Power Wheels Problems & Solutions

Contrary to popular belief, Power Wheels vehicles have been around for a significant period of time. The first models were introduced to the market in 1984, but it was only in the 1990s that the ride-on vehicle truly broke new ground and became a sought-after child’s toy car. 

Fast-forward to the present, and parents continue to be persuaded by their young ones to purchase Power Wheels.

So, what makes Power Wheels ride-on toys so popular? Well, they boast realistic features and look very similar to the adult vehicles theyʼre supposed to mimic, giving kids the chance to drive their favorite vehicles safely on any riding surface. 

Plus, they are a lot of fun. The fact that they come with additional features such as hoods, doors, power-lock brakes, and a reverse and forward switch, also adds to the charm of Power Wheels cars.

Unfortunately, like all products on the market, Power Wheels arenʼt indestructible. They are susceptible to breaking down and facing mechanical problems.

In todayʼs text, weʼll look at some common Power Wheels vehicle problems and attempt to find solutions.

First things first, in order to fix a problem, you need to identify it. Thankfully, there are a few troubleshooting methods you can use to diagnose the problems first and then set things right through repair work. 

Letʼs take a look at some solutions.


Is the Power Supply Not Reaching Where It Should?

Power Wheel cars commonly face this specific issue where the power supply doesnʼt reach where itʼs required. To fix this issue, you need a voltmeter to test the voltage. 

Then, you need to find out if the power is discharged to the pedal and the forward and reverse switches. You need to also bear in mind that the power must be transferred to the motors. 

With a voltmeter, youʼll be able to diagnose exactly where the power goes missing and then solve it. You don’t need an expensive meter to get the job done. 

During this process, itʼs also advisable to test the throttle switch using a multimeter. To do that safely, ensure you disconnect the paddle switch first and then only test the connection with a paper clip. 

If the motor starts as soon as you jump the connection, you can be assured that the issue lies with the pedal switch. If the jump doesnʼt happen, it could be because of one of three reasons: an electrical issue, a faulty motor, or a stuck foot pedal.

Are the Forward and Reverse Switches Not Working Desirably?

Itʼs also fairly common for a Power Wheel automobile to face issues with its forward and reverse foot-pedal switch. When that happens, the ride may not either move forward or backward. In extreme cases, it may fail to move at all.

When such an issue arises, you must first inspect the wires that connect the forward and reverse switches to the motors. You will have to replace the motors if you find that theyʼve lost their wires.  

If your Power Wheel ride-on automobile has a shifter assembly or dashboard switches and fails to move forward and backward, there could be problems with one of the switches. You need to replace the faulty parts with the right replacement parts immediately.

Is the Hi-Speed Forward Function Not Working Properly?

These days, most Power Wheel ride-on cars come equipped with a Hi-Speed lockout in a bid to keep the ride safe. The lockout feature prevents little ones from speeding.

If your Power Wheel automobile possesses a shifter assembly and you want access to the speedy feature, you should get rid of the pin or screw found at the lower section of the shifter handle. For those with dashboard shifting switches, plug in the disconnected white connection found under the dash. 

Is There Something Wrong With the Power Wheels Battery?

Your Power Wheel ride-on automobile may also struggle with performance if you need a new battery. More often than not, the batteries on Power Wheel rides should generate a voltage of around 6/12. 

If the fully charged Power Wheels battery doesnʼt generate the right voltage, the performance and safety of the automobile will be compromised. Of course, it goes without saying that you should get a new battery and the right battery, not a counterfeit one. 

Additionally, the battery charger should also cut off the power when it has to. If the battery charger doesnʼt work optimally, your Power Wheels battery could face heavy damages.  

Use a voltage meter to test the batteries and see if your charger plugs charge the battery properly. Also, check the battery terminals and find out if everything looks as good as it should. 

How to Check the Controller?

Fortunately, the task of checking the controller is pretty easy. However, before we get to that, you must first ensure that the batteries and switches are in impeccable condition. 

You also need to ensure the battery is the correct voltage.

When you check the controller and come across a clicking sound, there is a high chance that the motherboard of the controller isnʼt functioning optimally and you need to replace it. However, if thereʼs a grinding sound instead, it is likely that there are issues with the gears. 

This issue typically arises when you install an upgraded Power Wheels battery on an old, ground-down gearbox. To fix this issue, replace the gearbox too and ensure it’s properly installed!

Are Your Power Wheels Suffering in the Rain?

Unfortunately, Power Wheels cars arenʼt waterproof. As a result, when exposed to water, they donʼt drain properly. 

Without proper drainage, the water can seep in and damage the crucial parts and copper wire of the ride. To prevent such damage, you should drill drain holes in strategic places (pedal switch gear, Power Wheels battery compartment) in the vehicle. 

After you drill drainage holes, check to see if they fulfill their roles properly.

Maintaining Your Power Wheels Ride-On

You know the saying, it is always better to be safe than sorry, well, taking care of your electric ride is a must if you donʼt want issues to arise. Here are some things you can do to ensure your vehicle stays in pristine condition:

  • It is of paramount importance for you to follow the assembly instructions to the letter. Do not go about assembling the Power Wheels car without proper knowledge; otherwise, you could have a huge problem on your hands.
  • Donʼt let the batteries of the Power Wheels car run out completely. It is best to fully charge the Power Wheels battery after each use. 

If you find that the vehicle is operating at a low speed even when on a flat surface, you must recharge the battery pronto! When taken care of properly, the batteries should last for a good three years. 

If you wish to extend your Power Wheels battery life, don’t drive it during unfavorable driving conditions. And don’t use it on tall grass. 

  • It is also crucial that you keep your charger in mint condition. If you find that the charger isnʼt charging the batteries properly, get it replaced immediately.
  • Ensure that the Power Wheel ride is kept safe in a protective environment, especially when it isnʼt being used frequently. Special care must also be given to the vehicle during winter and the rainy seasons.  
  • Clean the vehicle as frequently as you can with a soft and dry cloth. If you want to buff the vehicle, use a non-wax furniture polish instead of automotive wax.

Also, donʼt make the grave mistake of power spraying your vehicle and using strong detergents and soaps to clean it.

  • Inspect the vehicle before your child gets on it, every time. For your child’s safety, during inspection, ensure the bolts, nuts, and screws are tightened properly.
  • If you feel that the vehicle is beyond repair, seek help from an authorized service center. An expert will always be better than you at diagnosing problems and doing repair work. 


I hope that you are now well versed in the art of maintaining, troubleshooting, and repairing common problems with your Power Wheels car. Follow the guidelines mentioned in this article if you wish to prolong the life of your childʼs Power Wheels car.

Let me quickly summarize what you need to do if your Power Wheels car won’t go. If this happens, you need to double-check the battery, thermal fuse, motor, connectors, battery charger, wiring, gearbox, and the switchgear placed under the gas pedal. 

Once youʼve confirmed that everything from the fuse and the battery to the gearbox is operating as normal, proceed to the wires under the footboard assemblies and the battery side and check to see if the connectors have corroded. If they have, replace them with proper wiring, and clean the area thoroughly. 

The Power Wheels car should start once you’ve completed the steps above. If it still fails to move, even when the battery is fully charged, consider the repair solutions mentioned above.

Also, keep in mind that a Power Wheels car will not go as steadily as it should when placed under heavy stress. In other words, if your child is over the weight limit of the vehicle, it wonʼt operate smoothly.

Finally, remember that it isn’t a bad idea to seek professional help if you arenʼt confident about taking care of the repair work yourself. After all, the safety of your child should come before your ego. 

And, since we are on the topic of safety, please ensure that the vehicle has proper seat belts.