RC Car Won’t Turn? Here’s What to Do


RC Car Won’t Turn? Here’s What to Do

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Getting a new RC car is exciting. You want to get it put together and race as soon as possible. This excitement is cut short when there is an issue that causes your RC car not to work properly. If your car cannot turn, it is impossible to enjoy driving it. Don’t worry, though. There are a few solutions to this problem that can help you get your car turning in no time!

So, what do you do if your RC car won’t turn? If your car isn’t turning, check the RC car’s operating system. If the steering servo or the remote control is malfunctioning, the car will not turn.

Read on to learn how you can identify the problem that is causing your RC car not to turn and ways you can fix it.

Check the RC Steering Servo

RC cars are made of many parts that work together to make it run. One important steering component is the steering servo. Servos receive electrical signals from the RC car’s remote control and turn them into commands that make the car turn.

A signal is sent from the controller to the car, where it is decoded and sent to the servo. The signal tells the car to move the wheels, which allows you to steer. If your RC car isn’t turning, there may be a problem within this process.

Steering servos are made up of five parts:

  • Controller circuit: The controller circuit is the brain of your servo unit. It’s the part that receives the signal and turns it into commands for your motors and the driving unit, so the wheels can turn as needed.
  • Potentiometer: When the driving mechanism rotates, the potentiometer does as well. The resistance of the potentiometer is related to the rotational angles of your driving shaft. It tells you how much resistance there is, giving you feedback so you can know the exact angles of the shaft.
  • Motor: The motor moves extremely fast and has authority over the H-bridge circuit in the servo controller.
  • Gearbox: Your motor’s revolution is connected to the gearbox. This means your RPMs are reduced while your torque is increased. Torque is a driving factor inside of the RC car’s servos.
  • Driveshaft: All of your RC car parts must be working together in an orderly fashion for the driveshaft to function and rotate accurately, so you can turn at the angle you want.

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If your RC car isn’t turning, one of the components inside the servo may be broken or not working correctly. For these cars to function properly, all of their parts must be working with each other to make the car run as it should.

When your steering doesn’t work, you want to see if:

  • The servo gears are rifled
  • The wiring on the servos is torn
  • If your servos connector got loose
  • Whether the links on your servos are attached and responding

If the steering horn on the servos isn’t in range, you want to make sure the trim is set to zero while your transmitter is on, then turn it off and adjust the steering horn to its center position.

If your car is immediately making hard lefts or rights, you should inspect the servo horn in addition to the trim’s setting. Reset your endpoint adjustment (EPA). If that doesn’t work, then you may have some stripped gears in your servo or loose links on one side of your RC car.

The EPA is what assists the servo and steering rack for minor adjustments in steering. When initially setting up an EPA, you must have the car on the ground with the wheels fully turned to the left and the right as endpoints. If these steps were not followed, it would explain why you can’t turn your RC car.

Sometimes, getting your RC car to turn is as easy as resetting the EPA a few times so that the radio in your controller can communicate with the servo. The radio is what the transmitter uses to receive instructions to turn your car. To make sure that that transmitter is working, you want to switch both the servo and throttle’s connectors.

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Check the Remote Control

Most often, when your steering isn’t working, you want to check the servos. However, sometimes the reason you can’t turn your car is because of the remote control itself.

Some reasons your RC car is not responding to the remote control could be:

  • The Batteries

Dead batteries (or no batteries) are the most common reason that your remote controller is not connecting to your RC car. Sometimes, you overlook simple solutions because you are looking into more complex solutions. The first thing you should do if your car is not turning is to check if there are batteries in your remote controller and replace the batteries if they are dead.

  • Loose Wires

If the batteries in your remote control aren’t the issue, you could be dealing with a loose wire within your controller. The wires in your RC controller transfer electricity between two conductors. This transfer of electricity is what controls the movement of your RC car. If your wires aren’t connected, you have to take out the circuit board inside your controller.

  • Out of Range

A remote control will have a limited range and can only be so far away from the car before the car will stop responding. If you are quite a distance away from your car when it stops turning then being out of range could be the issue. 

Replacing A Broken Circuit Board

If you have determined that your RC car’s inability to turn is because of loose wires in the remote control, then you must remove the circuit board from the controller to inspect it. If the circuit board is the issue, then it will need to be replaced.

The steps to remove and replace your circuit board are:

  • Remove the battery cover.

Remove the screw from the back of your remote controller. Lift the tab to remove the battery cover, exposing your battery.

  • Separate the parts of the remote.

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Separate the back of your remote from the front panel, making sure that you don’t force them apart. You want the plastic covers on the front panel to still align with the back upon reassembly.

  • Remove the buttons.

You’ll see a small piece exposed with two buttons. Remove the left and right buttons from the insets in the controller.

  • Remove the screws.

Remove the screws that connect the antenna to the circuit board.

  • Remove the circuit board.

Remove the screws at the bottom center of your circuit board to remove it from the remote control’s casing. Remove any wires that are connected to your old circuit board because these wires will need to be connected to your new circuit board.

  • Reassemble the remote controller.

Connect your wires to the new circuit board. Remove the solder with a copper solder wick from the old board. There should be about nine wires to connect to the new board. After this, place it back into the controller. Once you have your new circuit board connected and inside the remote, put the remote back together by following these steps in reverse.

(These steps are specifically for the Geardup RC Ford Mustang GT Remote controller, so other remote controls’ steps may differ.)

Note: If you want to make sure that it is your controller that is malfunctioning before taking steps to fix it, you can test it out with other cars. If it works with other RC cars, then the controller is not the problem.

Learn More

If you want to learn more about this issue and specifically how other people fixed it on their cars then check out the videos below.

In Conclusion

If your RC car isn’t turning, don’t rush to return it to the store immediately. There are a couple of things you can check to fix the issue yourself. Inspect the car’s steering servo and remote controller. Use the advice in this article and fix your car yourself. You’ll be back to racing in no time!

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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