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If you have an RC car it’s important to know whether it is waterproof or not as driving your RC car through puddles or wet terrain can be tons of fun. That’s especially true in the winter as driving on snow and ice can be a blast with your RC car.
Of course you wouldn’t want to drive in those conditions if it risked destroying your Traxxas RC car which is why we wrote this article.
The Traxxas Slash VXLs all say waterproof on them as the brushless motors, ESC, and servo are all typically waterproof on this model. However just because those things are waterproof doesn’t mean that you can take this RC car in a lake as that will destroy it.
Typically when we thing waterproof we think that means that you can drop the RC car into a pool, giant puddle, etc. but in reality that isn’t true. Just because some parts of the RC car are waterproof doesn’t mean the entire vehicle is!
So, if you take and drive your Traxxas RC car into a giant puddle you will likely damage it and have to spend time and money repairing the other electrical components as well as replacing things that got fried.
It’s also important to understand that the waterproof means that item was waterproof when it left the factory but isn’t necessarily waterproof now. For example my brother accidentally took his iPhone swimming in his pocket and despite it being “water resistant” the phone got water inside and stopped working almost immediately. He took the phone to Apple and they refused to cover it because of the water damage!
Just because something is advertised as waterproof or water resistant doesn’t mean that it will stay that way going forward!
Another thing to consider is that tires get water in them and get quite heavy and metal rusts. Bearings, screws, and motor parts are all metal so if you get mud, dirt, and water inside and don’t clean, dry, and re-lube them afterwards then, of course, you can definitely expect some trouble.
You would not treat your regular car like that, would you?
If you want to learn a cheap way to waterproof your circuit board or other electronic parts of your RC car you can check out the video below.
Operating your RC car in winter
There are some essential things you need to learn before running your Traxxas vehicle in cold weather conditions. When the temperature drops, the plastic loses its flexibility and becomes much more brittle. The same crash that didn’t faze your Slash in the summer might result in a broken adjournment arm in the winter.
Batteries will also lose some power when the temperature approaches freezing. In summer your 3000mAh battery may run 15 minutes but in winter it might run for only 10 minutes. Nitro powered Traxxas models also require a particular break-in procedure and returning procedure in cold weather.
Traxxas wet weather operation
To make your wildest wet weather adventures possible all electric Traxxas models feature waterproof electronics. Check the manual for your model to ensure you have waterproof electronics before running your RC car in the water, snow, or mud.
Waterproof vehicles require special care and as mentioned earlier, it’s not wise to submerge your car entirely in water. It’s fine to hose your truck off to clean it, but don’t spray water near the receiver box where the wires enter. Keep in mind that waterproof does not mean rustproof and typically only certain parts are waterproof as well.
It is essential to dry your vehicle completely when it gets wet before putting it away.
You should also spray a rust inhibitor like WD-40 on bearings, metal axles, or other parts that can rust. Traxxas does not warranty rusted or corroded hardware, so it’s essential to follow the wet weather precautions outlined in your manual
Key points to remember when operating your Traxxas model in freezing weather
- To make starting your nitro engine more comfortable in cold weather, ensure you warm your engine up to room temperature before taking it out to run. A cold engine can be challenging to start.
- In icy weather conditions, plastics, and the metal parts on your model can become brittle, making them break easily. Be more careful when driving your vehicle in cold weather than you are in the summer.
- Once you are done operating in a wet environment, ensure you clean your car, dry it off, and spray a light mist of a moisture inhibitor like WD-40 over the vehicle to prevent rust.
- The AA batteries that charge your nitro vehicle’s on-board electronics can also be affected by the cool temperatures resulting in them being lower on power, providing sluggish performance. If you have installed brand new batteries into your battery box, and are still having response problems bring the vehicle inside to warm up to room temperature before heading back out.
Drive with care and use good judgement when operating your Traxxas model in cold winter conditions.
Winter break in for your Traxxas engine
Breaking in your Traxxas engine is crucial for a long engine life and proper performance.
The piston and sleeve wear into each other to form a precise fit during the break in process. The engine must heat up to a specific minimum temperature to allow the piston and sleeve to achieve this fit properly. An accurate fit between these two components is critical for proper compression, and optimum performance over a long period.
Proper engine temperature and break-in are especially essential during the colder winter months. So that when winter has gone and the engine is worked under warmer running conditions, they will carry on to provide the best possible performance and wear.
If the engine is too cold during the break in, the engine’s piston and sleeve can’t correctly expand, resulting in excessive wear and requiring premature component replacement. The RC car may run fine for a short while, but the lifespan of the piston and sleeve can be shortened significantly. The life of your engine depends on how it is treated throughout its entire life. This includes post-break-in as well in the form of proper tuning and maintenance.
Check the tips for cold weather break-in below
- The engine can become difficult to start in cold weather, so warm the engine to approximately room temperature by keeping it indoors prior to starting. Please do not bring the model indoors with fuel in it if at all possible. You should also remove the fuel when storing or transporting the model.
- After the engine is running, it is crucial to maintain the temperature of the engine up around 200 to 215 degrees during break-in, in weather below 45 degrees. Traxxas racing engine will not want to run over 160 to 180 degrees. This is too cool for break-in. This will decrease lubrication as well and will also cause your piston and sleeve to wear prematurely.
- You can wrap the cooling head with a paper towel, clean rag or sock to help keep the engine running around the recommended 200 to 215 degree break in temp. The idea is to reduce the efficiency of the cooling fins to allow the engine temperature to rise to an acceptable level.
- You can also run an uncut body on the vehicle to block the airflow across the engine to help keep the engine temperature where it needs to be.
- Operating your engine below 35 degrees Fahrenheit is not recommended. If you insist, make sure you are aware that the nitro engine may be complicated to start and tune at those frigid temperatures.
Waterproof does not mean rustproof, so you should take good care of your Traxxas for its entire life. Also, just because certain parts of the vehicle are waterproof does not mean the entire vehicle is so avoid driving it into deep puddles or bodies of water.
Always check the manual for your model to ensure you have waterproof electronics before running in water, snow, or mud.