For decades now Power Wheels vehicles have been the toys clamored after by children, and I should know, because I used to do the same thing when I was younger!
Providing children with the ability to get behind the wheel of some exciting-looking cars, trucks, buggies, and ATVs, while also providing them with the feeling of independence, and more importantly, some great fun too.
Of course, being battery-operated means that these batteries don’t last forever, and at some point, you’ll need to recharge the batteries for your child’s Power Wheel vehicle.
It’s one that I used to hate, both as a child, and as a parent, but knowing how much playtime your child will be able to get from the battery should give you an indication of when it’ll next need charging.
In this article, I’ll discuss exactly how much playtime you can expect from your 12v battery, what factors can affect the battery life, how long before the battery needs to be replaced, and how you could potentially increase the battery life of your Power Wheels vehicle!
Table of Contents
How Do Power Wheels Batteries Work?
One of the best things about Power Wheels vehicles, and arguably the reason why they’re so popular amongst children is because of how much performance they’re able to get from the 12v battery.
Many of these vehicles can reach somewhere between 5 and 6 MPH, and are often able to be taken on surfaces like gravel and mud too. But how exactly do these batteries work?
The heart of any Power Wheels vehicle is its battery, which for many of the vehicles, is a 12v rechargeable battery. This is what then helps to provide the power to turn the motors found at the wheels, propelling the car forwards.
Some people might imagine it to be quite a complicated system at first, but being designed for children means that it’s a fairly simple system, which is good considering that you need to assemble it before your child can begin to drive!
What Factors Can Affect Battery Life?
Of course, while the manufacturer might state that the battery can last for a certain amount of time, numerous factors can ultimately lower this total, causing the battery to run out before you would initially expect it to.
The first thing that can affect the battery life is the weight of the vehicle, which includes both the child(or children) in it, as well as any cargo they might have decided to bring along (which often includes their other toys).
The heavier they are, the more strain is placed on the battery to produce the performance required, which means it will run out faster.
Additionally, how fast the vehicle is driven can also decrease the amount of life in a battery. If your child fancies themselves as something of a racing driver and is managing to drive everywhere at full speed then naturally the battery is going to run out much quicker than it usually would.
One of the other factors that is worth taking into account is the duration and frequency of use of the vehicle.
It’s understandable for your child to be completely obsessed with their Power Wheels toy, especially when it’s new, but if they play for long periods and frequently, then the battery life is going to deplete quickly.
It’s important to help your child to strike a balance between playtime, and allowing the battery to fully recharge before playing again.
While the battery might be able to last for a long period before it needs recharging when new, as the battery ages and is used, the overall health of the battery will decrease, meaning each full charge will last less than it used to.
You can help to minimize this decline by following the recommendations on charging and usage to help prolong your battery’s life, but it will still decrease slowly over time regardless.
Expected Playtime From A 12v Power Wheels Battery
Aside from the factors we spoke about above, you can typically expect anywhere from 45 to 90 minutes of playtime before the battery needs to be recharged.
This might not seem like much, but for a young child, it’s plenty of time for them to ride around in their vehicle, and will certainly help you to ensure that playtime doesn’t last for longer than it should!
How To Recharge Power Wheels 12v Battery
If you’ve never had to recharge a Power Wheels battery before, then the process can be somewhat complicated. Although it’s mentioned in the instruction manual for your specific vehicle, I’ll take you through the steps on how you usually go about charging these batteries.
To begin, it’s worth noting that you don’t need to remove the battery from the vehicle before you charge it unless you need to. In this case, you need to ensure that your child doesn’t handle or attempt to handle the battery at all, as it could be incredibly dangerous for them to do so.
For the first time you charge the battery, you’ll need to use the included Power Wheels 12-volt battery charger to charge the battery for at least 18 hours. On every other charge after that, you’ll need to charge the battery for at least 14 hours.
You also need to take care not to charge the battery for more than 30 hours, which could damage the battery, and void your warranty.
Connecting the battery to the wall socket is as simple as using the provided charger and inserting the charge connector into the battery, and the plug into the socket. You can then leave it to charge, and come back once it’s complete!
How To Increase Battery Life
Increasing the life you get out of the battery per charge is slightly difficult, but there are some things you can do to try and help increase it.
The first is to keep the load as light as possible, try to explain to your child that piling the back of their truck with toys is going to mean they spend less time with it.
Next, try to keep the vehicle on smoother terrains, as rougher ground and surfaces require more power to get across, which lowers the life.
You could also try to keep the overall speed down too, because as fun as they might find it going at full speed all the time, it lowers the amount of playtime they get.
We hope that this guide has helped you to understand more about the amount of time a 12v battery for a Power Wheels car gives you. Thanks for reading!