Power wheels dune racer troubleshooting guide

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We share practical power wheels dune racer troubleshooting in this guide to help you fix the toy and delight your little one

This power wheels dune racer troubleshooting guide is all about fixing various power wheels dune racer problems.

We shall look at how to fix common power wheels dune problems such as:

  • Power wheels dune racer not going in reverse
  • Power wheels dune racer not moving forward
  • Power wheels dune racer not going fast
  • Power wheels dune racer not working at all

Let’s get started:

Power wheels dune racer troubleshooting guide – how to troubleshoot your power wheels dune racer car

Power wheels dune racer shifter problems

Shifter problems are the most common cause of the following power wheels dune racer issues:

  • Going backwards– If your dune race only goes backwards (and won’t go forward no matter what you try), then the most likely culprit is the shifter. That said, sometimes you can fix the issue temporarily by reversing the wires (on the motors).
  • Not going into low gear– It won’t just go into low gear.

How to fix power wheels dune racer shifter problems

Solution #1

Take apart the shifter assembly and clean the 2 switches- this could get your shifter working like new again.

You will need to take the whole thing apart to access the switches and get them out (a screwdriver will be helpful here).

Your job will be to wash them up and scrub everything clean (don’t worry about water getting into the shifters because already there is a lot of mess in them).

Once you have scrubbed them clean, allow them a while to dry (you can place them on a bench and wait as they dry).

You then put everything back together and try to see if your power wheels will stop acting up.

Solution #2

If the problems persist even after cleaning the shifters as indicated above, it is best to replace the entire assembly.

This shifter assembly has both forward/reverse plus the hi/low switch pre-installed and could be perfect for your Dune Racer (needless to say, replacing the whole thing is much easier than replacing individual switches).

Keep in mind that some dune racer models come with a shifter that has a chrome/black/gray shifter handle.

Here is the thing: The above shifter (featuring the gray handle) is the correct replacement shifter currently for all power wheels dune racer models so it should work for your case.

Here is what you should know about Power wheels dune racer shifter:

There is a clear flaw by Power Wheels in the dune racer: The shifter box design does not seal at the top near the handle so dirt, debris, and water can easily enter the shifter box and jam-up the 2 switches inside.

Water can also get to both switch metal contacts outside the shifter box (Each switch has a couple of contacts that can corrode).

Tips to improve longevity

That being so, here are some suggestions to improve the longevity of the shifter in your dune racer:

First clean the shifter as indicated above.


  1. Use WD-40 or Lithium grease to clean/lube the metal switch contacts. This can go a long way in helping to prevent corrosion (White Lithium grease has a thick consistency and is very good at lubing electrical connections, wheel bearings, and metal-on-metal friction areas).
  2. Next, spray WD40 around the inside of the switch rockers. This will be very helpful in reducing rocker switch binding from the dirt and dust that enters the shifter box.

Note: It is not a good idea to use grease inside the shifter box since dirt and dust will simply gum it up and make the mess worse so stick to WD40.

  1. Lastly, to reduce the amount of dust and dirt entering the shifter box, you can innovate a ‘dust cover’. For example, you can cut out a rectangular piece of thick felt/rubber then slide it down the box to act as a dust cover (be sure to cut out a square hole the size of the shifter arm).


Power wheels dune racer wont go in reverse

If your power wheels wont go in reverse, replacing the shifter rocker switch alone typically fixes the issue.


Power wheels dune racer wont go forward

If your power wheels dune racer won’t move forward, open it up and check each wiring connections all over the thing once more (pull all connections including  under seat, at the motors, etc.).

Maybe some wiring has been knocked loose.

You want to clean and plug them back in.

Quick Tip: As mentioned earlier, sometimes reversing the wires on its motor can make it go forward though it is rarely a lasting solution.


Power wheels dune racer wont go fast

The speed depends on the terrain and the riding conditions so there may not be a real problem.

However, if your kiddo is a speed maniac, you can try to make the power wheels run faster by performing some mods (you should at least upgrade the battery, motor, and gear box).


Power wheels dune racer wont work at all

Try the following:

Check the battery fuse

Next, check if the battery fuse is good (once it blows, the battery current is cut off and the battery may appear dead).

What you should do is remove and inspect it – You want to check for signs of a broken strip.

Replace the fuse, if necessary and retry.

Check if the battery has shorted

Get a replacement battery if you realize that this is your issue (you can test the power wheels battery with a voltmeter to confirm).

Check the wiring

There could be something wrong with the wiring.

Inspect the wiring all around and see if there are signs of loose/burned wires. Replace/fix as needed.

Check the motors (for both wheels)

They could be burned out too.

What you need to do is verify if they are getting electricity using a voltmeter (assuming the battery is OK).

An easier way of testing is by connecting the battery (or a different direct power source) directly to the motor – that motor should spin if OK.

If not, replace the D battery-sized motors that drive the back wheels.


Power wheels dune racer troubleshooting – Frequently Asked Questions [FAQs]

How do you make a power wheel dune racer go faster?

Well, the easiest way to make your power wheel dune racer go faster is by modding it- you’ll need to switch to a better battery as well as upgrade the motors (and gear boxes).



Power wheels dune racer battery upgrade – How I did it

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