The life expectancy of the typical ride-on battery depends on a few factors. These include, but are not limited to, charging times, frequency of use, and overall maintenance when the vehicle is not in use.
A cell can last for about three years if properly maintained. Most of the time, though, you’ll be lucky to get past the two-year threshold.
Most parents aren’t keen on the basics of maintaining the battery. But if you want to avoid regular trips to the store, make sure that you’re aware of them.
How Long Does a Power Wheels Battery Last in a 6V Toy Car?
If you’ve just come out of Fisher-Price with a new ride-on, make sure to charge the battery before spinning it around. For a 6V toy, this should be for about 10 hours.
From then on, the recommended charging time is less than that; charge the battery for about six hours.
Depending on the model, the toy car is sure to run for 30-45 minutes of intense use. For standard use, the kid can ride it for about an hour.
How Long Does a Power Wheels Battery Last in a 12V Toy Car?
If it’s your first time using the ride-on, make sure to plug it in for about 18 hours before use. After normal playtime, leave it on the charger for 12 hours.
Depending on the model, the car can run for at least an hour of intense use. Under normal conditions, it lasts for a standard period of about two hours.
How Long Does a Power Wheels Battery Last in a 24V Toy Car?
For a new ride-on, leave the battery on the charger for 18 hours as with the 12V toy car. After normal playtime, plug it into the charger for the same period of 18 hours.
Depending on the model, the batteries will hold power for the same one–two hours as the 12V toy. These cars, however, can easily handle more intense activities.
One thing to note here is that a toy with two 12V batteries lasts longer than one with a single 24V cell. This is because the larger batteries consume more power.
Maintaining Your Battery
You always grasp more by learning what not to do, and the same principle applies here. To ensure proper use of your battery, there are some habits you need to stop before implementing new ones.
- overcharging the battery (the most notorious habit);
- storing a dead battery;
- storing the battery in inappropriate temperatures;
- not securing it to the ride-on; and
- letting the battery sit when not in use.
A rule of thumb is to not charge your battery over 24 hours. Though it depends on the type of vehicle (more on that below), the average charging time of Power Wheels toys is about 14 hours, regardless of the period of use.
This means if your child uses the car for 40 minutes, you should recharge the cell for 14 hours. Any more than that, and it goes through irreversible internal damage that can cause it to swell or even crack open.
2. Storing a Dead Battery
This is the opposite of the previous point—not charging your battery. After the child uses the car, don’t store the battery as is i.e., in a state of discharge.
Always plug it into the battery charger after playtime. If you don’t, the rate of discharge you’ve imposed on the battery, coupled with its natural rate of discharge, will accelerate its deterioration leaving you with a bad battery in a matter of weeks.
3. Storing the Battery in Inappropriate Temperatures
Don’t store your battery in an environment that’s over 75° F or below -10° F because doing so tampers with the battery’s durability.
4. Not Securing the Battery
If you’re a handy individual, you’ve probably tried to modify your Power Wheels. And if you’re concerned with things being cost-effective, you might have also done the same to reduce the cost of buying new Power Wheels accessories.
When doing so, the number one rule is to always remove the battery before fiddling around with the wires in your Power Wheels. After the upgrade, always make sure to secure it in place.
Not doing so can cause it to fly out of the toy while in use. Not only can this harm your child, but the heavy fall might also damage the battery.
5. Letting the Battery Sit
Don’t let your battery sit for long if inactive. If your child hasn’t used the ride-on for a month, for example, plug it into the charger anyway to prevent sulfation (accumulation of lead sulfate crystals). Do this every month if possible.
For proper maintenance of your battery, do the following things:
- Plug it into the charger at the appropriate times and for the recommended period.
- Disconnect it after charging as Power Wheels battery chargers are not automatic i.e., they don’t stop charging even when the battery is full.
- Store it in the right environment.
How Long Should You Charge Your Power Wheels?
The charging time depends on the toy car. There are three types of Power Wheels – 6V toys, 12V toys, and 24V toys.
The toys with the lowest voltage are for kids two years old or younger. These are tailored for indoor use.
The toys with the highest voltage are for grown-up kids with good motor skills – kids between the ages of six to eight years old.
You shouldn’t charge a 6V vehicle at the recommended period for a 24V toy and vice versa because you risk ruining the cell.
In essence, the secret to having a long-lasting battery is proper maintenance.
It can be inconvenient to sit around waiting for a battery to charge, so you can reduce the wait time by buying another cell to use when the other one is plugged into the charger.
This will ensure your kids’ playtime on the ride-on will not be disrupted for long periods of time.
These recommended practices are easy to follow and are sure to lead to a more durable, long-lasting battery for your Power Wheels.