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  • Trouble Shooting Your Power Wheels & Ride-on Car

    Trouble Shooting Your Power Wheels & Ride-On Car


    Power Wheels car blows fuses or pops breakers

    Sometimes when you upgrade your power wheels it starts blowing fuses or popping the breaker. It's easy to think the new parts must be the faulty but that's almost never the case. The fuse/breaker in your car is designed to work with the maximum allowable amperage flow for stock motors and batteries. Increasing the voltage or installing faster motors also increases the amp flow. We recommend using a 40 amp fuse or a self-resetting breaker as soon as you upgrade either the battery or motors.

    Think of volts and amps as being a highway system. Voltage is the number of cars driving and amperage is the speed they move. Your motors are a sports stadium and your battery is the residents. When you use faster motors (build a bigger arena) or increase the voltage (build more houses) you increase the traffic flow (amp flow). If at any point along your highway (wiring) there is an inefficient area the amperage overflows and the fuse/breaker pops as a safety. Like having a section of road that narrows on a busy highway. This most commonly occurs in places electricity has to make a "turn" such as shifter and foot pedal switches. It can also occur in any connector you've added into the system. In good condition a Power Wheel's wiring can easily handle 24 volts of power and 775 size motors. As the switches age their ability to handle increased loads lessens. Fortunately shifter switches and foot pedal switches are cheap and easy to replace so don't sweat it.

    Ride-ons are designed for SLA style batteries. Lithium power tool batteries have a much higher discharge amperage rating and can cause fuses to blow and other problems. It's like the analogy we gave above but the residents all think they're Mario Andretti. Adding a voltage regulator will not change the discharge rate. The only proper way to do this is with a Soft-Start Lithium Module.
    Here's some things to try (in no particular order):

    • Inspect the bottom of the foot plunger switch. If there's green or black then clean or replace the connectors and replace the switch. If the copper wire looks black you'll need to replace that section of wire harness.
    • Test all of the switches with an ohm meter for resistance. A switch can look good on the outside but be bad on the inside. Switches are cheaper than an ohm meter so if you don't have a meter just get the switches. It's a good idea to have some spares if you're increasing the voltage.
    • If you spliced wires for any reason, take the splice apart and make sure it is done right. Soldering is best.
    • If you tightened the motors using a power drill take them back out, put threadlock on the screws, and hand tighten the motors.
    • Check your rear axle for even the slightest bend. Roll it on a flat surface. This problem can also shred final gears, third gears, and gearbox housings.
    • If the batteries are old, replace them. If you're using stock Power Wheels brand batteries be aware that they have a 30 amp breaker built in. As they age they handle less and less amperage. If you replace them with our upgrade batteries they will come with 40 amp fuses. Never use batteries higher than 12 amps.
    • If you're running rubber tires, take them off. The spinning wheel is the car's only clutch. Without that you will blow fuses, gears, motors, and your wallet.
    • Pro Tip: 95% of customers with Bravo Grave Diggers report solving fuse blowing issues by getting a new shifter from Bravo.

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    One motor isn't working for your Power Wheels

    To be clear, this section is for the motor not making any sound. If you hear both motors spinning but one of the gears aren't turning please move to the next section. To test a motor, simply apply 12 volts from a battery directly to the motor while the motor is unplugged from the car. If the motor spins normally then the motor is not your issue. If a motor works in one direction then it will work in both directions and at high or low speed. If the motor doesn't work when tested, it needs to be replaced. They can not be repaired.

    • Are you using the right battery? Stock 550's or Performance 550's, are designed for up to 12 volts with SLA batteries. Performance 775's are for up to 24 volts with SLA batteries. Do not use lithium batteries in a ride-on without a Soft Start Lithium Module. They have a discharge rating 5x higher than SLA batteries. With no clutch to absorb all of that extra punch, motors have no choice but to cook or gears to strip. Adding a voltage regulator does not solve this problem.

    • Did you break the motors in? Performance motors need the motor brushes "seated" to the commutator under a very small load. This is done by raising the back of the car in the air and running it at low speed for the time listed on the manufacturer's instruction sheet. Failure to break them in causes excessive arcing/sparking in the motor and will crack a motor brush. There's no repairing this damage.

    • Is the pinion gear the right tooth count and pitch for the gearbox? The only gearbox that can change tooth counts is the 7R. The range your 7R gearbox can take is printed on the gearbox housing. Using a pinion gear too big will cause the mesh to be too tight which puts a strain on the motor. Either the motor will fail or the first gear will strip/melt. The pitch basically indicates the shape of the tooth and can not be changed.

    • Modified tires will overheat motors. The spinning tire is the closest thing your car has to a clutch. Adding rubber/traction puts a ton of strain on the motors and gears. Changing to a larger diameter tire changes the final drive gear ratio of the car and can also overheat motors. Larger diameter tires need to be countered with a smaller pinion. Adding heavier tires also creates more strain for the motors and should be countered with smaller pinions.

    • Check the wires to the motors. A stock motor may have had a wire tab break off. If so they can not be repaired. You'll need to replace the motor.

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    Power Wheels or car won't move at all, no sound from gears

    • Check your battery with a voltmeter. It should have at least 11 volts when not charged, up to 14 when charged. Below 11 volts means you need to replace the battery.

    • Make sure your charger is plugged into an outlet that has power to it BEFORE plugging it into the battery.

    • Check the switch under the gas pedal. Most foot board assemblies are press-fit into place and can be "popped" free with a straight-head screwdriver. Corrosion under the foot board is usually obvious to the eye. Replace the connectors and the switch if this is the case.

    • Check the wires to the motors. A stock motor may have had a wire tab break off. If so they can not be repaired. You'll need to replace the motor.

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    Power Wheels or car has No Reverse and Only 1 Forward Speed

    • Check the wires to the motors. A stock motor may have had a wire tab break off. If so they can not be repaired. You'll need to replace the motor.

    • If you have a shifter assembly then one of the switches has possibly gone bad. If you have a dashboard switch then it may have gone bad.

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    Power Wheels or Car has No Hi Speed Forward

    • Most vehicles have a Hi-Speed lockout so younger riders don't go too fast. If your vehicle has a shifter assembly then remove the screw or pin at the base of the shifter handle for Hi Speed. If you have dashboard shifting switches then look under the dashboard/handlebars for a disconnected white connector. Plug that in for Hi Speed.

    • If you have a shifter assembly then one of the switches has possibly gone bad. If you have a dashboard switch then it may have gone bad.

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    Power Wheels or Car is making a grinding noise

    That is a stripped gear or wheel driver. Easy to diagnose. Take off the tire on the side you hear the noise. Inspect the wheel driver. If that's not it then open the gearcase and take a look, it's obvious. Nothing will spring apart at you when opening a gearcase. (Hint: If one gear case is stripped the other isn't far behind. Replace them both.) Gearboxes normally fail because of an external influence. If you don't fix the cause then you may just strip the next gearbox again. Here's some common ways we see gearboxes get damaged (in no particular order):

    • Melted gearbox housing behind the final drive gear - this is caused by an uneven pressure or too much pressure pushing against the final drive gear. 3 major causes are: a bent axle (no matter how slight), modified tires, or damage to the frame where the axle mounts.

    • Melted gearbox housing at the first gear shaft - this is caused by the spinning first gear heating up the shaft. Causes are - lack of grease on the shaft, debris or old grease in the gearbox. Our hardened steel first gear and hardened steel pinions are the best solution for this as these first gears spin on ball bearings so there is no heat build-up.

    • Stripped first gear - this is the weakest link in the gearbox so the first thing to let go typically when adding more power. If the teeth are stripped on an angle it means the motor wasn't bolted tight and even to the gearbox. If half of each tooth is stripped the pinion gear wasn't centered over the first gear. If just a few teeth are removed it means there was a sudden jolt to the gearbox. If they're all removed it could be any of the above. If you don't want to deal with this ever again then replace it with a hardened steel first gear and hardened steel pinions. A brake reduction module is also helpful for the life of the gears and enjoyment of the car ride.

    • Broken teeth on 2nd, 3rd, or final drive gear - Caused by a sudden jolt to the gearbox. Most typically from changing vehicle direction without stopping first or from hitting an immovable object. These gears can handle 775 motors at 24 volts of SLA batteries when driven properly.

    • Pinion gear stripped - Most commonly caused by being the wrong material or shape. If you're using a hardened steel first gear you must use a hardened steel pinion, not just metal. With the stock first gear the material does not matter. The pitch of the gear is the distance between the peak of each tooth and must be 32. The shape of the pinion's tooth is also important to properly mesh with stock and modified first gears. There's no standard measurement or name for this and it varies greatly among brands. The best thing we can tell you is that ours are the correct shape!

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    Power Wheels or car shuts off then restarts in 30 seconds

    This happens when stock Power Wheels batteries get old or have an increased amp draw either from modified motors or a binding drivetrain. The internal 30 amp circuit breaker pops then resets. Make sure the rear axle is perfectly straight and the wheels turn freely. Lighten the vehicle load. Avoid tall grass. Or switch to our batteries which use a 40amp fuse and run 30% longer. Often needed with 24 volt systems or 775 motors.

    When all else fails with stock Power Wheels vehicles, you can take it to your local Authorized Power Wheels Service Center too!

    For Kid Trax stock parts and support contact them.

    For Peg Perego stock parts and support contact them.

    If you are having troubles with a car using our modifications please try the suggestions above and then use the Contact Us page to reach our technicians.

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    RELATED VIDEO: How a Power Wheels Works