How to Build a Mousetrap Car? Full Guide

Build a Mousetrap Car: These mousetrap car blueprints were created for use with 4-H clubs in my home state of New Hampshire. I prefer these plans because of their simplicity and adaptability, even though there are plenty of other great mousetrap car how-tos and videos out there, as well as designs for cars that travel farther and faster. It’s a fantastic project for 4-H or a class that gives students the opportunity to learn some fundamental physics and engineering skills.

A mousetrap car is a great vehicle for a fun weekend activity, physics experiment, or science project. Many teachers turn the experiment into a long-distance challenge when they use mousetrap cars to teach students about mechanical advantage, distance, and gravity.

How to build a mousetrap car?

In this tutorial, we’ll show you how to build a mousetrap cart using simple, easy-to-find materials. This fun and creative project is perfect for kids of all ages and can be completed in just a few hours. Once you’ve finished the project, you’ll have a unique and fun toy that you can use to play catch or compete against your friends. So read on to learn how to build a mousetrap car and have fun in the process!

The kinetic energy that drives the car you will build transforms the potential energy stored in the snapper arm spring of the mousetrap. However, you will need the right materials, an understanding of some physical principles, and some effort to build your own rodent roadster. Mousetrap cars that move at a slower rate and produce less energy will use less energy to travel further because there will be less resistance to their motion due to friction. Power is reduced by larger drive wheels and longer lever arms. Bonus tip: Slow moving mousetrap cars consume the most energy.

How to build a mousetrap car?  complete guide

Build a Mousetrap Car Details

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How to build a mousetrap car? complete guide

Building a mousetrap car is a fun and easy project that can be completed in just a few hours. In this guide, we’ll walk you through the entire process, from sourcing the parts to assembling the car. We’ll also give you tips on how to make your mousetrap cart even more effective and challenging to rats (or anyone else) trying to steal your food! Whether you’re looking for an easy way to entertain yourself or want to teach your kids about science and engineering, building a mousetrap car is a simple and fun project that’s sure to please.


  • 2 pieces of cardboard (4” x 10”) of many sizes will work, but this is a good starting point.
  • 4, DVDs (old used ones work great or new black ones you buy at an office supply store)
  • 4 bevel washers for 1/4L (19/32”) faucets (found at most plumbing department hardware stores).
  • 2 3/16” – 6” long dowels (they will need to be longer if using wider pieces of cardboard)
  • 1 ¼-inch dowel, 10″ long
  • 2 straws
  • Tape: masking or duct
  • flanges (a 4″ and 8″ variety works well)
  • Chain
  • hot glue

Car body

Cut an approximately 1″ x 2″ rectangular notch in the middle of each of the two pieces of cardboard that measure approximately 4″ x 10″ each. Check that the edges of the notches meet. After that, tape the edges of the two cardboard pieces together to form a single, double-thick piece of cardboard. Check that the notches are aligned.

Lay out the straws

As shown in the illustration, cut three sections of straw to fit the car body. Use hot glue to secure them. This will be the bottom of the car. Make sure the leading (short) edge of the cardboard and the straws are parallel to each other.

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The Mousetrap

Take a mousetrap and take out the parts that make up the release trigger (the bait holder and the wire loop, as shown in the image). The 14-inch dowel should be attached to the pressure arm with two or three 4” cable ties before reinforcing with hot glue or tape. Using hot glue, attach the mousetrap to the top of the car facing forward. Make sure the peg points away from the notch in the cardboard and also aligns with the center of the notch when pulled back.

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For the location, see the image at the top of the instructions. Using a zip tie, tie a piece of string to the end of the 14-inch dowel. On the rear axle it should reach slightly longer than the hook. Attach a small bow at the end. The rear axle hook should be just within reach of the loop.

preparing the wheels

Cover the hole in the middle of the DVD with masking tape. Place the tap washer in the middle of the DVD and adhere it to the tape by flipping it over. Apply plenty of glue to secure it in place. Do this for each and every wheel.

Add the axles and wheels

Press the wheels on each end of the straws after inserting the 3/16″ dowels. Sometimes it can be difficult to press the cubes onto the pegs. This can be simplified by rounding or slightly tapering the ends. You should test drive the car to see if it rolls straight at this point. If not, the straws may need to be positioned correctly.

Attachment of the hook on the rear axle

Cut a 4-inch long cable tie and attach it to the center of the spindle, which will be visible through the notch in the cardboard. The rope hook is here. It can be fixed with a little glue.

You’re done

You should now have a vehicle like the one in the image. Wind the rope back after attaching it to the hook. When you turn the vehicle on its side and let go, it should start to move away from you. Spend some time getting to know your vehicle. To get it rolling straight and smooth, it will probably take some tinkering and practice. Once you have it working properly. You should run it a few more times, and as you go, pay close attention to it to see if anything is preventing it from working correctly. Examine your options to make it work best. Once you know how the car works, see if you can make another one that can go further. Try a variety of materials for the body, axles, wheels, and other parts.

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In this comprehensive guide, we’ll teach you everything you need to know to build a Mousetrap Car. We’ll take a look at the different types of mousetraps available on the market, as well as the various components you’ll need to build your own mousetrap. We’ll also provide tips and advice on how to set up and use your trap, as well as how to avoid common mistakes. This guide is perfect for anyone who wants to build their own mousetrap car and we hope you find it useful.

In this guide, we provide instructions on how to build a mousetrap car. We also describe the different parts of the car and explain how they are connected. We also provide a conclusion to the guide, which provides a summary of all the information and tips you’ve learned. So if you’re looking to build your own mousetrap car, be sure to read this guide before you start!

Frequent questions

How do you install a mousetrap for a mousetrap car?

When the mousetrap is in the fully reeled position (as shown below), the tip of the lever arm should fall directly over the drive shaft for optimal performance. Energy will be wasted from the start if the mousetrap is not aligned correctly with the drive shaft.

How to make a fast mousetrap car?

Increasing the length of the lever arm attached to the mousetrap increases the vehicle’s overall mechanical advantage, if you haven’t already noticed. As a result, you can shorten the length of the lever arm attached to the mousetrap to increase the speed of your vehicle.

What is the fastest mousetrap car design?

Doc Fizzix designed the Speed-Trap Racer after his own record-setting mousetrap racer, which traveled 5 meters in 1.2 seconds.

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