One of the most important parts of remote control car ownership is being able to repair and look after the vehicle yourself.
These cars are susceptible to damage through everyday use or they may experience technical or mechanical issues that prevent them from working so you should be able to solve the problems that arise.
So, how do you fix a remote control car and is it possible to do it on your own?
There are some easy ways to troubleshoot and diagnose the issues with an RC car including checking the batteries, fuel levels, gears, wiring, and transmitter. When you’re able to diagnose the issue for yourself it makes it simpler to fix problems, saving you a lot of money on repairs and replacements.
We’re going to show you some common issues that can easily be fixed yourself at home without having to throw away the car entirely or ask for professional help.
A huge part of being an RC owner and enthusiast is knowing how to solve these problems and perform the repairs on your remote control toy car yourself and we can show you how.
Problems With Remote Control Car Batteries
Whenever your car won’t start or you notice its performance is lacking, one of the most common causes is the batteries.
Most people assume the worst and think that the whole vehicle has broken but it could be as simple as making some adjustments to the batteries to get it started again.
Alignment is a common issue with batteries and being out of place in the slightest amount will result in the car no longer working.
The first place to check is the transmitter and remote control to see if there are any missing cells.
Next, you’ll want to look at the car itself and the batteries installed to see that they’re aligned and inserted correctly in the correct position.
Sometimes, if it seems that the batteries are all where they should be, it could be a simple matter of charging them or replacing the battery charger.
Over time, batteries will lose their power and it could mean it’s time to replace them.
This relates to rechargeable batteries as well, as they should also be replaced when they start to slow down or not charge properly.
Even if a battery isn’t that old, it could start to corrode if not stored properly. Being exposed to air and moisture is never ideal for a battery, nor is letting them sit there not being used.
To prevent corrosion, you should clean the battery slots every few months and store the car somewhere that won’t do any further damage.
Adding Fuel To Your Remote Control Car
As is the case sometimes with our regular vehicles, gas powered remote control cars might experience issues due to fuel.
If your car is gas powered in some way, you’ll have extra requirements for care and maintenance.
Nitro RC cars especially require some extra work so this is another place you’ll want to check if your car is running poorly or not at all.
Sometimes the solution can be as simple as an empty or even half empty fuel tank. Filling it back up might be an easy fix, otherwise, you’ll want to next check the fuel line as it can be kinked.
If this is the case, there’s a good chance it’s causing the car to not start.
Fix the kink and fill the gas tank back up and if this does not remedy the problem, you may need a more in-depth fuel check.
Wiring And Connections
If you take a look inside of your car you’ll probably notice a few wires and connections that make up the vehicle.
Getting an understanding of these wires and what they do can help fix common problems that you might encounter when repairing your RC car, so it’s worth educating yourself on how to solder and reconnect them.
Oftentimes when these RC vehicles fail to start or perform poorly, it’s due to broken or loose wiring somewhere in the car.
Perform a check of the entire car, especially the motor and steering system, which is where wiring issues are most common, and see that the wires in the battery housing are connected as well.
If you do not see any loose wiring or wires that seem damaged, you can re-solder them with the right tools or connect the wires back together using electrical tape
Although it may seem technical, working with something so small makes it easier to see the problem wire and figure out how to fix it, so it’s important to learn how if you’d prefer to perform your own RC car repairs.
Issues With The Servo
A servo is another term for a servo motor which is a cheap but effective part of an RC car’s radio control.
If your car isn’t starting it could be due to an issue with the servo and there are some easy tests you can complete to see if it’s working.
If you find that the car is responding to some commands but not others, there’s a good chance that this mechanism is to blame.
To test out whether there’s an issue with the servo, you can match the frequency being used by the transmitter with another working receiver.
Unplug and replug the servos to this new receiver, and if it still doesn’t work then this indicates a problem.
Unless you have the technical skills required to fix it, it’s better to leave these types of repairs to a professional. Another option would be to simply replace the servo.
Checking The Transmitter
We often look at the car first when there’s an issue, but sometimes it can be a fault of the radio transmitter causing the problem.
A quick check of your transmitter and the frequency it’s operating on can show you the error, and if you’re someone who owns more than one car it’s common to get these frequencies mixed up.
To make sure you’re using the right frequency, check each car you’re using and what frequency it stipulates on the writing that has been engraved on it.
Check the frequency engraved on your transmitter and ensure they match each other.
This is a very easy fix that happens to even the most experienced RC car owners and especially those with large collections.
Problems With The Car’s Gears And Steering
Just like a regular car, RC cars use an intricate steering and gear system that allow them to drive.
These are two areas that could cause the car to stop moving or slow down, so you’ll want to check them out and get to understand their role in the vehicle.
If you notice a grinding noise, this usually is coming from the gears so first check that they haven’t been stripped away or slipped out of place.
Stripped gears will require total replacement but a slipped gear can be adjusted back into place.
If you suspect it’s a problem with the steering that’s causing immobility and you’re having issues moving the car in the direction you wanted, check the steering wire in your car.
If there’s an issue like it’s come loose or is damaged, this can easily be replaced with a durable piece of stiff wire.
Plastic RC Car Parts
A much simpler problem to try and fix has nothing to do with the electronics or mechanics of your car, but rather the plastic body and other parts.
If you’ve tried all else, you can do a quick check of all the working parts to make sure that the plastic hasn’t broken, cracked, or chipped off in any area.
The most common area where this occurs is in the steering system and having a broken piece of plastic lodged in there will render the car completely useless.
You can either try to mend it with a strong plastic adhesive or replace it altogether.
Other issues include the screw pole being damaged by the screw, in which case you can easily fix it by zip tying the pole back together and gluing around the outside of it.
Learning how to fix a remote control car and troubleshoot the various problems they can encounter is all part of the challenging but satisfying nature of these vehicles.
Here are some other common questions about fixing remote control cars that will make it easier for you to do on your own.
CAN YOU MAKE AN RC CAR?
You can make a basic remote controlled car with a few key materials including a battery pack, two motors, radio receiver, and remote control.
They generally won’t operate as fast or efficiently as a store bought one but it’s a great way to learn about their construction.
CAN YOU UPGRADE AN RC CAR?
There are certain modifications you can perform on an RC car with a little know-how and some basic materials.
Upgrades include making the vehicle faster, more durable, have a longer battery life, or more controlled steering, but it depends on what’s possible with the model you have.