Introduction: How to Build an Electric Toy Car

About: Hi, I am Cassidy. Welcome to my instructables account! Here, I love to do lots of fun projects and activities. All of the creations that I do are pretty simple and neat. Come check my website out, I am certain…

Hello, my name is Cassidy and today I will be showing you how to make a small toy car that is powered by a DC electric motor. Although this car may look small and dinky, it moves pretty fast and is light weight. Before we get into the building process, you will need to learn a little bit about electric circuits and all that fun stuff.

Circuits are actually pretty interesting if you really dig deep into them. If you didn't know, there are two different types of circuits, Series and Parallel circuits. In a Series circuit, there is only one path for the energy to flow through, this means that the charge passes through every light bulb. Also, the more resisters, the more each light bulb is going to decrease. Although, in Parallel circuits, the light only passes through one bulb, but there are multiple pathways. Also, the more resisters, the more the light bulb gets brighter. So if we would have to sum it up, Parallel and Series circuits are basically completely different from each other.

Now that we got down the different types of circuits and how they perform, lets talk about current. Current is the amount of energy that is coming out at a period of time. The higher the pressure put on the circuit, the more the flow is going to come out, this is also known as amperage. For example, if there was a big gap in a hose, and a small gap in a hose, the hose with the big gap would have more flow coming out of it because the gap would be wider.

In a way, resistance has something to do with current, which I will be explaining. You might have heard about a resister in a circuit. Well, it is the same thing as resistance. Resistance is when you put some kind of tool in a circuit that decreases the energy flow to the, let's just say light bulb, so it won't explode. Let's take the hose example again for a minute. Say you have a perfectly fine hose that has great running water with nothing in it's way to stop it. Then, you bend the hose slighting. That would act as the resister because it is stopping the water from flowing normally. As I was saying earlier, this contributes to the current because if you put in different types of resisters, it will some how effect the flow of the current, therefore the flow of the current would change.

I would say that voltage is one of the most important features to a circuit because without voltage, there would be really no way of figuring out how much energy is in the circuit and if it is the right amount. For instance, voltage is the amount of energy in the circuit. The more energy, the higher the voltage, and the less energy, the lower the voltage. If you think about it, if you had a resister in your circuit, there would be less volts because the resister stops or slows down the voltage going to, let's just say, a light bulb. Most of the times, if there is a high current, there is probably going to be a high voltage.

Anyway, enough of that. Let's start to build your electric car. Now, I a warning you, you may have a few bumps along the way, but after you will be happy. Good luck and happy building!


Step 1: Materials

Before you start to build you need to know what your materials are......


  • Cardboard. (one big piece)
  • Heavy Duty scotch tape.
  • Hot glue. (or any type of durable glue)
  • Ruler.
  • Water bottle cap and make sure that they ARE ALL THE SAME SIZE. (you need 3)
  • Pen tube.
  • 3V electric DC motor.
  • 1 Straw.
  • 1 chopstick.
  • 1 battery no more than 3V.
  • 2 wires.
  • Scissors.

Optional Materials:

  • Pocket knife.
  • Sharpie. (for drawing out the measurements)

Step 2: Putting the Motor Together

Our first step in the building process is to first design the motor and lets that sit before we put it onto the car.

Materials needed for this step:

  • DC motor.
  • Pen tube.
  • Bottle cap.
  • Pocket knife or scissors.
  • Hot glue.

Step 1: Take the motor with the pen tube. Cut the pen tube to the size of the bar that spins around on your DC motor. Then, slide on the pen tube.

Step 2: Take 1 of the 3 bottle caps and poke a hole through the middle. This should be the size of the pen tube. When you have that, stick in the pen tube that is attached to the motor and hot glue that down. Make sure that the pen tube is only sticking out of the cap a little bit. This is shown in pictures 2 and 3.

Now, put that aside and let that dry.

NOTE: If you are having trouble with this look up at the pictures that go along with each step!

Step 3: Putting Together the Body

Now it is time to start and actually build the car, starting with the body.

Materials needed for this step:

  • Ruler.
  • Sharpie.
  • Cardboard.
  • Scissors.

Step 1: To make the width of your car, measure out 2 inches with your ruler and your sharpie. Then, cut that out.

Step 2: To measure out the length of your car, measure out 16.5 centimeters. Then cut that out.

Now you have the body of your car. Pretty easy so far, isn't it?

NOTE: Look at the pictures above to help you for each step if you get stuck!

Step 4: Putting on the Back Wheels

Now it is time to put on the back wheels of the car.

Materials needed for this step:

  • 1 Straw.
  • 2 bottle caps.
  • 1 chopstick.
  • Pocket knife or scissors.
  • Scissors.
  • Hot glue.
  • Ruler.

Step 1: Take your straw and your scissors and cut off 2 inches of the straw.

Step 2: Take your car body and hot glue the 2 inch straw to the bottom of the car, at the back.

NOTE: Don't glue it all the way back!

Step 3: Now, take your two bottle caps and poke a hole through each just like the first bottle cap, but the hole has to be the size of the chopstick.

Step 4: Next, take the chopstick and stick it through one of the bottle caps, with the chopstick poking out of the bottle cap just a little bit. Now, hot glue that down.

Step 5: Put the chopstick, with the one wheel on it, through the straw that is glued to the bottom of the car body and cut the chopstick so that on each side of the car there is a little bit of chopstick hanging off. Look at the pictures above, if confused.

Step 6: Now, put the second wheel on the chopstick that has no wheel and make sure you leave room so that a little chop stick is hanging off.

Step 7: Hot glue down that wheel.

Now you have your back wheels, put that aside for a moment and let that dry.

NOTE: If you are confused look at the pictures up above to help you for each step.

Step 5: Building the Rest of the Motor

Now it is time to build the remaining parts of the motor.

Materials needed for this step:

  • 2 Wires.
  • Battery no more than 3V.
  • Scissors.
  • Heavy duty scotch tape.

Step 1: Take the 2 wires. On the two wires there should be four ends in total. On each of the four ends, cut off 1 cm, leaving the actual wire part still there. This is shown in picture 2.

Step 2: Take the red wire, or whatever wire you have, and tape it onto the top of the battery. MAKE SURE IT IS TOUCHING THE BUMPED UP PART!

Step 3: Do the same thing that you just did with the red wire, but do it to the black. Except, the black wire goes on the bottom of the battery. MAKE SURE THE WIRE IS TOUCHING THE SILVER PART!

NOTE: Make sure that the wires are always touching the battery COMPLETELY because if they aren't, than the motor will NOT work!

Also, if you are confused, take a look up at the pictures for each of the steps.

Step 6: Adding the Motor Onto the Car

In this step, we are actually now going to assemble together the car, now that we have all of the parts. The first step would be to put on the first half of the motor.

Materials needed for this step:

  • Hot glue.
  • Sharpie.
  • Pocket knife or scissors.

Step 1: Take your first half of the motor, that you did with the DC motor and the bottle cap, and take the car. Measure out where you want your motor to go and where you want your bottle cap wheel to go. Then, draw with a sharpie where you want to cut and put your motor and your wheel.

Step 2: Cut that out with your scissors or your pocket knife and measure just to make sure that you cut it out right.

Step 3: Hot glue down your motor to the underneath part of it, but make sure that the two golden dots on the motor DO NOT GET COVERED!

NOTE: For this step I really do recommend taking a look at the pictures because it is a little confusing!

Step 7: Putting on the Remaining Motor

This is the last step, putting on the remaining motor.

Materials needed for this step:

  • Heavy duty scotch tape.
  • Scissors.
  • Hot glue.

Step 1: Take your battery with your wires and your car. Glue on the battery to the very back of your car and let it dry.

Step 2: Now, take the wires and fool around with them so that they all fit on the car and can reach the DC motor.

Step 3: Lastly, put the red wire on one of the golden dots and the black on the other and you will see the front wheel start to spin. This means you have accomplished the task. Now, all you have to do is tape down the wires to the motor like you had them. To stop the wheel from moving just move one of the wires slightly of the golden dot.

If your wheel does not spin, it means that you either have a wire that is not touching the battery or the motor properly and if that is not the case, check the battery.

NOTE: If you are having trouble take a look up at the pictures for each step!

Step 8: Testing

With my testing nothing really went wrong. Except, when I was testing, some of the wires kept getting loose so the motor did not work, but that was an easy fix.

All that I really need to say here is if your motor does not work, than you should make sure all of the wires are tight and put where they were suppose to be. Also, make sure you check your battery because it may be the wrong one or it may be out of juice.

If you think that anything else is wrong with your car go back and look through the building process again and make sure that you have everything that you need. MAKE SURE TO LOOK AT THE PICTURES, THEY REALLY HELP!

This car goes pretty fast and far. You could probably run it for a while until the battery runs out. Depending on how big your neighborhood is, you could probably run it all the way through there, if it is small.

Step 9: Conclusion

Overall, I think that this project was pretty easy. There were a few bumps in the road, but they were easy fixes. This little car goes really fast and really far, which makes it fun to watch!

I hope that you guys have enjoyed this video, if you have, leave a heart and a comment. If you haven't, comment below what I can do better for next time!

You should all go and check out this website -) because this is where I got my idea from. She is also going to release a new instructable on an electric car to, so go and check her out!

Anyway, I hope you have have enjoyed! Stay tuned for more instructbales! Thanks!