Will Rain Damage An RC Car?
When it comes to RC cars, there’s something that we enthusiasts can’t really reach a consensus on: Will rain damage an RC car? One of my friends was asking me whether his Arrma RC car will suffer damage if wet, and while that is going to depend on a lot of factors, including which RC car type it is, there’s a quick answer to that question.
And the answer is that most, but not all modern nitro and electric RC cars will feature water-resistant components inside, which means that they will handle light water contact, like light rain or riding over a puddle. This doesn’t apply for all RC cars though there are some older models with electrical components that won’t withstand water at all.
Also, This doesn’t mean that RC cars are fully waterproof. Anything more than moderate rain or submersion will most likely damage the electronic components inside. If you want to know a little bit more about waterproof RC cars, click here.
Just like there are many water-resistant RC cars, there are many that won’t handle a single drop in its components. Since every RC car is different, checking your RC car manual to see if your particular car is water-resistant is advised.
Riding Your Car On Light Rain Will Probably Be Fine
Most RC cars are meant to be used on all terrains, which means that manufacturers generally tend to make their cars water-resistant to a degree.
Most modern manufacturers are now making their ESCs, receivers, and servos water-resistant, especially their most costly models. If you have a newer RC car that isn’t an entry-level model, then most likely your car will not have any problems on light rain or crossing puddles.
Your car manual will generally list the components that are water-resistant, and if not, that information will generally be available on the manufacturer’s website
Riding It While It’s Raining Heavily Or Completely Submerging It In Water Will Probably Fry The Electronics
So as I said above, one thing is using an RC car on light rain, but another completely different thing is riding it on heavy rainfall, or even submerging it completely on a body of water.
There are many RC cars that are touted as being waterproof, which isn’t true in many cases. These cars might be water resistant, but not completely waterproof though which is a big difference. There are many manufacturers guilty of false advertising when it comes to this.
So if your car or truck is branded as being “waterproof”, I would personally recommend that you do your due diligence to confirm that really is the case.
Anyways, as I said above, riding your car on heavy rainfall or even submerging it on a pool or a deep puddle is going to fry the electronics. The only way to do so is by installing components that are completely waterproof. Installing waterproof servos, ESCs, Receivers, and even tires might be needed.
If you are interested in modding your car and making it as waterproof as possible, check the end of this article below for a guide on how to do the mods or just click here.
Be Careful With Crappy Mods
Now there’s something that you must be careful with if you are going to use your car on wet conditions: performance mods. There have been some reports of people doing motor mods and accidentally affecting it’s water-resistant capacity. So if you are thinking of trimming some plastic from your car’s motor, it might be wise to do some research on the matter. Doing motor mods the improper way might compromise the motor water-resistant properties and make it easier for water to get inside, which obviously you don’t want.
The same thing applies for modding other parts of the RC car. For example, doing some drilling on your car’s fenders might make it easier for water to get inside internal components.
How To Make An RC Car Water Resistant
So in the future, I will be making a comprehensive guide on the step-by-step process of how to waterproof nitro and electric RC cars, so for now, I decided to make a simplified version of how to do so. Doing this will make 99% of RC cars water-resistant, meaning that they will be able to handle light water splashes and light rain. Here are the steps:
1. Apply WD-40 To Your ESC And Receiver: The first step is getting WD-40 and using it in your ESC and your receiver. WD-40 works as a water repellent and so it won’t damage the electronics. Instead, it will make sure that water stays away from the sensitive electrical parts found on those components.
2. Store The ESC And Receiver Inside A Balloon: After using the WD-40, it’s time to store the ESC and Receiver inside a balloon. Simply stick the components inside a rubber balloon. The cords should be sticking out of the balloon’s hole (NOTE: Storing the ESC and receiver inside the balloon might not be a good idea if you have a high powered car, as it’s more likely that the components will overheat.)
3. Apply Plastidip To The Balloon’s Opening: The next steps require Plastidip, which is a liquid coating that hardens up and it acts as a barrier which prevents water from entering inside the balloon. Simply apply the plastidip inside the balloon’s opening. After that, hold the balloon’s hole for a few minutes until it hardens up. Feel free to use extra Plastidip to cover any openings where water might filter through.
4. Use Dielectric Grease To Protect Electric Connectors: Dielectric grease is a special grease used to protect electric connectors from water contact and insulate the components in general. You can find this grease in any hardware store or online. And this is applied to the battery, ESC and Receiver connectors. Simply disconnect the cables, generously apply the grease on the components, and plug them again. I personally would recommend that you apply the grease on other car components too, even though it’s only really needed for the ESC, the receiver, and the battery connectors.
5. Use Plastidip To Cover The Battery’s Exposed Parts: Waterproofing batteries is a headache honestly. The best way to do so is going to do depend a lot on the type of battery that you are using. I would recommend using a small amount of Plastidip on the exposed parts that you see on the battery. Most LiPo and NiMH batteries are waterproof, except for the solder tabs, so apply a small coating of WD-40 to it.
6. Spray WD-40 Around A Brushless Motor: The last step is simply spraying some wd-40 to the outsides of the motor. This only applies to sensorless brushless motors. Brushed motors are already waterproof from the factory. Sensored brushless motors cannot be made water-resistant at all.