BY Nick Bulanda
Published May 9, 2020
Are you running into an issue with your Power Wheels battery and unsure of what the cause might be? We’re here to try and help. In this guide, you’ll find out a few different ways to troubleshoot when you’ve got a Power Wheels battery charged but not working. Hopefully by the end, you’ll at least have an idea of what’s wrong and whether or not it’s fixable or if you’ll need to buy a replacement.
How Long has the Battery Been Dormant?
If your Power Wheels battery was left to sit out over the winter or any other span of several months without a charge, that could be a strong contender for the root of your problems. When a 12V battery dies and is left to sit without a charge for a prolonged period, the battery begins to drain itself. Once you take it off the shelf and plug it into the charger, the charger may not be able to read that it’s hooked up to a 12V battery and it may not dispense any charge.
As you can see from the video above, there are ways for you to do some hacking on your own and get this battery to work again. However, unless you already have the tools and expertise to do this, you’re most likely better off buying a replacement battery. You can find them for a pretty reasonable price, and you won’t have to risk the battery failing again. This time, be sure to carefully follow the guidelines that will come with the battery. There’s specific information as to how long you’ll need to keep the battery on the charger for its initial charge, as well as on a standard basis. Additionally, in order to prevent the same problem from occurring again, make sure to fully charge the battery one last time before you store it for the winter, and if you’re able come out once or twice during that period to charge it again.
Testing the Battery and Battery Charger
If you’re battery problems aren’t related to leaving the battery dormant without a charge for too long, there are some steps we can take to test out both the battery and the charger to find out where the issue lies. However, in order to complete this step, you will need to get your hands on a voltmeter. These tools are inexpensive and easy to find, and if you don’t already have one you likely know someone who does.
Once you’ve got your voltmeter, it’s time to learn how to test a Power Wheels battery. It’s quite simple, especially if you’ve used a voltmeter before. The linked guide will provide a more detailed explanation, but in simple terms, all you need to do is connect the positive and negative tips of the battery and battery charger to the voltmeter separately. Test the battery charger first and make sure it’s giving out a reading of around 13V. If it’s less than that, the problem likely lies with your battery charger, and you can find a replacement right here. After that, repeat the process but this time with the battery itself. There you should get a reading of at least 10.5V or more. If it reads lower than that, it’s time to get a new battery. However, if both of the voltage readings are good and you still have a Power Wheels battery charged but not working, the problem may lie elsewhere.
The next thing we would recommend checking is taking a look at the positive and negative connectors on both the battery and the vehicle itself. Take a close inspection of both and try to see if anything looks like it may be damaged or corroded. This is another common problem that can cause issues with the vehicle. If you do find some damage, it’s just a matter of ordering some replacement wires and soldering them on. Once again, this is a task that may seem out of reach for some, but we really do believe it’s within the abilities of most of our readers with Power Wheels battery charged but not working. At the very least, you’ll likely be able to find a family member, friend or neighbor who will be able to assist you.
If none of those problems seem to be what’s causing your issue, then it may be the motor of the toy itself. If that is the case, you’ll unfortunately have to buy a replacement vehicle. We encourage you to double check all of the above steps before you give up, as these are the most common problems that can occur. We hope that this guide was able to assist you in figuring out what was wrong!