Power Wheels Brake by sending a short circuit to the motor by inserting a resistor when the accelerator pedal is released, coasting will happen till the brakes lock into place. Power Wheels do not come with a brake pedal and this is how they stop. Parental remotes may have a “kill switch” which does the same thing.
What is the one thing that every parent wants to know about their child’s favorite toy? How do Power Wheels brake? Well, it’s a good question. One of the most important aspects of learning how to drive a vehicle is knowing how to stop it.
There are many different ways you can stop your power wheels (depending on what type you have), but there are two main categories: mechanical and electronic brakes.
Mechanical brakes use friction between metal parts in order to slow down your vehicle while an electronic braking system uses electronics like resistors or capacitors and even inductor coils in order to slow down your vehicle
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How To Stop A Power Wheels
Power Wheels are designed more for flat surfaces so they don’t have a brake pedal. Simply letting off of the accelerator pedal is enough to slow it down. Unless you purchase Power Wheels for teenagers that go really fast this will be how you stop your Power Wheels.
Parental remotes also come with what they call a kill switch to stop the ride-on vehicle, oftentimes these are the same as letting off of the accelerator pedal which cuts power to the motors telling it to stop.
How Do Power Wheels Brakes Work
Since Power Wheels don’t have an actual brake pedal they use a different way of stopping. Power Wheels are designed to create a short circuit with the wheel motor(s) by inserting a resistor when you release the accelerator pedal.
This tells the motor(s) to stop which is great for younger kids so they don’t crash.
There is a chance the vehicle will still coast a bit but then the brakes will lock it in place, which is also why Power Wheels are so hard to move for adults (the brakes are still on). It would be good to have a brake pedal so kids can learn how to use it.
Different Kind of Brake Systems
There are two different types of brake systems. One is electrical and the other is mechanical.
The electrical system works by sending a signal from your foot brake pedal to an electric circuit that opens and closes switches in sequence, which then activates brakes on either one or both of its motors. This is how Power Wheels work.
There is also a mechanical braking system that works by turning a brake drum with either cables or strings.
This system is good for older kids who are already learning how to drive because it gives them more control over the vehicle and offers better-stopping power, but doesn’t work so well on Power Wheels as it’s more used in actual cars and trucks.
Variable Speed Pedals
If you want to add a brake pedal to Power Wheels the best pedal to get would be a variable speed pedal as it can work as a brake pedal.
An example of a replacement pedal for a 6V or 12V you can use as a brake pedal would be Jiaruixin Accelerator Pedal Electric Pedal Foot Switch Accessory for Children Electric Ride.
An ESC or Electronic Speed Controller kit is also needed to install a break or have a variable speed pedal. This will be all the wires and connectors you need, plus the circuits will tell the variable pedal to act as variable instead of off or on.
How do I Install a Brake Pedal on Power Wheels
To install a brake pedal on Power Wheels first create a hole for the wiring with a drill. Add a stock throttle plug for your model. Connect the throttle plug to the throttle usually located under the seat then add the braking wiring. Install the pedal, secure it and use electrical tape on wires for safety.
The majority of Power Wheels do not have brakes because they go at a low speed or have a slow start and stop. However, a brake is an essential feature in toy cars, and you can do it as a DIY project and upgrade your Power Wheels.
What Do You Need?
You will need to buy a few spares and accessories for the installation. Here are the tools and parts you need to collect before the installation process.
- Stock throttle switches
- A drill
- Electrical tape
- Speed Controller Kit (circuit board, wires & connectors)
You could choose a pedal that will fit the size of your little one. Pay specific attention to the voltage of the accessories. If the voltage isn’t the same the car may act flat once the install is completed.
There are many options, and you can choose a cheap or expensive price option. You can also find the throttle switches at your local auto shop or buy them online on Amazon.
Step 1: Create a Hole for the Brake Wiring
You need to create a hole for the brake wiring to run the wires to the brake pedal areas. The brake switch is small, and it has 2-3 wires, depending on the Power Wheels model you own. You could drill through the plastic to make a hole with a drill bit.
Alternatively, use hot metal to melt a hole into the plastic. The hole should be large enough to allow a plug to pass through.
Step 2: Add a Stock Throttle Plug
Most wiring on Power Wheels is under a panel beneath the seats. Remove the seats to access the panel and open it. Find the throttle and check out the wires.
Your switch will have three colors for the wires on the throttle. The colors vary from one model to the next, so it would be best to buy throttle switch connectors for your model.
Add the throttle plug between the battery and the throttle switch. Each plug comes with two battery slots, one at the top and another at the bottom.
The middle slot is for the output. Your brake pedal switch will have three slots, two of which will be connected to the throttle plug.
Step 3: Connect the Throttle Plug to the Throttle
You need to connect one of the battery plugs to the throttle to ensure a steady supply of power. You will have wires that you disconnected from the battery switches when you were adding the throttle plug.
If the plugs have matching colors with the plug, red or white, connect the colored wire to the corresponding plug.
Step 4: Add the Brake Wiring (ESC)
Install the brake at the pedal location and proceed to add the brake into the circuit. You need to connect one wire to the battery slot in the throttle plug and the other one to the output slot on the throttle.
The battery provides power to the brake, and the other wire is the communication medium between the brake and the throttle.
You can choose to connect the third wires of the battery switch to the on/off switch or the throttle plug. Overall, the throttle will have two-wire connections, while the brake has three wire connections.
Step 5: Install the Pedal
You need to connect the pedal to the wiring and keep it in place with screws. Mount the pedal over the switch and press it to see whether the pedal presses the switch.
Once mounted there shouldn’t be any space between so that the brake activates when a child steps on the pedal. Drill some holes to add screws and bolts to keep the pedal from falling or moving.
Step 6: Tidy Up
Use the electrical tape to hold the switches in place and tidy up any wiring lying around. You do not want the wires to loosen when your child is driving on rough terrain.
Step 7: Test Drive
You can choose to test drive the car before reinstalling the seats to see if the brake works. Turn on the toy car, press the gas pedal, then press the brake pedal. If everything is right, the car should stop when you press the brake.
If it doesn’t, check your connections. Reinstall the panel and seat when you are done.
Advantages of Having a Brake Pedal Installed
- Teaches children to use a brake pedal.
- When pushing a Power Wheels vehicle, it rolls freely. This is preferable for parents who find it easier to put the car away.
- If the Power Wheels is fast it can do great power slides 90º and 180º Turns and slide around turns without losing speed.
- Power Wheels can be wired to have a brake override that works on either the accelerator pedal or when the brake pedal is depressed.
Power Wheels have their own custom way of stopping without having a brake pedal. You can modify your Power Wheels to have a brake pedal to do some cool braking tricks or simply to teach kids how to stop like a real car.
The driver can feel the rubber tires stopping when they do the installation. Most people add this to 18v Power Wheels or 24v Power Wheels that have larger batteries.