how to start nitro RC car

How To Start A Nitro RC Car For The First Time -The Complete Guide (With Pictures!)

If you just purchased a new nitro RC car, but aren’t sure how to start it up, then you have reached the right place! Starting a nitro car can be a pretty daunting task, especially for people new to this hobby. I had a really hard time starting my first RC car and so I decided to make this resource as an ultimate no-nonsense guide on how to successfully start an RC car in less than 10 minutes.

You are going to need a few things to start an RC car, which I will talk about below. As long as your nitro car doesn’t have any mechanical issues, you will be able to easily have your car rocking in less than 10 minutes. I hope this guide is useful to you, and if you have any questions, please leave a comment below! I’ll be more than happy to help.

Get Everything You Need To Start Your Car & Familiarize Yourself With Your Car

The first step is having everything that you need ready in order to start your car. You are going to need the car itself, a set of glow plugs, a glow plug starter, a wrench to take off glow plugs, and the nitro fuel. You can find all of these things in a nitro starter kit.

Aside from the car, you are going to need a starter kit and nitro fuel. Shown here is the starter kit with wrench, glow plug igniter, and the fuel itself.

After you have everything ready, its wise to make sure that you know where everything is located in your RC car. Its especially important that you know where the engine, fuel tank, carburetor, and glow plug are located.

Charge Up Your Glow Plug Starter & Make Sure The Glow Plugs Are Bright

After making sure you have everything you need, you need to make sure the glow plugs are working properly. Simply take one of the glow plugs and insert it into the starter. The glow plug should start glowing, and the brighter it glows, the better. If the glow plug doesn’t glow, then either it’s defective or you need to charge up the glow plug starter.

It’s wise to have a few glow plugs available because they can be quite frail. Thankfully they are pretty cheap, at less than 5 dollars apiece.

Start Priming The Engine (Avoid Flooding It!)

So after making sure the glow plug is working properly, its time to prime the engine. First thing you are going to do is you are going to fill the fuel tank until its completely full. I recommend filling it up until its full for the first time so that you can use that fuel to break in the engine, but its actually not 100% mandatory to do so.

After this, you are going to block the muffler opening and start pulling the pull starter. The glow plug should be inside the engine, and simply yank the pull starter a few times. This is called priming the engine.

Insert The Starter & Start Yanking The Pull Starter

After priming the engine, you are going to stick the starter into the engine. Make sure the starter is well charged up and that the starter is well attached to the glow plug. After this, you are going to start yanking the pull starter. The car should spring back to life after a few yanks. If the pull starter is excessively hard to pull, then that means that you overprimed the engine and you need to unflood it.

To do this, simply unscrew the glow plug, flip the car upside down, and start yanking the pull starter, which will be much easier to pull. Nitro fuel should start squirting out. Keep yanking the starter until there’s no more liquid coming out of the engine.

Take It Easy At First (Break-In Procedure)

After the car is up and running, it’s time to break the engine in. If you are interested in a comprehensive guide on how to do so then please click here. But I also provide a summarized step-by-step on how to break it in below too.

To start breaking the engine in, simply leave the car idling for about 10 minutes. It will be really noisy, but I want you to avoid accelerating it for a while so that the oil runs through the engine.

After 10 minutes of leaving the car idling, you are going to start hitting the throttle. I want you to start cruising with the car and gently steering the car. Avoid hitting the throttle hard. In this step, we just want to let the engine heat up and have the oils flowing through it.

I would recommend that you cruise around and avoid accelerating hard for the first 2 fuel tanks. After this, you can start hitting the throttle more freely.

What To Do If Car Won’t Start

If the car is not starting, then its either because you overprimed the engine or you need to tune the carburetor. To fix a flooded engine, follow these steps:

  • Remove the glow plug and flip the car upside down: The first step is removing the glow plug with the wrench, flipping the car upside down, and start yanking the pull starter. You are going to notice that liquid is going to drip out of the engine and the exhaust.
  • Yank the starter until liquid stops dripping out: Keep yanking the pull starter until no liquid comes out anymore. After this happens, simply screw the plug in the engine again and try starting the RC car again. The pull starter should be significantly easier to pull and starting the car should be a piece of cake.

If you unflooded your engine and it still won’t start, then you probably need to do some tuning on your carburetor. To learn more on how to do so, please click here.

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