Has your kid’s power wheels battery been connected to the mains for a few hours, and you’re not sure if it’s charging or not? Well, if you left it dormant for a few weeks or suspected that it was over-discharged, then you must be wondering if it’s still functioning or not. Luckily, there is a way to find out if the battery is charging.
The best way to tell if a power wheels battery is charging is by using a smart charger.
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What Can Prevent the Battery From Charging?
The battery is the power source of this toy car, and when it’s dead or over-discharged, then the toy car’s battery won’t charge, even if you leave the battery plugged in for a few hours.
Remember, a functioning battery should register a reading of about 10.5 volts and above. If the reading is below 8.0 volts, then the battery is dead. So you can test it and find out the voltmeter is registering over 10.5 volts before charging it.
Other than the dead battery, there are numerous things that can prevent the battery from charging. Some of the main reasons why the battery won’t charge include:
If you left the battery for a very long time without charging it, then the chances are that it has gone flat, and the charger won’t recognize it.
Therefore, it has a very low likelihood of receiving any charge, even if you leave it plugged in for more than 15 hours. If you left it dormant for the entire winter season, you would have to purchase a new one.
The battery should always be stored in a dry place, but sometimes the battery connectors can be exposed to some moisture resulting in them becoming corroded.
Without proper maintenance, the battery’s connectors can rust. Unfortunately, a battery with corroded connectors cannot receive or dispense the charge. Luckily, there is a way to fix a battery with corroded terminals.
You can either replace the connectors or wash the rust off and then charge the battery.
Damaged or Wrong Charger
If the power wheels’ charger is damaged then it can’t charge the battery, even when left plugged in for a few hours. Therefore, you need to confirm if it’s okay before you start charging the power wheels’ battery.
Another factor that can prevent the battery from charging is using the wrong charger. A 6-volt battery charger cannot charge a 12 v battery.
How to Tell if the Battery Is Charging
If you suspect that the battery was over-discharged or left dormant for a few weeks, then you could be curious and want to know if the battery is charging or not. If it’s a new battery, then you’re typically advised to charge it for up to 18 hours before installing it in the toy car.
But, how will you know if the battery is charging? Well, one of the simplest methods is using a smart charger. A normal charger flashes green when charging which is an indication that it’s charging. But if you need more information then you should try a smart charger.
Use a Smart Battery Charger
All smart power wheels chargers have a charging indicator that starts flashing when the battery starts charging. The battery charge indicator also informs you when the battery is fully charged or even measures the percentage of charge in the battery that’s being charged.
And if the battery has issues or is too flat to be detected, the smart charger won’t detect it. So with this method, the only thing you have to watch out for is the charging indicator which stops flashing when the battery becomes fully charged.
Therefore, if your power wheel’s battery is working perfectly and hasn’t been over-discharged, then the smart charger will detect it as soon as you plug it in and then start charging it.
When the battery is charging, the charge indicator will be flashing, showing you that it is okay and charging.
If the smart charger has a display screen, it can measure the battery’s voltage and display the charging status. When it reaches 100%, the fully charged indicator light will turn on. With a high-end power wheels smart charger, you will know the progress of the battery as it charges. After all, if the battery is damaged, the charger won’t detect it.
Test the Battery
Another method you can use to confirm if the battery is charging is leaving it plugged in for a few hours and then testing it using a voltmeter. The reading on the voltmeter can help you find out if the battery is charging or not. To confirm if it’s charging, you should do the following:
Step 1: Measure the Battery Using a Voltmeter
Before you plug it in, you should first measure the battery and find out how much charge it has and record it. To measure the DC voltage, you need to set your voltmeter’s dial to 20. This will help you capture voltage between 0 and 20v.
Next, place the voltmeter’s negative probe on the battery’s negative prong and the positive probe on the battery’s positive prong and record the reading on the voltmeter’s display.
If it’s not fully charged, then the reading should be below 12.0v, which means it has to be charged immediately. Leaving it in this state can be dangerous. The acceptable range for a functioning battery is usually above 10.5 volts.
Step 2: Charge the Battery for a Few Hours and Then Test It Again
Plugin the charger and let it charge the toy car’s battery for a few hours before testing it again. Charge it for about 18 hours if it’s a new replacement battery, and then test the battery’s condition using your voltmeter as you did in step 1.
The normal reading of a fully charged 12v battery should be at least 12.6v. Therefore, after charging it for a few hours, you should expect the reading to increase until it exceeds 12.6v. If the reading exceeds 12.6v, then it means that it has an extra charge which is a good sign.
If the reading is below 12v and the reading hasn’t changed after you left it charging for a few hours, then it’s not charging.
If the reading on the voltmeter is 12.1 volts, then it is 50% charged. If the reading increased after leaving it plugged in for a few hours, the battery was charging.
The Solution for a Battery That Is Not Charging
If the reading on the voltmeter has remained below 10.0v even after charging it for a few hours, then the battery or the charger may be damaged.
So you can try charging it using a new charger and see if it’s working. If the battery was flat, then the chances are that the charger won’t detect it immediately, so you can leave it charging for a few hours and see if it detects it.
Leaving the battery dormant in your garage for a few months can leave it damaged, and if it’s exposed to moisture, then its terminals can get corroded. So when the cold month ends, you will have to confirm if it’s charging.
Luckily, there is a way you can confirm if the battery is charging as soon as you plug it in.
A smart charger can detect the battery if it’s not damaged and then start charging it immediately. And the only way you can know if it’s charging is by looking at the charge indicator of the display, which shows the battery’s condition.