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RC Shock Oil Questions Answered (Does RC/Silicone Shock Oil Expire?)

If you have an RC car then you likely have shocks on that car that has shock oil (silicone oil) that needs changed from time to time. The issue is that shock oil is normally sold in much bigger bottles than what is needed to change the oil in the shocks so you will likely have some left over. 

That is what leads us to this article today. 

Many people will have shock oil left over once they have finished changing the oil in their shocks and they are unsure if that silicone oil expires or if it needs to be disposed of within a certain time frame after purchasing. 

Shock oil does not go bad and doesn’t expire as long as you keep the bottle closed to protect it from dirt and grime. Shock oil in your RC shocks will need to be changed but that is because dirt and grime gets into it not because it has expired. 

As long as you are careful with your shock oil to not spill it and don’t leave it open where dust can get into it then it will last you as long as you need it to. 

However, just like any other oil it is susceptible to changes based on temperature so it will get thicker in the winter and thinner in the summer. That is important to remember if you are changing your shock oil out in the wintertime as you will want to bring your silicone oil inside to warm it up before attempting to use it. 

Can I use motor oil in my RC shocks? 

If you find yourself in a predicament and don’t have any shock oil with you and also don’t have the time to run to the hobby shop and grab some then you might wonder if you can use motor oil in your shocks instead. Afterall, it is oil so it probably works about the same, right? 

You actually should not use motor oil in your RC shocks. The RC shock oil is silicone oil while motor oil is petroleum based and the petroleum based oil could cause problems with the plastic parts on your RC car. 

RC shock oil (silicone oil) is quite inexpensive so you are always better off just using the right thing rather than trying to use motor oil. Even if you don’t have a hobby shop nearby you can easily head over to Amazon to see what shock oil they have. 

You can find a variety of them by clicking here

What kind of oil should you use for RC shocks? 

This is another question that we often get here at RacenRCs. Many times people will either not want to spend the few bucks on shock oil or they have some extra oil laying around that they don’t want to waste and so they are hoping to use it. 

For the best results you should not use any oil in your RC shocks besides silicone shock oil. Many people have said that they have used motor oil, dishwashing detergent, or even cooking oil but each of these brings possible complications with using them. 

In my opinion it is better to simply spend the extra money and get the right shock oil for your RC car rather than trying to save a couple of bucks. Replacing the shocks or other parts because you tried to use different oil will be much more expensive than just buying the silicone shock oil in the first place. 

Just use silicone oil and you will save yourself a lot of headaches. 

How do you change the oil in RC shocks? 

If you have gotten this far in the article you now know that shock oil doesn’t expire, that you shouldn’t use motor oil in your RC shocks, and that you should use silicone based oil in them. Knowing all of that you likely want to know how to change the actual shock oil. 

Changing the shock oil is relatively easy. All you have to do is take the spring off the shock, unscrew the cap at the top, drain the old oil, and then put new oil in. 

Taking the shock apart and putting it back together takes the longest and even then changing the shock oil shouldn’t take you more than just a few minutes. 

To watch a video on exactly how to take apart the shock and change the oil you can do so below but it really is as simple as the few steps mentioned above. 

How often should you change RC shock oil?

Now that you know how to change the shock oil on your RC car the next thing that you should know is how often it needs to be changed. There are many different thoughts on this as some people don’t ever change their shock oil and others change it once a month. 

How often you should change your RC’s shock oil depends on how often you use it and how you use it. In general though it should be changed every couple of months while you are using your RC regularly. 

Since it is only a few minute process to change out your silicone shock oil and shock oil is relatively inexpensive then changing it out more often than needed is better than not changing it often enough. You should be especially sure to change the shock oil more regularly if you often use your RC car in dusty or dirty conditions as that can get into the shock oil easily. 

How full do you fill RC shocks with oil? 

Now that you know how often you should change your RC shock oil and how to do it (discussed above) you will want to know how full it should be. The last thing you want is to not have enough oil or too much in it that causes it to go everywhere! 

You should fill your shocks up to the very top with shock oil. This allows the oil to get up inside the cap as well once it is closed so everything can be well lubricated. 

If you do happen to put a little too much oil in the shock there is nothing to worry about as it won’t hurt the shock and the extra will simply come out while you are driving your RC car the next time. It is actually better to have a little too much oil in the shock than to not have enough so fill it to the top and if a little comes out on your next use don’t worry about it! 


I hope that this article has been helpful to you in answering all of your questions about silicone shock oil for your RC car. Now that you know all of the information about your RC shocks and the oil that goes in them you can race your car without having to worry if you did something wrong. 

Happy Racing!