Are Nitro RC Cars Hard to Maintain?

Are nitro RC cars hard to maintain

When it comes to the RC Car world, you will often see people comparing Nitro and electric RC Cars. Nitro RC Cars used to be the king of speed in the past, but many electric RC Cars can beat them thanks to the advancement of technology.

Although no longer the king of speed, Nitro RC Cars are still very popular for many reasons. If you’re considering investing in one, you will probably need to know, “Are nitro RC cars hard to maintain?”

Let’s scroll down to get the correct answer.

Are Nitro Rc Cars Hard to Maintain?

The short answer is No. Maintaining a Nitro RC car is not difficult, but it will require you to do some research.

Nitro RC cars are usually not cheap, and their engines will corrode over time. Properly maintaining your RC will allow it to last a long time in top condition.

All the information you need is in this post. So let’s read to the end to avoid missing valuable information.

How to Maintain Nitro RC Cars?

Whether you own a Nitro or electric RC Car, keeping them clean and correctly is essential to prolong their life.

Here are the details you need to do regarding maintaining a Nitro RC car.

After-Run Maintenance

After each use, you should do after-run maintenance to prolong the life of your nitro RC car motor and ensure that it will work stably for a long time.

Here are the essential steps you need to take once you are done using your Nitro Rc car and preparing to store it overnight.

Maintaining a Nitro RC car isn't challenging

Step 1: Empty The Fuel Tank

Start by emptying the fuel tank by removing the remaining fuel using an empty fuel bottle. You won’t want to mix the fresh fuel with the used one.

Once you have placed an empty fuel bottle into the fuel tank, you need to squeeze it.

Then, your fuel bottle should begin taking in the unused fuel and get rid of it. Continue until you have removed all remaining fuel.

Step 2: Start Your RC Engine

In this step, you need to start your engine. Your engine should start and run for a short period when it idles.

That way, it will use all leftover fuel in the crankcase and fuel line. Once your engine has burned all fuel, it will idle, followed by stop running.

While doing it, you should look at a tiny space between your RC car’s slide mechanism and the inlet tract of the carburetor.

At this point, you should be able to adjust your idle if necessary.

Step 3: Clean Your Engine Case

To clean the outside of the engine case and carburetor on your RC car, you can use nitro cleaner or denatured alcohol to remove the dirt and grease.

If you find anything sticking and do not want to come off, we recommend finding a small brush and using it to remove all hard-to-remove pieces.

Once you have finished, it is time to dry off the engine case with compressed air.

When working with compressed air and chemicals, always remember to put on protective gear, such as safety gloves and glasses, for safety reasons.

When your engine case is clean and looks dry, you can remove the glow plug and take off your engine’s air filter.

One of the essential parts of this step is cleaning the place between the cooling fins and the cylinder head because it is the ideal hiding place for grime and dirt.

If you let dirt accumulate between the fins, your engine may overheat and not work correctly.

Step 4: Take Apart the Air Filter From The Carburetor

Open the full throttle before spraying a bit of WD-40 into your carburetor. In addition, spray the WD-40 inside the glow plug hole of your cooling head.

Afterward, put a rag or towel over the glow plug area to gather all WD-40 runoffs from your engine.

Then use the EZ-Start system when cranking your engine for about ten seconds.

If you have a pull starter, ensure you pull some short pulls so that the WD-40 will circulate inside your engine. You may need to do this step several times.

Step 5: Detach the Air Filter From the Filter Casing Area

When detaching the air filter from your filter housing area, you should use soapy and warm water to wash the parts and the air filter.

After that, dry out all the parts of your RC vehicle.  Once done, you must squeeze out your air filter’s base and ensure you do not contaminate the filter area.

It is okay to speed up the drying process using compressed air while cleaning the air filter parts.

When all the filter elements are dry, we recommend applying about a few dozen drops of proper air filter oil around the car’s element area.

Avoid squeezing oil out of the element. You should use your fingers to apply the oil onto the element till all things look even.

After that, you must put the filter back into the RC vehicle.

Step 6: Place the Air Filter Onto The Carburetor

Now is the time to attach your whole air filter and put it back onto the carburetor.

It is a good idea to keep it secure using a minor zip-tie. Put the glow plug back in before reconnecting the glow plug wire.

Everything was cleaned. Store your Nitro RC car in a cool and dry place to be ready for future races.

Chassis Maintenance

Regarding maintaining between running sessions, you should not ignore the chassis of your Nitro RC car.

Denatured alcohol is the best choice to clean this area and remove all the debris and dirt from this area.

Chassis maintenance is also needed to be done periodically

That way, you can rest assured that debris and dust cannot build up over time and cause a severe cleaning problem later.

Anytime you clean your nitro RC car’s chassis, we recommend looking carefully at it as well as the drivetrain, to ensure there are no damaged or broken parts.

Regarding cleaning your chassis, all you need to do is apply the denatured alcohol onto any dirty place and try to remove as much dirt as possible.

Also, avoid letting the alcohol enter your car’s electronic component.

On the other hand, if your RC vehicle is extremely dirty and you cannot avoid getting alcohol onto your car’s electronic components, it is essential to remove that part from the car before cleaning your chassis.

After cleaning your chassis and its parts, drying it with compressed air is okay.

Visual Check Between Running Sessions

Apart from maintaining and cleaning the essential parts of the nitro RC car between running sessions, you must perform a visual inspection of the vehicle between running sessions.

When performing a visual check on the RC car, here are the things you need to pay attention to:

  • Damaged drive gears.
  • Missing or loose screws.
  • Damaged and bent parts.
  • Lack, cut, or loose wiring.
  • Torn or damaged fuel lines.
  • Leaks or cracks in fuel in the fuel tank.

What Are The Pros of Nitro RC Cars?

As mentioned above, Nitro RC cars are still prevalent in the RC world. Here are some of the most common reasons:

No Require to Charge

The Nitro RC car is powered by fuel, meaning they do not require recharging. Thanks to that, it’s ready to start immediately and run all day long.

Excellent Performance And Speed

Nitro RC cars’ engines have greater torque and power.

As a result,  your vehicle can get to its top speed fast, and you will have the thrill of flying over jumps and speeding quickly around a track.

Why Clean a Nitro RC Car?

One of the top reasons you need to clean your RC car engine is that it is prone to corrosion over time.

RC nitro cars can be susceptible to corrosion due to humidity in the environment. The more corroded the vehicle’s engine is, the less reliable the vehicle will be.

Disassembling a Nitro RC car to clean it will often be time-consuming and can be boring, but it is necessary to maintain its life and performance.

So unless you want to buy a Nitro RC car, it is essential to take the time to clean the engine to avoid wasting your money.

Just like a real car, the money required to maintain a Nitro RC car is much less than the cost of buying a new one.

By following the above guide, your Nitro RC car will last many years and be able to operate at peak longer than you expect.


What are Nitro RC cars?

The Nitro RC car is a hobby-grade remote control car that is powered by nitromethane. Its motors and mechanical parts are quite similar to the real car.

Why Is Maintaining RC Cars’ Engines Important?

Maintaining your Nitro RC car’s engine allows it to last longer and perform better.

Do Nitro RC Cars Use Batteries?

Although nitro RC models use batteries, they do not power the car or its engine. They usually have a servo, and they use a small battery for their servo.

How Fast Can Nitro RC Cars Go?

On average, a Nitro RC car can go 30 to 55 miles per hour. But some models can go faster. It depends on how powerful their engines are.

These models are typically designed for drag racing or normal racing purposes.

How Do You Start a Nitro Engine in a Few Quick Steps?

RC nitro engines typically require one two-stroke glow plug to start the engine.

Step 1: Ensure your engine still has fuel.

Step 2: Pull the recoil starter with rapid, short jabs. Avoid pulling the entire length of the recoil, as it can harm the starting spring.

Step 3: If you find it difficult to pull the starter, it could be a sign that your engine is flooded.

Step 4: If your engine is cold, you open a bit of the throttle to help it start.

Is Nitro RC Cars Faster Than Electric Cars?

Previously, Nitro RC Car was king in terms of speed. Thanks to the advancement in technology, many electric RC cars can beat their Nitro counterparts.

Why Do RC Cars Use Nitro?

Nitro is an excellent option for RC car engines as it delivers a great combination of economy and power.

The high energy will ensure the nitro RC vehicle will perform well in terms of top speed and acceleration.

Meanwhile, its low cost will keep overall running costs to a minimum.

What Fuel Do Nitro RC Cars Use?

These RC cars use nitromethane as a fuel, which leads to their name.

It is a gasoline-like product containing nitromethane, methanol,  oil, and additives such as degumming agents or anti-corrosion chemicals.

The concentration of nitromethane in the fuel typically ranges from 20% to 30%, and it can be anything between 10 and 40% or more.

Wrapping It Up

Are nitro RC cars hard to maintain? No, maintaining these vehicles is not as difficult as many people think. Maintenance is necessary to prolong their life.

The important part of nitro motors maintenance is keeping them clean after running.

That way, your engine will be protected from overheating or boiling over because of dust and dirt build-up on its components.

Corrosion is also a common problem if your RC car is not stored in a clean and dry place. So always keep this in mind.

Thank you for reading!

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