RC Car

This is Why Your RC Car Is Smelling – 3 RC Car Smells That You Shouldn’t Ignore

3 RC Car Smells That You Shouldn’t Ignore

No matter if your car is electric or nitro, big or small, or whatever, a strange smell when riding might mean something. It doesn’t necessarily mean that the car is broken, but it’s important you do not ignore the smell and make sure that you investigate why is the car smelling and where does it come from. RC cars might emit several different smells, and so, I decided to make this article so that you can know what going on with your car if you suspect something is wrong.

The reason most Nitro RC cars smell funny is because of the motor running too rich. The motor might emit a rotten egg smell and black smoke, plus it might misfire. Running too lean also tends to damage the motor, making it emit a burning smell. Running a more balanced fuel/air mix will probably solve both of those problems. When it comes to electric cars, a burning smell will most likely be caused by overheated brushes. If you have a brushed motor and smell smoke, stop using it right away or else you might damage your engine.

But this isn’t the only reason why your RC car might be smelling. Battery problems might be a culprit, especially if you are using LiPo packs, which tends to be much more sensitive and frail than NiMH batteries. If the bad smell is coming through the battery, then it will probably be super hot. If this is the case, then stop using the car for a while and let the battery sit for a few minutes to let it cool down.

There are several other different smells that could be emitted from the typical RC car. If your car is smelling like something else, check below to know where exactly it is coming from.

3 Types Of Smells That You Shouldn’t Ignore

Gas Smell

If your nitro car is smelling like gasoline or fuel, then most likely you are running your motor richer than necessary. If you don’t know what that means, running rich refers to the air/fuel mix having more fuel than air. And this could have a whole bunch of negative implications for your car’s motor, including decreased fuel economy, engine misfire, and obviously the smell.

Tuning the fuel mix is a very easy process, you simply need to find the high-speed needle in your RC car, which tends to be located near the air filter. The needle is actually a screw that is enclosed by a brass covering. Find this, get a screwdriver, and turn the screw inside just a little bit clockwise. This will lean out the mix a little bit. If you are confused on how to change the air/fuel mix or can’t find the high-speed needle, click here for a step by step process on how to do so.

Burning Smell

The first and most obvious smell that you shouldn’t ignore is a burning smell. This might mean a lot of things depending on which RC car type you use. If you have a nitro model, then you might be running too rich like I said above. But if you leaned out the mix and it still smells the same way, your motor might be at fault. If you have noticed that your motor is misfiring, not accelerating as eagerly as it used to, or are noticing uneven power delivery, then it might be wise to take your car to a hobby shop so that they can take a look at what exactly is going on with the car. Other things that might make an RC car emit a burning smell include high % nitro fuel.

Burning Rubber

If you smell burning rubber, then your tires are probably overheating and getting too hot. This can happen in several ways. The first way is by doing burnouts. If your particular car is very powerful, then you are probably going to roast your tires if you try to do a burnout, so its recommended that you use cheaper, more disposable tires for that purpose. Burnouts aren’t the only way to roast your tires though. If you have a drift car, then heavy cornering and drifting might make the rubber burn, especially if riding for an extended amount of time. This requires a very powerful car though.

Using Fuel Scent To Get Rid Of Nitro Smell

If your car is smelling is coming from the nitro inside, there’s a way to get rid of the odor: fuel scent. This is exactly that It seems: it’s a liquid that you mix with the nitro that will provide a pleasant smell when the motor burns the fuel.

If you checked your car and the motor isn’t running lean, then this might be the only choice for eliminating the odor.
I personally bought a bottle of Manhattan oil fuel scent, and my nitro car started emitting a very pleasant cotton candy smell after I mixed it with the nitro.

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