Introduction: Easy Guide to Repair 6 and 12 Volt Electric Ride on Toys
How to repair most common electrical ride- on toys
Step 1: Diagnose the Problem Equipment Needed
There are few common problems which can cause an electric ride-on toy to quit working. A volt meter will be needed but you won’t need an expensive meter. The circuit runs from the battery sometimes they have a fuse or diode connected to one of the battery terminals. If you can test at that point and have an electrical current then go the on/off switch ( not all ride ons have power switch). From there the voltage goes to the pedal then it’s passed on to the forward/reverse switch and motherboard.Then it’s passed to the motors.
Step 2: Testing the Batteries and Connections.
Check 6 volt or 12 volt batteries 6 volt fully charged should read 6 plus volts 12 volt should read 12volts plus. You also want to check the terminals inside the connectors battery side and vehicle side. I had a customer who had a 12 volt John Deere back hole tractor, the battery and charger were both checked out good but he could not get the tractor to work. There was corrosion in one of the connectors preventing the battery from making contact. Sometimes a battery can give you a false good reading before moving on to switches and motors unplug the battery from the vehicle. Using the plug that the battery would connect to, insert a couple of small nails or screws into the plug. This is to give the charger something to connect to, it won’t damage anything. Check on the plug for pos. and negative then hook a regular battery charger 6 or 12 volt depending on the battery side. If you plug in a charger and it works it’s the battery that’s bad.( UPDATE ON BATTERY VOLTAGE DETERMINING CONDITION BY VOLTAGE READING. I HAVE COME ACROSS A 12 VOLT BATTERY WITH A READING OF 12 PLUS VOLTAGE THAT WAS BAD THIS IS THE FIRST BATTERY IN 10 YEARS THAT HAD A PLUS VOLTAGE VALUE, BUT WAS BAD) So double check to make sure you don’t have the same issues.
Step 3: Testing Throttle or Foot Pedal Switch
On the throttle switch you can use the multi meter using the added chart in pic. The foot peddle switch you can disconnect and jump the connection on the switch I use a paper clip, if the motor starts turning once you jump the connection you know it’s the pedal switch. Two more switches on the vehicles are your forward/reverse and fast/slow switches. If your vehicle won’t run or only runs slow or only goes forward or reverse. These switches could be the problem.If you have a vehicle that only goes forward or reverse or high low. Under the switches you will see the wires connecting to each switch. If you have a high low speed switch undo the wires and turn the switch around and replug them in. If it was only working in high and you turn the switch then it only runs in low you know the switch is bad. All replacement parts are available online. If your vehicle won’t move once the battery has been charged and you check it for 6 plus or 12 plus volts. Reading just 6 or 12 can be a sign of a bad battery, it has to be over the voltage because the start up using load power to begin to move the vehicle.
Step 4: Replacing the Battery Charger or Battery
The two main manufacturers of electric ride-on toys are Power Wheels and Peg Perego, make sure which one you have and the voltage (6/12 v )when ordering parts. The connections on these batteries are made to manufactures specs. But that doesn’t mean you have to use their batteries, you can undo the casing and remove the plug connections. Some times the clips are soldered on but not every time. You can take them apart and reuse the plugs, just identify the positive and negative cables. If you have to replace the terminals you can mark them yourself . When replacing the battery charger with the one in the picture you just have to make contact with the metal clips in the connector (pos. To pos. Neg to neg.) Also test your charger to make sure it’s putting out the correct voltage 6 volt or 12 volt and make sure it cutting off when it’s supposed too. I have one car brought in that the charger didn’t cut off, it burned up the battery,control board and melted one of the rear lenses on the vehicle. Once you see the green light or after charges all night test the charger with your volt meter.
Step 5: Checking Controller and Motor
The easiest way to test the controller is once the batteries and switches have been determined to be good turn the throttle or press the pedal switch. If you hear a clicking sound the controller or motherboard is most likely bad. You can also test it with the voltmeter. Testing the motor is done by disconnecting it from the controller and hook up 6 or 12 volt charger to it and make sure it turns. The pic of the large motor is from Razor scooter or moped style the pic of the two smaller motors are found in most 4- wheeler type or the typical cars and trucks. The motors rarely go bad.
Step 6: Drill Drainage Holes
The biggest problem after batteries going bad is shorted switches, The main problem is these ride ons are not waterproof, if they are washed or rained on they won’t drain properly. Even if you have a brand new ride on the biggest tip I can give is drill drain holes. Under pedal switch gear switch speed switch even the battery compartment. There are many new models coming out that have working lights wired radio and remote controls. You have to remember most of these vehicles are made in China. The more accessories the less juice you have for driving which also destroys the battery sooner, it has to be charged more often.
Step 7: Changing the Battery and Vehicle Swicth
You can cut off the connectors one leads from the battery and connects to the vehicle connector. If you are going to use a universal charger instead of the one that came with the vehicle you can connect to the metal clips inside of the connector (pos to pos. neg. to neg. ) .If you are going to use a different battery then the manufacture reuse the battery connector or cut off the manufactures battery charger connector and replace with the universal metal clips which will connect on the new battery.
Step 8: Newer Models
There are many newer models being put on the market and most are coming from China. The more accessories the less power you have for driving,the new ride ons have wired radios, working lights and remote controls. The batteries run down faster and sometimes the mother boards can’t handle the extra charges. .
Step 9: Jeep Brought in As a Trade From a Repeat Customer
Repeat customer brought a Jeep that was having trouble, the car would take off as soon as the battery was connected. The problem was the foot peddle switch. It was a power Wheels model Jeep so the peddle switch worked off an internal spring it was stuck in the on pressed in position. There was no way to rebuild it so I just changed it with a new one. That solved the problem and along with a new paint job it will be listed locally for sale.
Step 10: Check Double Check
Customer brought I an older John Deere Gator, she wanted fixed. Tested battery and it was bad, hooked up a test battery and put it in forward gear and it ran. Then shifted to reverse and no response, with this vehicle forward/reverse is all one switch. I was thinking I would have to replace the switch, but one I took the back panel covering the motors I found the real problem. A mouse moved in and built a large nest, her or her babies ate the motor wiring and sprayed the motor (always wear gloves and face mask, cloth mask types work). Replace the wiring and motor and battery, now it’s good as new. If I had only suspected the switch and had bought a new one it would have been a waste.
Step 11: Battery and Fresh Paint
Had someone bring in a ride on that their kids out grew. Put a new battery and a paint job and it was ready to go.
Step 12: Someone Brought in a Curbside Find
Took the body off to check for broken or cut wires and checked the motors (12 v) replaced one and a new battery. Painted and then put the truck back together.
With a lot of extra parts on hand, had someone ask me to build a trailer for their grandkids.
Step 14: Extending the Run Time
if you want to increase the run time for your child’s ride-on you can hook up two 6 volt or 12 volt batteries together. I do not recommend increasing the voltage but do recommend adding run time.
You can hook up two batteries parallel and it won’t increase the voltage. Putting two batteries side by side call one “A” and the other “B”. Connect one wire from red “A” to red “B” and connect one wire from black”A” to black “B”.Then run a separate wire from red “A” to the vehicle then run separate wire from black “B” to vehicle.
Step 15: Bad Idea
Have a few people asking about upgrading their batteries to a higher voltage. When you increase the voltage there is a danger of electric fires . Had someone bring in a 6 volt that was upgraded to a 12 volt and they didn’t realize the pedal switch, on off switch and motors was all affected because they couldn’t handle the higher voltage
Step 16: Repairing Forward Reverse Switch
You can buy replacement switches online for around $7-$10 each. But you can also repair the old ones while waiting on them to come in. Open the switch by removing the top button,empty the contents on your work table. Using spray lubricant to clean the housing and contacts, once you inspect the springs you can replace them. The springs are the cause of most switches to stop working. Cut your new spring 1/2
Once again whichever battery powered ride-on you own, unless it’s kept inside . You need to drill drain holes, the pics are of a hover board that the moisture got to and ruined.
Step 19: Steering Not Working
Had a customer bring in a Power Wheels tank and the steering wasn’t working. There is a bad design where the steering motherboard was located, the manufacturer sent out new motherboards. After charging the motherboard the steering still didn’t work. I removed the gearbox that was attached to the steering rod and opened the casing to remove the two screws that was holding the motor in.I would suggest taking a pic before removing the gear cogs.I was able to give the motor a lubricant bath and was able to free it up. Re-installed the gearbox and it worked perfectly.
Step 21: “Fix It
Times being tough had someone bring me a curb find to see if I could “fix it” for them. Other then having no battery, gear case or motor it was in good shape. Since I have plenty of parts and him buying a battery and charger, I was able to “fix it” . After parts and some paint got it presentable for him. Mickey Mouse coup the original Rat Rod.
Participated in the
Wheels Contest 2017