You can put a bigger battery in a Power Wheels as a DIY project. Parents can upgrade the existing battery by 6V, then the toy vehicle will have faster speed, longer runtime, and all around better performance. It would be best if you had a new battery, adapters, connection wires, and plugs to install the bigger battery. (See Diagram Below)
Power Wheels are the best toy cars for kids, and they keep them busy for a few hours a day. However, children start to want more speed or battery life on their Power Wheels to enjoy more time driving around the yard. What can a parent do to meet the demands of their children?
This article will guide you on converting from a smaller battery to a bigger one. You will be able to impress your little one by making the toy car go faster and last longer. Overall, you will save a decent amount that you would have paid a handyman for the conversion.
Table of Contents
What You Need To Do A Bigger Battery Conversion
Collecting your tools and supplies before you start the conversion is an excellent way to ensure that the new battery’s installation goes smoothly. You can opt to buy the tools and supplies from your local hardware store or online, whichever is convenient for you. Here is a list of things to buy to upgrade power wheels with a bigger battery.
You will need to change the fuses and connectors when putting a bigger battery on power wheels because the new voltage can fry the old ones. After collecting everything, you need to prepare a work area to lay everything in the open for easy access. Don’t forget to charge the new battery before the installation.
Installation of a Bigger Battery in Power Wheels
Always start any work under the hood of power wheels by turning off the vehicle to avoid getting shocked. Work in a clean area so you don’t mix up the old parts from the Power Wheels with the replacement parts. Start by removing the old battery in preparation for adding another one.
Step 1: Create a Battery Series (Diagram)
Putting a bigger battery on power wheels may include buying a 6V battery and adding the battery to the toy car’s existing one. It would help if you created a series to flow from both batteries to power the toy vehicle and provide higher speeds. Connect the negative terminal of one battery to the other one’s positive terminal to create an electricity flow.
Once you connect the batteries, the free terminals will connect to the Power Wheels system. Don’t forget to add a fuse on the positive terminal between the batteries or the terminal connecting to the vehicle system. Keep the female adaptor when removing the old wiring and adaptors in preparation for the bigger battery.
Step 2: Create More Space under the Hood
Power Wheels ensure enough space under the hood to fit one battery and prevent the battery from bouncing around when the toy is on the move. After making a series with your batteries, take the dimensions and expand the space under the hood. A small electric saw will cut through the plastic. Be careful not to cut a big cut-out when you are in a hurry.
Add an inch to the dimensions so that the battery fits well without scraping the sides. Place the bigger battery under the hood and ensure that it doesn’t wobble. Also, close the hood to ensure you have the right depth. The hood should close without any difficulty.
Step 3: Connect the New Battery
Power Wheels makes it so easy to connect replacement batteries by color-coding the wires under the hood. Use the same logic to attach the new battery to your Power Wheels. Connect red terminals to red wires and black terminals to black wires.
Use the wire strippers to remove the insulation and allow you to crimp two exposed wires. Cover any exposed wires with electrical tape for insulation and protection purposes.
Step 4: Clean Up and Cover the Hood
Clean up under the hood to remove any insulation or wires lying around after connecting the new battery. Try to secure the long wires with small zip ties to keep them from moving around when the car is in use.
After the clean-up, lock the hood tight to deny your little ones access under the hood. You can consider a secure locking system to keep the hood safe.
Step 5: Testing
You should test the vehicle to see whether it runs as it should. Start by turning on the car to see whether the connection to the new battery is good. Push the accelerator and feel whether the power flows through to the engine. It would be best to observe your child as they use it to see whether it is safe.
Have your child drive at the highest speed to see how long the battery will last. Ensure that your child knows how to navigate the vehicle well before allowing them to go at high speed.
How Long Does An Installation Take?
Usually, it should take about 15 minutes to create an electrical series with the batteries and attach them to the Power Wheels system. Parents who do DIY on toy vehicles may be able to complete the upgrade in a shorter duration. If you are new to doing DIY projects on Power Wheels, you may take longer than 15 minutes.
The Best Battery for Power Wheels
Ideally, you should buy one of the replacement batteries that Power Wheels sells to toy car owners. The batteries are color-coded, and you need to ensure that the battery you select has the same color as the existing one. Alternatively, you can buy a battery at your local store for the battery upgrade. Ensure that the batteries’ amp matches too so that they have the same power output whenever the car is moving.
It is possible to use a lawnmower battery to put a bigger battery in Power Wheels. However, they will last for about six months before you need to replace the battery with a new one. Power Wheels are built for recharging many times without getting any damage internally or externally. Lawnmower batteries, on the other hand, do not handle regular recharging well.
What to Expect After the Upgrade
You will notice a difference immediately after you upgrade the battery to a higher voltage, and your kids will love it too. Most of the results are positive, but there is one downside to having a bigger battery.
Longer Battery Life
A bigger battery will give your child more time to play outdoors daily and give you more time to unwind. The battery life increase will depend on the additional battery and the speed that your child is using. Some parents boost the battery life and double the time a child can drive the vehicle after recharge.
Parents who have a yard with slopes may notice that their Power Wheels will have enough juice to go up slopes fast. Smaller Power Wheels have a hard time climbing hilly terrain, and that problem goes away once you put a bigger battery in Power Wheels.
Kids can race up and down the slope without worrying that the toy vehicle will stop midway uphill. Additionally, the vehicle will still run for a longer duration even when your child uses the highest speed.
Power Wheels batteries tend to drain fast when kids use the highest speed limit for a prolonged period. An extra battery provides the car with extra juice to boost a child’s time to drive at the highest speed.
You will notice that your kid’s toy car is going at a higher speed which will delight your little one. Overall, you can boost your child’s wheels’ speed by up to 50% when you opt to install a bigger battery.
Longer Charging Time
It would be best if you accounted for the extra battery when recharging Power Wheels to full capacity after your child plays with the toy vehicle. The bigger battery in the Power Wheel will require you to charge the batteries for longer.
You have to check the manufacturer’s recommendations on the charging time and add it to the vehicle’s regular charging time. The long charging time is the only downside of upgrading the Power Wheels of your little one.
Do I have to do a Motor Upgrade?
One of the things that you need to consider after putting a bigger battery in Power Wheels is to upgrade the motor. A 12V motor will handle 18V power output for a few months before it stops working.
Therefore, you should consider replacing the existing engine with one that matches the new power output. If you ignore upgrading the motor and keep the current one you may end up having issues with the Power Wheels motor overheats which can be very dangerous and even cause explosions.
You can find toy car motors at your local toy store or online. Replacing a motor is simple, and you can do it in less than 30 minutes. Upgrading an engine before it fries ensures that your child doesn’t miss having fun when the motor gives out unexpectedly.
Do I Need a New Charger?
It depends on how the batteries are connected under the hood. You don’t need a battery when you join the batteries to a parallel electric circuit. Therefore, you can use a 12V battery charger after upgrading your Power Wheels into an 18V vehicle.
However, it would help if you bought a new battery charger when you connect the battery circuit in a series. The old charger won’t be able to charge the bigger battery because the voltage doesn’t match. If you don’t have the money for a new charger there are other ways to charge a ride on battery without a charger.
Where Can I Get All Supplies for the upgrade?
You can use a checklist to buy all the supplies for the upgrade at your local hardware or online stores like Amazon. Another efficient solution is to find a conversion kit to make the endeavor easier. Conversion kits and motors are available online and in toy stores where Power Wheels are sold locally.
Conversion kits are time-saving because they come with all the components you need to connect a bigger battery to Power Wheels. They are ideal for first-timers and parents who don’t have the time to shop for the essentials.
Parents should take a few safety precautions to ensure nothing wrong happens to a child after upgrading a battery. Some assumptions can lead to the batteries or toy car parts falling apart when your kid is on the toy car.
Parents must use batteries from Power Wheels when upgrading to more electric output capacity. Power Wheels offers a variety of replacement batteries that are suitable for the upgrade. Using lawn mower batteries can lead to an explosion due to overheating or battery acid leaking inside the vehicle.
Buy new wires, adaptors, and connectors when installing a bigger battery in Power Wheels. The existing wiring system can handle the electric capacity of the original battery.
Adaptors and connectors will likely get damaged once you start using the bigger battery with more power output. Therefore, using new stuff for the wiring to handle the new electric output capacity ensures that the upgrade is successful.
Finally, use the color coordination of the wiring system to install the bigger battery in Power Wheels. Match like colors together so that the toy vehicle runs well when you are done.
Mixing different color wires will lead to sparks or some explosion when you turn on the car to test it. It seems like a simple instruction to follow, but you’ll be surprised at how many parents get distracted during batteries’ installation.
You can put a bigger battery in Power Wheels when you want to improve the speed of your toy car. You can opt to add an extra battery to increase the car’s voltage or choose to buy a new battery altogether. Purchasing a smaller battery is cost-effective and still improves the power output of your Power Wheels.
The upgrade will take a few minutes for parents who tinker with Power Wheels from time to time. Even parents who are doing a DIY on Power Wheels for the first time will complete the upgrade on record time.
If you don’t have a good memory, take a picture of the original battery before disconnecting it for the new addition. Overall, a bigger battery in Power Wheels is a fast and affordable way to increase the speed of your toy car.
Kevin is the founder of RCRideOnCars. While watching my children drive around the yard on Ride On Cars with big smiles on their faces, I decided to start this Power Wheels site to help out everyone to make sure they get exactly what they are looking for.
You can see more of my RC RideOn Cars on YouTube and Pinterest, links below. Read all about us.