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Power wheels won't go forward

Power Wheels are amazing toys that make great gifts for kids. While these toys guarantee plenty of outdoor fun, they're also prone to breaking down, especially when frequently used. After a while, you might notice that your kid's Power Wheels won't go forward either during, before, or after play, so how can you fix this?

To fix Power Wheels that won't go forward, start by checking the battery. If the entire car isn't working, chances are it is depleted or needs changing. If the battery is working, it could be that the forward switch has a problem and needs repair or replacing. Lastly, check the pedals for issues.

If you're wondering how to fix a Power Wheel with switch or battery issues, then you are in the right place. Read on to find out possible causes of such problems and how you can get your little one's Power Wheels to move forward again.

Check the Battery 

The first question you should always ask yourself is, what else is not working? You'll know you're dealing with a potential battery problem if the Power Wheel doesn't move at all or even turn on. For instance, if the radio functionality, sounds, or any other functions that need electrical power to work are dysfunctional, chances are you're dealing with a faulty battery.

To determine if the Power Wheel battery is faulty, you'll need to charge it to see whether it was initially empty. If the battery is charged, but you still can't play music or access any of the power-dependent features, you'll probably need to replace it. 

If the Power Wheel functions as expected—meaning it can play music or reverse—then the battery is okay, and you'll need to determine other problems.

Check on the Motors and Forward/Reverse Switches

To determine whether you're dealing with faulty switches, you'll need to inspect the switch wires and the forward switch as well. Before you start removing components of your little one's power wheels, remember to disconnect and remove the battery. This should always be the first rule whenever you plan to fix a Power Wheel. Take the battery out and place it somewhere safe.

You might also find that the switch wires have disconnected, which is normal, especially for 12V off-road Power Wheels. Plug the wires back to the switch and test to see if the Power Wheel will function as normal. Note that you'll have to return the battery to test out the connection. 

If the Power Wheel still doesn't function, try interchanging the forward and reverse switches. If the car moves forward after interchanging the switch, then the forward switch has a problem and will need a replacement.

Luckily, it is easy to find Power Wheel replacement parts online. The Power Wheels Forward/Reverse Switch is compatible with most Power Wheels and will almost certainly fit the toy you're working on. Carefully install it and test to see if the ride-on toy will work as expected.

Check on the Foot Pedal Switch or Throttle

Problems with the throttle switch are also common in Power Wheels. A multimeter can help you identify whether the switch is functional or not. However, you'll have to disconnect the pedal switch and try jumping it with a paperclip. If the motor starts after jumping the connection, then you'll probably need to replace the switch.

On some occasions, the switch connectors between the wiring and pedal systems may be corroded or spoilt. This could be due to rust when water gets into the switch. Taking out the switch will allow you to determine whether the connectors are in good shape or not.

Tips To Take Care of Power Wheels and Keep Them Running

After you have resolved all of the Power Wheels problems you're facing, taking care of your Power Wheels is critical to its longevity. Battery maintenance, correct storage, and adequate cleaning will go a long way in ensuring the car lasts for years to come.

Maintain the Battery

A Power Wheel will stop functioning if it has a faulty battery. As a result, it is important to maintain your little one's Power Wheels battery to the best of your ability. This means the battery should be fully charged before use.  

You should aim to charge the battery for a minimum of 18 hours after buying a Power Wheel. Subsequent charges should be around 14 hours, but check the user's manual to be on the safe side regarding charging requirements. As a rule of thumb, you should always keep the battery charged even when not in use, such as during the winter. This will help extend the battery's life.

You should also store the battery separately when the Power Wheel isn't in use, and remove it before any type of serious cleaning.

Inspect the Power Wheels

Due to enhanced power and maneuverability, 12V ride-on cars are usually prone to damage as a result of gradual wear and tear. Luckily, you can extend the durability of your little one's Power Wheel by conducting regular inspections. Make a habit of checking plastic parts regularly, keeping a close eye on cracked or damaged components.

You should also conduct regular checks on screws and their coverings. Always tighten a loose screw and replace broken parts as early as you can. If you doubt your ability to perform a thorough repair or replacement job, you can always consult your local repair shop for expert assistance.

Avoid Cleaning Power Wheels With Hoses or Running Water

Although it’s important to clean up a Power Wheel regularly, especially after play, exposing it to too much moisture or water can lead to gradual corrosion of the electrical switches and motors. Instead, wipe down the vehicle with a soft, dry cloth, targeting sensitive parts like wires, motors, and switches.

Check on Driving Location

While some Power Wheels are perfectly suited for tough terrains like gravel, sand, or loose dirt, frequent use of the car in such conditions can prove problematic. This is because mud, sand, or gravel can get into the motors and electrical switches, which can easily lead to their malfunction.

If your child must ride the car on tricky terrain, you should always be on standby to give the car a gentle but thorough wash. Remember to steer clear of using running water. A damp cloth will get the job done, especially if you clean different components individually.

Store the Power Wheels Indoors

Avoid leaving Power Wheels outside during rainy or snowy weather. Storing the ride-on cars inside (under protective covers) is the surest way to prevent damage from rain and the elements. When storing the vehicles inside, place them somewhere safe where they won't be exposed to excess moisture or heat.  

Observe the Maximum Weight Capacity

Did you know that a Power Wheel can suddenly come to a halt if overloaded? Power Wheels usually come with built-in thermal fuses that can trip and shut down the vehicle if overloaded or driven in extremely severe conditions.

The best way to avoid automatic shutdowns is to ensure your child observes the recommended weight capacity, which means not towing heavy objects, or adding a co-driver if the capacity doesn't allow.

Wrapping Up

Power Wheels can fail to go forward for a number of reasons. If you've confirmed that the battery is still functional, then chances are the motors or front/reverse switch have a problem. It could also be that the wires were disconnected when moving on rough surfaces.

Ensure you determine the problem first before taking any action. Once you understand the root of the problem, take the necessary steps and remove the faulty parts. Luckily, most Power Wheels replacement parts are usually available online at affordable prices.