Are Tamiya RC Cars Waterproof?


Are Tamiya RC Cars Waterproof?

Currently, Tamiya is one of the most popular RC car brands out there. Its RC cars are relatively inexpensive and they have received many good reviews from customers. Tamiya is known for their top-notch drifting cars and their scale replicas, Tamiya RC has produced some of the most distinguished RC cars. From Ferraris to Ford Broncos and even including a vast collection of Japanese car brands, Tamiya makes cars for all kinds of enthusiasts. 

Some Tamiya RC cars are designed with waterproof features while others just come with the body and you have to buy all of the parts that might be waterproof. Even if your Tamiya RC car says that it is waterproof it still isn’t designed to be totally submerged in water. If you are wanting to submerge your RC car entirely then you will need to go through and waterproof the car entirely yourself. 

 Just like a lot of other RC cars that come with water-resistant features, most Tamiya products are also water resistant and designed to withstand driving through mud and puddles but are these cars really waterproof? The truth is, waterproof labels do not mean that the car can withstand extremely wet conditions. For this reason, it is important that you protect your Tamiya RC from extremely wet conditions or waterproof it yourself. 

If you want to see how you can waterproof your car entirely then check out the video below. 

What parts should you make sure are waterproof?

There are a few different parts of your RC car that you should make sure are waterproof even if you aren’t driving your RC car into the lake. These parts are vital to your RC car running properly and if they get wet they will likely need replaced. 

Receiver Boxes

RC cars come with receiver boxes. Usually, these boxes that are labeled waterproof do an amazing job keeping the elements away when your RC car runs through a wet area such as snow or puddles.  Regardless, these boxes do not provide sufficient protection when the car is immersed in water. 

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Water can still get into the receiver box a few different ways. The first possible way that water might get into the receiver box is that it is not well assembled or damaged. This could happen during the manufacturing process of the car or the receiver box could also be damaged when you are using it. 

Another way that the receiver box will leak is if the O-ring moves from its place, allowing water to get into the car and even reaching the wires. Even a little water getting into the receiver can cause some serious issues with your car so this seemingly small problem  

Regardless of the fact that these boxes offer fair protection, you still should not immerse your car entirely in water unless you have entirely waterproofed the vehicle. The receivers are generally not super reliable when under water, and you really cannot depend on them to do a good job especially if the water is quite deep.

Radio Reception

Waterproof technology will not protect your radio reception from the damaging effects of water. The reception integrity of your 2.4GHz radio systems can be highly influenced by water. You are very likely to lose control of your vehicle when you’re using it if a large amount of water gets in between the vehicle and the transmitter. The risk of this is even higher when you’re in deep water such as a lake.

Batteries

The individual cells of NiMH and LiPo batteries are sealed. As such, they can perform well even when submerged in water. However, both kinds of batteries are designed with exposed tabs and, as such, can deteriorate easily when they get wet. 

When these batteries come in contact with water, especially a lot of water, they can easily get damaged. Yes, the batteries can actually work in the presence of a lot of water, but inside water is not the best place for them to be because they will get destroyed easily. Plus, if these batteries get wet, drying them will be a lot of work.

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Tires

Unlike the tires on full-size cars, RC car tires often utilize foam inserts rather than compressed air. They also have vents in their tires or wheels that allow air to be released. The foam, on the other hand, supports the weight of the car. Now, if this foam gets soaked, getting it to dry will be an extensive process that is not any fun at all.  Plus, if your tires are glued and not the kind that you can disassemble and run maintenance on, you may have to replace them entirely if you can’t find a way to dry them out properly. 

Drivetrain

RC cars do not typically come with waterproof drivetrains. Although they might have water-resistant bearings, it is easy for water to find its way into parts like the axle and the transmission. The tight fit of these parts actually does a pretty good job of keeping away dirt and debris, but even with that, smooth dirt and dust will still find a way to get in. 

In just the same way that dust can get in, water can also get in. When water goes into the drivetrain of your RC, it will corrupt the grease and also likely cause a breakdown while also bringing dirt into the drivetrain.

Motors

On a general note, brushed motors have a good capacity to survive wet terrains. They can even withstand being submerged in water. But, in spite of the fact that these brushed motors can survive water, water can and will cause the motor to wear out in no time. 

In addition, submerging your brushed motor in water will require you to lubricate the bearings afterward so that they stay in perfect condition. This just points to the fact that even brushed motors will not do very well in wet conditions.  

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You will also find brushless motors that are labeled waterproof. The truth is, they are not as effective as you would imagine. The two kinds of brushless motors are the sensored and sensorless motors. The sensorless motors are usually the ones tagged waterproof, but if you immerse them in water, you would have to disassemble it and perform maintenance once you get it out of the water. They are not as waterproof as you would expect, so it is a good idea to not submerge them entirely as well. 

The motors also use safeguarded bearings that are neither water-resistant nor watertight. The high-quality stainless steel shields that are included are meant to keep off the debris and not water. Sensored brushless motors are made with sensors, which also make them unfriendly with water as these sensors are not waterproof.

Conclusion

Lots of RC cars today come with waterproof labels, but they are not actually as waterproof as you might expect them to be. The Tamiya RC cars are one of such cars that offer waterproof features. However, these features are not always solid enough to protect them in extreme wet conditions and for sure won’t help much if the vehicle is entirely submerged. 

In order to keep them in good condition, most of the cars would require a lot of  maintenance after they have encountered some water. Some of them may not even make it out while still working at all. 

Therefore, in spite of the waterproof features which these cars come with, keeping them away from large amounts of water as much as possible is the best way to ensure their longevity.  

Matt Robbs

I love to spend time with my wife and 3 kids. There is no better way to get them off the couch and outside than for us to grab the RC cars or boat and enjoy the sunshine!

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