Power Wheels Won’t Go Forward

One of the most common problems faced by power wheels users is that “power wheels won’t go forward”. 

Sometimes when your kid is trying to drive the power wheels, it will only go in reverse, and not forward; there can be a few reasons for that. 

If your power wheels won’t go forward, the problem is usually a wiring fault. In other cases, it may be the bad installation shifter switch, rust or dirt on the button, stuck paddle, or sometimes the high incline routes. 

Keep reading the article to know more about these problems and how to fix these issues so your kid can enjoy the power wheels ride without any hiccups.

Inspection of Problems

It is always the priority to find the correct problem before starting repairing. The first thing you need to do when repairing the power wheels is to remove the battery, it is necessary for safety reasons, remove the battery and place it into a safe place.

Find the forward/reverse switch on your toy car and check it, this button may be below the car seats of your power wheels this will require the removing of seats for easy access of seats. Some of the power wheels may not have the reverse switch.

Check out the wiring to see if there is a faulty one; you may need a multimeter for that. The best way to check the faulty wires is by passing a current through each switch.

Early Tips to Prevent the Problems

Try to clean your power wheels frequently, this will prevent the problems like dust and rust. The dust can affect the switches, motors, and other things. 

While cleaning the metal parts check for rust; if something is rusty, use some anti-rust material like WD-40 to get rid of it.

The battery needs to be checked frequently, as the battery’s power output affects the speed of your power wheels. There can be an issue if the battery power output is low and your power wheels can’t go forward or reverse.

Look for damaged and loose wires every few months; if you find some repair them at the time, you may need electrical tape or to insulate them; this will prevent the issues at larger focus.

Problems With Solutions

As mentioned above, there can be a few reasons for power wheels not going forward or only going in reverse. Let’s have a look at the reasons one by one and try to find a solution for them:

Forward/ Reverse Switch Issues

Rusting and dirt can affect the performance of switches in your power wheels, forward/reverse switch may get jammed, and this will lead your power wheels to move in only one direction or stop completely.

Pop out the switch and disconnect its connections, clean the dirt from the switch. If the switch contains metal, it may get rusty. You can clean the rust by using vinegar or any other form of mild acid. 

This problem is a simple one compared to others; a couple of minutes of cleaning can solve your problem. You need to reconnect the switch and test it.

Loose Wires 

Power Wheels Won’t go Forward

Check all the wires connected to the motor and switches at the dashboard and gearbox. Any wire can get loose, and it may create a vulnerability for the vehicle not to go forward. 

Pop out the button and check the wiring of the switches. If any wire is disconnected, you can repair it, place the button back into the place, tighten all the loose wires, reconnect the battery, and check if it solves the problem. 

Check the performance of both reverse and forward switches; the performance will show you if it was a loose wire problem or not.  

Expired or Damaged Switches

As mentioned above, switches can be a reason for power wheels not going forward. Most of the time, the problems with switches are they became expired or damaged. 

You can use a voltmeter meter to check the switches if the electricity is flowing through the switches or expired. When there is nothing on the voltmeter, it shows that the switch isn’t working and should be replaced.

It is a very easy process to replace a switch; you just need to remember the old wires and connect them to the new switch. 

One of the most common reasons for power wheels not going forward is the dashboard switch; these switches are available in the market. 

It will take a few minutes to replace the switch and make your power wheels go forward again.

Shifter Issues

Another most common reason for power wheels not going forward is the shifter problems. 

The shifter is used to switch the gears. 

It should be noted even if the shifter is not damaged or expired, it may still work incorrectly; the reasons for that may be incorrect installation, wrong wiring between the shifter switch and motor.

Incorrect installation of shifter switch means that shifter is installed using opposite terminals. 

To solve this issue, disconnect the shifter and rewire it to the correct terminals and check the shifter’s functioning while repairing it. 

If even after repairing the power wheel is not going forward, the shifter switch may need replacement. Amazon and local markets have different choices for shifter switches.

Power Issues

Some of the power wheels do not have enough power to go forward on high inclines or steep terrain, or sometimes the power wheels can be stuck in snow, grass, or path holes. 

Then your power wheels need more power to get through these situations, a hard grip may also be needed.

You can upgrade your power wheels to get more power. 

Power wheels can get more power by upgrading the battery, upgrading the motor, or installing the electronic speed controller. To know more about the up-gradation process, read the article ( link to “how to make power wheels faster”). 

For the grip issue, rubber tires can be installed instead of plastic ones.

Assembling Issues 

Sometimes you have to assemble your power wheels from factory packing or when you are shifting, after assembling you may experience your power wheels not going forward or reverse but only going sideways.

This simply means something is not installed properly, the wires, switches need to be checked, it is better to follow the guide at each step.

Are the Solutions to These Problems Hard and Time-Consuming?

Most of the issues described above are not time-consuming and require less effort. Issues like repairing or cleaning of switches and wiring may take 30 to 60 minutes based on the individual’s skills. All these issues do not require much effort.

While assembling the power wheels or upgrading them, you may require more effort and time. Assembling is time-consuming because you have to work on every part and connect them correctly. 

Upgrading the battery or motor may require making extra place in your power wheels, and installing an electronic speed controller is time-consuming and needs skills to install.

Cost of Replacing Parts

Replacement parts like forward/ reverse switches or shifter switch assemblies have affordable prices. Forward/ reverse can cost in the price range of $15 to $ 20, the shifter assemblies can cost between $10-$20, the wire harness connector can cost between $15 – $20, and the other wires are relatively cheaper. 

The up-gradation costs are relatively higher. The price for a 24V battery is in the range of $80 to $120, the 24V motor can cost up to $80, and the electronic speed controller is the most expensive one.

Getting services from a professional to replace the parts or upgrade the power wheels may get very expensive because the service charge a high price. 

By following the guide, parents can replace the parts. A lot of parents opt to sell the faulty power wheels to buy a new one. 

All the parts are easily available in stores or online sites like Amazon and have a large variety of these parts.


When your kids are playing with their power wheels, and they do not go forward, it becomes frustrating for your kid and which makes you frustrated because it’s your responsibility to repair it or get services for repair. 

We have tried to solve this problem by giving information about the issues and their solution, which will surely help you.

If your power wheels won’t go forward, the first thing you will look for is dirt or rust. If there is no dust or rust, look into wires or switches, tight the loose wires, and replace the faulty switches. 

In some cases, increasing the power of your power wheels may solve this problem.

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