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RC Car Stuttering? Here’s What to Do

RC cars are becoming a widespread hobby, but like all electronic items, they can have issues. It is essential to maintain your RC car for it to last. One common problem that many RC car owners face is a stuttering car.

So, is your RC car stuttering? If your RC car is stuttering, here’s a list of possible solutions to try:

  1. Swap the motor.
  2. Check the caps of the wires in the car to see if they’re adequately soldered.
  3. Use a multimeter to test the conductivity of the Electronic Speed Control (ESC).
  4. Check the receiver in the RC car.
  5. See if the motor is stuck or ‘cogged.’
  6. Replace the batteries.

These six strategies are helpful for figuring out what the problem is and how to fix it. It’s worth noting that some of them may require additional supplies (like a multimeter). This article will explain how to pinpoint the problem in your stuttering RC car and how to fix it.

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What to Do If Your RC Car is Stuttering

Fixing an RC car doesn’t have to be a difficult task. The six solutions presented above hit a few different areas of the RC car that are vital to the successful running of it.

Swap the Motor

Swapping the motor may be one of the most straightforward solutions for a stuttering RC car.

Often, people may look for other sources of problems when all it takes is a quick swap of the motor to see if that’s the issue.

To swap the motor in your RC car, follow these steps:

  • First, disconnect the power wires.
  • Remove the gear cover.
  • Remove the two motor screws near the motor.
  • Remove the pinning gear from your old motor.
  • Place the old pinning gear on the new motor.
  • Place the screws back on the new motor and screw it into place.

If you would like to see how to replace the motor in your RC car, you can watch this video by HorizonHD called Electrix RC How-To: Motor Replacement.

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Ultimately, changing the motor will show you if the car’s engine is the problem. If you replace the original engine with a brand-new one and you’re still experiencing stuttering, then the problem is likely related to the ESC or some other part of the car.

However, if a replacement of the motor leads to the solution of the problem and your car runs smoothly, then you can safely say that the motor was the issue.

Check the Caps of the Wires to See If They’re Adequately Soldered

When your RC car stutters, one of your first instincts should be to check the wiring. Like many electronic devices, short circuits can cause several issues. However, checking the wiring may be difficult if you’re not used to tinkering with electronics.

When checking the wiring of your RC car, make sure to:

  • Check for any cut or exposed wires.
  • Check for any shorts in the wiring.
  • Check to make sure every wire has a beginning and ending connection.

If you need help distinguishing which wires are essential in an RC car, you can refer to the video, How to Fix RC Motor from Cutting In and Out by Steve Andries.

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As the video suggests, it’s vital to unscrew the caps of the wires. Once unscrewed, you should have a clear view of the soldering job. If it’s improperly soldered, the car will frequently stutter.

Checking the soldering is a critical factor in RC maintenance, and it is a skill worth learning more about if you’re a collector of these types of cars. The soldering job goes a long way in determining whether your RC will run fast and smooth or give you numerous headaches as it stutters around the driveway.

Use a Multimeter to Check the Conductivity of the ESC

Your Electronic Speed Control (ESC) regulates the motor of your RC car. So, if you’re constantly flipping between high and low speeds, the ESC is the gadget that’s doing all the work.

Sometimes, the ESC may not run as it should. This can be caused by a multitude of reasons, but what you should focus on is conductivity. It’s possible that the ESC isn’t working correctly because of short circuits.

To check to see if your ESC is working correctly, do the following:

  • Using a multimeter, you’re going to check the ESC for any continuation of electrical current. Electricity comes in through one end of the ESC and then flows through small squares known as MOSFETS. Essentially, these squares turn the flow of electricity on and off. These currents then flow from these squares to the motor pads.
  • Putting the multimeter in connectivity mode allows the user to touch each motor pad to see if there’s any “continuation.” The device emits a small beep if it detects any continuation of electricity. If it beeps while the ESC is lying on a table connected to nothing, you know that there’s a problem with the ESC.

If you want to get a more in-depth look at how a multimeter should work in this instance, there is a fantastic video called Is Your ESC Broken: How to Find Out by Joshua Bardwell you can refer to.

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Check the Receiver Inside the Car

One of the things that many people don’t stop to think about when using an RC car is how complex these tiny machines are. Even though people are used to advanced technology being the standard, everything needs to work just right for electrical devices to function correctly. For example, your RC car may have a problem with its receiver.

An RC car’s receiver sits inside the vehicle and receives the signal from the remote control. It’s what tells your motor to go, and it’s also something that can break or stop working. If you’ve exhausted all of the solutions above, then the receiver may be the culprit.

If the receiver is bad, the signal won’t be strong from your remote control to the car. Consequently, the further the car gets away from you, the more it will start to stutter because of the weak signal.

To check to see if the receiver is the problem:

  • Open up your car and replace the receiver with the one you know for sure works.
  • If it runs just fine and zips along with this new receiver, you know that this was the problem.
  • Be sure to see how far your car can go before it loses signal and check for stuttering.

See if the Motor Is Stuck or ‘Cogged’

An RC car motor may be stuttering and not working correctly if it’s jammed. Inside the RC motor lies what are known as “motor magnets.” These magnets sit on either side of the engine. Sometimes, the motor gets stuck in between these magnets and it can cause several problems.

Luckily, there are some steps you can take to check your motor for this issue.

  • First, open the rotor. This is a tough one because figuring out how to take it off depends heavily on what type of motor you have. There is no clear-cut way to do this.
  • Once you’ve figured the first step out, locate the magnet and pry it out. A screwdriver does the trick quite well.
  • Replace the magnets with thicker, neodymium magnets. These thicker magnets sit closer to the rotor. This decreases static, which is a good thing.
  • Place transparent tape on the inside of the magnets. It’s tricky because they’re so small, so do this delicately.

Replace the Batteries

Replacing the batteries is one of the easiest fixes, but it’s commonly not the culprit when it comes to stuttering. Typically, RC cars run on rechargeable lithium-ion batteries. These last for quite a while, depending on the brand, and knowing which type you have gives you a little bit more insight into what could be wrong with your car.

If you knowingly choose lower quality batteries, your stuttering problem could be caused by this factor. However, if you have some of the best RC car batteries around, then it’s most likely not a battery issue.

In Conclusion

In conclusion, an RC car that’s stuttering is a fixable problem. Utilize these steps, and you’ll have your car zooming down the pavement in no time. And remember – regular maintenance of your RC car is the only way to make it last!