Car Cleaning & Washing Guide for Your RC Car Maintenance

By Josh •  Updated: 02/25/21 •  9 min read

RC cars come with maintenance and cleaning responsibilities just like actual cars do. Though the cleaning may be done on a smaller scale and in different ways, it’s still something you have to do if you own an RC vehicle.

However, knowing how to wash an RC car properly needs to be learned and done carefully, or else you might end up ruining your precious RC car.

RC cars are delicate and need to be cleaned and maintained properly. You will first need some basic tools like a toothbrush, alcohol, wet wipes, etc. Then you will need to dismantle the whole car, clean individual parts and reassemble them back.

I have filled this entire article with useful information regarding the topic for newbie RC hobbyists just like you! I will tell you how it’s done, what you need to look out for, and why you need to clean your RC cars often. So, let’s get right to it.

Why Do I Need to Maintain and Clean My RC Car?

Here’s a hard pill to swallow, regularly maintaining your RC car may seem like a tiring and complicated process but neglecting this would only make things worse.

As you use your RC vehicle in any sort of terrain, you invite dust, mud, sand, and various other particles to gather around the mechanical parts. This creates functional and performance issues.

You see, the place you’ve chosen to drive your RC car will never always be 100% clean or smooth. Your RC car will need to work its way through and is almost always guaranteed to accumulate unwanted particles within its system.

To prolong both the mechanical accessories of your RC car and enhance its performance, cleaning and maintaining is a habit that needs to be developed by the owner. After each time using your RC car, you should consider cleaning it.

Dirt and semi-solid unwanted particles will bind moisture within the mechanical and plastic aspects of your RC car which keeps it functioning.

Doing this will accelerate the rusting of the metallic parts and wear away the plastic skeleton that holds the RC system together.

Neglecting your RC car will only cost you more money as well as time in the long run. Nobody wants their RC car to get slower after each use and eventually be deemed unusable, do they?

Not only will you keep your RC performance optimum and consistent but you will avoid the need for you to face annoying problems if you regularly clean them.

Overheating the engine, stalling while accelerating and spinning breaks are some of the problems you will be expected to face if you don’t do frequent maintenance.

The tires, arms, suspensions, and kingpins should all roll freely to ensure the safety of your RC car as well as your enjoyment.


What Do I Need to Clean and Maintain My RC Car?

Every RC comes with a manufacturer’s note that focuses on making the users explicitly aware of the external tools that are needed for the car’s maintenance. These notes will also provide information on how you can disassemble and reassemble your car correctly.

Hence, at first, what you need to have is proper knowledge about your RC car’s maintenance provided by the manufacturer’s manual. 

Keep the manual by your side if you’re new to this whole maintenance aspect. Check the manufacturer’s website if you don’t have the hard copy of the manual.

You will be expected to dismantle various parts of your RC car in the cleaning process so it’s crucial you follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the RC

Before I head onto the tools needed to clean your RC car, be sure to always choose the right RC type based on the terrain you are willing to enjoy them on. For heavy-duty use on rocky, muddy, and grassy terrains, always vouch for RC buggies, trucks, or any appropriate off-road model.

For pavements and indoors and less straining places, both on-road and off-road RC cars will suffice. Choose the correct model depending on how you’re planning to use them.

Now let’s talk about tools. Here are the basics tools that you will be expected to have to clean and maintain your RC car:

How Do I Clean and Maintain My RC Car?

Alright, let’s not do any sweet talks here and just jump on the bandwagon. This is where I’ll mention all that needs to be done to keep your RC car clean and talk more about how do you maintain a remote control car.

 Cleaning the wheels and tires

Take out the tires individually in a careful manner, and dry brush them with a toothbrush until most of the solid debris is away. Use a cleaning solution and water to further keep brushing your tires.

Do it until there are no signs of any debris or dirt particles available. Do not overdo this part as it may dry out your tire compounds.

After you’re done cleaning, dry the tires with a towel and reassemble them back in your RC. You can also use water and soap and submerge entire wheels together to clean them as well if you’re looking for a faster and budget-friendly approach.

Cleaning the entire body of the car

Use an air compressor or small vacuum cleaners to quickly stray away from any dirt particles off from your car. You shouldn’t use water unless your RC car is waterproof, even so, it’s not a good idea to entirely submerge your RC.

To clean the nooks and crannies, use cotton buds. A toothbrush can be used to scrub dirt stuck in the shell of your car and internal engine segments. Make sure you carry out this process entirely in absence of water.

Paper Napkins and denaturing alcohol can also be used to give a cleaner as it’ll eradicate any muddy or harder substance with ease. This however is a bit costly.

Cleaning the chassis of your car

Use damp wipes for quicker and more efficient cleaning. Be sure to use degreasing agents as well. Baby wipes will clean dirt and mud right off from the chassis with ease.

Another process is to use paper napkins or brush dipped in soapy water, do this only if you’re confident that all the electrical parts are covered and your RC is waterproof.

However, never considering dipping the whole chassis in water as it’ll cost you nasty expenses.

Cleaning your RC car motor Engine

Dismantling the engine of your RC car can be a complicated process but needs to be done for thorough cleaning. So always check in your car manual to confirm whether your RC car has a dismantlable engine compartment or not.

Use your dynamic startup toolbox to undo the screws and take it out alongside their armature to start cleaning the engine.

Keep an eye out for any signs of grease and dirt on the engine and motor compartments. Also use your degreaser agent and cotton buds to slowly get rid of the grittiness.

Clean the commutator of your RC and give it a shiny finish like it is supposed to stay. Use an air compressor alongside to get rid of any other particles and you may even use solution spray.

Make sure to dry all these parts off and be extra careful to not get them wet or else you’ll have to face drastic consequences.

Cleaning Your RC Car Bearings

Gently wrench out and pop out the bearings and check for any visible damage or stains. Replace bearings if needed, these parts are delicate and very fragile so you will need to turn this into a habit and be careful whenever you deal with bearings.

If your bearings are metal shielded, using a water-based solution will cause rusting. Degreasing solution spray or motor spray would do just fine for your rubber-sealed bearings.

The best way to deal with metal shielded bearings is to mix them with acetone solvent and keep them in the solution and shake until it turns dirty. Once they are cleaned, dry them and oil them.

Any sort of bearings after they are free from any greases should be oiled. Only a few drops of oil would suffice to keep them rotating freely once they are safely attached back.

Special note: Always turn off your transmitter and RC car and pull out the batteries to safely clean them. Always read the manuals and be aware of what kind of cleaning process is suited for your RC model. Different models need to be dealt with differently.

Final Thoughts on How to Wash an RC Car and Clean it Correctly

That’s all that needs to be done to get your RC car cleaned up and ready to function with its full force once more! Though these processes may seem simple and make you anxious about messing up from time to time, it’s still not a huge deal once you turn it into a habit.

Cleaning and maintaining your RC cars will not only make them perform better and last longer but also save you a ton of money. I hope this entire article provided you with the information you came looking for. Thanks for stopping by.

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