How Long Do Gas RC Cars Last? Does It Ever Expire?

how long do gas rc cars last

Many people are only familiar with electric RC cars; only the enthusiasts know the gas types. They are also referred to as nitro RC cars, and unlike electric cars that use a battery, they use fuel (also known as gas or nitro). Gas RC cars are very different in performance from the electric variants.

A gas RC car will last for approximately four years if it is properly maintained. These cars require proper and regular maintenance if they are to last for a long time. Yes, gas RC cars expire. Regardless of how well-maintained the car is, it will stop working after a while.

The closest RC cars to actual cars are gas-powered. In reality, we have more gas-powered vehicles than electric cars. If you want to experience the thrills of a real car, you should purchase a gas RC car.

How Long Do Gas RC Cars Last?

Gas RC cars are the perfect imitation of actual cars; they run on fuel, produce exhaust fumes and noise, and are more water-resistant. These properties are why RC enthusiasts prefer gas cars to electric; they feel like running a real car.

Gas RC cars have a shorter lifespan than electric cars; they will last for about four years, only if you take time to maintain them properly. Without the proper knowledge, you will find it difficult to maintain a gas RC car. The maintenance routine of gas RC cars is very different from electric cars; there are many things you need to worry about in these cars.

How To Properly Maintain A Gas RC Car

You need to maintain and clean your gas RC car the same way you clean and maintain your regular car if you want it to operate at its maximum potential. Corrosion occurs in them because of the moisture gathered from the exhaust and hot motor. This is why regular maintenance and cleaning are required.

old rc cars covered in spiderweb

Conduct After-Run Maintenance

The best way to ensure your gas RC car stays strong, lasts long, and performs well is to perform after-run maintenance before storing it. After-run maintenance prevents possible rusting and corrosion of the metals of the car. These are the procedures you should follow after every run.

Empty The Fuel Tank

Before storing a gas RC car, ensure you empty all the fuel left in the fuel tank. You can use an empty fuel bottle to remove the used fuel in the tank. Leaving old fuel in the fuel tank will not make the car start properly when you want to use it the next time. Avoid pouring used fuel into a new fuel container with fuel in it.

Start The Engine

After emptying the old fuel from the fuel tank, start the RC car back again. You need to do this to ensure the engine uses up all the fuel left and the car runs down completely. You must never skip this step because it is almost impossible to empty the fuel tank by pouring the fuel out.

Clean The Engine Case

Once the car has shut down, you need to clean the engine’s case. You would need a brush and alcohol or nitro cleaner to remove the dirt and grease. After cleaning, use compressed air to dry the engine case. It is important that you use safety glasses and gloves during this process. Also, clean the point between the cooling fins and the cylinder head.

Clean The Carburetor

Take out the air filter from the carburetor, open the throttle completely and pour some nitro cleaner into the carburetor and the plug hole of the cooling head too. Then, crank the engine for ten seconds to ensure the nitro cleaner circulates around the engine. Next, clean the filter and the housing area with warm soapy water, and dry out the parts using compressed air.

Once the filter is dry, pour air filter oil outside the filter, work the oil into the filter using your fingers instead of squeezing the oil out of the filter. Place the air filter into the carburetor. Reattach all the parts you removed previously; then, you can store your RC car.

Does RC Car Fuel Go Bad?

For an electric RC car, you need batteries; for the gas variants, you need fuel (often called RC fuel or nitro fuel). These are very important in remote-controlled cars. With the increasing cost of RC fuel, you might be tempted to buy a lot and store them. However, you need to know if the fuel goes bad or it will maintain its quality for a long time.

RC car fuel does not go bad, it does not have a date it expires, and it can last for about twenty to thirty years if you store it well. However, the fuel will get moisture in it if it is stored for that long. Some people claim they have used nitro fuel stored for a long time without experiencing any issue, and others say the fuel they stored lasted for only a while.

The difference between the two claims is the method of storage. Different climates affect the fuel, so you need to know how to store it in different climate conditions. A gas RC car with a full tank of fuel will run for about 15 to 20 minutes on average. A quart of fuel will be about 16 tanks, so that it will last for about 240 to 320 minutes.

The good thing about gas RC cars is that you do not have to turn off the engine to refuel; you can refuel as many times as necessary without shutting the car down. This is the major reason gas RC cars are used for races instead of electric cars. It is easier to refuel.

Electric RC cars need the battery to be replaced, and it takes an average of 45 minutes to 1 hour for a battery to be fully charged. The batteries are expensive and cannot be stored for a long time, unlike nitro fuel that can be stored for some decades without ever going bad.

There is an alternative to nitro fuel; you can use WD-40 instead. Although it is not classified as fuel, it can still make your gas RC car operate well when used. So, if you run out of nitro fuel, you can grab and use WD-40 if you have any. However, it is advised that you only use nitro fuel to power your RC car.

old rc jeep

Best Way To Store RC Fuel

If you want to store RC fuel, you should store it in a cool and dry place. Pour the fuel into a container that is tightly sealed. Avoid storing nitro fuel close to an open flame or anywhere with possible sparking. The best place to store nitro fuel is on a shelf in the vault or basement of your home.

The fuel should not be exposed to sunlight. However, if you do not have a basement in your home, you can store it indoors in a cool place, like a shelf in a closet. Ensure the fuel is stored in a place it can get knocked over and spilled. You can also store RC fuel in your garage, but you need to keep it in a cooler place when there is a temperature change.

Remember, we mentioned earlier that climate changes could affect the lifespan of RC fuel, so you always need to ensure you store the fuel in a cooler place when the temperature changes.

Final Thoughts

Gas RC cars are the closest imitation of real cars, and they require the same amount of maintenance. You are not dealing with batteries in these cars, but fuel. So, you must be cautious when cleaning the car. You are good to go now that you know how to store your RC car and RC fuel.

By Shawn Manaher

Shawn Manaher loves to play with new toys and dive into new hobbies. As a serial entrepreneur, work definitely comes first but there is always room for hobbies.