Storing RC cars properly is a crucial aspect of maintaining their performance and longevity. Whether you own electric or nitro-powered RC cars of different RC scale, taking care of their storage needs will ensure they are ready for action whenever you want to hit the tracks.
In this comprehensive guide on how to store RC cars, we’ll explore why correct storage is essential, the benefits of proper storage, various storage solutions and ideas tailored to different types of RC cars, and additional maintenance tips to optimize your RC car ownership experience.
Importance of Proper RC Car Storage
Proper RC car storage is vital for several reasons, some of which are:
1. Prolongs Vehicle Lifespan
Storing RC cars correctly minimizes wear and tear on the components, extending the lifespan of the vehicle. Consistent and proper storage practices prevent mechanical strain and ensure that all moving parts remain in top condition.
2. Maintains Performance
By preventing damage and deterioration, well-stored RC cars retain their peak performance over time. This ensures that your RC cars deliver the same thrill and excitement during every ride.
3. Prevents Damage
Adequate storage safeguards RC cars from environmental factors, moisture, and dust that can harm sensitive electronic components and mechanical parts. Properly stored RC cars are less prone to rust, corrosion, and electrical issues.
4. Saves Money
Taking care of your RC car investment through proper storage can save you money on repairs and replacements. Well-maintained RC cars require fewer fixes, reducing the long-term cost of ownership.
5. Preserves Battery Life
Proper storage of electric RC cars includes maintaining their batteries at optimal charge levels, preserving their life and performance. Periodically charging and discharging the batteries, along with avoiding overcharging, will extend their lifespan.
6. Better Engine Performance
Nitro RC cars require special attention to fueling, engine maintenance, and proper storage to ensure a smooth start and consistent performance. Storing nitro-powered RC cars with care prevents engine issues and maintains peak horsepower.
7. Easy Accessibility
Organized storage solutions enable quick access to your RC cars whenever you’re ready to have fun. Having a designated storage area with clear compartments or shelves saves time and reduces the risk of damage during retrieval.
8. Protects Against Damage
Secure storage options shield RC cars from accidental bumps, falls, and other mishaps. Storage cases and shelves with protective foam inserts provide an added layer of safety.
Preparation For Storage
Before you store your RC car, there are essential steps you must take to ensure its proper maintenance and avoid potential issues when you take it out of storage.
Clean Your RC Car
Storing your RC car in excellent condition goes beyond simply placing it in storage; it must be clean as well. Before storing your vehicle, thoroughly clean the wheels and chassis, removing all accumulated dirt and debris from your previous use. Ensuring proper drying is crucial to prevent mold growth.
Cleaning your RC car before storage may seem minor, but it plays a significant role in preventing dirt and grime from clogging the moving parts over time. Neglecting this step might lead to malfunctions, and in severe cases, you may need to replace components before your next RC car ride—all due to not spending a few minutes cleaning before storing it.
Cleaning your car is straightforward; use cotton swabs, a general-purpose cleaner, and distilled water to clean visible areas, as well as cracks and crevices. It’s essential to let the car dry entirely to prevent any moisture-related issues during storage.
Oil Your RC Car
Just like actual cars need regular maintenance, your RC car requires oiling before storage. The shock oil in your RC car degrades with every race, due to moisture and contaminants, leading to a loss of lubrication properties. If not replaced regularly, this can leave your car vulnerable to breakdowns.
To protect your car’s shocks, replace the shock oil before storing your RC car. Once your RC car is clean, dry, and oiled, you are almost ready to put it into storage.
Many RC cars use battery packs, either solely or in combination with nitro fuel. Each battery pack should be stored with a specific amount of charge, depending on its type. Use your charger’s storage option to charge the battery to the correct point or run it down to that level.
This step is crucial for prolonging the life of your batteries. Taking a few extra minutes to remove the batteries, ensure they are at the proper charge, and store them separately from the vehicle will save you headaches when you use the RC vehicle again.
Drain Fuel (for Nitro RC Vehicles)
For nitro RC vehicles, it’s crucial not to leave fuel in the car when it will be stored for an extended period. Leaving fuel in the tank can cause starting issues similar to what you might experience with a lawnmower left unused over the winter.
To prepare your nitro RC car for storage, drain the fuel entirely. Alternatively, you can start the motor and run it until it is entirely out of fuel, ensuring the removal of nitro fuel from the lines, making it easier to start on your next use.
By following these additional steps, you’ll ensure that your RC car stays in top-notch condition throughout its storage period. Properly cleaning, oiling, and preparing your RC car for storage will make all the difference when it’s time to get back on the track again. Remember, a little extra effort in storing your RC car properly will pay off in the long run, extending its lifespan and maximizing your RC driving enjoyment.
Storage Solutions & Ideas
How to Store RC Battery
To store your RC battery safely, it’s crucial to discharge it to an appropriate level before storing it. For LiPo batteries, store them at around 50-60% charge.
Avoid storing them fully charged or completely depleted, as this can lead to capacity loss or even damage. Store LiPo batteries in a fireproof container and in a cool, dry place, away from direct sunlight. Regularly check the battery’s voltage during storage to ensure it stays within safe levels.
How to Store RC Fuel
Storing nitro fuel requires proper handling to maintain its quality and performance. Keep the fuel container tightly sealed to prevent moisture and contaminants from entering.
Store the fuel in a cool, dry place, away from heat sources and direct sunlight. Avoid leaving the fuel exposed to extreme temperatures, as this can affect its consistency and performance. Additionally, use fuel within six months to a year after purchase, as older fuel might degrade, leading to engine issues during use.
How to Store RC Nitro Engine
Before storing your RC nitro engine, clean it thoroughly to remove any dirt or debris. After cleaning, apply after-run oil to protect internal components.
Remove the glow plug and add a few drops of after-run oil into the cylinder, then turn the engine over a few times to distribute the oil. Finally, reinstall the glow plug and store the engine in a dry, cool place. Periodically rotate the engine’s shaft during storage to prevent it from seizing.
How to Store RC Electric Motor
Storing the RC electric motor involves proper cleaning and lubrication. After use, clean the motor’s internal components to remove dust and dirt.
Use a motor spray or isopropyl alcohol to clean the motor’s bearings and shaft. Once clean, apply a few drops of electric motor bearing oil to the motor’s bearings to ensure smooth operation. Store the motor in a clean, dry place, and avoid exposing it to extreme temperatures.
How to Store RC Tires
RC tires require careful storage to maintain their grip and longevity. Before storage, clean the tires to remove dirt and debris, using a tire cleaner or mild detergent.
Once clean, avoid stacking or compressing the tires, as this can cause flat spots. Store the tires upright or hang them using a tire rack. Keep them in a cool, dry place, away from direct sunlight, as prolonged exposure to heat and UV rays can degrade the rubber compound.
How to Store Internal Parts
For internal parts such as shocks, suspension components, and gears, proper cleaning and lubrication are essential before storage. Clean the parts thoroughly and apply appropriate lubricants to prevent corrosion and ensure smooth operation.
Store these parts in individual containers or resealable bags to prevent dust and dirt accumulation. Keep them in a dry, climate-controlled environment to maintain their integrity and avoid rusting. Regularly inspect and maintain these parts to ensure optimal performance when you’re ready to use them again.
Common RC Car Storing Mistakes
To ensure the longevity and peak performance of your RC cars, it is essential to avoid common storing mistakes that can lead to damage and deterioration. Let’s explore some of these mistakes and how to avoid them:
1. Neglecting to Clean the RC Car
Cleaning your RC car after each use is crucial to remove dirt, debris, and grass clippings that can accumulate on the vehicle. Failure to clean your RC car can lead to long-term damage and affect its performance. Use compressed air or a soft brush to clean hard-to-reach areas and wipe down the body and wheels with a damp cloth to keep them clean and presentable.
2. Storing the RC Car Wet
Storing your RC car while it is still wet, especially after a wet or muddy run, can promote rust and corrosion on sensitive electronic components and metal parts. Always ensure your RC car is completely dry before storing it to prevent potential damage.
3. Storing the RC Car in a Humid Place
Humid environments can be detrimental to RC cars, causing moisture to seep into electronic components and promoting rust. Avoid storing your RC car in a humid place, such as a basement or damp garage. Instead, opt for a dry and well-ventilated storage area.
4. Not Draining the Fuel:
For nitro-powered RC cars, failing to drain the fuel from the tank before storage can lead to engine problems. Fuel left in the tank for an extended period can evaporate, leaving behind a gummy residue that can clog fuel lines and carburetors. Run the engine until it stalls to empty the fuel tank before storing your nitro RC car.
5. Not Plugging the Exhaust Pipe
When storing nitro-powered RC cars, ensure you plug the exhaust pipe to prevent debris, moisture, or insects from entering the engine and causing damage. Use a rubber or silicone exhaust plug to keep the exhaust system sealed during storage.
6. Leaving the Battery on the Vehicle
Leaving the battery on the RC car for extended periods, especially when not in use, can lead to over-discharge and damage the battery’s cells. Remove the battery from the RC car after each use and store it separately, preferably in a cool and dry place.
7. Storing the Battery Flat or Overcharged
For electric RC cars, avoid storing the battery either fully charged or completely discharged. Storing a battery fully charged for an extended period can degrade its performance, while leaving it flat can cause irreversible damage. Aim to store the battery at around 40-60% charge to maintain its longevity.
8. Not Storing the RC Car Elevated
Storing your RC car on the ground or on a surface with direct contact can lead to flat spots on the tires. To prevent this issue, store your RC car elevated on a stand or use specialized tire holders that keep the tires off the ground.
By being mindful of these common RC car storing mistakes and implementing the proper storage practices outlined in this guide, you can ensure that your RC cars remain in top condition, ready to deliver endless hours of excitement and enjoyment during your next RC adventure. Remember, proper storage and maintenance contribute significantly to the overall performance and longevity of your prized RC car collection.
Additional Maintenance Tips
- Clean After Each Use: Remove dirt, debris, and grass clippings from your RC cars using compressed air or a soft brush. Wipe down the body and wheels with a damp cloth to keep them clean and presentable.
- Store in Dry Environments: Avoid storing RC cars in humid or damp locations, as moisture can lead to rust and corrosion. Consider using desiccant packs or moisture-absorbing products to keep the storage area dry.
- Check Battery Levels: For electric RC cars, store the batteries with a partial charge (around 40-60%) to prevent over-discharge during extended storage periods.
- Fuel Maintenance for Nitro RC Cars: If storing nitro RC cars for an extended time, drain the fuel tank and run the engine until it stalls to prevent the fuel from gumming up the engine.
- Rotate Tires: To prevent flat spots on tires, rotate the RC cars’ wheels periodically during storage
Properly storing your RC cars is a fundamental part of being an RC hobbyist, and following the right storage practices ensures that your vehicles remain in top-notch condition, ready for action whenever you desire. In this comprehensive guide, we have explored why storing RC cars correctly is essential, the benefits of proper storage, various storage solutions, and additional maintenance tips on how to store RC cars and optimize your RC car ownership experience.
Remember to adapt your storage practices based on the specific needs of each RC car, including its type, size, and engine. Electric RC cars require battery maintenance and proper charging, while nitro-powered RC cars need special fueling and engine care. By paying attention to these details, you can ensure the long-lasting performance of your cherished RC cars.
For indoor enthusiasts, consider using plastic storage containers with foam inserts or wall-mounted racks to keep your RC cars organized and protected. For outdoor enthusiasts, invest in weather-resistant cases or dedicated storage sheds to shield your RC cars from the elements.
Additionally, keep in mind the importance of regular maintenance, such as cleaning after each use, lubrication of moving parts, and proper tire pressure. These simple practices will keep your RC cars in top shape and ready for thrilling rides.
By incorporating the storage ideas, solutions, and maintenance tips discussed in this guide, you can prolong the lifespan of your RC cars, ensure their smooth performance, and protect your valuable collection. Organized, well-maintained RC cars bring joy and satisfaction to every RC hobbyist, and with the knowledge gained here, you are well-equipped to be a responsible and enthusiastic RC car owner.