Power Wheels Battery Charged but Not Working

Is your kid’s ride-on toy car’s battery fully charged but not working? Well, you’re not alone; this is a common issue affecting many parents. In fact, this is one of the main signs of a damaged battery.

But this doesn’t necessarily mean that the battery is dead; the battery connectors may also cause this problem. Therefore, before purchasing a new battery, you should find out the cause of the issue.

The Cause of the Problem

There are many reasons why a charged battery can fail to power your kid’s ride-on toy car, and it’s not always a spoiled battery.

After all, if you stored the battery in a dry place with the right temperature (between -10°F and 75°F) and ensured that it’s well-maintained, then you have nothing to worry about.

Remember, the battery should never be fully discharged. Some of the leading causes of this problem include: 

Damaged Charger

One of the top reasons why the car won’t start maybe its charger is damaged. A spoilt charger cannot recharge the battery even if you try recharging the Power Wheels for the recommended amount of time. So if the charger is spoilt, you can either repair it or get a new one.

Loose Battery Connectors

With time, the battery connection can become loose, especially if your kid is a rough driver. Therefore it’s crucial that you monitor the battery and its connectors regularly. With a loose connection, the battery may not be able to power the toy car or even get charged.

Corroded or Fried Electric System

If the car’s electrical system is fried or corroded, thanks to the moisture that got into the system, the car won’t start. And that is because the rust impedes the distribution of the charge from the battery to the other parts of the Power Wheels.

Dead Battery 

Batteries have a service life of about 3 years; therefore, if your kid has used the battery for more than three years, then chances are that it could be dead. The battery can also be damaged by overcharging or over-discharging it.

Troubleshooting the Problem

As aforementioned, the problem might not be a damaged battery, so before rushing to the store to get a new battery, you should try and find out the cause of the problem. To troubleshoot a ride-on toy that is fully charged but won’t start, you should do the following:

Step 1: Confirm if the Charger Is Working

if the charger is damaged, it won’t be able to recharge the toy car’s battery, irrespective of how long you leave it connected to the mains.

So if you have another Power Wheels which uses a similar charger, you can try charging it using the charger that you believe is spoilt and find out if it works.

If it doesn’t work, then you need a new charger. But if it does work, then the problem may be with the battery.

If you don’t have another Power Wheels vehicle, you can test if it’s working using a voltmeter. Attach the positive and negative tips of the charger to the voltmeter and confirm if it can give out the reading of about 13V.

If it gives less than that, then the issue may be with the battery charger. 

Step 2: Test the Battery

If the battery charger is working perfectly, then you should confirm if the battery is ok. If the toy car hasn’t been used for a very long time and the battery hasn’t been recharged during that duration, then it may be damaged.

But before you get a replacement, you can test the battery using the voltmeter. To test the battery, you should do the following:

  • Locate the positive and negative prongs of the toy car’s battery.
  • Turn the dial of the voltmeter to the 20V mark on its DC side.
  • Touch the voltmeter’s positive prong to the positive prong of the battery. And do the same with the negative prongs and check the reading.

If you get a reading of about 12.6V for a 12V battery, the battery is ok, but if the reading is below 11.8V, you need a new battery. For a 6V battery, the reading should be between 6.6V and 7V. If you get a lower reading, then it’s time to order a replacement battery.

If you have another matching battery, you can install it in the toy car and try starting it. If the toy car still doesn’t start, the problem may be with the electrical system or battery connectors. 

Step 3: Charge the Power Wheels for at Least 12 Hours

Power Wheels Battery Charged But Not Working

If the charger is functioning correctly and the battery is in good condition, then the issue might be that the toy car’s battery is not fully charged. Remember, the toy car may not work if its battery is not fully charged, especially if it’s a new toy car.

A new toy car must be charged for about 18 hours. So make sure you charge it for the number of hours stipulated in the manual. 

After charging it for the recommended time, you can unplug the Power Wheels and confirm it’s working. If it starts, you’re good to go, but if it doesn’t, you should proceed to the next step.

Step 4: Confirm if the Battery Connection Is Loose

A loose battery connection can prevent the battery from powering the other parts of the toy car. So if the battery is fully charged and it’s still not powering the Power Wheels, then you should confirm if the connections are loose.

If they are loose, then you can tighten them and try and start the toy car. If it works, then you’re good to go, but if it doesn’t, then the issue may be with the car’s electrical system.

Step 5: Confirm if Parts of Its Electric System Are Corroded or Loose

If water got into the car’s electric system when you were washing the toy car, then the chances are that some wires are corroded. And when this happens, the distribution of charges may be disrupted.

So it would be best if you start by looking at the positive and negative connectors on the car and the battery. Inspect the connectors closely and see if they are corroded or damaged.

Inspect all the wires that help transfer the charge from the battery to the other parts of the car.

If the connectors are corroded, you can wash the rust off using a mixture of baking soda and water. Apply the mixture on the connectors and scrub gently using a brush until the rust disappears.

If the wires are damaged or corroded, you can purchase some replacement wires or connectors and solder them on.

After removing the rust and repairing the damaged wires, you can try and start the toy car. If everything is ok and the battery is fully charged, the toy car should start after replacing all the damaged wires and tightened the rust-free connectors.


The fact that your kid’s charged Power Wheels isn’t starting doesn’t mean that the battery is dead. The problem may be with the battery connectors, charger, or electric system that supplies the charge to other toy car parts. Therefore, it’s crucial that you troubleshoot the problem and find out its cause before purchasing a new battery. 


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