Guide To Power Wheels Batteries
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If you’re like the majority of Power Wheels owners, you’re only receiving about one to two years worth of service life from your battery – which is only about one-half of the potential these batteries are built to last for. This article addresses best practices and tips on how to care for your Power Wheels battery.
Power Wheels Battery Alternative
Is your Power wheels battery dying fast or never lasting long enough? Upgrading a power wheels battery is a great way for kids (and you bigger kids too – we know you’re out there) to get a lot more enjoyment and life out of their toy. While this guide will not make your child’s power wheels run any faster, it will make it run much longer, all while using the same charger. Upgrading can actually quadruple the capacity and life expectancy of the battery for the same price as the Power Wheels battery.
Important: Please do these things before a child drives the modified Power Wheels:
- Make sure the new battery is tightly secured in the battery compartment. If the Power Wheels gets flipped over, this has been known to fly out!
- Cover all loose wires with electrical tape to secure.
Power Wheels Battery Charge Time
We would never recommend leaving your Power Wheel battery charging for more than 12 to 15 hours. This is because the Power Wheel battery charger is not typically an automatic charger that senses when the battery is fully charged, then shuts off. Instead, it will continue to pump voltage into the fully charged battery.
What this will do is ultimately cause internal plating damage to the battery by generating an excessive amount of heating. If the battery is left to charge for a long period of time, this could cause the battery to swell and eventually combust.
Leaving The Battery Hooked Up
For the majority of the Power Wheel models in the market, there is little to no draw on the batteries when the model is not being used. That said, the typical storage time is between three and four months for the seasonal states.
If by chance there is a small draw on the batteries, this could damage them over the duration of the storage time. What will happen is if your Power Wheels battery gets drained low enough, your charger will no longer recognize that it is hooked up to a battery and thus, won’t charge it.
Storing a Dead Battery
Take it from us: It is not a good idea to not charge up your Power Wheel battery before putting it into storage. You will be unpleasantly surprised come springtime. Always make sure your battery is fully charged prior to storing away. This will save you the cost of buying a new battery.
What Happens to the Battery During Storage?
Batteries experience what is called a “natural rate of discharge”. This is when, even though you did what we told you and made sure your battery was fully charged before setting it in storage, your battery will still sit there and slowly discharge when not in use. This is a common occurrence for any rechargeable battery on the market today, yes, even including the Power Wheels battery. Within two to three months of sitting idle, the typical battery will naturally discharge itself.
What happens to the battery when it sits around for months in a discharged state is a little phenomenon called sulfation. This is the greenish-powdery substance that will exude from the battery after long periods of non-use. Sulfating destroys and corrodes the battery internally, eating away at its capacity. Once this happens, you will have no choice but to recycle the battery with your local hazardous waste collection facility.
Getting the Most Out Of Your Power Wheel Battery
We have a few helpful tips that you can do to further extend the life of your Power Wheels battery over two years.
Disconnecting and Removing The Power Wheel Battery
It is always a good idea to disconnect and remove the battery from the Power Wheels unit. Disconnecting the battery will prevent any potential battery drainage from happening to the battery. Removing the battery and storing it in a decent climate of 55 – 70 degrees is ideal for prolonging the overall battery life.
Keeping the Battery Charger During Storage
You can put a halt to the natural discharging of the Power Wheel battery by hooking up the battery charger once every two or three months. After hooking it up, you can leave it on for a period of eight hours safely without overcharging the battery. This is a very important tip and will make a huge difference in determining the overall life span of your battery.
How to Extend The Life of Your Power Wheels Battery
Here are a few choices:
1. Purchase a new Sealed Lead Acid Battery.
- 9.5 Amp Hours capacity -$56
- 33 Amp Hours – this lasts a few days between charges (easily longer than your kids will last) and fits under the hood without any modification.
- 20 Amp Hours – Twice the capacity for $20 less, This should drop right into place with the factory battery restraint. $36.
- 100 Amp Hours – This would last for weeks without charging. This would also require heavily modifying the frame to accommodate such a large battery. Don’t forget about safety and check the measurements before you go for a beast like this! $160
2. Harvest the female battery adapter from the old battery, saving as much of the wire as possible. Do not open the sealed battery acid compartments.
3. Wire the black wire of the female battery harness to the negative terminal of your new battery and wire the white wire to the positive battery terminal. Use Crimping ring connectors to the end of the wires is preferred. Using electrical tape, cover both terminals completely.
4.Secure the battery into the truck so that it will not fall out if the truck falls over, or secure the hood so that only an adult can access the battery compartment.
5. Plug the male and female connectors together and you are good to go! Unplug and plug in the charger just like before to charge the new battery.
5.We recommend charging at 11 Volts and stop charging between 13 and 13.5 Volts.
Hopefully you have found these tips useful in how to care for and extend the life of your Power Wheels battery. If these suggestions are followed correctly, it will ensure you get the maximum life expectancy out of your battery. Thank you for reading!