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Remote controlled cars are great fun to drive and have around when you have time to use them. RC cars are quite a large investment especially if you buy a large one or a good brand. Since you will likely be spending a decent amount of money on your new RC car you will want to do all that you can to help it last as long as possible.
To protect your investment and keep your car running like new for years to come then you will want to make sure that you store your RC car properly when you aren’t planning on using it for a while. Unfortunately storing your RC car is not as simple as just sticking it in the garage.
Depending on the model and type of RC car you have the preparation needed before storage could be quite extensive.
To properly store your RC car you should:
- Always clean it prior to storing it.
- Oil your RC car
- Remove the batteries and set them to the proper charge for storage
- Drain the fuel (if a nitro vehicle).
- Store it in a container or box
- Store it in a location where it is unlikely to get dropped, crushed, or damaged
You love your RC car and you likely know the importance of taking care of your car between races but proper care should also be taken when putting your car into storage. You shouldn’t just take your RC car and stick it on a shelf in your garage without preparing it for storage the right way.
Storing your RC car properly is the first step to a long life of use and if you aren’t careful to store it properly then you could significantly reduce the life of the batteries, motor, and more.
Preparation before storing
Before you put your RC car into storage there are a few things that you need to do to it. If you don’t do these things (discussed below) you are much more likely to damage your vehicle or have issues with starting and running it once you take it out of storage.
Start by cleaning your car thoroughly
Storage isn’t enough to maintain the excellent condition of your RC car, it also has to be clean. Before you place your vehicle in storage, you should clean the wheels and chassis as thoroughly as possible. Remove all the dirt and other debris that might have accumulated over the time you were using it and especially make sure to dry it out properly so it does not become moldy.
Cleaning your car before storing it might not seem like that big of a deal but if there is dirt and grime in your car’s joints it could prevent its moving parts from working properly when the dirt sits and hardens over time.
In severe cases, you will have no choice but to replace those components with new ones the next time you want to drive your RC car all because you didn’t take a few minutes to clean it before putting it away.
It’s quite simple to clean your car before storage, get cotton swabs, general-purpose cleaner and distilled water and go to town. Clean everything that you can see and try and clean the cracks and crevices of your vehicle as well. If you use a decent amount of water or cleaner it is a good idea to let the car dry out entirely before storing it so the moisture doesn’t cause any issues.
Oil it before storage
The same way an actual car needs maintenance, your RC needs to be oiled before you store it. The oil used to fill the shocks on your cars degrades with every race, from moisture and other contaminants. Over time they break down the shock oil, losing its lubrication properties. If not replaced on a regular basis it can leave your car at risk of a breakdown.
You can protect your shocks from damage by replacing the shock oil before placing your RC car in storage. Once your RC car is clean, dry and oiled then you are almost ready to put it into storage.
Remove your batteries and prepare them for storage
Often people think that once their car is clean and oiled (if needed) then they are ready to put their car away but there are still a few additional steps that need to be taken. Your RC car will likely have a battery pack that is used either solely or in conjunction with nitro fuel (which we will discuss next).
Each battery pack should be stored with a certain amount of charge depending on which type of battery it is. Your charger should have an option for storage that will either charge the battery to the correct point or run the battery down to that point.
To make your batteries last as long as possible do NOT skip this step. Taking a few extra minutes to remove the batteries, get them to the proper charge, and then store them seperate from the vehicle will save you a lot of headaches when you go to use the RC vehicle the next time.
Drain the fuel
If you have a nitro RC vehicle you do not want to leave that fuel in the car when you are not going to be using it. If you have ever left fuel in a lawn mower over the wintertime you know that it was incredibly difficult if not impossible to start in the spring. The same thing will happen to your nitro RC car if you don’t prepare it for storage.
You can drain the fuel entirely but if you go this route be sure and start the motor again and then let it run until it is entirely out of fuel. This will remove the nitro fuel from the lines as well to ensure easier starting on your next use.
Best RC storage practices
Now that we have covered the things you need to do before you store your vehicle we are ready to get into some actual tips for the storage process.
You shouldn’t just put your RC car on a shelf in the garage in most cases. It will be exposed to the changing temperatures over the off season (assuming your garage isn’t heated) and will also be more likely to get damaged.
Use a box or storage container
The best way to store your RC car is probably in the original box. The box keeps your car safe and it’s easy to grab whenever you need your car. As long as the RC car did not require assembly when you first purchased it then the original box will work great for storage.
However, you do want to make sure your vehicle fits snugly inside without messing up the plastic body. If the RC car has to be contorted or twisted to fit then you shouldn’t use it. To boost the safety of your box, add a few blocks of foam between the edges of the box and the car if the box doesn’t seem snug enough or if you lost the foam that came with the car originally.
If the box isn’t an option or it got damaged you can also use a rigid plastic storage container. You will want to get one that is large enough to fit the car inside but not too large that it can roll or move around a lot. You will of course want to make sure to seal it up as tightly as possible so springing for a little better of a container can be a good idea.
Storage containers like these can be found at most local retailers or even online at Amazon by clicking here.
Location where you will store your vehicle
The last thing that we will cover in this article is where you should store your vehicle. If you follow all of the precautions mentioned above and even put it inside of a rigid container your RC car will still get damaged if you put it in a spot where it is likely to get knocked off, crushed, etc.
Your RC car should be stored in a place where there is very little variation of temperature so if your garage is not heated (in the winter) or cooled (during the summer) then you should try and find a different place to store your vehicle.
Basements and closets work the best for most people as long as they aren’t damp, musty, etc. After finding the perfect place you also want to make sure that where you put it in that location is safe. After all if your garage is a good place for it but you put it where it could be stepped on or run over then that won’t work out very well.
A great place is normally on a stable shelf that is far above the reach of any children but still easy to access when you are ready to use your RC car again.
Hopefully this article has been helpful in preparing your RC car for storage as well as given you some ideas on where you should and shouldn’t actually store the vehicle. Ultimately you know where will work best to store your RC car at your house or apartment so if you follow the preparation steps and store it in a safe place you will be ready to race as soon as the weather gets nice again!