You can convert Power Wheels to remote control if your little one cannot drive the toy car for whatever reason. It is as simple as the steps below.
- Prepare the Vehicle
- Remove Control Parts
- Install the Large Servo
- Attach Servo
- Connect the Receiver
- Test Drive
You may choose to convert Power Wheels into a remote control toy vehicle because your child is little or has a medical condition. Power Wheels are fun for children, and you can navigate the car for your child so that they can enjoy the experience.
Not all Power Wheels have a remote control, especially models for older children. Lucky for you, it is easy to do a DIY conversion at home. The materials for the modifications are readily available but the price is a bit high.
Table of Contents
What You Need To Add A Remote to a Power Wheels
Converting a manual Power Wheels requires some supplies you can find online or at your local hardware for the installation. Here is a list of inputs you need to convert Power Wheels to remote control toys.
- Extension wires
- Large Servo
- FLYSKY receiver and transmitter
You will need tools for the installation, and they include:
- Hand saw
- Electric tape
It would help if you collected all the hardware and software for the conversion beforehand to make it a smooth process. It would be best to buy several wires because you won’t know how many you will need until you start doing the conversion.
Prepare the Vehicle
You can clean the vehicle before the conversion to find dirt under the hood when doing the conversion. It would be best if you familiarize yourself with your Power Wheels’ workings so that you know where to install which parts. The installation will take place at the dashboard and the battery area.
Remove car parts that will prevent you from accessing critical areas. Start with the car seats, the grill, and the windshield. The deconstructed vehicle will make maneuvering around the car during the conversion straightforward.
Remove Control Parts
You need to cut the plastic part of the steering wheel with a handsaw. Leave the center part of the steering wheel. Remove any open wires so that kids don’t touch them after the conversion when riding on it.
Flip the vehicle to gain access to the pedal tabs. Press all four tabs to remove the gas pedal from the toy vehicle.
Clear any attachment wires around the pedal area and saw off any excess plastic around it. It would be best if you left nothing in the pedal area, and there should be plastic parts protruding when you are through.
Gutting all the electrical parts of the vehicle ensures that a child cannot drive the toy manually. It also ensures that there is no electricity flowing to the unwanted parts. Be careful not to leave any wires hanging when stripping the vehicle.
Install the Large Servo
Open the hood of the toy vehicle and disconnect the battery from the toy vehicle. Use a screwdriver to disconnect any wires attached to the battery.
Remove any wires and connectors leading to the shifter. Cut the wires from the battery adapter because you will be using new cables to attach the steering servo in place.
You should move the vehicle around to create space in the battery area. If there is no space, use your handsaw to create some space under the hood. However, most Power Wheels have some extra space besides the battery for some additional hardware.
Start by replacing the wires to the battery adapter and connect the other ends to switches. You will attach the switch to the dashboard. You can use extension wires to attain a length that will reach the dashboard without strain.
Use connectors in between so that you don’t have any exposed wires when you are through. Connecting the switch to the dashboard will come after attaching the Servo to the battery.
Servos have plus-shaped pieces that indicate the attachment areas for the steering servo. You will need screws and a screwdriver for the attachment to the edge of the steering wheel.
Screw a small plank of wood onto the dashboard where you will attach the Servo. It should be in alignment with the switch in the dashboard for easy attachment. It will complete the circuit between the Servo and the battery.
Connect the Receiver
Receivers are primarily small, and you can use electric tape to attach the receiver to the dashboard. Most servos have ports for two channels.
You should read the user manual to find out which channel you should connect the receiver to. Attach the connector on the receiver to the appropriate channel.
Attach the battery pack to power and turn on the remote control. Pair the remote with the receiver and test it out to see whether it works as it should. You can choose to add a second light switch, which will turn off the receiver whenever you want.
If the remote doesn’t work, go over the steps to see if there is a loose connector or some wrong you missed. Ensure that the power circuit is complete, with the servos being part of the electric circuit.
Different brands of Servo have different installation instructions. Check the instructions to see whether there is something that you forgot to do. Once you get it to work, you can reconstruct the vehicle by installing the seats, windshield, and grille.
You should take the vehicle for a test drive around the compound to see how well the remote control works. You can do a test drive before you reinstall the parts you removed from the vehicle initially.
Also, do a test drive with a child in the ride on to see whether it still performs with the extra weight. Most Power Wheels should work seamlessly after the conversion with kids in the vehicle.
What You Need to Know Before Adding a Remote Control
There are a few things that you need to know before attempting the conversion. Some facts will save you time, while others will make your conversion convenient. Overall, we seek to ensure you complete the transformation with the least number of complications.
Match the Voltage
You need to ensure the accessories you buy can withstand the voltage output of your vehicle. Therefore, you need a 6V receiver for a 6V toy car, a 12V receiver for a 12V toy car, and so on. A mismatch in the voltage can cause the remote control not to work or burnout in your electrical system.
Ideally, you need to upgrade the motor and battery of a car when you buy accessories of a higher voltage. It will cost you more than you initially budgeted for the conversion. It is better to buy accessories that match your Power Wheels.
The assumption is that you own a Power Wheels that you want to convert to remote control cars. You can opt for a second-hand one because you intend to modify it if you don’t.
There are many parents selling Power Wheels at a throwaway price because their children have outgrown them. Therefore, don’t pressure to buy new Power Wheels if you don’t have cash.
Most parts are not expensive, but the Servo, transmitter, and receiver are a bit pricey. You should have a budget of $500-$600 for the conversion set aside. You cannot save on the steering servo, but you can find affordable brands for all the other brands.
Alternatively, find a conversion kit that includes a steering servo, receiver, and transmitter. You will most likely have to buy the extension wires from a local store or online. You need the wires because Power Wheels models are different, and you can’t predict how much you need in advance.
What Are the Benefits of Remote Control On Power Wheels?
It is an excellent solution for children who are not able to drive a toy car. Parents with toddlers can convert Power Wheels to remote control for the safety of the child.
Children with medical conditions that affect their motor skills shouldn’t be left out of the fun. Converting Power Wheels to remote control is an efficient way of allowing the kids experience the joys of riding a toy car.
It reduces the number of crashes the vehicle will have because the controls are in an adult’s hands. Some kids love the thrill of going fast, which may result in several collisions. Taking out the manual part ensures that your child enjoys riding on the toy safely.
How Long Will the Conversion Take?
Parents have different speeds when doing DIY projects, so you should take all the time you need. However, you may have a tight schedule and want to know what time to set aside for the conversion. It should take about 1-2 hours to do the conversion if you have a good idea of the Power Wheels electric system.
Now that you know how to convert Power Wheels to remote control, you can modify the vehicle to meet your little one’s needs. Every child should experience the fun of taking a few turns on Power Wheels every day.
The remote control option keeps your child safe, and you don’t have to worry when they are in the toy car. The remote can even go far distances to cover a large yard.
You may need to borrow or rent a few tools, but it will all be worth it when you see your child having fun safely. Find a controller that uses a rechargeable lithium battery so that you don’t have to keep buying batteries. Once the remote is set with batteries you just need to pair the remote to the Power Wheels and you are all set.
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.