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Now, if your power wheels charger has an LED light (old school quick chargers often have a charging status indicator light), then you can easily tell if your power wheels battery is charging.
Unfortunately, you cannot tell if the battery is charging outright if your charger does not have this feature (Red light indicates it is charging while a green light says it is charged).
Which brings me to the question this article will be answering: How then do you tell if your power wheels battery is charging?
Read on to find out how to tell if power wheels battery is charging and when it’s ready to use.
How to tell if power wheels battery is charging
Below is how to tell if power wheels battery is charging….
Now, if you have a standard charger without the charge indicator light, then your only option is to plug it in and hope it is charging (oops!).
We know that this is not what you wanted to hear so here is a workaround: Physically measure voltage.
Put simply, use a voltmeter to read the voltage before you put the battery to charge and after like 2 hours.
If it is charging, you should notice a positive change in voltage (your voltmeter should be set to 20, on the DC side)..
Here is what you should keep in mind:
- If a 12 volts battery is in good shape, it needs to be at about 10.5 volts (or above) – below this means it cannot accept charge and it needs to be replaced.
- If a 6 volts battery is in a good condition, it needs to be above 5 volts (in general) – under this means it will have trouble accepting charge and it may need to be replaced.
How to test power wheels charger
At times you will find the battery not charging yet the real culprit is the charger.
So it is important to know how to test the charger too.
Here is how:
Measure charger output (6 volt charger)
- Connect the charger to an outlet.
- Get your voltmeter and switch it on.
- Set it to 20 (on the DC side).
- Now take the 2 voltmeter electrodes and touch the terminals of the charger (negative to negative and positive to positive)- the outlet should be ON.
- Check the readings- anything above 6 Volts is good (note that a 6V charger will output 6V+ to be able to load amps into the battery)
Measure charger output (12 volt charger)
Repeat steps 1-4 with your 12V charger and check the readings.
Here you’ll be looking for a little bit higher reading (typically 13.5 volts to 14 volts) if the charger is fine.
To be clear, any output under 13 volts is considered an issue for a 12 volts charger.
Quick Note: Testing a smart charger is not as straightforward since it has to be plugged into a working battery itself prior to outputting voltage (we will be publishing an article on testing power wheels quick chargers right here soon).
What should I do if my battery is not charging?
If the battery is not charging, the first thing to do is to check that the charger is properly plugged into the outlet (also confirm that the outlet is working).
It is worth mentioning that for chargers with an LED light, a flashing red light usually indicates incorrect battery or a bad battery.
Quick Note: It might be a bad charger issue as well– and you may need to try out a functional charger. Keep in mind that for chargers with an indicator light, the light should come on immediately it is plugged into outlet so if it doesn’t, it could be the clearest signal of a failed charger.
Will you be able to get a reading to determine whether your battery is good or not, if the battery isn’t charged?
You need to attempt to charge the power wheels battery first.
That is because all a voltmeter can tell you is the state of charge of the battery -it cannot put a pass/fail load test on the battery.
So, how do i know if my power wheels battery is bad?
First, the voltage- check if you can get the voltage range we mentioned earlier.
Secondly, the time you have used it so far- the typical lifespan on these batteries is 3 to 5 years so if it has started acting up and it is this old, then it is probably time to replace it.
Another quick way to tell if an old battery is completely damaged is to physically shake it.
If you can hear debris shifting around (within the battery), it means its lead plates have dis-integrated and/or fallen apart.
How to tell if power wheels battery is charging – Frequently asked Questions (FAQs)
Everything is good but the charger blinks red and green (the LED light flashes green red on and of)
If the LED light flashes green red on and of, then you could be looking at a voltage problem with your battery.
In general, when the lights alternate between red and green, there is a voltage issue (with the power wheels battery).
How do i know when my power wheels battery is charged?
If you have 12v battery, the battery voltage should typically be 12.7 (or above) when fully charged so grab a multimeter and measure voltage.
On the other hand, if you have a 6v power wheels battery, the multimeter should read 6.6 (or above).
There is another way: timing the battery.
Now, the general rule of thumb is 8 to 14 hours of recharge time to restore the battery juice so it can be safe to assume that it is fully charged if you time it (for the above hours).
Is there a 12 volts power wheels charger with indicator light that works well?
Unfortunately, Power Wheels seems to have stopped making chargers with charge LED light.
What if the charger has an indicator light on it, but it just doesn’t come on at all when plugged into outlet?
Typically the charger light should light up right away when you plug it into the wall regardless if it’s not connected to a battery.
So if you’re not seeing that light, then we think you’re looking at a bad charger issue.