Cleaning your RC vehicle helps it perform better, prolongs life of moving parts and makes it look as good as new. Whether your RC vehicle is a show car or used for muddy bashing sessions, it’s essential to keep your vehicle clean. Dirty or dusty vehicles can have parts that bind up or wear out more quickly, causing jumps and steering to become sluggish. Taking care of your RC car will help it run smoother, prevent rust and dirt build-up, which in turn means less money and time spent on repair and maintenance.
Let’s dive into some basics for giving your RC vehicle a quick and efficient cleaning. Especially if you are a beginner or you own a car that is not driven through mud or snow, then a simple but routine cleaning is sufficient to keep your vehicle looking like new and running smoothly.
Get Your Tools In Order
Before beginning, gather your tools to make the process easy. We recommend having on hand the following items: an air compressor (or can of compressed air from hobby shop or electronics shop), a natural bristle paintbrush, a toothbrush, a non-ammonia degreaser, and a micro-fiber cloth. As you can see, these items are found in most households and make the cleaning process less daunting, especially if it’s something you are attempting for the first time. The only other items we recommend are a can of WD-40 or SC-1, for shine and polish, and RC tools for taking your vehicle apart.
Step 1 - Safety First
Start with the removal of any battery and any electronics ( if easily removed); these should be kept away from any chemicals and moisture at all times during the cleaning process.
Step 2- The Core
Next, take the wheels off your vehicle’s body and use compressed air blow off any loose dirt or dust from the insides of the RC vehicle. Next, using the bristle brush, gently get into any corners or pockets of the chassis where the air compressor couldn’t remove the dirt. Try to pay special attention to the shocks, joints, and bearings.
Step 3 - Chassis & Wheels
At this point, you are already halfway to restoring your RC vehicle to a polished and clean state. So, then what is left to go? It is taking a closer look at the chassis; here, you can go in with the toothbrush to brush away any caked-on dirt that may need a little extra shove. Once you have the frame thoroughly cleaned- up, you can move on to the wheels. If your wheels are quite muddy, you can always use some warm soapy water to clean off the wheels. Although, avoid submerging wheels in water as any lodged in water can rot inside the wheels or cause an imbalance. If it’s just loose dust, you can give the wheels a quick cleaning with the bristle brush and move on to the next step.
Step 4 - The Wipe Down
Now your vehicle is ready for a wipe down with the degreaser of your choice. However, never spray any chemicals directly onto the chassis. Dampen the microfiber cloth with your degreaser and wipe the chassis down, especially around any fenders and wings if there are any.. Baby wipes may also work if you do not have a degreaser.
Final Step - Polish & Lubricate
For the last step, you can use either WD-40 or SC-1 to polish and lubricate your vehicle. We recommend you dampen the end of a clean brush and lightly go over the plastic of your RC vehicle with the WD-40/SC-1.
Lastly, resemble your vehicle, ensuring first that your wheels have dried off completely. And step back to admire your hard work, as we bet your RC vehicle now looks as good as new!
This cleaning process is excellent for both water-resistant and non-water-resistant RC vehicles. However, if you have a water-resistant vehicle that is regularly driven through snowy or muddy conditions, then a deeper cleaning may be recommended to keep your vehicle’s performance up to speed, pun intended. Remember, though, never submerge your engine or batteries in water, even if your car has water-resistant electronics, metal parts or screws can rust and slow down your vehicle’s performance.
Concluding Thoughts & More Tips!
Do not ever attempt to wash your battery!Another obvious tip that may be underrated is to avoid using your non-water resistant vehicle through the mud! Mud hold a lot of water, and if left uncleaned can cause rust and seize up in joints and bearings.
For more information and awesome tips, check out our other blogs. We publish blogs regularly, so check back for more exciting tips and tricks about anything RC!