Power Wheels are not designed to get wet. Moisture can damage electrical components in toy cars and erode and rust mechanisms. In wet conditions, they should be stored inside or with a cover.
In this article we will discuss what to do if your Power Wheels get wet and provide a guide on washing, storing, and maintaining Power Wheels.
Table of Contents
What Should I Do if My Power Wheels Get Wet?
Power Wheels are pretty tough toys for even the most rambunctious kids. Build to last, they can withstand a whole lot of wear, tear, and regular use.
Their durable design is made almost entirely of hard plastic which itself is waterproof. But the plastic isn’t able to protect the inner electronic mechanics from water.
If these mechanics get infiltrated by water it can cause some serious damage and may prevent the Power Wheels from working at all.
If you wake up one morning and look out the window to see your kid’s Power Wheels sitting in the driveway drenched in water after a rainy night then you have every right to be concerned!
The first thing you should do is get it out of the wet environment and into your dry garage.
Do not attempt to turn on the Power Wheels while it is still wet.
If you start to activate the mechanics while it is still wet then you may cause water to get even further inside the moving parts and cause more damage.
Take apart the battery and place it somewhere warm and dry (like your hot water cupboard) and let it dry fully.
Fully drying your Power Wheels and battery may take a few days but it is important to do so before testing if it still working.
After it is fully dry, put the battery back inside and attempt to start the Power Wheels. If it works, great! If not… read our guide below.
My Power Wheels Got Wet and Now It’s Stopped Working: What to Do
Test the Battery
The battery is the most likely victim of your Power Wheels swim in the rain! Batteries are delicate and highly responsive to water. Water damage can cause damage to the internal of the battery pack and cause your Power Wheels to stop working.
You can test the battery by using a voltmeter that measures the currents from the battery.
Voltmeters are a common tool in a well-equipped garage, if you don’t have one ask a neighbor or purchase one from a hardware store – they can come in handy for many things!
See below the table of what your battery should be reading.
If your battery is reading below the required volts then you should look at replacing the battery. Batteries will reduce in power over time so replacing them is normal and replacements are easy to find.
Test the Charger
If you charged up your battery before testing your Power Wheels only to find it won’t start. The battery may not be the issue, but the charger itself!
Use your voltmeter to check the output of your charger. See the required volts below.
If the output of the charger is not sufficient it will not charge the battery. Replace the charger with a new and efficient one to get your battery packed full of life again.
Check the Other Components
If both the battery and the charger are up to scratch and working as they should, there may be other components of your Power Wheels that have gotten wet and malfunctioned the most common are listed below:
- Gearbox – a little more difficult to reach than your battery, the gearbox is situated by the back wheel. To access you need to unscrew the wheel hub and remove the wheel. Replacements are available online.
- Shifter – the shifter is the gearstick. If this is stuck and not shifting gears then you may need to replace this. Available inexpensively online.
- Pedal – ensure the foot pack is working correctly and safely. This can also be ordered to replace if the mechanism has been affected by the rain.
Contact a Service Center
If all of the above is way beyond your pay grade, don’t worry! Power Wheels are such a popular toy that there are service centers just for them.
Some of us aren’t very mechanical-minded or just don’t have the time. Power Wheels service providers will be able to efficiently troubleshoot what is the issue with Power Wheels that are not working and then precisely fix it.
Most service centers will have basic parts on hand too so you won’t need to wait long for part delivery.
Enter your zip code into this site to find your nearest service center to take a lot at your Power Wheels
Can You Store Power Wheels Outside?
So now we know not to get Power Wheels wet. Ideally, the best place to store your Power Wheels when not in use would be an indoor garage to protect them from the rain.
Not everyone will have enough space indoors to keep such a bulky toy. Do not let lack of storage space put you off buying Power Wheels as if you have the right equipment you can store your Power Wheels outside.
You can purchase a Power Wheels cover that is waterproof. Covers come in all shapes, sizes and designs so you can pick one that is both efficient and aesthetically pleasing.
Covers will also keep the decals and paint of your Power Wheels safe from harmful UV rays on sunny days.
- “Kiddy Garage” – some families have found a way to deal with the awkwardness of trying to find the perfect place to store Power Wheels by building simple and inexpensive “kiddy garages” to store their collection of outdoor toys including Power Wheels. This is ideal for when your Power Wheels is not used for a longer period, such as in winter.
- Garage space-saving – if your garage is limited for space there are several space-saving structures to help store Power Wheels well out of the way including overhead storage or vertical wall storage.
How Do I Wash My Power Wheels?
If my Power Wheels can’t safely get wet then how do I wash them without damaging them? Using a hose is not the way to clean your Power Wheels as water can very easily get into mechanisms and cause damage.
To clean you should use warm water and a small cloth to manually wipe down the vehicle. You can add some dish soap to help move stubborn dirt just make sure to wring out the cloth before you wipe down the car as not to slosh water over it.
Wipe down with clean water after to not leave soapy suds that will look like smears over the paint.
Adding bleach to the water will also help keep any mold or mildew at bay, especially important for your child’s health!
In between cleans wipe down seats, steering wheel, and gearstick with disinfectant to manage excess germs.
Never wash a Power Wheels while it is plugged into the charger.
Can Power Wheels Go In Snow?
Power Wheels are not designed for use in the snow!
Not only does snow expose them to a lot of water and moisture (as we have already established is not good!) it also will cause the mechanisms and battery to freeze and lose power.
The battery is not insulated to protect it from the cold and prolonged freezing can cause the battery to stop charging or stop being able to hold a charge.
The most important reason your Power Wheels should not be used in the snow is safety! Power Wheels can very quickly and easily lose traction and skid across snow or ice, posing a risk to the little driver in the car.
Overall, it’s best to store your Power Wheels away for the cold winter months.
Power Wheels Maintenance
- Keep dry – don’t let the battery get wet at all if possible!
- Battery storage – when storing your Power Wheels you should remove and completely charge the battery. Store the battery indoors where it won’t reach freezing temperatures. As discussed this can cause damage to the battery and make it vulnerable to damage from moisture.
- Adults only – batteries involved electricity so should only be handled and charged by adults. Particularly if there has been water damage, water and electronics can be a dangerous mix. If you are at all concerned, contact a professional.
- Keep upright – keep the battery upright to ensure battery fluid remains in the correct areas and moisture does not leak into places it can cause damage.
- Clean regularly – if you let dirt sit on your Power Wheels for lengthy periods it can cause damage and discolouration to the paint job. Clean regularly and especially after a muddy and wet drive. This involves drying if it does get caught in the rain so that moisture doesn’t pool and find its way deeper into the electronics.
- Cover or store – do not leave your Power Wheels outside for too long as exposure to the elements can cause rust and erosion from moisture (morning dew can be just as damaging as the rain) as well as discolouration from the sun.
- Keep lubricated – the metal parts inside your Power Wheels will get stiff over time especially if they get wet. This can cause rust that will seize up the moving parts. As part of your regular clean spray these parts with WD-40 to keep this lubricated and working smoothly.
To ensure your family’s Power Wheels is well cared for ensure giving lessons to its wee driver is a top priority! Showing your kid exactly how everything works and what not to do will help keep it in tip-top shape.
Make sure they know to keep it dry, out of the rain, and not to drive through any large puddles.
While you’re at it you can show them how to keep it cleaned and stored. A wonderful opportunity to teach about mechanical subjects and promote responsibility.
Read the Manual
This one is pretty self-explanatory. While most tips we have provided are useful for all kinds of Power Wheels, the manual that accompanied your toy will cover all its use and care in detail.
If you do not follow the instructions given it may void any warranty on the item in the case something does go wrong!
The manual will outline the weather conditions your Power Wheels can endure and advise you on its resilience to water.