When your kids log some serious miles on their Power Wheels, you know that battery is taking a toll. How long is a Power Wheels battery supposed to last? Like any electronic toy, you will have to replace the battery sooner or later with enough use.
In this article, we’ll discuss the ins and outs of the Power Wheels battery. You’ll learn all about how long that battery will last, tips on improving the battery life, and common mistakes to avoid. The longer that battery lasts, the longer your kid’s fun will last!
How long will a typical Power Wheels battery last?
The short answer up front is 1-3 years, and that’s straight from Fisher-Price themselves.
What affects the lifespan of a battery? Mainly the use time and the age of the battery itself. Other factors include the rider’s weight, speeds used, Power Wheels model, and the type of terrain the car is driving on.
To inch your use time closer to that 3-year mark, there are some tricks of the trade for you to follow. Read more below!
Battery Type Round-Up
Here are the battery types you will likely encounter in the standard Power Wheels car.
6V Battery: you’ll find these smaller batteries in the smaller Power Wheels models. These tiny cars are designed for young children, ages 12 months and up. Be aware of the weight limits, as kids can quickly outgrow them.
- Average charge time: 6 hours
12V Battery: this battery type is the most common in your standard Power Wheels. Popular ride-on models like the Jeep and Dune Racer will have a 12V battery. The average ride time for a 12V battery car is 45-90 minutes.
- Average charge time: 12 hours
24V Battery: less common than the popular 12V battery, the larger 24V battery is found in beefier Power Wheels for older kids. Since they’re larger and push out more power, they do take longer to charge on average.
- Average charge time: 18 hours
How to Improve the Battery Life
You know you want the most use as you can get out of your Power Wheels battery. Though they aren’t incredibly expensive, you certainly don’t want to be doling out money unnecessarily.
Charge it RIGHT!
- Always charge in a ventilated room
- Make sure the battery is upright while charging
- Place a protective barrier (like a plastic tray) under your battery while charging
- Charge the battery for at least 14 hours after each use, even if it wasn’t driven very long.
- When charging is complete, disconnect the plug from the wall first, then disconnect the plug from your battery.
Store it RIGHT:
When you know your ride-on won’t be used for an extended period, like winter, it’s best to fully charge your Power Wheels before setting it into storage.
Know that over time, that charge will gradually diminish. So, don’t expect your child to be able to jump in and ride off on the first beautiful spring day. You’ll need to recharge that battery again before returning the toy to use.
How to correctly store your battery:
- After removing the battery from the car, cover the car with a cloth for storage.
- Store the battery in an indoor location that is between -10-75deg F.
- Fully charge the battery before storage.
- Charge the battery once per month while it is in storage.
Don’t overcharge your Power Wheels.
Though it may be easy to plug in and forget, you really don’t want to leave your Power Wheels plugged in for more than the necessary charging time. Power Wheels states that a battery should never be charged for more than 30 hours.
Pay attention to the LED indicators on your Power Wheels battery. This is a foolproof way of knowing when you’ve reached a full charge. One light will indicate that the battery is charging, and the other will alert you that you’ve achieved a complete charge. Once you see that full charge light on, time to unplug the battery!
On the note of overcharging, not only do you have to unplug the battery from the wall when it has completed its charge, but you also need to unplug it from its charging unit. Leaving the battery attached to the charging unit can slowly drain the power or scramble the recognition of a full charge from the power cord, even if it isn’t plugged into a wall.
Inspect your battery:
Regularly inspect your battery for cracks or damage. In any case of damage, you’ll need to replace the battery immediately. There’s no saving a cracked or leaking battery! Do not allow your children to use the battery in their Power Wheels until you complete a battery replacement.
Other Tips to Take Care of Your Power Wheels Battery
Here are a few more tips to keep your Power Wheels battery in the best shape. Heed our warnings! Not in a scary way, but in a “keep the kids playing” way.
Don’t disregard that first charge. The very first charge for your Power Wheels battery is longer than the average charge. Your user manual will list a specific length of time, depending on the size of your ride-on car. Typically, it’s an 18-hour charge time on new vehicles.
Dial down the speed. To extend the use-time of your ride-on toy, you can always dial down the speed limits. Instead of the maxed 5 mph, you can set the rider limit to 2.5mph and naturally get an extended riding time.
Don’t forget about that warranty! You should have a limited warranty on the battery for the first 6 months of ownership. If, for whatever reason, your battery isn’t working correctly during that time, be sure to reach out to Fisher-Price to replace it before your warranty expires.
Keep in mind that if you decide to make custom modifications to the Power Wheels battery, you will void the warranty, even if you’re still in the window.
Do not allow children to handle the battery, wires, or other electrical items. Batteries need to be handled with care. They can also get very hot after use and are therefore not safe for children to handle.
Pay attention to weight limits! If your child outgrows their Power Wheels and weighs over the maximum limit for the car, the battery and motors will be overtaxed and are likely to burn out very quickly. This applies to multiple riders too. That weight limit is a cumulative amount meant to account for multiple riders in those 2-seater cars.
Common Mistakes to Avoid With Your Power Wheels Battery
Overcharging: The Power Wheels batteries are Sealed Lead Acid. These types of batteries, if overcharged, can receive an excess of current and potentially overheat. Inside the battery, the chemicals go through a premature aging process called thermal runaway.
Inadequate charging: you know that the average ride time for a Power Wheels is under 90 minutes, but if your child doesn’t ride for that long, should you still charge the battery? Yes! You should be recharging the battery no matter how long the ride session of the car was.
Storing when the battery is dead: it can be tempting just to park your ride when the battery is dwindling and not go through the process of charging the battery. However, this is pertinent to proper battery upkeep. Storing a Power Wheels when the battery is dead can significantly decrease the battery life in the long run.
When to Replace Your Power Wheels Battery
There are a few warning signs that your battery needs replacing in your Power Wheels. Aside from being mindful of the average battery life, you can pay attention to the following cues; you’ll be able to keep that toy ready to ride!
Your Power Wheels battery likely needs replacing if:
- It no longer charges
- It takes too long to fully charge
- The battery life doesn’t last very long
- The performance is significantly decreased: as in, the car won’t accelerate well.
Remember, when you replace your battery, you cannot place the old one in the trash! Batteries that end up at the dump can be serious environmental hazards. They leak toxic chemicals that can leach into the soil and poison groundwater. Yes, even at the landfill!
To properly dispose of a Power Wheels battery, Fisher-Price states that you need to “return the battery to a federal or state approved lead-acid battery recycler. This may be a Power wheels Authorized Service Center or a local retailer of automotive batteries.”
Follow your user-manual steps for replacing a Power Wheels battery. Doing so can ensure that you’re completing the task correctly and taking care of your new battery.
Power Wheels are incredibly fun outdoor toys for kids. They can open up doors to imaginary worlds and pretend-play. Yet, if the battery dies, so does the fun! Keep your kids playing by staying on top of battery maintenance for your Power Wheels. Your kids and their fictional worlds will thank you for it!