How to Clean Nitro RC Car – The Only Detailed Guide

When it comes to nitro RC cars, careful cleaning and regular maintenance are very necessary for achieving peak performance and maximizing the cars’ lifespan. Regular cleaning not only enhances the car’s appearance but also ensures the engine and components remain in top condition. In this detailed guide, we will walk you through the step-by-step process of cleaning your nitro RC car, covering the necessary tools, safety precautions, and specific cleaning techniques for various parts.

Why is Cleaning a Nitro RC Car Important?

Cleaning your nitro RC car is essential for several reasons.

Improved Performance

A clean radio-controlled car runs more effectively, which leads to enhanced performance while it’s being raced. It is possible for dirt, dust, and other debris to build on the exterior of the vehicle and disrupt its aerodynamics. By removing these contaminants, you can maximize the car’s speed and handling capabilities, giving you a competitive edge.

Prolonged Lifespan

Regular cleaning and maintenance significantly extend the lifespan of your nitro RC car. Dirt and grime can infiltrate crucial components, causing unnecessary wear and tear. By keeping your car clean, you minimize the risk of damage and ensure that it remains in excellent condition for years to come.

Preparing for Cleaning

Before beginning the process of cleaning, it is crucial to ensure that all of the required equipment is gathered together and that all appropriate safety measures are taken.

Tools you need to clean your RC car effectively:

First of all you need some tools to clean your RC car effectively. Check the list below.

  • Soft-bristle brush
  • Compressed air can or air compressor
  • Nitro cleaner or mild soap
  • Clean cloth or paper towels
  • Toothbrush or small brush
  • Air filter oil
  • Lubricating oil
  • Latex gloves

Safety Precautions

Before starting the cleaning process, make sure to take the following safety precautions:

Disconnect the fuel line and remove the glow plug igniter to prevent accidental engine starts.

To prevent yourself from breathing in potentially hazardous vapors, work in an area that has enough ventilation.

Wear latex gloves to protect your hands from chemicals and debris.

Cleaning the Exterior

To start cleaning your nitro RC car, focus on the exterior first.

Removing Dust and Debris

Using a soft-bristle brush or compressed air, gently remove any loose dust and debris from the car’s body, wheels, and suspension components. Pay attention to hard-to-reach areas, such as wheel wells and chassis gaps.

Cleaning the Body

Prepare a mixture of nitro cleaner or mild soap and water. To remove any dirt or stains from the body, first dip a clean cloth or sponge into the solution, and then wipe the body in a gentle, circular motion. It is important to avoid using any harsh chemicals or abrasive items that might potentially ruin the paint of the automobile.

Cleaning the Engine and Components

Next, shift your attention to cleaning the engine and other crucial components of your nitro RC car.

Cleaning the Air Filter

Start by removing the air filter cover and carefully taking out the air filter. Inspect the filter for excessive dirt or oil buildup. If necessary, clean it using compressed air or a mild cleaner specifically designed for air filters. Once clean and dry, apply a few drops of air filter oil to the filter, ensuring it is evenly distributed.

Cleaning the Carburetor

The carburetor plays a vital role in fuel delivery and engine performance. To clean it, detach the carburetor from the engine and use a toothbrush or small brush to remove any debris or residue. If needed, apply a small amount of nitro cleaner and scrub gently. Before reassembling, give it a thorough rinsing with water and then wait for it to dry fully.

Cleaning the Exhaust System

The exhaust system can accumulate carbon deposits over time, affecting engine performance. To clean it:

  1. Remove the exhaust pipe and soak it in warm soapy water.
  2. Use a brush to scrub away any carbon buildup, then rinse thoroughly.
  3. Ensure the exhaust pipe is completely dry before reinstalling it.

Cleaning the Chassis and Suspension

Moving on to the chassis and suspension components, here’s how you can keep them clean and well-maintained.

Removing Dirt and Grime

Using a soft-bristle brush and mild soap solution, gently scrub the chassis and suspension components to remove dirt and grime. It is important to pay particular attention to places that are prone to collecting dirt, such as the regions around the hinge pins and shock towers. After giving it a thorough washing with water, pat it dry with a fresh towel.

Lubricating Moving Parts

After cleaning, it’s essential to lubricate the moving parts of your nitro RC car. Apply a small amount of lubricating oil to areas such as ball bearings, suspension arms, and pivot points. This contributes to the reduction of friction, the prevention of corrosion, and the guarantee of smooth operation.

Maintaining the Nitro RC Car

Regular maintenance is key to keeping your nitro RC car in optimal condition. Here are some essential tips for ongoing care.

Regular Inspection and Maintenance

It is important to conduct frequent inspections in order to locate any possible problems or places that need maintenance. Check the engine, suspension, and chassis for loose screws, worn-out parts, or leaks. Address any problems promptly to avoid further damage.

When storing your nitro RC car, make sure to:

Clean the car thoroughly before storing to remove any dirt or debris.

Apply a thin layer of lubricating oil to prevent rust on metal parts.

Store the car in a dry, cool place away from direct sunlight or extreme temperatures.


Cleaning a nitro RC car is essential to maintain that contributes to improved performance and prolonged lifespan. By following the step-by-step guide we’ve provided, you can ensure that your car remains in top shape, ready to hit the track whenever you desire.


Q: How often should I clean my nitro RC car?

A: It’s recommended to clean your nitro RC car after every few runs or whenever it gets excessively dirty.

Q: Can I use any type of soap to clean my nitro RC car’s body?

A: It’s best to use mild soap specifically designed for cleaning RC car bodies to avoid damaging the paint.

Q: Should I clean the air filter after every run?

A: It’s good practice to inspect the air filter after each run and clean it if necessary to maintain optimal engine performance.

Q: Can I use WD-40 as a lubricant for my nitro RC car?

A: WD-40 is not recommended as a lubricant for RC cars. It’s better to use lubricating oil specifically designed for RC car components.

Q: Are there any specific precautions I should take while cleaning the engine?

A: Yes, always disconnect the fuel line and remove the glow plug igniter to prevent accidental engine starts while cleaning.

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