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Are Nitro RC Cars Hard To Maintain?

Are you currently thinking about diving into the world of RC cars? If so, you are in for a fun ride. If you’re also considering purchasing a nitro RC car, you should make sure that you’re making a good choice and know what you are getting into before you begin. 

Are nitro RC cars hard to maintain? Nitro RC cars aren’t hard to maintain but they do take some knowledge and work to do so. There are a lot more things that you have to worry about with a Nitro RC car than you do with an electric model. Don’t expect to just fill your car with fuel and get started every time or you will be disappointed. 

Nitro RC cars require regular maintenance and require you to do it at regular intervals as well. If you don’t take proper care of your nitro RC car you will shorten its lifespan and cost yourself a lot of money and time in the long run. 

If you don’t have the time to invest in taking care of your RC car then buying a nitro one is not a good idea. One of the first things you need to know about maintaining your RC car is that you need to keep it clean. 

Why is it important to clean your nitro RC Car?

A nitro RC car will come with a motor that powers the vehicle. What this means is that your RC car will run similar to a regular car and will require some similar cleaning and maintenance. 

 To ensure that the car operates to its maximum potential, it is important that you make sure to care for it properly. 

Normally, a nitro RC car will experience corrosion due to the moisture that it gathers when it is used as well as the moisture from the hot motor and exhaust. This is one of the main reasons that make it important to clean the car’s engine often. The reliability of the car will normally decrease as it becomes more corroded and if not taken care of regularly the corrosion will ruin the car’s engine entirely. 

Now, you don’t want to spend money buying a car that will only last for a short time, so here are some additional things that you should do to properly maintain your nitro RC car.

Performing after-run maintenance on your RC car

Carrying out after-run maintenance on your nitro RC car before storing it every night is the best way to make sure that the engine of your nitro RC car  has a long life and performs optimally.

Nitro fuel contains methanol, and this component attracts moisture from the air. For this reason, the metals are in danger of possible rust and corrosion. To prevent this, it is necessary to remove any unburned fuel the engine before storing the car.

If you don’t want to take the time to read all of the steps required you can check out this video below for specifics on the proper after run procedure. 

How to carry out the nitro RC Car after-run procedure

To carry out the after-run maintenance on your nitro RC, here are the steps you need to follow:

  • Empty your fuel tank

For starters, use an empty fuel bottle to remove any fuel left in your fuel tank because you shouldn’t place already used fuel back into your new fuel container. Get rid of the leftover fuel and make sure your tank is entirely emptied. 

If you leave old fuel in your tank your car might not start properly the next time you use it so this is an important first step. 

  • Start the engine

After you have emptied the fuel out of the tank you then want to start your motor back up. After your motor is started you want to run it until it dies completely. 

This will empty the remaining fuel from the tank as well as remove it from your fuel lines. This will ensure an easy start for the next use. 

  • Clean the engine case

The next thing you want to do is clean the outer parts of your nitro RC’s engine carburetor and case. This would require you to use nitro cleaner or alcohol to eliminate the grease and dirt. A brush will help to get rid of any sticky residue and help you remove it properly. Then use compressed air to dry up the case of the engine when you’re done cleaning it. 

Remember to use safety gloves and glasses while doing this because you are working with compressed air and chemicals, and these could be harmful to your eyes or your breathing. 

Also, be sure to clean the point between the cylinder head and the cooling fins. Dirt and grime seems to love that part, and this can make the engine run hot and not tune properly.

  • Take the air filter out of the carburetor

Next, remove the air filter from the carburetor and then open your throttle completely and spray some WD-40 into the carburetor. Spray the WD-40 inside the glow plug hole of your cooling head too.

Put a towel over your glow plug area to let you trap any WD-40 escaping from the engine. After, crank your engine for ten seconds with the EZ-Start system. To make sure that the WD-40 circulates inside the engine, be sure to use a progression of short pulls if you use a pull starter instead.

  • Take the air filter out from your filter housing area

Take your air filter out of the filter housing area, and while you’re at it, clean the parts and the filter itself with warm, soapy water then dry out the car’s parts. Squeeze out the bottom of the air filter when you’re done, and be sure to clean it thoroughly. 

You can use compressed air to quicken the drying if you have any left from the previous step. As soon as your filter is dry, apply air filter oil around the outside of the filter. Be sure not to squeeze the oil out of the filter, but rather work the oil into the filter with your fingers.

  • Put the air filter in your carburetor

Now, reattach the whole air filter and put it back in your carburetor. If you can, use a small zip-tie to keep it secure. Put your glow plug back in and reconnect the wire.

Once all of this is done your RC car is ready to be put away. 

  • Maintaining your nitro RC car’s fuel filter

This is also an important part of ensuring that your nitro RC is in perfect shape.

If the car has an inline fuel filter, be sure to clean the filter to enable fuel to flow through the vehicle properly. If the filter is clogged, your vehicle won’t run properly. 

It’s also best to buy an air filter that you can dismantle to allow for easy cleaning at any time.

If your nitro RC car has a two-piece filter, just remove the screen and use denatured alcohol to clean the parts of the filter.


This is just one of the things that you have to do to properly maintain your nitro RC car. There are a variety of other things that you need to do as well. Some of those additional tips can be found in the video below. 

The above maintenance steps and videos aren’t difficult to do but you do have to do them after every single use. It is important to know what is required to properly maintain a nitro RC car before you ever buy the car in the first place. 

Hopefully this article has given you some idea of what is required to maintain your nitro RC car. It certainly isn’t hard to maintain a nitro car but it does require some specific steps and doing them regularly.