Power wheels are a hot trend in the toy industry, and many kids of all ages have one or want to have one. These fantastic ride-on vehicles now use batteries you can recharge. When the juice runs out, it is time to plug it in. It is easy to do; even children can do it (but they are not supposed to!).
Kids lose tons of toys, and they may lose the charger of their power wheels. Those who experienced this for the first time might panic because there is no time to purchase a replacement before playtime. Fortunately, it is possible to charge a 12v battery without a charger.
So, how to charge power wheels battery without a charger? As long as you have everything you need and know how to do it, you can sneak in a charge. Besides, it will buy you time to run to the store for an alternative charger. Let’s begin!
There are several ways that you can charge a power wheel battery even without its charger. Charging power wheels battery with a car charger or car batteries is usually used by many. But if you don’t have a car charger, there are other ways you can try. Here, we have several of the most commonly used methods:
- With a power supply
- With solar panels
- DIY charger
Table of Contents
3 Easy Ways to Charge Power Wheels Battery Without Charger
Before anything else, make sure to check for any cracks on the battery case. If you skip and there are damages on the battery’s case, it will leak sulfuric acid, which can lead to an explosion.
Method 1: Charging Power Wheels Battery With Power Supply
Here’s what you’ll need:
- Power supply
- Lead-based battery
- Two alligator clips
- Battery holder
- Wire cutting tools
Step 1. Cut and remove output wires
Begin by cutting and removing output wires. Connect the green wire with the black wire to switch.
Step 2. Hook the battery to the power supply
Using two alligator clips, connect the battery holder to the supply. It will help adjust the positive and negative terminals. Make sure that the leads, battery holder, and cell link are solid and secure.
Step 3. Adjust the voltage and current
Set the charge voltage and the current limit. You should know that a 13.8V, 2A is needed to charge a 12V power wheels battery while a 6V, 2A power output is required for a 6V battery.
Step 4. Check the battery
While charging, don’t forget to monitor the temperature, current, and voltage. The room temperature should be moderate and the place well-ventilated. Check if the charge is complete, then disconnect the power supply, and test the battery on the power wheels.
Method 2: Charging Power Wheels Battery With Solar Panels
Here’s what you’ll need:
- Charge controller
- MC4 connectors
Step 1. Set up charge controller
Install the charge controller on a non-conductive material like PVC panel or wood. Next, run the panel to the controller and fix the positive and negative terminal to the battery.
Step 2. Slip the terminals
Insert the terminals inside the outlet of the charge controller. Then, fasten the screws and position the cables.
Step 3. Join the cables
Connect the outer wires with the MC4 connectors and the charge connectors with the terminals. Slip them into the outlet and fasten them with screws.
Step 4. Connect the wires
Attach the control wires to the solar panel and set up the positive and negative connectors. Split the MC4 connections into place. Test the output on the connectors to check if it is working.
The charging time varies depending on the battery size, wattage of the solar panel, and weather. When the output is dropping, the battery is close to being fully charged.
Method 3: Make Your Own Power Wheels Battery Charger
Here’s what you’ll need:
- Laptop charger
- Two alligator clips
- Step down converter
- Wire cutting tools
Step 1. Modify the charger
Cut the adapter jack and remove the wire’s outer shield.
Step 2. Attach step down module to adapter wires
Connect the step-down converter module to the adapter wires. Make sure to tighten the screw terminals. Afterwards, hook the alligator clip.
Step 3. Plug in the adapter
Plug the adapter, then connect the two alligator clips over the multimeter.
Step 4. Check the voltage and current
Set the necessary series of voltage and current you see on the multimeter.
- Short-circuiting the battery’s supply terminal can cause an explosion, and it doesn’t work anyway.
- Always check safety precautions in the instruction manual of the power wheels before trying any of the above methods.
- Don’t leave the battery charging overnight, as it can lead to overcharging and cause damage.
- Using a high current to reduce the charging time is not good for the battery. Instead, opt for a source and voltage that is suitable for the power wheels to keep the battery in mint condition.
Frequently Asked Questions About Power Wheel Battery and Charger
Did that method not work for you? There could be other issues that you are not aware of. Check this FAQ section, and you might find the solution to the problem you are having with the power wheel battery or charger.
1. Why won’t the battery charge?
Are the connectors adequately attached? Try unplugging the battery and inspecting it. If it still doesn’t work and the battery is covered by a warranty, reach out to the retail outlet or manufacturer for assistance.
Another reason could be the condition of the batteries. When a battery has been put for over two years of use, it is highly likely to reach its expiry date. A replacement battery is needed in this case.
2. How to tell if the battery is charging?
The first charge of a battery should be at least eight hours. Then, locate the positive and negative prongs of the battery to monitor the voltage reading. Use a digital voltmeter and turn the dial to the voltage DC portion. You will see a symbol that indicates the battery is charging. That way, you will get an accurate reading for any 12V application.
3. Is it safe to charge power wheels without the charger that came with it?
Using alternative methods in charging a power wheel battery is safe when you do it a few times. Always remember to keep a close eye on the battery when you are charging it using other methods. Disconnect the battery when it’s full and never overcharge it.
These emergency methods can be a good substitute that you can rely on without a charger. However, it is still better to purchase a replacement charger as soon as possible to preserve the battery life.
4. How long do power wheels’ batteries last?
The general average is one to three years. The life expectancy of a power wheel battery differs depending on how keen you are in following the charging and battery care instructions. The total number of how they are used also affects how long the battery will last.
5. Why is it necessary to charge the battery until full before storage?
This is often included in the instruction manual in the how to care for the power wheels section. The reason behind this is to prevent the battery from draining or dying. When you leave the vehicle with low power, there is a high chance the battery is depleted of all energy. If the charge reaches zero, you will need a new battery because it’s probably already dead and won’t run the toy car.
6. How to tell if the battery charger is not working?
There is a specific charging time that indicates when the battery is full and ready to use. A faulty charger doesn’t deliver a full charge within the given time. If the charge runs out faster than the said running time, it is another sign that the charger or the battery might be defective. When the battery doesn’t charge, it is a dead giveaway that you need a new battery charger.
7. When should you replace a battery charger?
Replacement should be done as soon as possible. If you keep using a defective charger, it can damage the power wheel’s battery. Place an order for a new one once you realize the old unit is not working. See to it that the replacement charger has a voltage that matches that of the ride-on car. For an easier time, read the buying guide below.
Choosing a Power Wheel Charger
You will eventually have to replace the lost power wheel charger. With many options in the market, this task is challenging. Knowing what you are looking for in a product is crucial, so it is easier to narrow down your options and eventually find the ideal one. Always keep these two factors in mind:
If the charger is not compatible with the power wheel battery, then it is of no use. Thus, this is the first and foremost factor that you should examine. Check the manual or product guide of the power wheel. You will see the suitable type and model in the portion of the detailed specification.
Choosing an appropriate charger for the specific power wheel you have is vital to ensure that the unit will work well. Besides, it will ensure a longer battery life and a safer ride for the toddlers.
There are many brands out there, and picking one might take up more of your time. It is especially true if you are not familiar with any of the brands. Don’t blindly believe claims of producing high-quality products because more and more manufacturers are declaring this.
What you need to look for are accreditations and certifications from authorized and reputable organizations. You can also check the customers’ product reviews so you can get an idea of how well their products are performing.
Always monitor the condition of the batteries after purchasing the charger to ensure its usability. If you detect any issues, do not hesitate to contact the dealer or company where you bought it. They can deal with it and help you find solutions.
Power Wheel Charger
We have a short product review of three of the most favored products you can find in local stores or online for those who need recommendations for high-quality battery chargers for power wheels.
1. Optima Digital 400 12V Performance Maintainer and Battery Charger
With the built-in battery health mode in this product, you are charging the battery and maximizing its life and performance. The spark-free connection feature, hybrid LED setting gauge, and LCD makes it user-friendly. Discharged batteries? This charger can recover them down to 1.25V. It will surely give you good value for the money that you are paying.
2. SafeAMP 12-Volt Charger for Power Wheels
Does your kid have Fisher-Price power wheels? This one here is perfectly compatible with all 12V power wheels from the said brand. The appearance is very similar to the one that came with the power wheel. Make sure to follow the instruction manual so you can make the most out of its charging system.
3. Schumacher Fully Automatic Universal Battery Charger for Ride-On Toys
This is ideal for those who have several power wheels and want just one charger to use for all of them. It is a universal charger compatible with top brands from Power Wheels, Schumaner, to Peg Perego. The automatic detection feature can maintain the optimum battery charge and can recognize between 6V and 12V batteries. Besides, you can charge the batteries three times faster!
4. Power Wheels Toddler 6-Volt Charger
This charger specific to blue 6V lead-acid batteries delivers maximum performance and safety. To prevent premature charging, it is best to charge the battery until complete before storing. It is compatible with Fisher-Price ride-on vehicles.
These are only some of the power wheel chargers that receive many positive reviews. It is essential to check their compatibility with the batteries you have. Don’t forget to always check the specifications on the manual.
Charging a power wheel battery is doable even after losing the charger that comes with it. Knowing and properly following this tutorial article will save you from tantrums because of a drained power wheel battery.
Did it work for you? How was the experience? If you find it helpful, you can share it with people you know who might have trouble finding a ride-on vehicle charger while their kid is on the verge of crying. Share your experience with us by posting in the comments below; we love hearing from you!