How to Upgrade 12V Ride-On to 24V?

If you aren’t familiar with mechanics or electronics, hooking up new batteries for your kid’s Peg Perego Power Wheels cars may seem daunting. Yet, the process to convert the voltage is easier than you think. 

With a little bit of elbow grease and some replacement parts, your kids can get the most out of their toy cars with a higher run time and faster speed. 

Why Upgrade Voltage?

Upgrading the battery voltage in your children’s Power Wheels allows them to ride across rough terrain and gives them the power to cruise over wet grass. 

If your kid is getting older or is just a speed demon, he/she may have become bored with the slow ride you get from the stock battery. A 24-volt battery will give the child some extra speed, typically an extra two miles an hour. 

A higher voltage battery will also enhance the run time of your Power Wheels car and give it the power to carry more weight. Just make sure that the motor is capable of taking on this extra capacity before you convert it. 

What You Should Know Before Upgrading

A 24-volt will ride about two miles an hour faster than a 12v. This difference may not seem substantial, but it may be too much for children under four years old. 

Consider the child’s age before letting your kids ride on an upgraded Power Wheels. 

Also, you should be aware that other parts of the car may need an upgrade to accommodate a 24v battery. The motors and gearboxes in a standard Power Wheels cannot handle 24v batteries.

To prevent damage to the motor or other parts, we recommend changing these components as well. 

What You’ll Need

What you’ll need depends on how much you want to upgrade. It is advisable when doing a voltage upgrade to replace more than just the battery. 

Replacing the fuses, gearbox, and motor are a good idea so that the car rides at optimal performance and lasts for a longer time. 

If you’re only changing the battery, you’ll first have to decide if you want to purchase one battery or two batteries. You can either use one 24v or two 12vs. 

If you are buying two 12v batteries to create a 24-volt Power Wheels car, you have to make sure they are both the same battery. Having a second battery that is different from the first can damage your Power Wheels cars. 

The batteries should be compatible with the car you have. Batteries from other ride-on vehicles, like tractors or electric wheelchairs, will work, but they won’t last as long as batteries meant for Power Wheels vehicles. 

If you want to be sure you’re buying the best-choice products, purchase straight from the manufacturer, Peg Perego. 

Also, make sure your batteries will fit inside your Power Wheels vehicle. Measure the area so that you are certain your replacement battery will fit adequately. 

Even if it’s a few centimeters off, your battery may not fit. 

Furthermore, you should think about quality when you are buying a replacement battery. Aftermarket batteries can be a good choice and are often cheaper than buying from Peg Perego. 

Do your research and look at reviews to see if the battery you’re purchasing to replace the old one is of good quality and has adequate longevity for a Power Wheels vehicle. 

Or, to make the process easier, you can buy a kit made for your Power Wheels car. 

For instance, if you have a Jeep Wrangler, you can easily find a kit made for the model. Just make sure your kit converts 12v to 24v. 

When changing the battery, you will also need a jumper wire if you are using two 12-volt batteries. A circuit breaker and electrical tape are optional.

Connecting Your New 24-Volt Battery

No matter which battery option you’ve chosen, you’ll first have to find your battery compartment. The position of the battery point depends on which model you have. 

For instance, in the Jeep Wrangler, the box is located under the hood. 

Furthermore, be sure you aren’t confusing the battery and the motor. The battery is a large rectangular box, while the motors are cylinder-shaped. 

To connect your new 24-volt or 12v batteries, you’ll first have to remove the original battery. After this, disconnect the negative cable first (negatives will be marked with a minus sign and are usually black). 

Then, remove the positive cable (positives have a plus sign and will be red or white). Once you’ve done these steps, you can pull out the old 12v battery. 

Before installing your new battery, you should check that it is working correctly. Plug it into the charger and make sure that the indicator light comes on before inserting it. 

If you have one 24v battery: 

  • Find the black wire that you pulled out from your old 12v battery. 
  • Place the battery into the ride-on vehicle and connect this black wire to the negative terminal on your 24-volt battery. 
  • Then, locate the red or white wire from your old battery and connect it to the ‘+’ terminal. 
  • Do a test ride. 

If you have two batteries:

  • Begin by wiring your two 12 volts together so that you create a series circuit. To do this, use a jumper wire to connect the positive terminal of one battery to the negative terminal of the second battery. 

(Note: a parallel circuit is acceptable, but it won’t have the same power as a 24-volt battery.)

  • Then, place both batteries back into the compartment. Do not place one on top of the other. 
  • Finally, connect your batteries. The one wire hooked to the ‘+’ terminal of one battery should connect to the red or white wires inside your Power Wheels. 

The one attached to the second battery’s ‘-‘ terminal should connect to the black cable. 

  • Perform a test ride. 

If you are a visual learner, visit YouTube where there are many videos on how to install 24v batteries and other parts, like the motor. 

Other Options When Connecting Your 24V Battery

The above list is the absolute minimum you will have to perform to install your new 24v, but there are other options to consider during installation. 

Circuit Breaker

A circuit breaker is a small piece that connects your car’s battery and motor. The circuit breaker protects the circuit from being delivered more capacity than it can handle. 

You may feel that you’ll save time and money by foregoing the circuit breaker, but you risk overload when you put way more power in your car by installing a higher volt battery. 

Quickly connecting a circuit breaker will protect your battery from overcapacity. 

Protecting Your Wiring

Damage to your car’s wiring can affect the entire system, cause the charger to stop working, and pose a safety hazard. After you’ve upgraded your child’s toy, it’s a good idea to check the wiring for damage. 

If you notice any breaks or wear, you don’t necessarily need to buy new ones unless the damage is severe. Instead, wrap electrical tape around any spots in the ride-on or charger that don’t look too great. 

Then, to prevent further wear, use the tape to secure the wires so they aren’t moving around. 

Safety Tips

Replacing the stock battery in your Power Wheels isn’t necessarily a dangerous endeavor, but safety should always come first when it comes to your child’s toys. 

  • Do not try to put a car battery into any of your children’s cars. Power Wheels batteries and most aftermarket options have a seal that helps prevent acid leakage. 

Car batteries do not have this, and acid can injure a child if the battery ruptures. Also, a car battery will not be compatible with the Power Wheels motor or charger. 

If you come into contact with acid, do not wash your hands as water can make burns worse. Instead, contact poison control or call emergency services. 

  • Make sure everything is tight, secure, and properly connected once you’ve finished with the upgrade. Power Wheels vehicles may flip, and you don’t want a heavy 24v falling on top of your child. 

Consider giving your ride-on vehicle a test ride yourself to check the battery, motor, and gears before giving the toy back to your child. 

  • It is inadvisable to upgrade to higher than a 24-volt Power Wheels. The 24v batteries work best for children between six and ten years old as they have a speed of up to 6mph. 

A 36v, for instance, can go up to 15mph and is very dangerous for children under 10. Also, Power Wheels motors can’t handle this much power.