Guide to How to clean your RC car like professional

Cleaning your remote controlled car is arguably the most important thing to do as an owner of an RC car. When your RC car is cleaned it looks nice, performs well, and doesn’t give you any extra unnecessary hassle.

The problem with cleaning your RC car is that it can sometimes be a daunting task if you have never done it before, or haven’t done it in quite some time. This guide will help guide you on how to clean your RC car with a few simple steps.

Separate The Cleaning Process

As previously mentioned cleaning your RC car can be a daunting task at first, but separating the cleaning process into different stages/phases will help reduce some of the stress you might be facing and provide a clear directional flow of where the cleaning process will go.

The best method of cleaning your RC car is to follow this procedure guideline:

rc car
  • Remove tires
  • Remove Plastic Body Parts
  • Remove Electronics
  • Engine
  • Re-Assemble

Tools To Use

  • Blow Dryer or (Compressed Air)
  • Soap
  • Water
  • WD-40
  • Toothbrush
  • Electric Motor Cleaner
  • RC Lubricant

Part 1 Begin Cleaning The Whole Car

Step 1 – How To Take Apart a RC Car And Separate It By Category

Note

  • It is a good idea to keep all of the screws and bolts in a separate section so you won’t misplace them during the cleaning process. It is always a good idea to mark parts to remind yourself where they go and what fit into each section so that you can remember during the re-assembling process later on.
  • Taking pictures before and after each step helps to showcase your progress and remind you where you last were if you have to step away at any given moment during the cleaning process.

To begin the cleaning process, go ahead and start to remove the plastic body parts that are securely attached to the RC car such as the lid and set it aside. From there, you also want to remove the wheels and place those into a separate location apart from the plastic parts. You’ll want to continue this process for each part mentioned.

Below body

Next, go ahead and remove any protective shroud you might have over your engine compartment. Some RCs are completely waterproof and do not have any protective cloth or cover over the engine.

If you have any pieces that could be damaged by water during the cleaning process that isn’t waterproof itself, go ahead and remove it. As later on, we will be washing the RC car with water and you don’t want to damage unnecessary parts.

Once you have removed the protective shroud over the engine compartment, go ahead and disconnect the battery from its harness. Set the battery aside far enough away so that when you begin cleaning, it won’t get damaged in the process.

Step 2 – Begin Washing The Wheels

Wheels are just as important to an RC car as the engine, as they help provide traction that your RC car needs when you are driving your RC car and putting it through the paces.

Take your wheels and carry them to a sink nearby. Go ahead and bring soap and the toothbrush we mentioned under tools to use when cleaning your RC car. Turn the spout on and get the water to a warm temperature. You do not want it scalding hot, and you do not want it cold, just slightly warm enough to help with the cleaning process.

tires

Begin washing your tires one at a time underneath the sink and soothing the wheels as you do so. Take the time to gently clean the wheels using your hands as best you can. Once you are satisfied and feel that you cannot get any better with your hands, remove the tire underneath the spout and pour some soap on the tire.

Rub the soap all over the tire and make sure to evenly disperse it along the tire. Once you have covered the tire with soap, go ahead and once again begin washing the tire. Once you have removed the soap and rinsed the tire once more, go ahead and grab the toothbrush.

Hold the tire underneath the water spout with warm water still flowing, and begin to slowly brush away some of the remaining hard to get grime and dirt that could have possibly accumulated on your tire. Don’t go too rough, as the more attentive care you put into each tire during this phase will help them look and perform better later on.

Make sure to get inside of the rim as well as all sides of the tire, not just the traction itself. Go ahead and repeat the cleaning process for each tire, and set them aside to dry when you’re done.

You can choose to let the tires air dry naturally, or take some form of a wash cloth and dry them manually. You can now begin to clean the rest of your RC car.

Step 3 – Begin Washing Plastic Body Parts / Lid

Now that you are letting your tires dry, go ahead and grab some of the plastic body parts or the lid that come with your RC car. Go ahead back to the sink where you were washing your tires. Be mindful of cleaning the plastic parts, as you do not want to use abrasive brushes that might scratch the plastics and damage the lid.

Just like the tires, you can use soap during this process to get some of the hard grit that might have accumulated. Wipe down the body of the RC car plastic parts as you are rinsing to get an extensive cleaning job. Once you’re done thoroughly washing both the exterior and underbody of the plastic parts, go ahead and dry them extensively. The last thing you want is to have some water that didn’t try, drip and potentially cause damage.

Part 2 – Cleaning The Engine And Car Frame

Step 1 – Use The Sink, Soap, and a Toothbrush

Take your entire car with the important parts removed we mentioned earlier like the battery to your sink. Go ahead and begin washing the RC car slowly underneath the sink using lukewarm water. You want to delicately rinse the entire car just like you did with the tires earlier, to remove the dirt and crud that could have built over time of use.

body

Use your hands, for the most part, to get the dirt and grime removed, and try not to tug on any wires or be rough with the car as you clean it. The water pressure will remove most of the grime itself without too much effort, and your hands should be able to rinse out the areas that are having a little difficulty.

If you’d like, you can also use this time to add some soap to lather the car and engine to help add an extra step to removing the grime. As before with the tires, you want to take your time during this stage to do a thorough job. The more time you put into cleaning your RC car, the better it will look and perform.

You can elect to use the toothbrush for areas where wiring isn’t a factor. Try not to use the toothbrush where it might be too abrasive or pull out some of the important wiring. Using a toothbrush might help add that slight abrasive device to remove the grit that your fingers couldn’t reach.

Step 2 – Dry

You can choose to use a hair dryer or some compressed air to dry the RC car. When using either device, make sure to stand back some range so that you can channel the airflow to properly dry and displace any grit that wasn’t getting removed from the washing process.

If you use a hair dryer, make sure to take care to not melt any piece of equipment. If you decide to use compressed air, make sure that you aren’t using too much PSI so as to completely rip or tear wiring from the compressed airflow.

If you don’t want to use a hairdryer or compressed air to help dry the body and engine, you can always use a cloth towel or rag in addition to air drying. Go ahead and set the body and engine compartment aside and let it dry while you go to the electric motor cleaning portion of this guide.

Part 3 – Electric Motor Cleaning

Once you have dried the engine compartment and body, go ahead and remove the electric motor. There are several screws that will need to be removed to access the electric motor. Go ahead and remove the positive and ground plugs for the battery and remove the pinion gear. Set the pinion gear aside, as you will not be cleaning it during this process.

motor

Remove the motor once you have removed all of the screws and grab your can of electric motor cleaner. Lay down some protective towels or paper to collect the spraying solution as you apply it, otherwise, you will have a wet mess on your hands.

Begin spraying the electric motor cleaner into the holes of the electric motor to thoroughly rinse the motor out. Avoid the positive and ground wires when spraying. The cleaning solution will come out of the engine at the bottom which is completely normal while you are applying the spraying solution.

Go ahead and repeat the spraying process for the electric motor so that you will have completed it twice to be safe. Once you have sprayed the electric motor, go ahead and dry the electric motor with a paper towel.

Once you have dried the electric motor, go ahead and put a little RC Lubricant on. You now have a clean electric motor that is properly lubricated.

Part 4 - Re-Assemble

You are going to begin re-assembling the RC car in reverse order that you took it apart. Go ahead and place the electric motor back into position and securely fasten it along with the pinion gear.

rc truck

Take the time to spray some WD-40 in the important places to add some extra lubrication and water displacement. Make one last check to ensure that everything has been properly dried, and begin fastening the cables into one another.

This is also a great time to tidy up the cabling and make it a little neater if you’d like with some cable zip ties or fasteners. This is completely optional but adds a little extra cleanliness in the end.

Re-attach the plastic parts / lid to the top of the RC car. From there, go ahead and re-attach the wheels to your RC car and give it one last look to make sure that everything was securely fastened properly, cables inputs were placed in the right area, and everything is well cleaned and lubricated.

Conclusion

It is important to clean and maintain your RC car after frequent use to ensure that it operates properly, and looks great wherever you put it to good use. Spending the extra time cleaning your RC car after frequent usage also enables you to understand more about the unique hobby and create a more enjoyable experience that lasts longer with a well-maintained piece of equipment.

As a general rule of thumb, it is a good idea to clean the electric motor every fifteen uses, and the rest of the RC car as you see fit. Cleaning regularity depends on usage, the location of usage, duration of usage, and physicality of uses. You will have to clean your RC car more frequently if you go mudding every weekend in comparison to driving down the driveway and back.

Cleaning and properly maintaining your RC car is easy once you get the hang of it and understand the important procedures. This guide has helped to provide you with a step by step process on how to properly clean your RC car so that you can have a nicer looking, better performing machine that provides you with endless hours of fun and entertainment.

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