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How Loud Are Nitro RC Cars?

Racing remote-controlled cars is an engaging and thrilling hobby. With Nitro RC cars, you can simulate the look and feel of a real race with their gas engines and realistic sounds. Unfortunately, the sounds of a Nitro car can often be a little too realistic sometimes and they can be quite loud at times. 

How loud are Nitro RC cars? Nitro RC cars are no louder than the typical home lawnmower, which comes in at around 90 decibels. Nitro RC cars that are used in residential areas can seem quite louder than that because of echoes. However, you can upgrade your vehicle to reduce this noise level.

Read on to learn more about the noise level of your Nitro RC car, as well as some tips to reduce the overly loud sounds that they normally have. 

Are Nitro RC Cars Too Loud?

There is no doubt that Nitro RC cars are a ton of fun whether racing alone or with friends, but they do require a lot more care and maintenance than an electric remote-controlled car. These advanced, mechanical cars are recommended for more experienced drivers. If you enjoy tinkering with engines and other mechanics inside a vehicle, this can be a great hobby for you.

These cars tend to make a lot more noise than electric cars. For some hobbyists, this adds that extra excitement while racing. Similar to the functions of a real live car, Nitro RC cars will make some noise while it speeds up and it will be loudest when it gets to its top speeds. 

Many people say that their Nitro RC car is no louder than a typical lawn mower, and many are not bothered by the sound at all. Often it will be your neighbors that are annoyed by the sound as people often take their RC cars down or around the block in places where they normally wouldn’t take their lawn mower. 

The level and amount of noise you hear from your Nitro RC car will depend on:

  • The engine and pipe you are using. 1/10 models can be pretty quiet, while 1/8 models tend to be pretty loud.
  • The location where you are operating your vehicle. Driving in a small cul de sac may make your car sound louder than it would in an open field in a park.
  • How fast you are driving your vehicle. The closer you are to maxing out the RC car’s top speed, the louder it will become. If you are accelerating hard that will also be louder than if you are gradually accelerating.

It is always a good idea to check your local laws for noise ordinance requirements in your area. These can help guide you while you are operating your vehicle in a public space or in your home’s front yard. You want to avoid getting into some trouble with your neighbors (or the law) if your RC car is too loud.

How Loud Are They?

The loudness will vary from manufacture to manufacture. In the first video below it shows some sound comparisons from different models. In the second video it has the loudest RC car currently available!

What You Can Do to Control Your Nitro Noise Level

Although the sound of the nitro car’s engine can be exhilarating for the driver, it can tend to be a bit overkill for tired parents or angry neighbors nearby. Fortunately, you don’t have to plague your neighborhood with all of that noise pollution! Here are some tips you should consider to either lower your noise level or reduce your impact on your neighbors.

Modify Your Car to Muffle the Noise

One of the most enjoyable aspects of driving Nitro RC cars is that you get to customize the car and add modifications as you see fit. You can surely do this to help muffle any loud noises coming from your vehicle.

Pay attention to the parts on your RC vehicle, as many of these will contribute to a loud or quiet noise while operating.

  • The Engine: Small block engines tend to be quieter than others. The type of exhaust you use will also make a difference. You can always modify these pieces to build a car that is best for you and your surroundings. Consult with an expert at a local RC car shop to learn about which pieces you could replace to decrease the noise your car makes.

  • The Exhaust: Most of the noise from your Nitro car will come from its engine or its exhaust. You can add modifications to your car in order to dull those noises. First, you can install some sound deadening within the body of the truck or around the muffler to reduce your vehicle’s noise level.

You can also turn down the sound with a standard tune pipe. 

Use Steel Wool 

This is an odd sounding idea but one that many RC owners swear by. You will want to get some stainless steel wool or copper wool to use for this purpose. Regular steel wool will rust and could cause you more problems. 

You then take the stainless steel or copper wool and ball it up while feeding it into your muffler. Many people have used this little trick to make their nitro RC car much quieter without spending hardly any significant money. 

Understand Your Vehicle’s Decibel Level

It is also important for you to take the time to learn and understand the decibel level of your vehicle. Decibels (dB) is the measurement used for all the sounds around us. They are meant to protect us and let us know which sounds are safe and which could be dangerous to your ears.

Regular RC cars can be around 50-65 dB. Nitro RC cars and the typical lawnmower are around 90 dB. Sounds above 145 dB (the sound of fireworks) can start to become dangerous for the naked ear. That’s why many families purchase noise-canceling headphones for their infants and small children. Louder sounds like fireworks and live concerts can be damaging to their growing ears.

Each Nitro RC model may come with details on the noise level for users to take a look at. Take a look at the owner’s manual to see if your manufacturer included these stats with your car. This way, you can monitor yourself, know how loud you are, and be mindful of where you drive your Nitro car.

How to Keep Your Neighbors Happy

It is always important to consider your neighbors and be courteous while operating your Nitro Car.

  • It is probably best to drive or race your Nitro RC car during the daytime hours. It is always a good idea to avoid racing in the early morning or late at night so you do not disturb any of your neighbor’s (or their baby’s) sleep.

  • Check with your neighbor. If your house is very close to your neighbor’s house, it is a good idea to check in with them about when you will be using your Nitro car for an extended period of time, especially if they have a napping baby at home.

  • Race your vehicle at the same time someone mows their lawn nearby. The sound of their lawn mower might actually drown out the sound of your vehicle!

If you do not like the sound of Nitro RC cars, consider switching to an electric remote-controlled car. Their engines are a lot quieter, and there’s the added benefit of no strong exhaust smell when you operate it.

Be Mindful While You’re Having Fun with Your Nitro RC Car

Nitro RC cars can truly be loads of fun for the driver, as well as any surrounding spectators. The look, feel, and sound of these remote-controlled devices are realistic, and they make driving exciting again. That’s why so many enthusiasts love these models. Whether you’re racing or just casually enjoying a cruise, they can often make sounds that can be heard from many feet away.

When you are considering driving Nitro RC cars around your neighborhood, make sure to understand the noise levels it makes, and try to be courteous to your neighbors. For most people it is a good idea to have a park or other area where there aren’t houses around so you can have fun without worrying about how loud your car is.