How long do RC cars last? | A Lifespan Research

Before you decide to invest in an RC car, it’s essential you know how long they’ll last. 

An RC car can last for a long time if used properly. However, your nitro or electric-powered RC car lifespan can reduce drastically if poorly maintained. Added to this, factors like poor driving ability, motor type, fuel, batteries, and driving terrain can also affect how long your RC car will last. 

Regardless of this, your RC car, whether nitro-powered or electric, will last between three to seven years or more when properly maintained.

Average Lifespan Of An RC car

On average, RC cars are built to last up to 10 years. But, this estimate can be deceiving as you will run the vehicle more times than you can count, and most components like the motor and engine might damage, needing a quick fix. For this reason, the lifespan will significantly decrease. The good news, depending on how well you maintain the components of your RC car, it may last between three to seven years. 

For hobbyists who rarely beat their RC car daily and use it for pure enjoyment while maintaining it, their RC cars may meet the 10years life expectancy rate of hobby-grade RC cars and even exceed it. 

Which Last Longer, Nitro Engine or Electric Motor?

Electric RC’s are powered by a motor that works as a battery pack since it requires electricity to run the car. On the other hand, nitro RC’s operate an engine that uses a methanol-based fuel to keep it running. 

The electric motors come in two forms, brushless and brushed. The brushless motors last for 416days, which is more than a year, while the brushed motors last less than six months. 

On the flip side, the nitro fuel can stay in good condition for almost 2 years and more if stored properly. But, this rarely happens as the nitro engine usually burns six to eight gallons of fuel in it’s lifetime and this can take between six to eight months. 

What this means is that electric motor lasts longer than nitro engines. 

How Can I Make My RC Car Last Longer?

RC cars are a fun pastime. However, they usually don’t last long, primarily when they’re not maintained properly. 

To ensure your RC car lasts longer, identify factors that may cause the engine, motor, and electronics to break down. Then, carry out proper maintenance on your RC car parts.
Maintaining these machines regularly will ensure they will last longer.

Some factors that may reduce the lifespan of your RC car include:

  • constant driving without stopping, 
  • driving on rough terrain, 
  • the type of motor you have and, 
  • how well you maintain them. 

You also want to ensure that you carry out proper after-run maintenance on your RC car after every running time. 

Which Component on RC Car Doesn’t Last Long?

Surprisingly, almost all electronic components on your RC car won’t last long, whether they’re made with superior-quality materials or not. 

The most common part of your RC car that won’t last is the RC car batteries. Notwithstanding this, the components made of cheap-grade materials are more likely to wear quickly.

RC car batteries lose their functionality faster than other components because they constantly power the engines at high speed. If you’re using your RC car daily, you need to find ways to extend the battery because the more the engine pulls power from the battery, the more their life cycle reduces. 

How long do batteries last in RC cars?

The lifespan of your battery will depend on the type of battery, the manufacturer, the model, and how you maintain it. 

RC batteries can run between one to two hours before charging arises again. On the other hand, their average lifespan falls between three to six months since they’re continually charging at rapid speeds, making them lose their efficiency and expire quickly. 

However, most RC car batteries can last longer. For instance, NiMH batteries can last between three to five years, while LiPo batteries have a 150 to 300 charge cycle. 

How Long Does the Lipo Battery Last?

When compared to buckle batteries, LiPo batteries have a shorter lifespan. 

Usually, a LiPo battery can last for about 150 to 300 cycles, usually for three years. But this depends on how well they are maintained. 

When you frequently use the battery by charging it only to discharge, your battery capacity will continue to reduce. For instance, you may purchase a battery of 1300mAH only for its capacity to drop by 50%, (about 650mAH) months after its use. 

To ensure your LiPo battery lasts longer, charge them at the proper charging voltage while regulating charging time. 

How Long Does NiMh Battery Last?

Usually, you can recharge your NiMH batteries as many times as possible, allowing them to gain more power, like when you combine hundreds of alkaline batteries.

Yet, the battery life is limited to five years or less as they can last for about 300 to 500 cycles. 

How Long Do Servos Last? 

Servos don’t typically have a specific timetable for their lifespan because all components are liable to deterioration and mechanical wear over time. 

Several variables factor into how long the servo motors can last. These variables include how they are used and the environment in which you use them.

When used correctly and in good conditions, a servo can last up to 20 years or even more. Under extreme conditions, they won’t reach half the expected life cycle may deteriorate in less than a year. 

How Long Does the ESCs Last? 

Your RC car’s ESC will decide whether the vehicle accelerates or move forward or backward. Most RC vehicles use brushless motors to perform this job since they last longer than brushed motors. But, while the brushless motors work efficiently and have a long lifespan, they also lose capacity in no time.

On average, brushless motors can run for thousands of hours. So, if your brushless motor can run for ten thousand hours, it means they last for 416days. What this also means is that brushless motors have a lifespan of 1+ years of use. 

On the other hand, brushed motors last for one thousand to three thousand hours, less than 6 months of use. 

How Long Does a Nitro RC Engine Last? 

Nitro engines don’t last as long as electric ones since they have a lifespan of three to six months.

Throughout their use, they’ll only be able to burn a total of six to eight gallons of fuel and, after this, may need replacement. The good news, with the proper care, you can increase this number to 10 gallons. 

Various factors affect the lifespan of a nitro RC engine. These factors include moisture, quality of the lubrication oil, and fuel mixture.
To increase the lifespan of your nitro engine, perform after-run maintenance, keep the temperature of the engine within design limit and never run a lean engine. 

The RC Car With the Longest Life Span

After many years of producing RC cars, there’s no doubt that several new models are out there that have a long lifespan. However, the oldest RC car with a long lifespan ever made today is the 1:22 Ferrari 250LM.

Final Thoughts

Whether machine or not, every item has a stipulated lifespan and expiry date. Once these items reach their life expectancy rate, they deteriorate and require replacements. However, when they’re correctly maintained, they can last longer. RC cars are no exception to this. If your RC cars will last for a long time, it’s essential you take proper care of them and thus includes all of their components.