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How to Clean Your RC Car: Maintenance Tips for Peak Performance

how to clean RC car

There are so many things to do with your RC car, including racing through various terrains, participating in competitions, and even indoor driving for introverted drivers! 

But, will you get the best from your RC car all the time? Not really. Don’t get me wrong, RC cars will deliver what the manufacturer has promised. However, for you to get the most out of it, there are a few things you need to do, including cleaning your RC car. 

An RC car has numerous electrical and mechanical components, with each part demanding adequate maintenance. Unfortunately, some of us might find cleaning our cars a hassle. But trust me, if you want your RC car to perform as it should, it is vital to clean it frequently.  To make the process easier, here RC Spotters detailed guide on how to clean your RC car:

Tool & Accessories Needed to Clean your RC Car 

Cleaning your RC car is important, and if it makes you feel better, it is also easy. Here is a list of the things you’ll need to get started:

  • Denatured alcohol, an air compressor, or warm, soapy water
  • Wet wipes & cotton buds 
  • An empty water spray bottle 
  • Paper napkins and a towel
  • Paintbrush and toothbrush
  • Glass polish
  • WD-40 lubricant 

Moreover, you will require a screwdriver for removing the tires and unscrewing the battery section. 

How to Clean Your RC Car 

Now that you have all the right tools, it’s time to start cleaning your buggy. Since this is an easy process, you won’t need an expert to help you go about it. Simply gather your tools and follow this guide to the final step. 

1. Remove the RC Car Batteries 

Depending on the type of car you own, it either has one or two removable batteries. Regardless of the types of batteries integrated, you have to remove them before you start cleaning your RC car. 

Take your screwdriver, and open the battery section, and remove the battery (s). The importance of removing the batteries is that you and your RC car will be safe from potential short-circuits while cleaning the car.  

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2. Detach the Tires & Clean Them

Tires are usually the dirtiest parts of an RC car because they come in direct contact with the surface you’re driving on. For this reason, you have to detach them from the car to clean them properly. 

Take your screwdriver once more and use it to remove the tires. Next, take your toothbrush and a low-pressure water hose and start cleaning each tire at a time. Considering the tires are made of rubber, you can easily clean them using a soft-bristled toothbrush. 

3. Use Denatured Alcohol, Detergent Water, or an Air Compressor to Clean your RC Car

Once you are done cleaning the tires, the next task will be cleaning your car. As you can see, you can use either of the mentioned ingredients, so I will include a brief process on how to go about it with each. 

Cleaning your RC car calls for keenness since it has many parts that you need to clean, including the drive shafts, suspension, shock absorbers, metal gears, servo, and so on. Additionally, you must be careful not to damage any of the parts as you clean your RC car

Cleaning Using an Air Compressor

Using an air compressor to clean your RC car is the swiftest and most suitable method. This is because it removes all grime, mud, sand, dirt, and debris with ease. Additionally, it effortlessly cleans the chassis, bearing, motor, suspensions, and all the other parts. 

However, an air compressor is an expensive investment. Therefore, if you are on a budget, it might not be a good idea to purchase it for cleaning your RC car. Instead, consider cleaning your RC car using warm soapy water or denatured alcohol. 

Cleaning Using Warm Soapy Water

Using warm soapy water will be particularly helpful if the mud or dirt is stuck on your RC car. But, before you get started, take the spraying bottle and fill it with warm soapy water. 

Note: This method should only be used on waterproof cars. 

Spray the water on the chassis, and the rest of the car, then use your toothbrush or paintbrush to clean your car. Remove dirt from all parts of your RC car, including the suspension, bearing, chassis, and drive shafts. Nonetheless, ensure that water doesn’t reach the non-waterproof sections. 

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Also, do not immerse the chassis in water, to avoid damaging the electronic components of your vehicle. But, if your RC car isn’t water-resistant, consider cleaning it using denatured alcohol. 

Cleaning Using Denatured Alcohol

If you can’t afford an air compressor and your RC car isn’t waterproof, then this method is your best bet. Denatured alcohol can be an ideal cleaning companion for your RC car. Here, you will require a clean fabric, denatured alcohol, and a toothbrush. 

Take the cloth, wet it with denatured alcohol, and then use it to wipe your car. Clean all the car parts, even the motor, and if need be, use the toothbrush instead of the cloth. Fortunately, this is the easiest cleaning method for your RC car. 

4. Wipe Your RC Car Using Paper Napkins and Wet Wipes 

Once you are done cleaning your RC car, take paper napkins and wet wipes and start wiping your car to dry out all the water drops and splashes. Makes you leave the car completely dry, with no dripping water. 

However, if there are places the wet wipes can’t access, you can use cotton buds since they are smaller, hence will access the tough-to-reach areas easily. 

5. Clean Your RC Car’s Entire Body 

Many RC cars have a plastic build, though some are made of metal or PVC. Despite the material used to make it, you can clean the body using warm water & detergent. This will remove the mud or dirt and leave your car completely clean. 

After this, you can use paper napkins and wet wipes to dry the body. Lastly, take the towel and wipe it once more to make sure there is no water left behind. 

6. Leave Your RC Car Out to Dry 

During the cleaning process, you must have at some point used water, and even though you wipe it using paper napkins and a towel, it needs to be completely dry, which is why you will leave it outside to dry. 

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Besides, this will dry out any remaining moisture. Also, you should leave the tires outside tool for them to dry properly. 

7. Clean Out Rust (If any)

This is the stage where you check your RC car for rust. If your car is not more than 6 months old, then this might not be an issue. However, if your RC car is older than that, you have to check all the metal parts for corrosion and rust.

If there’s any, clean it using anti-rust spray. 

8. Apply Lubricant on the Moving Parts 

The moving parts and joints are vital for excellent performance, which is why you should apply WD-40 or another top-quality lubricant to them. These parts include the drivetrain parts, bearings, suspension, and axles. 

Further, if your RC car has oil-filled shocks, check if there’s a need to change the oil. If it needs to be changed, open one shock at a time, pour out the old oil, and pour in with fresh oil. 

9. Apply Glass Polish on the Body

Now that your car is dry and all rust is removed, it’s time to apply glass polish on it, leaving it looking all nice and shiny. However, before applying it, ensure the car’s body is clean and doesn’t have any moisture, water, or dust. 

10. Attach the Tires, put the Batteries Back into the RC Car

Remember you had removed the batteries and detached the tires from the RC car. Now that you’re done cleaning, you have to put them back. Once done, you’re ready to get back to the track and even win competitions! 

In Conclusion

It is essential to clean your RC car because once the dirt, debris, and mud accumulate, it won’t race as fast as it did before. Besides racing, the general performance will be sub-par.

Now that you know how to clean your RC car, it’s time to get back to driving, racing, or competitions, whichever you prefer. 

But, don’t forget to have fun! 

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