This post contains affiliate links.
Power Wheels is one of the most popular ride-on toy manufacturers for children. Their toy car batteries are available in three different voltages that instantly charge when connected to a power source.
If your Power Wheels battery is not charging, the battery needs to service, or the charger has stopped working. In some cases, you can solve the charging issue by reviving and modifying your old battery instead of buying a new one.
This article will discuss why your power wheels are not charging and what you can do to fix it. I'll also go over ways to take care of your battery to have it fully charged each time.
The Battery Is Too Old To Accept a Full Charge
Regardless of how well you take care of your battery, it will stop working after years of use. A Power Wheels battery can last up to three years. However, it's normal for batteries to become too old to function after one year.
If your toy car's power supply is older than a year and you've noticed that it's not charging, it's most likely time to replace it with a brand new battery.
Mattel warns against switching parts for a battery that is three years old or older, so it's best to throw them out.
However, suppose the battery is only 1-2 years old. In that case, it may be possible to restore its power by switching some of the mechanics.
The Battery Is Dead and Will Not Receive the Electrical Charge
When Power Wheels batteries are inactive for long periods, they die. A dead battery cannot receive a full charge if any.
Manufacturers recommend that you charge your Power Wheels battery at least once per month for a minimum of 18 hours, even if no one has used it in a long time.
Suppose you haven't been following the instructions for proper battery care and notice that your car's power supply is dead. In that case, it's possible to restore it.
Steps To Restore a Dead Power Wheels Battery and Get It To Charge
Before you can revive the battery, these are the necessary tools:
- Another battery with the same voltage (6V, 12V, or 24V)
- An industrial car charger
- A screwdriver
To get your dead battery to charge:
- Fully charge a battery with the same voltage.
- Open the dead battery. Use a screwdriver to gain access to the mechanics. Depending on your model, you may have to pry the casing for the battery off.
- Find the spade connector. Identify the positive and negative ends of the wire.
- Connect the batteries. Link both spade connectors to the fully charged battery. Match the positive and negative wires to the appropriate terminals.
- Fully charge the new battery again. Use a car battery charger for this step. A green light indicates a full charge.
- Disconnect the Power Wheels battery and its components.
- Charge the old battery. Dispose of the newer battery and attach the charger's clamps to the Power Wheels battery.
- Let charge for several hours. The charger will tell you when the battery is full with a flashing green light.
This process is known as parallel charging. It can replenish your Power Wheels charging capacity if done correctly and with the right tools.
The Charger Is Not Working
Suppose your battery is less than a year old and still not taking charge. In that case, the charger is faulty and not capable of charging your Power Wheels battery.
To test the charger, use a voltmeter. Its results will confirm if your charger is not working. If so, purchase a new one to resolve the problem.
Some voltmeters can give inaccurate results. If you're serious about charging your battery, find a KAIWEETS Digital Multimeter for the best possible reading.
Compared to most voltmeters on the market, this meter can correctly measure voltage and is easy to use. Most importantly, it has overload protection to prevent the owner from getting shocked during usage.
The Battery’s Connectors Are Corroded and Need To Be Cleaned or Replaced
Like all electronics, Power Wheels batteries experience wear and tear, which can lead to poor performance. When machinery, like the connectors, starts to erode, the battery will not charge.
You'll be able to tell if the connectors need to be replaced by a brief inspection. Locate the metal part and examine it for rust, grime, and other dirt. Power Wheels vehicles have their connectors on the charger and inside the black port found on the battery.
Where there is an excessive amount of rust and corrosion, replace the connection adaptor. Otherwise, you can clean the connectors within a few minutes.
How To Clean a Corroded Connector
Before you begin the process to remove minor corrosion, you need the following tools:
- A small wire brush
- Baking soda
- Anti-corrosive spray
If an anti-corrosive spray is not available in your local hardware store, find it on Amazon.
I recommend the ACF-50 Anti-Corrosion Lubricant spray for this project. It is non-flammable, non-toxic, and kills corrosion with one application. But any anti-corrosive solution will do.
After gathering the necessary materials:
- Clean the connectors with a wire brush. Remove large pieces of dirt and grime first.
- Soak the wire brush in a neutralizer. Mix baking soda and water to form an alkaline solution.
- Brush the connectors until the rust is gone.
- Dry with a paper towel.
- Coat the metal parts with an anti-corrosive spray.
The Battery Is Low on Sulfuric Acid and Cannot Charge Without It
Power Wheels batteries contain an electrolyte called sulfuric acid. Without adequate amounts of sulfuric acid, the battery will not function properly. There's no way to check the sulfuric acid levels without opening the battery for inspection.
How To Replenish the Sulfuric Acid in a Power Wheels Battery
If sulfuric acid is available at your local hardware store, you only need a small bottle of it for this project. To change the sulfuric acid in your battery:
- Remove the battery's top lid with a screwdriver.
- Unscrew the caps on the vent ports. Open these one at a time.
- Add small amounts of sulfuric acid. Pour the acid wherever there is a low level. Try not to overflow the containers.
- Charge the battery overnight. In some cases, you will have to do this for 2-3 nights in a row.
How To Take Care of Your Power Wheels Battery
Once your battery starts charging again, you'll need to take better care of it than you did last time. Mattel recommends using these tips to care for your Power Wheels battery:
- Charge the battery once a month.
- Charge the battery after each use for at least 14 hours.
- Do not store the battery in temperatures below -10° F (-23.3° C) or above 75° F (23.9° C).
- Do not allow the battery to die completely before charging it again.
- Always charge the battery in an upright position.
- Do not charge the battery for more than 30 hours.
- Never charge the battery with a ceiling socket. It's best to use wall sockets only.
- Never charge the battery in damp/wet areas.
Take precautions when trying to fix a Power Wheels battery. Battery acid is hazardous. Guard the environment and yourself against any mishaps that may occur with protective articles of clothing.
Please note that making any modifications to your Power Wheels' battery at home will void your warranty. Consider this risk and decide if you should do the job yourself or head to a Power Wheels service center.
If you're comfortable fixing it, High-tech Battery Solutions has a video to help you pinpoint Power Wheels battery issues with a voltmeter: