How to Fix a Power Wheels That Won’t Go Forward

If your child has a Power Wheels, you can bet that there will come a time when it stops working as it should. One of the most common problems with Power Wheels is that they just stop moving forward. 

If you experience this problem, here’s what you can do to fix it.


Why Won’t My Power Wheel Go Forward?

There are many things that can go wrong with a Power Wheels that may prevent it from going forward as it should. The reasons can vary and range from water getting inside the electrical parts to simply leaving the power switch on and allowing the battery to drain. 

Understanding how the Power Wheels works and what could be causing the problems will allow you to find the solution much more easily. 

These are some of the most common problems associated with Power Wheels.

Test The Power Supply

One of the most common problems to occur with Power Wheels is that the power supply is not going where it should. There are a few different things that could cause this, including a short. 

You will need to find the power supply cord and follow it to the connection spot. 

Make sure there are no rips or tears in the cord; sometimes these can be hard to notice. 

You will also want to check to see if the prongs of the power tip are not broken or missing and are matching up correctly. 

You can use a voltmeter to ensure there is enough power getting to the motor as well. The voltmeter will also tell you if there is any power at all.

Check The Battery

If the battery is not completely charged, it may not be providing the toy with enough power to make it go forward. You can test the batter to see if there is any power. 

Also check the connections between the wires and battery to make sure there is a strong connection. 

If the battery gets wet or if the power switch is left on, the battery could drain quickly. 

It can take several hours to charge a battery that has run completely dead and been that way for a while.

You can order a replacement battery online. Be sure to recycle your old battery if you need to discard it.

Check The Foot-Pedal Switch

This switch is basically the power switch on the Power Wheels. When it is pressed, it triggers the gears to move the toy forward or in reverse. 

If this switch isn’t working properly, it can prevent the toy from moving forward. It’s a good idea to check to make sure there is nothing stuck underneath the pedal that may be preventing it from being pushed all the way to the ground and triggering the toy to go forward or keeping it in reverse. 

You can also make sure that the power is getting from the pedal to the motor. Connect a paperclip to check whether there is power. 

If you want to make sure there is enough power getting from the pedal switch to the motor, you can use a voltmeter to check it.

The paper clip allows you to jump-start the Power Wheels and to ensure the power is getting from the pedal switch to the motor. If the foot pedal is broken or missing, you may need to order Power Wheels replacement parts. 

Check The Forward and Reverse Switch

This switch is pretty self-explanatory and determines if your little one’s Power Wheel moves forwards or in reverse. The throttle switch can be used to make it go in either direction. 

If the shifter switch is stuck in reverse, or if there is something preventing the switch from moving into the forward position, then your Power Wheels will not be able to go in the proper direction. 

Sometimes, the power to the shifter switch can be cut off, or the wiring can go bad. And sometimes, the shifter switch can just break or go missing. 

You can check to see if a wire is bad by connecting a voltmeter to the shift switch and the motor to make sure there is power traveling between the two.

Your little one’s Power Wheels will not be able to go forward if the electrical switches are not working. You can find replacements for the ride-on toy and easily repair it yourself if the issue is with the switch or shifter assembly.

Check The Motor

The motor is what powers the ride-on toy car. The motor gets power when the gas pedal is pressed to go forward or reverse. 

Inspect the motor to see if there are any clear issues such as a missing or loose wire that connects to the shifter or pedals.

If there are battery issues, or there’s an issue with the forward or reverse switch, the power may not be getting to the motor. In this case, you’ll need to find replacement parts that can help improve the connection of the wires to the motors that power the wheels. 

In some cases, the motor itself can go bad and will need to be replaced. If you are familiar with this type of repair, replacing the motors yourself may be an option.

Check The Fuses

Power Wheels do have fuses and sometimes the thermal fuse or other fuses can burn out and will need to be replaced. 

If you are not getting any power to the battery, or if other parts on the toy vehicle don’t seem to be working, you should make sure none of the fuses need to be replaced. 

The fuses are affordable and easy to replace. They plug right into the fuse box. 

They can help improve the performance of the battery as well as metal parts and wires on the toy car. 

You can order replacement fuses online or you may be able to buy them from the same place where you purchased the toy.

Check For Electric Shorts

If there is a problem with the wires in your Power Wheels toy car, it could have a short. This prevents the electricity from traveling to the right part and can interfere with connections. 

A short can occur in any of the main three wires that connect the motor to the front and back wheels or the battery. It can be difficult to find a short and if you are not comfortable working with electrical appliances, you may want to take it to a professional toy car repair shop. 

If you are going to check it yourself, you will need a voltmeter. Check the wires and connectors for signs of a spark. You can also disconnect and reconnect them to make sure they are secure.

Sometimes, the wires can appear to be damaged or frayed when there is a short, and sometimes, it can be hard to tell the difference in the way they look. 

You will need to test the wires to see if the electricity is traveling through them or if the current is stopping anywhere. Rain, loose dirt, and corrosion can lead to shorts. 

You may need to replace or repair the wires so the vehicle batteries can be fully charged and will work properly. Sometimes, a short can occur in the charger as well, which can also prevent the car from being fully charged.


These are just some of the things that can go wrong with your little one’s Power Wheels. 

While broken or malfunctioning switches are usually the reason for most problems, there could be other causes as well. 

It’s best to test all the working parts of the toy when possible to make sure all the motors, switches, wires, and moving parts are working as they should be. Replacing a few parts or making sure all the wires are connected could resolve the problem fairly easily.

If your child’s Power Wheels stops working and won’t move forward, with the help given above, you may be able to troubleshoot it and make the necessary repairs on your own, which is a lot more cost-effective option.