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Can I use a different remote for my RC car?

Remote for RC car

RC cars are one of the best options if you are into thrilling and adventurous hobbies. Ideally, RC cars offer both thrill and excitement while tapping into your inner childhood craze. Nonetheless, the fun can quickly come to a halt when you misplace or damage your remote-hence the famous question: can I use a different remote for my RC car? Yes, you can use a different remote for your RC car-but; it is not that simple, and here’s why…

If you have a remote compatible with your RC vehicle, you can. However, if your remote is incompatible with your RC car and you use it anyway, you risk getting into an accident since the controls are not situated in the same spot on both vehicles. The main issue with using a different RC remote is that it may need to perform the control functions properly. This means that when you press a button on one remote, it might not do what you expect on the other remote.

To help you understand how RC car remotes work, here is everything you need to know about how you can use a different remote for yours. 

How can I use a different remote for my RC car? 

If you find a suitable remote for your RC car, it’s perfectly fine to use a different remote. The only requirement is that your new remote might need to be fixed with your RC car’s receiver and transmitter.

When it comes to getting a universal remote, there are several options available. First, you can use a standard universal remote with a compatible receiver. Alternatively, you can contact an external remote control. In most cases, you can get a different RC remote, but its functionality will depend on your remote. The most common remote is a single-channel transmitter (SCR) with one button. This makes it perfectly applicable since you can only use one controller simultaneously.

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If you want to use a different remote, there are two basic ways you can go about it: 

Software Updates: 

The easiest way to update your RC car is by downloading software files from the manufacturer’s website or recommended retailers like Amazon. On downloading the installation file, install it as per the instructions. This is a straightforward process that usually takes a few minutes and requires no special tools to install. 

Hardware Modifications: 

Most RC cars comprise an IR or RF transmitter. Typically, depending on your receiver brand, you can use either one. Better yet, If you’re using a receiver that works with both types of transmissions, you should easily switch between them using the standard transmitter buttons familiar to most receivers. 

You must change the transmitter’s receiver part when using a different remote. This represents a small accessory that plugs into the remote and holds the electronics together. Replacements are available in most electronics stores or online, but it’s recommended to consult with your specific transmitter before getting one. 

What are the limitations of using a different remote for my RC car? 

RC cars are designed to respond only to specific types of remote controls hence using a different one will cause unpredictable behavior from your vehicle. The most common challenge with using a different remote is that it may not function or operate intermittently. In case this happens, you must revert to the original remote control.

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If you want to use a different RC car remote, ensure it boasts the same frequency as your original one. This is because most modern RC cars use frequency hopping technology and may reject any signals, not on their approved frequency list.

While you can use a different remote, there are three primary reasons why it isn’t recommended:

    1. It isn’t easy to program the new RC remote with the original transmitter.

    1. If you change from one transmitter to another, some channels might be intermixed, and your RC controller will not understand how to control your model.

    1. Your RC car’s radio requires a signal from your RC remote to work. Switching to a different broadcast or transmitter may mean it won’t operate with your vehicle. Also, if you change your remote batteries, it won’t control your car again.

    1. There is also a potential danger if you don’t drive your car correctly or properly control how fast the vehicle can move. If you go too fast or make some mistakes with the RC car controls, this could result in an accident. 

    1. The universal remote may only allow channel changing or accessing menu selections while controlling your car if you get a particular type of receiver.

What Factors should I consider when using a different remote for my car? 

If you’re looking to use a different remote for your RC car, there are a few things that you need to consider.

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    1. Start by ensuring the remote’s compatibility with your RC car. Some remote controls are specifically designed for racing. If the remote one you have isn’t compatible with your RC car, there’s no need to use it.

    1. Also, ensure your universal remote has adequate range to reach your RC car from its current position. This depends on how far away from your RC car you need to allow you to control it perfectly.

    1. Finally, ensure that the events’ timing works well if you want to use these remotes instead of a standard RC controller.


You can use a different remote for your RC car if necessary, but it’s not recommended. The main reason is that your RC car has a unique built-in sensor that detects IR signals from another remote. This means that it will respond accordingly. If it doesn’t, it could cause your RC car to crash or even completely stop functioning. Ideally, if you decide to use a different remote, ensure you use the same batteries that came with your original remote. Also, ensure that they are functional and fully charged. Several RC car remotes can work with other RC cars, while some can only work with specific RC vehicles. The critical thing to remember is always to check your RC cars that need a new remote to confirm if it will function accordingly. 

Good Luck!

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