Is your kid begging for a Power Wheels car for the holidays or their birthday? Will they only be happy with the fastest car available? Then you have come to the right place?
Power Wheels are mini cars for kids. They can drive around your backyard or cruise along the sidewalk at speeds of up to 5-6mph.
But if this is not thrilling enough for your child, it is possible to make Power Wheels slightly faster by swapping out the batteries in the car.
This will also make the times between charges longer, so your kid can get even more fun out of their little car!
It’s possible to increase the voltage of a power wheel battery from 6 volts to 12 volts or from 12 volts to 18 volts without causing damage to the motor.
In this article, we will give you a step-by-step guide on how to connect a 6-volt battery to a 12-volt battery in series, combine two 6-volt batteries, switch out a 6-volt battery with a 12-volt battery, and how to put in a battery for an 18-volt Milwaukee drill bit.
Table of Contents
The Power Wheels Current Battery Issues
The performance of the power wheels’ factory-installed batteries may not impress you or your kid.
They have a short lifespan and frequently come packaged with circuits that are too sensitive, which hinders their overall effectiveness.
The biggest issue with these batteries is that they take a long time to charge.
Lead-acid batteries have a charging period that ranges from one to three hours, and they take anywhere from twelve to eighteen hours to fully charge.
If there’s one thing we know about children, it’s that they’re impatient and they won’t want to wait this long to play with their new toy.
Because of this, you might want/need to purchase a second battery to use in place of the one that has run out of charge.
You will save money in the long run by updating the battery rather than purchasing a standard replacement battery.
Your youngster will love the increased performance as well as the shorter amount of time needed to charge it.
Batteries Options to Put in Power Wheels
When choosing a new battery for your Power Wheels, you have two options.
You can go for the more compact lithium batteries that are typically used in power drills, or you can use the more common sealed lead acid batteries
Sealed Lead Acid Batteries
Plates, lead, and a lead oxide solution that is composed of 65% water and 35% sulfuric acid are the components that make up these batteries, which are also known as SLA batteries.
The cranking or starting kind, which gives a brief burst of energy, is the kind that is used in ride-on autos.
Because of their leak-proof and spill-proof design, sealed batteries are highly regarded for their hassle-free features. They have a lifespan of 3-5 years, which makes them a great choice for use in ride-on automobiles.
The stress, vibration, and heat that’s created by Power Wheels won’t affect these batteries since their casings are made of ABS plastic, which is very impact resistant.
Most parents choose sealed batteries since they are much easier to use when upgrading Power Wheels batteries (see also ‘The Best Power Wheels Upgrades‘).
In most cases, they have a rating of 12 amps and come with an internal fuse with a capacity of 30 to 40 amps.
When you install the battery, having an integrated fuse will decrease the number of connections you need to make while having a rating of 12 amps will enhance the amount of time the battery will operate for.
Because they have a greater discharge rate, which means that they deliver an excessive amount of power, lithium-ion batteries are the worst choice of the two.
The pace at which a battery for a power tool is discharged is five times faster than the rate at which an SLA battery is discharged.
The increased power that is provided by changing to a lithium power tool battery causes the motor of a Power Wheels car to overheat and shred the gears.
If the car’s motor becomes too hot, it might catch fire, which would be dangerous for both your child.
Fortunately, the possibility of an overheated lithium-ion battery may be avoided by using a fuse with a current rating of 30 or 40 amps.
Installing a lithium battery in a ride-on car will mean that you have to make some changes to the Power Wheels. This is not too difficult though and can be done with some simple tools.
Connecting a 6V to a 12V Battery
The easiest and most cost-effective approach to increase the power and speed of your kid’s 12-volt ride-on is to couple a 12-volt battery with a 6-volt battery.
Here’s how to do it:
You Will Need
- 6-volt battery
- Pliers used for crimping
- Jumper cable
- Wire strippers
- A fuse holder that is inline and comes with a 30 amp detachable fuse
- Pull the hood back. Take off the existing 12v from the car. You have the option of using the existing battery if it still functions properly or switching to a brand-new battery pack.
- Batteries with 6 and 12 volts need to be matched up. Make sure both batteries have the same amp-hour (ah) rating, as this will make sure they both drain at the same pace.
Because amp hour is a measure of capacity, batteries with a greater Ah rating are better because they last longer.
SLA batteries are superior to standard brand batteries, which frequently include very sensitive internal thermal fuses.
- Connect the batteries in a series using the wires. When it comes to connecting the two batteries, you have two different options: series and parallel.
By connecting them in a series, the voltage is increased, which in turn causes the speeds to increase.
By putting the batteries in parallel, you may combine their amp hours, which gives a longer running time.
- Using a jumper wire, join the positive terminal of the battery that has 12 volts to the negative terminal of the battery that has 6 volts.
Install a terminal ring on one end of the jumper wire, and a female spade terminal on the other end to connect the jumper cable to the terminals on the batteries.
This lets you establish a strong mechanical junction on the terminals, one that is resilient enough to endure the vibrations and movement from the car.
- Join the inline fuse holder to the circuit. Establish a connection between the positive terminal of the 6-volt battery and the fuse holder. After that, place the fuse rated at 30 amps into the holder.
- Join the connectors on the battery to those on the car. Because of the prior connection, the positive terminal of the 6-volt battery and the negative terminal of the 12-volt battery are both open.
To complete the circuit, the wires should be connected using bullet connectors to the vehicle’s connections. Now, insert the batteries into the power wheel.
- The placement of the bigger battery pack may require some adjustment, however, this will depend on the size of the Power Wheel.
To find the one that works best for you, try on the pack in several different positions. It makes no difference how batteries are inserted as long as they are held in place safely and firmly. You may need to extend the cavity by cutting away tiny portions of the body to fit it in.
- Insert the batteries into the space, and make sure they are held in place firmly and securely. If the battery pack shifts at all, there is an increased risk that the connections may get severed when the vehicle is in motion.
- Establish a connection to the battery pack. After you are finished attaching the battery pack, you will need to connect the charging leads and the terminals to the factory wiring so that the battery can be charged.
- Put in some heat sinks. Upgrading the battery increases the amount of heat that’s generated by the motor, which increases the likelihood that it may fail. The use of heat sinks prevents the engine from overheating and catching fire.
The heat sinks should be bent before installation on each motor so that a secure grip can be achieved. When the car is moving, it won’t come loose in any way.
Take the supercharged ride out for a spin to get a feel for how it performs.
Upgrading a 12V Battery to an 18V Battery
The 12-volt lead-acid battery that comes standard on Power Wheels is large and heavy and takes a long time and a multi-step process to change.
If you want to reduce the amount of time it takes to charge a battery and increase the overall performance of the car, it makes sense to replace them with a battery that is both smaller and more powerful.
The most effective way to do this update is to replace an existing battery with the battery pack that comes with the Milwaukee drill set.
The drill makes use of a lithium-ion battery that is smaller but more powerful a18-volt battery and has a faster charging time.
This is still a multi-step process though, so read the instructions carefully to make sure you get it done right.
You Will Need
- Wire cutters
- A Milwaukee power drill 18-volt battery
- Pliers used for crimping
- A screwdriver with a flathead
- A fuse holder inline that is equipped with a 30 amp ETF fuse
- Wire stripper
You will need to do 1 key step before you can get on with the final smaller steps to finish this job. Changes will need to be made to the connection interface.
Before you can connect the 18-volt Milwaukee drill battery to a super wheel, the connecting points on the battery will need to be modified. You can accomplish this goal in one of two ways:
Strip Dead Power Wheels Battery
You can remove the battery connection from a 12-volt battery after it’s died.
If the connection is attached to the battery by a pair of wires, you should trim both of those wires to the same length.
If the connection is flush with the surface of the battery, you will need to pull it out.
Using a screwdriver with a flat head, carefully work your way into the seam located at the top of the battery.
Carefully pull away the covering of plastic to reveal the connector’s underlying wire.
First, lift the connector so that as much of the wiring as possible is exposed, and then cut each wire individually.
Remove the plastic covering that is on the ends of the wire so that approximately half an inch of the wire is exposed.
Crimp a female blade terminal onto the negative terminal after connecting it with a female blade terminal. The positive terminal of the battery connector should have a butt connector crimped onto it.
Use a Battery Adapter for a USB
These convenient adapters go over the battery of the drill and convert it into a USB port so you may charge your phone while you’re working on a job site.
To find the battery connection points, you will need to pry open the adapter.
Turn it upside down and attach two wires to the connecting ports that are protruding directly from the rear.
Drill two holes in the plastic covering’s back, and then thread the cables through the holes you drilled.
Once you have done one of the above steps, follow the steps below to complete the process.
- Get an inline fuse. When changing a power wheels battery, installing overload protection is very necessary since it serves as a fire prevention measure. In the absence of an inline fuse, the motor has the potential to overheat, which might cause a fire.
You should use a detachable automotive-type fuse rated at 30 amps (ETF). If the system gets too hot, the fuse will blow, protecting both the battery and the car. After that, you may replace the fuse, and everything should be back to normal.
- Establish a connection for the inline fuse. If the cable is linked on both ends, cut the wire that is attached to the inline fuse holder in half. Connect the side of the holder that contains the fuse to the positive terminal of your connector, and crimp the connection.
- Remove the shackles (if using the battery adapter). Because the USB battery connector is not designed to work with the plug on the super wheel, you will need to remove it.
Be aware that if you cut the plug, your warranty will no longer apply. If you are using a connection salvaged from an older battery, you may skip this step.
- Invest in speed control for the motor. A ride-on can achieve better performance and achieve 50% more speed with the addition of a battery of 18 volts. By installing a motor speed control, you may moderate the speed level until your kid can handle these faster speeds.
The controller is placed in between the motor and the battery, and it features a dial that adjusts the amount of power supplied to the motor.
- Put in place the speed control for the motor. Connect the wires from the car to the terminals of the motor, then connect the wires from the battery to the input terminals. The labels on the connectors make it easy to determine which way is up when it comes to polarity.
- Install the battery mounting bracket. To do this you need to open the hood of the Power Wheel.
You will need to drill holes in the plastic covering and then use long screws to secure it to the side compartment. After you have ensured that the mount is stable, you may proceed to install the 18-volt battery.
- Install the speed controller. When mounting the speed controller next to the battery mount, you can use straps or adhesive tape designed for commercial or industrial usage.
- Put the turbocharged ride through its paces. Try out the Power Wheels, and be sure to use the speed controller to choose the speed that is safe for your youngster.
Can I Change a 6V Car to a 12V Car?
Yes, you can convert 6-volt power wheels to 12-volt power wheels without causing any damage to the car. Most of these drivable toys have a 12-volt motor, even though the battery that powers them is only 6 volts.
Because of this, they can withstand higher voltage without damage.
When upgrading a vehicle that was originally 6-volts to 12-volts, you have two options: either build a battery pack consisting of two 6-volt batteries or install a whole new 12-volt battery.
Installing a new battery with a voltage of 12 volts is the easiest method given that it needs a smaller number of connections and doesn’t take up a lot of space inside the toy.
When upgrading from a 6-volt to a 12-volt battery, you should add an inline fuse as a safety measure to prevent the motor from overheating due to the increased voltage. If you don’t do it, you risk the battery going dead or the power wheel catching fire.
Below are two in-depth and step-by-step guides that will show you how to upgrade a battery from 6 to 12 volts.
Creating a Battery Pack Using Two 6V Batteries
This is the best method to use if your Power Wheel batteries have a connection on the outside of the battery rather than one that is recessed inside the battery.
Check to ensure that the replacement battery has the same specifications as the 6-volt stock battery that is currently installed in the ride-on.
You Will Need
- Wire cutters
- A pair of batteries with a voltage of 6 volts
- Butt connections
- Pliers used for crimping
- Electrical/duct tape
- Take the battery out of the car. You need to pop the hood of the super wheels, unhook the battery connections, and then remove the battery.
- Put the two batteries side by side in their respective slots. Because you need to boost the voltage of the battery pack, you should connect the two 6-volt batteries in a series.
To do this, the positive terminal of one battery must be connected to the negative terminal of the other battery.
- Remove the battery connection from one of the batteries. Cut both lines connecting one battery to the connection on the second battery, being sure to leave a sufficient overhang so that the two batteries may be connected.
- Cut the wire that connects the negative terminal on the other battery. The cable that was going to the negative terminal on the second battery should be cut halfway through.
- Connect the two different terminals. Connect the negative connection of the first battery to the positive terminal of the second battery using the proper connectors.
- Establish the connection between the connector and the open negative terminal. To finish putting together the circuit, place any loose wires that are left inside a butt connector and crimp them together.
- Join the two batteries by fastening them together. When everything is put together, there should be a wire that connects the positive terminal of the first battery to the negative terminal of the second battery.
In addition, there is a wire that is connected to the connection from the positive terminal of one battery, and another wire that is connected to the connector from the negative terminal of the second battery.
Keep the two batteries pressed against one another and cover them with electrical tape or duct tape.
- Replace the existing battery pack with the new one in the car. The car might not be big enough to accommodate the bigger 12-volt battery pack.
Experiment with it from several angles until you find one that works. In certain cases, you may need to remove some components to fit the larger battery.
- Connect the wires to the battery. It won’t be difficult for you to connect anything because you’ll be using the regular Power Wheels battery and motor hookup. After the connector has been inserted, the hood can be closed.
- Drive the supercharged car for some driving practice to see how it handles on the sidewalk
Installing a 12V Battery
If you want to save a bit of money, instead of buying a 6v battery and following the method above, you could instead install a 12v battery in the mini car.
Changing out the factory battery for a sealed lead-acid battery is possible when you install a new 12-volt battery, making this upgrade the superior choice among the two options.
The use of a lead-acid battery with a sealed case is a better choice for ride-on toys since this type of battery prevents acid from leaking out if the toy topples or rolls over.
You Will Need
- A holder for an inline fuse that is 30 amps, and the fuse itself
- A lead-acid battery with a sealed compartment and 12 volts
- A device for crimping
- Connectors that are compatible with your newly purchased battery
- Wire for electric current
- Wire cutters
- Take out the battery that operates at 6 volts. Lift the hood of the car and remove the battery from its connection to the vehicle.
- Remove the connection from the battery. Make use of the cutters to remove both of the wires from the connection that are attached to the old 6-volt battery.
- Remove a portion of the wire from the electrical outlet. The diameter of the cable on the inline fuse holder should be comparable to that of the piece of wire.
- Remove the insulation from the wires’ ends. Remove approximately 0.5 inches from each end of the inline fuse, connection wires, and wire piece. This makes putting them together a simple process.
- Straighten out the cables. It’s necessary to make a connection between the positive terminal of the battery connector and the wire that contains the inline fuse. The piece of wire is supposed to be inserted into the connector’s negative terminal.
- Join the wires together. When it comes to connecting wires, you have a few different options. You may either crimp connections, twist the wires together, and then cover them with tape, or you can solder the wires together.
While these are all good methods, soldering produces the most secure connections between the components.
- Put the end connections into place. Make sure the new battery connector’s open ends have connections crimped onto them and check to see that they are secure and stable.
- Attach the connection for the battery to the new battery. The wire that contains the inline fuse holder should be connected to the positive terminal, while the other wire should be connected to the negative terminal.
It’s essential to the completion of the project that the polarity be checked and adjusted as necessary.
- Join the fresh 12-volt battery to the circuit. A 6-volt battery is much smaller than its 12-volt counterpart. As a result, you might struggle to fit the battery inside the car. Try out a few different positions until you find the one that works best for you.
- Put the supercharged car through its paces so you can see how much faster it is. With this upgraded battery, you should get a speed increase of up to fifty percent.
In most cases, a 6-volt battery can be upgraded to a 12-volt battery, and a 12-volt battery may be upgraded to an 18-volt battery, without causing any damage to the drivable toy.
To prevent the motors on the car from overheating, you will have to install a detachable Automotive Type Fuse (ATF) of either 30 or 40 amps.
Make sure that your youngster is capable of managing the increased speed that comes with changing the power wheels batteries before you start this job.