Do Bumper Cars Have Wheels? | How Do They Move and Turn?

  • By: Kevinsmak
  • Date: July 20, 2022
  • Time to read: 5 min.
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You may see bumper cars skate around on the metal floor and wonder, hmm do they have wheels? Well, let’s get the answer for you and talk more about the traditional bumper car setup to answer all of your questions.

Bumper cars do have wheels. Bumper car manufacturers equip the vehicle with 3 wheels (and on rare occasions 4 wheels). The front-wheel connects to the motor and this is how the bumper cars are pushed forward. The back wheels are made of different materials depending on how they want the bumper cars to run and feel (hard bumps or smooth sliding.)

Do Bumper Cars Have Wheels?

Bumper cars do have wheels but you probably can’t see them and they are not the large ones like on an actual car. These are made of different materials depending on the position of the tires.

Almost all bumper cars have 3 tires and it’s amazing how the bumper cars work when using the steering wheel but we will get to that soon enough.

I have also heard of bumper cars with 4 wheels though they are very rare as the 3-wheel design works very well and allows so much more control with the steering wheels. Most of these types of bumper cars will be electrical and have their own battery source.

These are not used often as they don’t last long and have to be charged for long periods of time. The batteries tend to wear out quickly if they are constantly used all the time.

Bumper car front wheel

The front wheel is a single wheel that is directly connected to the motor. The electricity that is sent from the ceiling and floor goes up into the metal wires that connect to the main wheel.

These wheels are either inflated for a soft nice ride or hard if they want the bumper car ride to really hit. The motor even has a resistor in it just in case the motor would stall and a clutch as a backup.

Bumper car rear wheel

The rear wheels are made of different materials which may include nylon, rubber, or steel. Again the material is all dependent on how you want the car to react.

Rubber will keep the bumper car ride nice and quiet. Nylon and steel will help allow the bumper cars to slide, especially when hit from the side.

How bumper car steering wheel works

Time for the really cool part. The bumper car drivers use a steering wheel to move and can turn the wheel say halfway to the left to move left.

Of course, you say, that’s normal but what if I turn the steering wheel to the left a second time? If there is no pin added into the turning ratio it will stop you from doing this but if not it will turn the front wheel under the car completely around.

This means you can now run the bumper cars in reverse! Bumper car riders can quickly stop going forward and start going in reverse with this amazing trick.

A lot of people don’t know about this but know you do and this can arm you with some nice tricks so you can avoid two bumper cars at once or quickly turn around and collide with another bumper car.

What Are Bumper Cars Made out Of?

Nowadays a bumper car has to be light and be able to take bumps when hit. That’s why when bumper cars were built they decided to make the car body out of fiberglass.

This also helps to make sure you don’t get shocked by a bumper car. Most bumper cars run on power generated by the floor and ceiling grid which will complete the circuit so making them out of fiberglass is a smart idea.

The car bumper around the car is made of rubber. This helps when bumper cars collide in the bumper car arena.

It’s worth mentioning that they use to call bumper cars dashing cars or dodgem cars as they were not meant to be bumping cars. They were meant to avoid this and that is why a lot of these places may put something in the middle of the bumper car arena or have them all go in one direction.

They also have bumper cars that are battery-powered usually running 12 volt or 24 volt batteries. These are rarer as they have to be charged after every 1-2 hours of use but you can find these on cruise ships where space is much more limited.

Are Bumper Cars Safe?

For the most part, bumper cars are safe. Make sure to observe that the bumper cars are all in good shape and check to see if anything is sparking from the charged ceiling as this can be a red flag before entering the ride.

Observe to see if all the bumper cars stop before people get out of the vehicles.

There have been some amusement parks that have had issues with bumper cars but with today’s bumper cars you will now find seat belts to help with the bounce when the rubber linings of the car hit other bumper cars. It’s highly unlikely for you to have any serious accidents with these but you should still always be safe and take in your environment.

If for some reason you have issues with being bumped around then you should avoid these and roller coasters. Of course, always check with your doctor before riding, we have heard of broken bones mainly in the wrist area, and other medical issues from the jolt of the impact of a collision.

The average speed of these cars is not fast anymore as amusement parks have slowed them down to help avoid accidents.

You also need the ride’s ceiling and wire grid floor to continue to move forward so if you would somehow escape the area it will run out of power instantly and turn off coming to a stop. Ever wonder if bumper cars have brakes?

Final Thoughts

Now you know all about the wheels of a bumper car. This is a staple ride at an amusement park even though you see them less these days.

You can enjoy a quick thrill as the cars bounce off of each other giving you a bit of adrenalin which makes the ride so much fun. There is so much more to these than we have covered in this article, feel free to read more about them in how bumper cars work.


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