Power Wheels tend to come with plastic wheels that lose traction over time, and adding a layer of rubber adds traction to Power Wheels toy cars.
Plastic wheels are not that durable, and they tend to spin on grass, mud, or even snow. It can be pretty irritating when a child cannot move forward or back because the wheels lack enough grip to keep a toy vehicle moving.
There are a few things that you can attempt to repair plastic wheels and add traction. These DIY solutions will cost as little as $30 for the whole process, and the tires will last for a while.
The duration that the wheels will last depends on how much your little one uses their toy vehicle. This doesn’t only work on ride-on cars, but you can even add traction to other toys like Big Wheels Tires.
4×4 Power Wheels with Rubber Tires
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Power Wheels Tire Grip Hacks
There are several tire hacks that you can try to do to fix various Power Wheels tire issues before adding a coat of rubber to increase traction and grip. Most of the hacks are affordable and easy to do since they do not require any expertise to fix.
All you need to do is follow the application instructions for the rubber coat, glue, and duct tape. The tricks on this list are tried and proven by many parents who try to fix Power Wheels tires on a tight budget.
Each hack includes a step-to-step guide on how to do it properly.
Some people also choose to lift the Power Wheels, so there is more room for the tires to spin. This may be needed if there is not much room in the wheel well area to add traction.
Preparing the Tires
The first step for preparing the tires is to sand them down and create an adhesive surface. Use fine sandpaper to add some roughness to the plastic tires before you wash them.
After that, you need to clean every nook and cranny to remove dirt or soil particles.
You can choose to remove the wheels from the ride-on car or wash the wheels when the vehicle is upside down. Use a large basin to clean the wheels using some dish soap and water.
Dish soap will help you remove any grime that may be stuck to the plastic. Use a toothbrush to reach the small grooves in the tires and ensure that they are squeaky clean.
Once the tires are clean, you need to let the Power Wheels vehicle sit and dry on a clean surface. Use rubbing alcohol to remove any remaining oil or grime that may be left on the tires after washing them.
Your tires are ready for repairs before you apply a final rubber coating to give the tires traction. Prepare a work area covered with newspapers to cover any spill that can happen during your DIY project.
Why Should You Fix Cracks Before the Rubber Coat?
Applying a rubber coat to wheels with issues will interfere with the rubber coating duration. Therefore, you will need to tend to any problems that the plastic tires may have before you can add traction to power wheels.
It will take a short while to fix the issues, and you will get your reward when the coating for traction lasts for months.
At times you may not want to alter the tires by adding more rubber if there is not enough room to do so. If this is the case, we recommend you just replace the Power Wheels tire.
How to Fix Cracked Power Wheels Tires
Here are a few simple DIY methods for fixing cracked Power Wheels and get them to last a few more months before you buy replacements. The two popular ways for improving cracked tires are mainly duct tape [Amazon Link] and a fiberglass kit [Amazon Link].
Both options are worth giving a try when you are looking to add traction with your little one’s Power Wheels.
You can apply some extra strong glue to the tires and dry them before you can wrap duct tape around the tires. Wrap one or two layers on the tires and let the duct tape sit for a while before applying some rubber seal on them.
Don’t use too much duct tape on the tires because it will give the tires an odd shape that won’t make them steady.
A fiberglass kit is simpler to use to fix cracked tires because it comes with instructions on what to do. Follow the instructions, and the fiberglass will fill in the cracks in the plastic tires on Power Wheels.
Leave the fiberglass to settle before you decide you apply a rubber sealant onto the tires.
Rubber Coating on Power Wheels
Rubber coating Power Wheels is the best way to add traction to the tires without punching a hole in your bank account. The best rubber coating products are the original Flex Seal Spray [Amazon Link] and Flex Seal Liquid [Amazon Link].
Both products are designed to adhere to plastic surfaces, and they provide all the qualities that rubber can to Power Wheels. The way you apply the liquid coat is different from using the seal spray on a toy vehicle’s tires.
Flex Seal Spray
- Start by covering the wheel, rims, and axle using masking paper and masking tape. It will prevent any excess rubber spray from sticking onto other parts of the vehicle.
- Lay the vehicle upside down on the table and spray the seal onto the wheels’ exposed parts. Leave the wheels for 8hrs undisturbed so that the seal can dry.
- In case you remove the tires from the toy, apply one-half of each tire, and let them sit until the coat is dry.
- Apply the other half of the tires and let them dry.
- Repeat the process for a second coat. You can apply for a third one if you like.
- When the tires are completely dry, you can scrap any excess rubber or bumps with a knife.
Flex Seal Liquid
- Start with several clean brushes near you because each coat will require a new brush. The brushes should be small in size to reach in between the grooves on the wheels.
- Turn the vehicle upside down or remove the wheels and cover the wheel, rims, and axle. Apply the top half that is exposed with a coat of the Flex Seal Liquid.
- Wait for at least 8hrs until the first coat dries, then apply the seal to the remaining half. Wait for the plastic tires to dry before starting on the second or third coat.
- Once the tires are dry, remove any excess rubber with a scraping knife.
Flex Seal Liquid is messier than the Flex Seal Spray when it comes to the application process. You will need to prepare a covered work surface to ensure that you catch any spills when applying the coating.
Overall, the brand provides fantastic rubber seals that will add traction to Power Wheels ride-on cars for wheels.
Traction Bands for Power Wheels
Traction bands [Amazon Link] for Power Wheels are an option for parents to add traction to Power Wheels without buying new wheels. Most bands are specific to various models of Power Wheels.
You can select the model that your child uses and purchase the bands. They won’t make the plastic wheels turn into rubber wheels, but they will pass traction to any Power Wheels.
It is easier to add traction bands to Power Wheels once you purchase them.
Power Wheels Only One Wheel Spinning?
We have a fix if you just have One Wheel Spinning.
DIY Power Wheels Traction Hack
If you don’t want to rubberize the plastic or purchase traction bands, there are two other ways you can increase traction on the wheels, and here are the best two tricks in order:
- Use an old bicycle tire, cut it open with decent scissors, and then the sides of the tire that don’t have traction. Next, use 3/4 wood screws and use a drill to secure the start of the old bike tire into the center of the tread on the wheel.
Then wrap tight around the wheel and put more screws in at the endpoint. Make sure to wrap tight, and when complete, use the scissors again to cut any tire that is overlapping.
Prioritize doing this on the wheels that have the motors if you don’t have enough tubing.
- Another alternative is to add rubber bands on the tires. You can do this by purchasing large rubber bands or simply tie some together and then stretching them over the wheel.
You don’t need to cover the entire wheel but get a decent amount and make sure the center of the tire is covered, as this will help it grip the terrain. This won’t provide as much traction as the previous hack, but you will definitely notice an increase in traction.
If it’s not enough traction for you, try adding more rubber bands and spread them not just in the center but also closer to the sides.
Adding traction to a ride-on can increase the speed that your child’s toy goes at and raise a vehicle’s stability. Repairing tires before adding traction to Power Wheels increases the odds of maintaining the traction for longer.
You can do the repairs and add traction to Power Wheels tires as a DIY project at home on the weekend.
Parents recommend using Flex Seal Spray or Flex Seal Liquid to provide a rubber layer over the plastic tires of power wheels. Flex Seal is a reputable company that provides authentic products that users can appreciate the quality.
Another alternative is to use traction bands on Power Wheels as a way to increase traction. The best part is that the tire hacks will save you from spending a fortune on Power Wheels rubber tires to get high traction.
You can enjoy the best of both worlds while paying a reasonable amount. Now the vehicle will really grip the road and have a lot less chance of tipping over.
After the traction is upgraded you can take your vehicles more off-road but it’s important to also keep your child safe.
If they plan to ride on slopes or bumpy terrain, I would also recommend doing a seat belt upgrade, possibly a 4 piece harness, so they stay in the ride-on at all times and don’t fall out. If it’s really going fast, I would also add on a brake pedal so they can stop quicker.
Please be careful and use at your own risk
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