A Power Wheels Speed Controller makes the difference in a modified or stock kid’s vehicle. The ESC prevents mechanical malfunctions like issues with wires, motors, and the control board. Benefits include adding a brake pedal, variable throttle, soft start, and soft brake. These features make it feel like a real car and improve acceleration and battery run time.
How fast do you want to go? If it’s the fastest, then you need a Power Wheels Speed Controller.
Whether your child is in the car or on their bike, this controller will make sure they get there as quickly as possible.
It can be used with any battery-powered vehicle and has variable speed control so that kids of different ages can enjoy it together. You should know about these controllers before buying one for yourself or another person!
- What is an ESC – Electric Speed Controller
- Why Use a Variable Speed Controller?
- Speed Controller Install 12V to 24V
- What is the Difference Between Brushed ESC and Brushed DC Motor Drive?
Supplies Needed – Motor Upgrade
When doing this upgrade it’s good to have the motor upgraded.
What is an ESC – Electric Speed Controller
An Electric Speed Controller is a device that can be plugged into the controller of a Power Wheels toy car, and allow you to change the speed of your ride-on.
This can be really valuable for those who own cars with speeds that are not appropriate for their age group or skill level or if you want to speed the car up. Simply just turn the dial to the right for more speed and to the left to slow it down.
The ESC is really needed in Power Wheels that go fast, as they can start to burn out when going forward and that extra battery power to the wheels is wasted. The variable speed controller will adjust to use just the right amount of battery power so the car can take off efficiently.
The variable speed control allows parents to adjust the power output of their vehicles based on what they feel is appropriate for their children’s needs. We will explore how this works in detail below!
First, let’s understand how an ESC kit works. The device works by measuring voltage and current conditions at any given moment and then using that information to calculate the optimum speed for your car.
This allows you to use a Power Wheels Speed Controller with any Power Wheels, regardless of what kind of battery they have or how fast their top speeds are!
You will want to make sure you get the correct ESC kit for the make and model of a ride-on car. If you get the incorrect one they won’t match up as well.
You can also make your own ESC if you are advanced but we recommend purchasing them if you can find one specifically for your ride.
When ordering one of these make sure there is a diagram included that explains how to set it up. Without this, you will pull your hair out unless you are an expert.
To install an ESC kit you basically have to remove all the current wiring in the car, except for LED, music, and other dash utilities.
Once the wiring is removed the ESC kit will replace it and make proper use of the battery. It’s also recommended to use heat shrink tubing [Amazon Link] on the wires once you have confirmed everything is correct and it is working.
It comes with adhesive so you can stick it to the inside of the car and keep the wires nice and neat.
The ESC will work in manual mode by default, which means it’s up to you when and how much power to deliver to the vehicle. But the automatic mode is a great option for those who want their Power Wheels Speed Controller to take charge of some of the power delivery decisions!
The automatic mode takes into account your driving conditions and adjusts accordingly, which means you’ll get more or less power as needed depending on whether you are off-roading, turning, going uphill, or running downhill.
Supplies Needed – Batteries and Connection Wires
When doing this upgrade it’s good to have the correct wires and batteries.
Why Use a Variable Speed Controller?
Prevent Mechanical Failure
It is very important to have this if you have upgraded your Power Wheels to 24V from a lower amount or if you go above 24V.
The main reason why is the electricity doesn’t match up correctly with the battery and can cause issues with the motors, wiring, and even the gears.
It’s always a good idea to upgrade the motor at the same time so the voltage connections are the same as the upgraded batteries.
A soft start means the battery will put just enough power to move the tires when first going forward. This will make sure your tires don’t spin out and they catch better.
Of course, you want to make sure you have good traction on your tires as well. Doing so will increase acceleration in both stock and modified Power Wheels.
When letting off the throttle the car will be more smooth and allow coasting. The reason for this is because you can also install your own brake pedal. Now the vehicle is really like their parent’s real car.
This means the harder you push on the foot pedal the faster it will go. Currently, stock ride-on cars have terrible wiring and go the cheap route.
Adding the kit will make your kid feel like a real driver.
The current configuration on ride-on vehicles is when the foot pedal is pressed it is on and when you let go it is off, there is no variable speed, it’s one or the other.
Kill Switch on Remote Control
Have a kill switch on the parental remote control to quickly stop the vehicle in its tracks. Without this, you may still be able to stop the vehicle and it will coast to a stop if that is an option from the manufacturer.
With this remote connected to the vehicle, you press the kill switch, and the vehicle stops instead of coasting. Great for safe play when you have a board installed.
Reverse with Backup Beeper
Some kits will come with a reverse backup beeper so people know to get out of the way when the Power Wheels are going in reverse.
Really makes the kids feel like they are the driver of a real car, just hit the reverse switch and the sound will start.
This feature will easily send the right voltage be it 12v or 24v to both motors that control the wheels at the same time. This will make sure the system won’t only power one wheel but both wheels at the same time.
In other words, you won’t have just one wheel moving and not the other.
Easy to Add Accessories
With all the connections on the control circuit board, it leaves room to wire more so you can start another project for example upgrade the mounted lights, connect speakers, and even an air horn.
The support on these boards is extensive if you find a well-recommended provider.
Speed Controller Install 12V to 24V
Tools Needed (Amazon Links)
Step down Converter (Only needed if changing voltage 12V to 24V for Example).
First, make sure to have upgraded your 12V to a 24V battery.
The ESC install can seem like a confusing process. However, we found a step-by-step guide to help you install your ESC with ease and in the least amount of time possible.
The guide also has pictures and is written very well that is why we recommend it.
Make sure when you are setting this up you pay attention to the positive (red wire) and negative (black wire) they should not touch. This project can take hours, most of the time you will find the wires under the seat of the car.
What is the Difference Between Brushed ESC and Brushed DC Motor Drive?
The difference between a brushed ESC and a Brushed DC Motor Drive is that the Electronic Speed Controller is a kit and often contains the Motor Drive in it. Brushed ESC’s are for beginners that want to use a kit and Brushed DC Motor Drive is for the expert that wants to make their own kit.
Brushed ESC (Electronic Speed Controller)
-Brushed ESC is an electronic speed controller. It converts analog signals from the radio to digital signals for a microprocessor that controls how much power goes out of the battery pack and when it does.
Brushed DC Motor Drive
-Brushed DC motor drives are also known as linear actuators or servo motors. They use external gearing mechanisms to convert rot as brushed motors.
A DC motor is a type of electric motor that creates rotational movement with the use of electromagnets, copper windings, and an armature core.
The brushes are what create electrical contact between rotating parts so they can keep moving in perfect time.
If you feel like taking on an extra project upgrading your Power Wheels to 24 Volt batteries or even higher can take hours to get installed. It will surely be worth it as the stock or modified vehicle will run so much better and longer.
Having more room on the board to plug in any wire that is needed including pedals and any switch needed.
Once you are done with the circuit board make sure to get it mounted in a place that won’t bother the driver.
This really is a positive thing to do for your Power Wheels, as you are doing this you can also look at doing a motor upgrade as well, the price for these two separate upgrades is not that bad depending on the brand you go with.
Please be careful and use at your own risk
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Kevinsmak is a content producer of RC Ride On Cars. He always works with his testers to find the best Power Wheels for families everywhere. His mission is to ensure people get the most appropriate ride-on car for their children so they can drive all day safely.