Troubleshooting Common Problems with Electric Cars for Kids

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Troubleshooting Common Problems with Electric Cars for Kids

Even though they are frequently handled roughly by children, electric cars are a lot of fun and relatively sturdy. Fortunately, electric cars for kids are typically made of plastic parts and held together with simple clips and screws, making repairs and replacement parts simple for anyone.

Most of the time, it is not a matter of repairing broken parts, but rather of replacing parts that are no longer functional. Learning to do these repairs yourself instead of taking the car to a mechanic can save you money and give your child more time to play with their toy.

Let’s look at some of the most common issues and how to solve them. Please keep our wiring diagrams open as you proceed.

Troubleshooting and Diagnostics

An inexpensive, simple voltmeter is a necessary piece of equipment for accurately diagnosing a problem with your child’s electric car. This tool is required to evaluate the battery, the battery charger’s health, and motor issues. You can also use it to run most diagnostics for electrical problems with your toy electric car.

In addition to testing the battery and motor, many voltmeters include additional probes that can test the flow of current in wires, which is useful for a variety of other problems that may arise in your toy car, such as broken foot pedals. 

Otherwise, you’ll need standard tools like screwdrivers, pliers, and hammers, which you can find in your toolbox at home. Nothing fancy is required! It is best not to use power tools or drills to tighten screws on your child’s toy car; hand tightening is preferable because you do not want the screws to be too tight or strip the screws in some cases.

Bad or loose wires, corrosions, dead batteries, broken switches or connectors, or wheel retainers that are too tight are the most common causes of your electric toy car not working. Continue reading to learn how to repair these common issues and replace various parts of your electric vehicle!

kids Electric Car

How to Repair and Replace the Battery

Most toy electric car batteries have a lifespan of a few years. They will eventually need to be repaired or replaced. Cold weather, improper storage, and not operating your toy car for months at a time will all reduce battery life.

To repair or replace the car battery:

1. Find the vehicle’s battery (usually under the seat or in the hood).

2. Disconnect the plug-in connections and carefully remove the battery from the vehicle.

3. Handle the batteries with caution because they contain sulfuric acid, which can burn your skin.

Then you must determine whether the battery is faulty or if something else is wrong. The first step is to check the battery’s health with a voltmeter.

If the battery isn’t holding a charge or won’t charge, check its voltage with a voltmeter. If it does, it’s a sign that something else isn’t working properly, such as the battery charger. Next, make sure the battery charger is in good working order. The charger may need to be replaced rather than the battery, saving you $60-$80 on a new battery! If the battery is dead and has no voltage, it is the source of the problem and must be replaced.

Corroded connectors are another common battery problem. Even if the battery is fully charged, oxidized connectors cannot transmit power to the car. Fortunately, you can replace just the connectors without having to buy a new battery.

Check for loose or deteriorated wires while inspecting the battery. You can replace these parts individually rather than purchasing a new battery.

Additionally, inspect the battery for excessive wear or other damage such as cracks and corrosion. Even if the battery is fully charged, excessive corrosion or rust may explain why your electric car is not working. These indicators indicate that the battery needs to be replaced. 

Please make sure to properly dispose of your old battery if you replace it. It can be recycled at home improvement stores like Home Depot and Lowes.

Please keep in mind that leaving the battery connected to the charger at all times will reduce its battery life and cause damage.

How to Repair and Replace Tires 

Replacing the tires on a toy car is similar to changing the tires on a real car, only a quarter the size! The procedure for changing toy car tires is straightforward:

  • Unscrew and remove the vehicle’s current tires.
  • Purchase new tires to replace them.

You can easily finish this process by elevating the toy car or flipping it onto its back, whichever allows you the most direct access to all wheels. Remove each wheel’s retainers and hubcaps. Once these are removed, you can replace the old tires with new ones. Reinstall the hubcaps and retainers, making sure each piece is tight (but not too tight; the wheel should spin smoothly) and correctly in place.

Another issue is that if the wheel retainers are too tight, the car tires will not spin. Fortunately, this is a simple fix: simply loosen the retainers so that the wheel can spin freely.

When the plastic is extremely cracked and worn out, or if the tires have an object stuck in them, it’s time to replace the tires.

Unfortunately, there aren’t many options for repairing plastic tires. You must replace them when they break. Small cracks, on the other hand, may be repairable by sealing the gaps with extra hold glue or fiberglass.

We recommend that you replace your plastic tires with rubber ones. There are numerous advantages to doing so:

  • Rubber tires last longer and are quieter.
  • They perform well on different terrains and weather conditions.
  • They have more grip and better traction than plastic tires.
  • If they get a leak or hole, you can easily patch them instead of entirely replacing them.

Keep in mind that any new tires you purchase must fit your specific toy car. Another less expensive option is to use rubber spray, such as Flex Seal Spray, to add traction and protect plastic wheels from wear and tear. This spray can be reapplied several times. Finally, using Power Wheels traction bands is a viable option.

kids Electric Car tire

How to Repair the Gearbox

To change speeds, the gearbox is used. The stock electric cars, like the tires, typically come with plastic gears, but if you want to upgrade, you can use hardened steel gears instead. In any case, you must know how to get to the gearbox!

To get to the gearbox, you must first remove a wheel and then remove the gearbox from the engine.

Remove the screws on the front face with your screwdriver. Remove the front face to reveal the gearbox. Then you can access the problematic gears and determine which component needs to be repaired or replaced. When replacing gears, make sure the replacement gear has the same number of teeth as the old one.

When you’re done, replace the front face and screw it back together. Reinstall the gearbox in the vehicle.

A grinding noise coming from the electric car is an obvious sign of a stripped gear and the need for a replacement.

Please keep in mind that if you are upgrading the battery and motor, you should also upgrade the gearbox.

How to Repair the Motor

If you hear a clicking sound while driving, your motor is most likely faulty and needs to be repaired or replaced. To access the engine, which is attached to the motor, you must first remove the wheels. Before removing the gearboxes, make sure to disconnect all visible wires. Then you can get to the engine. Remove the screws that are holding the engine in place and remove it.

You can also use the voltmeter to test the motor. Connect the engine to the voltmeter and see if it turns on.

To replace the motor, simply open the motor box with a screwdriver and remove the current motor. Before installing the new motor, make the following preparations:

1. Fit the new engine with a new metal flat head (note: make sure it has the same number of teeth as the old fathead).

2. Connect the engine to the gearbox using proper wiring.

3. Before reinstalling the wheels, double-check the wiring connection.

Please keep in mind that if you upgrade your battery and/or tires, you may need to upgrade the motor to accommodate the extra power required to keep the car running properly.

How to Repair the Alternator

It’s a trick question! Electric cars lack an alternator because they are powered by rechargeable batteries. The alternator is essential in the battery charging system of a standard adult car, which provides electrical energy to the vehicle. Electric vehicles run solely on battery power

How to Repair the Ignition Switch

Most switches no longer work because of broken springs. Open the ignition switch and remove the battery. Replace the springs after cleaning the housing with lubricant.

If the ignition switch must be completely replaced, proceed as follows:

1. Remove the steering column, which houses the ignition switch.

2. Remove the wiring case from the ignition switch and disconnect the wiring.

3. Remove the old ignition switch by unscrewing the screws that hold it to the steering column. Secure it by replacing it with a new one.

4. Reconnect the wiring and replace the wiring equipment.

How to Repair the Shifter

Your child can use the shifter to change the gears in their kids electric car. These, along with the ignition switch, are inexpensive fixes.

If the shifter handle feels loose or if a fuse has blown, you should replace the switches inside the shifter. Two of these switches are typically used by a shifter. To take their place:

1. Take the shifter out of your car.

2. Unscrew and remove the shift knob.

3. Unbolt the shifter and remove any components that connect it to the gearbox, such as the ball cup.

4. Remove the shifter from the vehicle.

5. Remove the screws that hold the cover to the shifter and remove the lid. You’ll notice the bottom section of the gear stick shift, which flips the switches that your child uses to change gears.

Push on the spring tabs on the sides of the switches to pop them out. Replace any broken or cracked switches with new ones. The switch piece has no front or back; you can put it back into the shifter either way. Replace the gear stick shifter and screw on the shifter cover. When you put the shifter back in your car and connect it to the gearbox, make sure the wires match up.

To replace the whole shifter, first remove the current shifter in the car, following the steps above.  

When you remove the old shifter from the electric car and remove the ball cup, you should also remove the bushings. Set aside the ball cup and bushing, as you will need to replace them on the new shifter.

When you have the replacement shifter, replace the parts you removed from the old shifter (Tip: grease the bushings before connecting them to the new shifter).

Replace the bolts you removed before installing the ball cup to the gearbox. Install the new shifter and tighten it down with the shift knob.

How to Repair the Foot Pedal

The foot pedals, just like in a real car, direct the movement of your child’s electric car. When the foot pedals stop working, it is not always due to a broken pedal. A wiring problem, damaged switch connectors, a faulty battery, or a broken motor are some of the more common additional reasons the pedal might not work.

The first step is to use your voltmeter to perform a diagnostic test to see if any power is flowing through the pedal. Check the wiring underneath the pedals to see if it needs to be repaired or replaced if there is no power. Turn on the car to confirm this. If you step on the pedal and the motor starts and continues to run, the problem is most likely with the pedal’s wiring.

The connectors on the pedal and wiring system may be corroded or rusted. If this is the case, clean or replace the switch connectors.

However, the pedal can become temporarily stuck. Simply keep pressing down on the pedal until it releases.

Electric Car foot pedals

How to Repair or Replace the Seat Belts

An electric toy car’s seat belts are a must-have safety feature. Seat belts must be replaced when they become frayed, frayed, or worn. Replacement seat belts (both 2-point and 4-point harnesses) are available on Tobbi, and installation requires only a wrench and a screwdriver. Seat belts with four points are recommended for children under the age of three.

Seat belt replacement instructions vary depending on the type of seat belts and the model of your electric vehicle. In general, use the screwdriver to remove the seats from the electric vehicle. Then, take off the existing seat belt straps. You may be able to simply pull the seat belt completely through the slit openings in the seat, depending on the type of seat belt. 

There is usually one long section and two shorter sections when using two-point seat belts. Replace the seat belt straps by threading them through the slit openings. The single long section fits into the two slits in the center of the seat.

Slide each side through the two slits behind the seat and pull equally. Each short piece, which has a stopper on one end, should be slid through two slit openings, one on each side of the seat bench. Pull each short piece completely through, beginning at the back of the seat and ending at the stopper. Some seat belts are secured with additional bolts (hardware comes with the belts upon purchasing).

Depending on whether you purchased 2 point belts or a 4 point harness, you may need to drill holes in the top of your plastic seats for the upper seat belt parts. Complete these steps for all seat belts before replacing the seats in

Electric Car safe belts

Final Comments

That concludes our list of troubleshooting steps for common issues with your child’s electric car! For the best results, make sure to complete each step.

However, if you become stuck and require additional professional assistance, don’t be afraid to seek it. Several electric car repair shops and authorized service centers are available to help. You’ll have your toy car running around your yard in no time.