Are nitro cars waterproof? (To a certain level)

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Nitro RC cars are fun to drive. 

But, if you come across a water body or it rains when you drive them, will they still work well or get ruined? 

If you plan to get a nitro RC car, you need to know if they are waterproof, which components are the most vulnerable to water, and whether or not you can use them in the rain. 

In this article, we dive deep into the world of nitro cars to know if they are waterproof and how possible it is to use them in water. 

Are nitro RC cars waterproof?

Nitro RC cars are not fully waterproof. While most nitro models designed today come with waterproof components like the servo and receiver, you risk damaging the car if you fully submerge them in the water. 

The waterproof components can only withstand some water; if you drench the car in the rain, the internal parts will become faulty and spoil.

Is a nitro engine waterproof? 

The nitro engine comes with an air filter that helps your car run through puddles or on water. But, this does not mean that the nitro engine is waterproof. Why? The engine still needs to breathe and maintain a stable temperature.
You should be careful not to get your air filter wet as it can cause the engine to choke and even develop rust in internal parts.

What components of the nitro RC car are waterproof?

No RC car is fully waterproof. 

However, components like the servo and receiver are designed to resist some moisture so that your nitro RC car can function well when driven in water. 

What components shouldn’t be exposed to water? 

Essential components like nitro engine, glow fuel, glow plug, drivetrain, bearings, and other metal parts of your nitro RC car should never be exposed to water since they can easily short circuit, damage and even corrode. 

Can nitro cars go into the water? 

Nitro cars can go into the water, but only if you made the right preparations such as making sure your electronics are waterproof and that your fuel tank is sealed.
If not, you have to be prepared for some damages to your servo, receiver, nitro fuel and engine. 

It takes preparation and aftercare maintenance to keep your expensive RC vehicles in the best conditions after running in water. Talk about driving your nitro car in salt water, and you’ll have to worry about corrosion that may affect the metal parts. 

Can you wash a nitro RC car? 

Yes, you can wash a nitro RC car. Cleaning the nitro vehicle will ensure it lasts long and performs exceptionally at all times. 

But, how do you wash a nitro RC car? To wash the nitro car, you’ll need different cleaning supplies for different purposes.  

  • Denatured alcohol: to clean the engine case
  • Spray Bottle: to use with the denatured alcohol 
  • Small brushes: to remove stubborn particles and clean the cooling fins
  • Paper towels: To dry the car components
  • Air compressor or a can of compressed air: helps to dry the engine
  • WD-40: to clean the engine
  • Dishwashing liquid and water: it will help you clean the air filter

Its best not to wash your nitro RC car with a hose.
Even though it looks like the easiest way to wash your RC truck or car, it will require lots of maintenance afterward, and most likely do more harm than good.

Can you run a nitro RC in wet weather? 

Absolutely, your nitro car will still work well when you drive them under wet conditions. But, this is as long as you don’t submerge it. 

When you submerge your nitro car in the water, the servos and receiver will be your biggest concern as they will likely damage. Also, your nitro car’s engine needs air to run, and when it’s submerged in the water your engine will choke and stop working, and it will probably work again only after proper drying.

Can you run your nitro RC car in the rain?

Technically, you can drive a nitro car in rain. However, you want to try as much as possible to avoid doing so because any moisture-inducing element can damage the engine and affect the nitro fuel. Apart from this, the metal parts of your nitro car may rust quickly.
So, its absolutely fine to run your nitro RC in the rain, as long as it’s not pouring rain and as long as you will maintain and dry it right after the wet run and won’t let it sit wet for long.

What can happen to a nitro RC car if it is submerged? 

Most nitro RC parts are waterproof, but that does not guarantee ease of run on water bodies. A waterproof component means that your nitro car will avoid suffering any damage to an extent when submerged in water. 

Generally, your nitro RC car will safely run on water if it does not pass the center of the wheel hubs. Moreover, only certain parts of the car are designed to be waterproof and never the entire truck. Hence, nitro RC cars are never entirely waterproof. 

When you fully submerge your nitro car in the water, you might have to worry about the engine as water might penetrate the crankshaft chamber through the shaft bearing.
Technically, the crankcase is fixed under the engine, and sometimes the bearing won’t be perfectly sealed. This small opening aids in drawing water into the bearings, thereby hurting the engine performance and causing it to stall.
You might also have to worry about shortened bearing life. 

What to do if your nitro RC car is submerged in water? 

Whether you submerge your nitro RC vehicle in water intentionally or not, the best thing to do is carry out after-run care and maintenance to avoid your car damage. 

Don’t panic. Instead, check the engine to make sure it still works fine. Do this by tearing the nitro car, removing the engine, cleaning it, dry, then lube it and hope it works well. 

Sometimes, even when your nitro car takes a dive in water, the electronics will still work fine. But, you still need to take apart the receiver and servo and dry them up before reassembling and testing them. 

Most hobbyists assume that the parts are already damaged, they immediately get new parts for their nitro car. The truth is that with a bit of work and aftercare maintenance, you can save a lot of money. Don’t start by replacing each part of the car because they get wet. 

How do you get water out of a nitro RC car? 

If your RC car is completely submerged in water, it can cause serious damage to the nitro engine and other essential electronics. 

Once you notice water in your nitro RC car, it’s best to dismantle the vehicle, remove each of the car components, whether important or not parts and dry them.
A blow dryer would help dry them faster. 

How can you waterproof your nitro car? 

Typically, your nitro RC car will come with some waterproof electronics like servo and receiver, meaning you can easily use them on wet surfaces straight out of the box. 

However, these two waterproof components won’t fully protect your nitro car from damage. For this reason, you need to take added precautions to keep your car harm-free.
Some of the best ways to fully protect your nitro RC components is by:

  • Wrapping every delicate part like the exposed wires, receiver pack with balloons or electric tape to keep these interior parts water-free. 
  • Use silicone adhesive to cover any part with holes on the RC car. Silicone adhesives will form a plastic barrier when it dries up. They help you eliminate the risk of water entering into the nitro car. 
  • Use plastic dipping to waterproof the engine and main gear of your nitro RC car. Plastic dipping is the process of coating your car temporarily. This procedure can also be used on the wheels of your RC car. 

How to maintain your nitro RC car after a wet run? 

If you’re considering driving your nitro car in wet conditions, you need to know some basic maintenance procedures to keep the electronics from damage.

So, you would want to focus on the air filters, glow plug, fuel filters, wheels, chassis, suspension, and of course, the engine. 

  • Clean and dry the air filter,
  • Service the glow plug,
  • Clean the chassis,
  • clean out the cooling air fins on the engine,
  • Dry the shock absorbers and mounts. 

After your nitro RC went through a wet run, maintaining it should be dry-focus.
First of all, absorb water from each part with a dry towel, and then dry each component separately with a blow dryer.
After properly drying your nitro truck, make sure you lube and grease all metal and moving parts.

Conclusion

Nitro RC cars can certainly be used in water, rain, puddles and other water bodies. However, they are never fully waterproof; only components like the servo and receiver are designed to repel moisture. If you run your nitro car in water, you risk damaging the car’s engine and other internal components. The good news is that you can waterproof your nitro car using electric tapes, balloons, plastic dip method and silicone adhesive. 

Bonus read: 7 Waterproof RC cars+Waterproofing Tips