is broken, then that means the fuse needs to be replaced.
Here's a video showing how to take out the fuse and check whether it's still good or needs replacement:
What About the Built-In Thermal Fuse?
For Power Wheels with built-in fuses, you’ll know that the fuse may need to be replaced when the vehicle won't run and the battery won't charge. You can make sure by using a multi-voltmeter. You need to connect the voltmeter to the thermal fuse and see whether there are electric current readings. If there’s no electricity flow, it means that you need to replace the thermal fuse.
Here's what to do using a voltmeter when your Power Wheels battery won't charge:
How To Change a Power Wheels Fuse
To change a Power Wheels fuse, you’ll need to follow these steps:
- Open the toy car's battery compartment, unplug the battery, and pull it out of the ride-on toy.
- Sit the battery on the ground or a table, with its top facing up.
- Remove the cover for the fuse compartment.
- Pull the fuse out with your fingers. (You’ll see the fuse inserted into the top of the battery. You can also use a pair of pliers to take the fuse out.)
- Get a new fuse and insert it into the slot.
- Put the cover back on.
- Plug the battery in.
It’s important to remember that you should never charge the battery if you haven't installed the fuse. Doing so would damage the battery.
How To Change a Built-In Power Wheels Fuse
For built-in thermal fuses, you can replace them by following these steps:
- Prepare a pair of pliers, a screwdriver, and a crimping tool. Prepare a suitable fuse for your Power Wheels model, too.
- Turn off the vehicle.
- Check the fuse's positive and negative terminal and mark one wire with a colored tape. (Marking the wires is helpful for Power Wheels that don't come with the red and black wires.)
- Remove the blown fuse using a screwdriver.
- Make sure the wires are compatible with the terminals or plugs on the new fuse. You might need to strip these wires and use a plug that's compatible with the new terminals.
- Using a crimping tool, install the terminals on the wires.
- Place the positive and negative wires to their respective terminals. Then, close the top of the new thermal fuse.
- The fuse has indicators of where each wire should go.
- Attach the wires on the other side of the new thermal fuse. Make sure the wiring system looks similar to one before the replacement. In fact, take a picture at the beginning of the process so you can compare the connections before and after the installation.
- Test your fuse by starting the Power Wheels vehicle and checking if it works.
Every Power Wheels vehicle is equipped with a fuse to protect the battery from overheating and as a safety mechanism. Fuses need to be checked and replaced as part of the ride-on toy's maintenance. This is something that you need to do to make sure your child is safe at all times. If you don't have the tools to check a built-in fuse, you can always call in a technician to do it for you.