Pushing Your Nitro RC Car Performance to the Moon

By Josh •  Updated: 02/20/21 •  7 min read

The sound of a nitro engine revving up is one of the most satisfying sounds for us nitro racers. I’m sure you know by now that you can tune your RC to go far beyond its current speed. Tweaking a nitro car without any prior experience can be a daunting task. Lucky for you, I’m here to help with that.

You can make your nitro RC go faster in a few ways like changing the gear system, bearings, tire sizes, or by increasing the nitro content of your fuel. If you choose to directly tweak the nitro level through increasing levels in the fuel then this will require work with the heat sinks and shims.

There’s always a right way and a wrong way of doing things. You can enhance the performance of your nitro RC by tuning it beyond recognition.

But if you do not make the proper changes, you might even ruin its overall performance. That is why in this step-by-step guide, I will explain how to make a nitro RC car faster, the right way.

How to Boost Nitro RC Car’s Performance?

Increasing a nitro RC’s performance is easier than you would think. You can tweak a lot of the components in the car to achieve this effect. Some of the methods are relatively cost-efficient, while others might be on the more expensive side.


Changing the tires are the most consistent way of increasing your RC’s speed. Every set of tires are different, and their performance can change by a significant margin on appropriate terrain. Alternatively, using the wrong tire can significantly lower the performance of your RC car.

Something like paddle tires will run extremely fast on sandy terrain but will have a significant performance drop on flatlands.

Moderately rough tires are for street and dirt. They are the middle-ground for tires, sort of like an all-purpose tire.

Lastly, there are flat tires. These are quite soft and rubbery and are terrible for dirt and sand. But they perform better than any other tire on gravel. Most of the time, racers will be using these sorts of tires.

As you can see, using the right set of tires for a terrain will increase your RC car’s speed by a lot.

The bigger your wheels, the more speed you get, as long as your engine can handle it. Having bigger wheels on your car will increase the distance traveled per rotation, but it also requires more power.

That’s why there will be an upper limit for how much you can increase the wheel-size.


Bearings are one of the most crucial components in an RC car. They may be relatively small but are in no way inferior to the engine when it comes to boosting the speed. It is one of the cheapest and easiest components you can change for more speed.

First things first, you need to check whether your car uses ball-bearing or brass bushings. Check all the moving parts and see if there are any bushings.

If you find any bushings, your first course of action should be replacing them with high-quality ball bearings.

Cheaper cars tend to have bushings instead of ball-bearings. Ball-bearings have far less friction than bushings. As a result, they make the car go a lot faster.

There’s also the added benefit of increasing the run time and the lifespan of your wheels.


You can drastically increase the speed of your RC car by increasing the nitro ratio. Most of the RC’s have a standard nitro consumption rate of around 20%. Increase the oil and nitro ratio for more oomph.

Theoretically, you can increase the nitro percentage as much as you want and get an infinite amount of speed boost.

That will put a significantly high amount of pressure on your car’s shims and bearings, which will inevitably lead you to replace some parts when they are damaged. On top of that, nitro itself isn’t cheap either.

That’s why you should carefully gauge how much nitro percentage you can increase. This method is almost equivalent to literally burning money for more speed.

Gear Size

Changing the gear size on your transmission is a bit tricky, but it is also one of the most reliable methods of increasing your car’s speed. It transfers the power from a motor, or in our case, an engine, to the wheels.

For a basic improvement, you should change the pinion gear. The pinion gear is the smaller gear on the transmission system.

Increasing its size will let your engine deliver more power to the spur gear. The downside is that it will also put more strain on your engine and make it heat up faster.

Alternately, you can decrease the size of the spur gear. The spur gear is the larger of the two gears on a transmission.

Decreasing its size allows more rotation for the wheel. It too will strain the engine, so calculate what sizes you can use beforehand.

Nitro RC car vs. Electric

Electric RC cars are relatively easier than nitro RC’s. The battery system is hassle-free, and you need only a few components to get this thing started.

On the other hand, Nitro cars need a glow igniter, separate fuel containers, batteries, and a charger.

A lot of hobbyists face a dilemma when it comes to choosing between nitro and electric. Which one is easier to maintain? Is Nitro RC faster than electric?

Let’s talk about the differences between Nitro RC and electric RC. This will let you have a clearer idea of their pros and cons


When it comes to speed alone, Nitro holds an advantage over electric motors. An average Nitro RC’s will be faster than a standard brushed motor RC. Brushless motors perform better than a nitro engine in most cases.

However, It depends entirely on how well-tuned the engine is. With a fine-tuned engine a nitro RC can go faster than a brushless motor electric RC.

Electric RC’s can increase their speed by getting higher voltage batteries. That is why they do not need engine tuning.

Operation Cost

Electric RC’s are cheaper, a lot cheaper than nitro-powered RC. Most nitro RC’s will use a mixture of oil and gas, both of which are expensive resources. It’s especially hard to get them if you don’t have a hobby shop near you.

Electric cars are much better in this regard because you only need to buy the battery and charger once. You would only replace them after a long time of use. In terms of cost-efficiency, electric motors have nitro engines beat hands down.


Almost all nitro engines come pre-tuned. The manufacturers tune it for standard usage. Every decent Nitro RC needs to be manually tuned for optimal performance.

Electric motors are hassle-free in this regard. They don’t need tuning or any extreme maintenance. There’s no need to change oils or anything. It is the very definition of plug-and-play.

Noise level

Electric motors produce very little noise when they run. Brushed motors still make a bit of noise, but Brushless motors have almost no noise production.

Electric RC’s can be great for playing around in a neighborhood. Nitro engines, however, produce that raw revving sound that we know and love. It isn’t neighborhood-friendly, but it sure is satisfying.

Final Thoughts

Nitro RC’s can be hard to break into for newbies. But once you get used to them, they are immensely satisfying.

As long as you keep experimenting with it, you’ll soon figure newer and better ways of how to make your nitro RC car faster.

Hope this article was of help to you. Thanks for stopping by.

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