Power wheels battery dying or just not lasting long enough? Upgrading a power wheels battery is a great way for kids to get a lot more enjoyment 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 utilizing the same charger. The most awesome part of this deal, you can quadruple the capacity (and run time) of the battery for the same price as the power wheels battery.
Why would you want to upgrade your power wheels battery?
For quite some time, I just used a lawn and tractor battery and at $25 each lasting 6 months, the solution didn’t seem that bad, but these types of batteries are not designed for the full discharge type use that a power wheels battery is put through. After 3 years and a handful of Lawn and tractor batteries we got a bad battery that started spewing battery acid and overheating, EEEK!
The standard power wheels battery prevents this because it is a sealed lead acid deep cycle battery, just like a wheelchair batteries happen to be. Soon after discovering this fact, I found that wheelchair batteries came in many different capacities and at much lower prices than the standard power wheels batteries. Voila!
Safety issues when upgrading a power wheels battery to make it last longer!
You must be sure the following issues are address BEFORE a child drives the modified power wheels!
- The new battery must be secured in the battery compartment (My children have flipped the power wheels before and made the battery come flying out towards them). Do not skip this step!
- Loose wires should be covered with electrical tape and preferably inaccessible to children
How to Make your Power Wheels Battery Last Longer
Step 0: Purchase a new Sealed Lead Acid Battery. Here is a table of the ones I was looking at:
|Power Wheels 12-Volt Rechargeable Battery||9.5 Amp Hours capacity -$56|
|ExpertPower 12v 33ah Rechargeable Deep Cycle Battery [EXP12330]||33 Amp Hours – The one I picked – Easily outlasts both children (lasts a few days between charges with a few hours of use daily) & fit under the hood without modification (had to remove factory battery restraint and make my own) $61|
|ExpertPower EXP12200 12 Volt 20 Ah Rechargeable Battery With Threaded Terminals||20 Amp Hours – Twice the capacity for $20 less!, Not confirmed, but this should drop right into place with the factory battery restraint. $36|
|12V 100Ah SOLAR WIND AGM SLA DEEP CYCLE VRLA BATTERY 12V 24V 48V||100 Amp Hours – Couldn’t help myself, this would last weeks without charging. This would also require heavily modifying the frame to accomodate such a large battery, Don’t forget about safety and check the measurements before you go for a beast like this! $160|
Step 1: Harvest the female battery adapter from the old battery. Save as much of the wire as possible, do not open the sealed battery acid compartments. (This step is technically not mandatory, but makes the installation, easier, safer, and compatible with the old charger.)
Step 2: 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 (Crimping ring connectors to the end of the wires would be preferred). Cover both terminals completely with electrical tape.
Step 3: 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.
Step 4: 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.
Step 5 for the Obsessive Compulsive: Buy a voltage gauge and wire directly to the battery with a button. The kids push the button to read the battery voltage and you know when you need to charge or when to stop charging. Bonus, the kids learn to read numbers and relate them to real world functions!
I hope this was a helpful write-up, most of the links are affiliate links and I appreciate if you use them because I get a small percentage of your purchase that helps me run this website.
Please keep the safety of your little ones in mind at all times! We have had the battery above in our Power wheels for about 6 months and it is showing no signs of decline at all, it runs for several days before we charge it overnight once or twice a week. Brilliant!
You might also be interested in some of the other DIY projects I have written about.