Do RC Cars Have Brakes?
Have you ever wondered how does your RC car brake? I mean, the average remote controlled car is quite small (1/10) So fitting a big brake rotor looks kind of unplausible. I have owned and used several electric and nitro models, and I have done extensive mods on both of them, so I understand how braking works on them.
And the answer is: Yes, the average nitro RC car has conventional brakes like the ones in cars, but not all RC cars will though. Most nitro models will have a braking system consisting of brake rotors and brake pads, among other components, which will stop the wheels from spinning by applying enough friction to make them stop.
Electric RC cars are a different story though. Electric cars generally use the ESC(Electronic Speed Control) to brake. The ESC cuts the motor’s power, reducing it as much as the user inputs, which in turn leads to it mechanically forcing the transmission to stop spinning the wheels. There are a few special electric RC cars that will use conventional brake rotors though.
Since the braking system in a nitro car uses pads and rotors, regularly replacing them when they wear out will be necessary in order to ensure the RC car brakes work as effectively as possible.
Factors That Contribute To Suboptimal Braking / Premature Brake Wear
Temperature And Climate
One of the main reasons why brakes wear prematurely is very cold or very hot temperatures. A cold brake rotor will need more friction to stop the wheel from turning, which will wear the brakes faster than normal. Very hot temperatures will also overheat the internal components, which not only wears the brakes, but it also reduces their effectiveness, a phenomenon known as brake fade.
That’s why it’s important to avoid braking too aggressively when you first start riding on cold or hot weather. If it’s really cold outside, try not to hit the throttle too hard, and brake in a firm but gentle way for the first few minutes of riding so that the brakes can warm up.
Being jerky with the brakes is a surefire way for having to replace them prematurely in the future. Now, this isn’t always avoidable, but if you are the kind of guy that likes drifting or using the car in a way that requires heavy braking, then you are going to have to do a lot of pad changes in the future.
Depending on the type of car that you are using, you may or may not need to brake heavily. For example, On-road RC cars built for speed tend to go through brakes very quickly because they need a lot of brake force to be stopped. This is unlike trucks, which tend to be ridden on offroading or dirt terrains and so do not require as much brake assistance.
Tire Condition / Wrong Tires For Terrain
Tires are one of the things that are most overlooked in RC cars. Just like the tires in real cars, RC car tires eventually wear out and they need to be replaced. If the tire’s grooves are worn out or look in bad shape, they might not grip the road as well as a new tire, which means that more brake pressure is needed to stop the car, which in turn wears out the pads more quickly.
Another reason you brakes might be wearing out prematurely is that you are using the wrong tires for the terrain that you are riding on. If you tend to ride on paved roads, then using a tire meant for off-roading conditions will not grip the road properly, adversely affecting your brakes.
This is very commonly seen among cars with modded engines. A tuned or modded engine is going to provide more power to the car, but its also going to put more pressure on the brakes, which need to apply more friction to stop the car.
So if you are going to do changes to your motor or if you have done so already, you are most likely going to have to upgrade the brakes too.
Tips To Keep Brakes In Optimal Shape
Since brakes are one of the components are most mistreated and ignored, I would advise that you do some maintenance to them once every few months at least, especially if you have noticed that your car isn’t braking as well as if has before. Here are a few tips to keep your car brakes working as they should.
- Do Some Brake Inspections On Your Car: Frequently performing maintenance and inspecting the brakes on your car is going to be the best way to make sure they last as long as possible. And the process of doing this is by checking the linkages, the disc, and the screws, and looking for any imperfections or any strange looseness. You should also check the pads to see if they look very worn.
- Replace Your Old Pads With New High-Quality Ones: If your pads look very worn out, then its time to do a change. And when it comes to replacing them, there are 2 things that you can do: buy new ones or make them yourself. Buying new pads is going to be most recommended for newbies, and you can get them in either a nearby hobby shop or online. The pad model that you buy will depend on which car you have. What I would personally advise is to go to your RC car brand’s website, and buy the pads there. Most manufacturers will have a live chat which will show you exactly which pad will fit your car. Asking for help on an enthusiast forum might also be helpful.
- If You Are Riding On Paved Roads, Avoid Using Tires With Deep Grooves: As I said above, the incorrect tire for the terrain that you are going to be riding on will negatively affect your brakes and shred your pads. Slick tires are the best rubber for paved roads but it is important to avoid using them on land or in off-road situations.