Overcharging a Power Wheels battery is a common problem; most of the time, parents leave the Power Wheels on charging overnight because that is the only time their kid is not playing and they are not working. This constant overcharging will cause damages to the battery.
When a Power Wheels battery is overcharged, it starts depleting and eventually becomes weak or dead. Power Wheels’ standard regular charging time is between 14-30 hours, while the first-ever charging should be at least 18 to 30 hours.
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What Happens if You Overcharge a Power Wheels Battery?
When you overcharge a battery more than its designated capacity, this leads the battery to start depleting, and the damage becomes irreversible.
Sometimes, this can also cause the battery to explode in extreme situations. An overcharged battery will cause damage to the Power Wheels.
When you frequently overcharge a battery, it becomes weak, and a weak battery will directly affect the Power Wheels motor and Control Board.
A weak battery means providing less voltage than assigned; if the motor is not getting the required voltage, it will run slower or just stop.
The Power Wheels pedal may stop working, and the other appliances in the power wheels may also get affected.
What Happens to the Battery When It Is Overcharged?
Power Wheels is installed with a sealed lead-acid (SLA) battery.
When you overcharge a sealed lead acid battery, it causes a reaction in electrolyte water inside the batteries; the electrolyte water breaks into oxygen and hydrogen gases, which causes starting of electrolyte depletion.
This depletion damages the battery and reduces the battery life.
When the electrolyte level drops, it leaves the plates exposed, which causes the oxidation of plates, leading to a decrease in battery capacity.
Most Importantly, the sealed lead-acid (SLA) batteries are more sensitive to this scenario because the electrolyte water can’t be added or changed.
Indications of an Overcharged Power Wheels Battery.
Whenever the battery is overcharged, it produces heat, and the water starts to boil; sometimes, you can hear the sound of boiling bubbles. Here are the signs which show that your Power Wheels Battery is overcharged.
- Bloating in the Battery
- Excessive Heat
- Acidic Smell
- Electrical Burn Smell
- Sometimes there is visible smoke in Extreme Conditions.
If you see any of these signs in your Power Wheels battery, it is a warning sign, and now need to be extra careful. Overcharged batteries can become harmful when in these states.
The SLA batteries are sealed, and most of the time, are not a problem. But when it is constantly overcharged, it creates gases and eventually explodes in extreme situations.
Standard Charging Time of Power Wheels
When you buy a new Power Wheels or replace a battery, the first charging time is always high than the regular charging time.
The initial charging time of the Power Wheels battery is at least 18 hours, don’t let your kid use the Power Wheels before completing the 18 hours first charging. The first charging decides the battery life and proper function throughout its life span.
The regular standard charging time of a Power Wheels battery is a maximum of 14 hours. If you go up to 18 hours in regular charging, it may count as overcharging.
You can also use the battery charged in less than 14 hours, but this leads to undercharging, which also causes certain damages to the battery.
If you leave the battery charging more than 30 hours after the initial charging, it will start damaging the battery, so the initial charging time should be between 18-30 hours.
Power Wheels Battery Charging and Safety Tips
If you want your Power Wheels battery to have a longer life, you must adhere to a few simple tips.
You should note that following these tips does not necessarily mean the battery will not get damaged; there can be reasons other than charging, which may damage the battery.
- Initial Charging Is a Must
Your kids become too excited if they see their new Power Wheels; because of this excitement, parents often make the mistake of letting the kids play before the initial charging process. It is necessary to do the initial charging before letting your kid play with the Power Wheels.
Read the manual, unbox and assemble the Power Wheels. Plug the Power Wheels in to charge for at least 18 hours. The initial charging ensures the battery will function properly throughout its life span. The initial charging time can exceed 18 hours but not more than 30 hours.
- Adhere to Standard Regular Charging
Standard charging refers to the daily or subsequent charging of Power Wheels on their everyday use. There is no minimum charging time for the Power Wheels to work correctly, but the recommended standard time from Power Wheels is at least 14 hours.
You should not go more than 30 hours because the battery will start draining, decreasing the battery life.
It should be mentioned that this charging time is for the empty battery when the Power Wheels gives you a low battery warning. If your battery has the subsequent amount of charge remaining, you may charge the battery according to it.
The 14-30 hours may sound like a long time for charging, but this time will give you a full battery so your kid can enjoy his ride for a long time.
- Don’t Overcharge/Undercharge the Power Wheels.
As we have discussed above, overcharging is dangerous for the Power Wheels battery. It starts a reaction in electrolyte water of the battery, converts it to oxygen and hydrogen gas, and causes a decrease in electrolyte water level.
It starts depleting in the battery, which makes the battery weak and eventually dead. Don’t go for overnight charging.
Similarly, undercharging the Power Wheels battery also causes damages to the battery. The undercharging can give you less running time, but when a lead-acid battery is not fully charged after being used, it causes sulfating in the battery.
Sulfating is the formation of lead sulfate in the plates of the battery. The sulfating diminishes the performance of the battery and its life.
- Use a Smart Charger
By using the smart charger, you can prevent overcharging. Power Wheels stock charger is usually not the smart one. The smart charger will know that the battery is full, and it will stop charging the battery.
You can buy a smart charger from online stores. Make sure to buy a charger with the correct voltage, otherwise, it can harm the battery.
- When The Power Wheels Is Not In Use, Disconnect The Battery.
If your child has not used his Power Wheels for a long time, it is necessary to disconnect the battery and store it in a safe place.
Even the battery is connected to the Power Wheels without any use, it still draws power from the battery passively, which reduces the battery life.
You can notice that when you plug in the Power Wheels into charging, it will show that the battery is not fully charged.
It is also necessary to adhere to the once-a-month charge rule. Charge the Power Wheels once a month, and the passive power consumption will not affect the battery.
Storing a battery for a long time may also cause the battery to get discharged, which can lead to a replacement of the battery.
- Power Wheels Battery Security and Storage Temperature
Most Power Wheels have a battery compartment under the seat or in the hood. These compartments have retainers to keep the battery secured.
Use the retainer to keep the battery in place. If the battery moves in the compartment, it can cause damage to the battery and Power Wheels.
The average temperature does not affect the Power Wheels batteries, but that does not mean you can store the Power Wheels battery at any temperature.
If you want the full life of the battery, you have to ensure that the storage temperature is not below -10° F and not above 75° F.
- Power Wheels Battery Position and No Discharge
The battery position should always be upright; otherwise, it may cause damage inside the sealed lead-acid battery. The battery contains plates and electrolyte water, so keeping it in an upright direction will balance the water level in the battery.
Try to prevent the battery from accidents if the battery is out of the Power Wheels; otherwise, the Power Wheels have retainers to hold the battery in one place.
When you store the battery, don’t leave it in a discharged condition; otherwise, it will ruin it, and you will have to order a replacement Power Wheels battery.
Things to Avoid With Power Wheels Batteries
There are a few things you should do when charging the Power Wheels or working with batteries. These things will increase the life of your Power Wheels battery.
- Do not let the battery run down before charging: When you constantly charge the battery when it is entirely run down, it will eventually decrease the battery’s life. It will not be easy, but you have to schedule to charge the Power Wheels before completely running down.
- Avoid Overnight Charging: Parents find it comfortable to charge the battery during the night because at this time, they are not at work, and their kid is also not playing with the Power Wheels. Overnight charging can lead to overcharging, and you should avoid frequent overnight charging.
- Don’t Alter a Part of Battery: People usually look for solutions online. Similarly, you can find many tips to modify the battery to make it last longer. It is highly recommended not to alter the batteries if you want to make it last longer.
- Avoid Pulling the Battery With Connectors and Wires: Avoid pulling it from connectors or wires when you take out the battery. It can damage the connectors and wires, the batteries are heavy, and if a wire breaks, the battery can fall and cause an accident.
- Wrong Type of Battery: The battery type should be compatible with the Power Wheels. For Example, if you are using a 6V battery in 12V Power Wheels, the motor will not run properly, and if the battery is 12V and the motor is 6V, it will burn down the motor soon.
- Don’t let your kids charge or work with batteries: When it comes to power, don’t let your kids play with it. Charging the vehicle is connected to power, and your kid may harm himself.
Weak batteries can sometimes produce some gases which can harm your child. It is always recommended don’t let your kid work with batteries.
It is not recommended to overcharge the Power Wheels. When the battery is overcharged, it starts depleting, leading to it becoming weak or dead eventually.
If you have bought a new Power Wheels or just replaced the battery with a new one, the first charging is necessary before giving it to your kid.
The initial charging time is between 18-30 hours, and the regular charging should be between 14-30 hours; charging more than 30 hours will lead to overcharging. You can also use a smart charger to prevent the overcharging of Power Wheels.