Remote Control Car Not Working? Here’s What To Do

Why Doesn’t My Remote-Control Car Work?

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Radio controlled cars (or RC cars for short) are miniature model cars or trucks that can be controlled from a distance using a specialized transmitter or remote. The term “RC” has been used to mean both “remote controlled” and “radio controlled”, where “remote controlled” includes vehicles that are controlled by radio, infrared or a physical wire connection (the latter is now obsolete). Common use of “RC” today usually refers only to vehicles controlled by radio.

So why doesn’t my remote control car work?

The most common reason that your remote control car won’t work is because your battery is dead. This can happen in either the car or remote. The other common reason it won’t work is because the connection between the car and remote is not working. 

If you want to see our favorite remote control cars, you can see them by clicking here.

If you would like to know more about why your remote control car won’t work, you will want to keep reading this article. You can also check out this video. 

Battery life

You can enjoy your leisure time with your remote controlled car, but it can be frustrating when the remote control car is not working. So, what are the reasons why the remote-control car doesn’t work? The dead battery can be a reason for the inefficient working capacity of the RC cars. There are several other reasons though that are responsible for your RC car not working. 

If the battery is not working, the RC cars are unable to work. You can quickly solve this problem by replacing the battery. For other issues, you may need to troubleshoot the problem in the remote controlled car. If you find any complex problem, you will have different repair options instead of just fixing it yourself. 

Troubleshooting an RC car that won’t work

The following reasons may help you know the different reasons that your RC car may not be working, and how to fix them. 

  • Does your remote work?
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If your remote controlled car is not working, you will need to check the remote first. It is essential to check if the remote control is working properly. You will need to make sure the indicator light is on and green. 

You can also keep a backup remote in your house so that you can save it in case yours dies, or stops working. Some people will be able to continue using their RC car by simply changing to their backup controller. If you have ever not been able to use your RC car, and changing your RC remote fixed the issue, then that means that your remote control may be bad. If changing the batteries did not change anything but changing the remote did, you probably need a new remote. 

  • Check the internal connections

The internal mechanisms affect a lot of the performance of the RC car. Thus, the broken internal contacts can be the reasons for the incapable working capacity of the cars. The internal damage key fobs and damaged battery are a couple of reasons for the RC car not working. You can check the car by visual inspecting it as well. If the internal battery connector is broken, you may be able to fix this issue very easily. You can do this by soldering them back in place. Doing this can return the crucial broken fob to valuable services.

Also, you can easily solder the connectors even if they are not broken. This will prevent them  from falling off in the future.

The rubberized buttons can also fail in different ways. If the rubberized buttons are not propping back out adequately, the RC cars cannot work correctly. 

  • Recheck your connection wire

Loose, or broken wire connections can result in failure performance of the RC cars. If the steering cannot work well, it indicates you have a loose wire motor connection. The lack of steering performance can signal a loose wire to the steering servo. Thus, you need to recheck the battery connection if the remote controlled car is not working.

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The antenna connection specifies the range of the transmitter from which the RC cars can move. This is how the unintended antenna connection is another reason for the lack of working abilities in the RC cars. This is why you need to check the antenna connection and its range. If the RC cars are not working, you should check to make sure the antenna is connected properly. 

  • Check the on and off button of the RC remote

Although you may feel worried when the RC cars are not working, all you need to do is to simply troubleshoot the problems by following these steps. Sometimes people can forget to check the on & off switches. This should always be the first thing that we check. If the on and off switches are not working properly, you can’t run your RC car. This is why it would be best if you ran checks on the on and off button. If the on and off button doesn’t work, you can’t use the RC car. 

How to fix an RC car that won’t work

When your remote-controlled cars are not working, you need to figure out the problem before you can fix it. Once you know the problems you can see how hard they are to fix and if you can fix it yourself. You can fix most of the problems by following these steps.

Replace the batteries

We know, without the powerful battery performance of the RC cars, the cars may not run. The cars can be stopped, work slowly or stop suddenly, due to the lack of battery power. This is why you need to replace the battery if your battery doesn’t work well. Whenever you like to replace the battery, you should remember the following:

Missing batteries 

Before replacing the battery, you must check the remote-controlled cars and its transmitter. 

Install correctly

Make sure the batteries are connected in the right direction and proper slots.

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Remove the older ones and place the fresh batteries

When you replace the battery, you should make sure you have put in the new one. Try to use quality batteries from a renowned brand. You will also want to use the fully charged battery, when planning to run the RC cars.

Clean the battery contact before adding the new batteries

The battery compartments can absorb moisture if the vehicles sit for a longer time. As a result, the compartments may have some corrosion. This is why it would be best if you cleaned it before adding new batteries. 

Add fuel to the RC car if needed

The nitro RC car runs with fuel. This is why you should also check the fuel level before starting your car. If the fuel is insufficient, the car can’t go anywhere. Also, the nitro RC fuel can expire. THis is why you should check how old the fuel is before you put it in the car.  The good news is that it is not too complicated to change the RC nitro fuel.

Use the appropriate transformer and frequency

It would be best if you used the correct transmitter, even if you have many RC vehicles. If you have many RC vehicles, there is a chance that you mix-up the transmitter. If you buy second-hand RC cars, the seller may provide you the wrong transmitter as well. This is why you should check the RC transmitter and the right frequencies for the vehicles. The frequencies need to be the same for the right transmitter. 


Now that you know about RC cars and them not working, you can see why they are not working and how to fix them. There is nothing more frustrating than going to start your RC car and it not working. Hopefully now that you have read this article you can find the problem with your RC car and fix it easily. 

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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