Using a Different Remote for Your RC Car: Compatibility and Considerations.

Using a Different Remote for Your RC Car: Compatibility and Considerations.

If you’re an enthusiast of RC cars, you know how important the remote control is. It’s the primary tool you use to direct your car, tell it when to turn or how fast to go. But what happens when the remote control becomes lost, damaged or outdated? This becomes an issue for most enthusiasts who are dependent on their remote control. Finding a replacement may be necessary, but do you suppose any remote will work or should you purchase another one from the same manufacturer? Many RC users are worried about the cost of replacing their remote control, while others are anxious to try something new. Whichever the case, if you are looking for an alternative remote, there are many factors you’ll want to consider. Knowing what to look out for can help you make the best decision for your RC car. Regardless of your reason for switching your remote control, you’ll want to know the various options available, understand what to avoid, and know what is essential in a trusty remote control. This article will provide answers to common questions on whether you can use a different remote for your RC car and what the process entails.


To ensure that you use an effective remote for your RC car, there are crucial things to consider to avoid disappointment during your racing or control experience. Some of these factors include:

  • Model: You’ll want to make sure that the remote control’s make and model will work with your specific RC car.
  • Frequency: Most RC cars operate at a particular frequency, and not all remotes operate within that frequency range. You need to ensure that the frequency of the remote is compatible with your car’s frequency, or else the car may not respond, or worse, it may get damaged.
  • Channel: RC cars typically operate at different levels. And so, each car has multiple channels, and the remote control needs to be on the same level as your car. If your car and remote control are incompatible with different channels, your RC car may not respond.
  • Brand vs. third-party remotes: There are two types of remote controls you can choose from – brand and third-party remote controls. Brand remotes are made by the same company that manufactured your car, and they’re typically the safest option. Third-party remotes are made by other companies and may not have the same quality or safety guarantees as the original brand.

In your search for a remote control that works for your RC car, it may be wise to visit various online marketplaces like Amazon or eBay. However, be cautious when purchasing from unfamiliar sites that lack proper user reviews as they may offer low-quality goods.

Is it a remote or a control?

When it comes to electronic devices, the terms “remote” and “control” are often used interchangeably, but there can be some differences in their meanings. Here are some key points to consider:

  • A remote is a handheld device used to control a device from a distance, usually through infrared or radio signals. It may also be referred to as a “remote control.”
  • A control may refer to any device or system that is used to adjust or manage something. In the context of electronics, a control panel may be used to adjust settings on a device or system.
  • When shopping for a replacement or additional device, make sure to check the specific terminology used by the manufacturer to ensure compatibility.

Additional information on specific devices or products can be found on the manufacturer’s website, or through consumer review websites.


Frequency plays a vital role in the compatibility of your RC car and remote control. Using a remote control that operates outside of your car’s frequency range can lead to malfunctions, such as lack of response or even damage to your car. Here are some key things to note:

  • Most 27MHz or 49MHz frequency RC cars are for amateur use only, while models that operate at 2.4GHz are for more advanced enthusiasts.
  • Newer RC cars often have multiple frequency bands compared to older models, which typically used a single fixed frequency.
  • Some remote controls made for RC cars can operate on two different frequencies to offer more compatibility between different models of cars.

It’s also important to note that while radios that operate on 27MHz are less crowded than higher frequency radios, their range is quite limited, and they do not support as many channels as their higher-frequency counterparts. Take a look at this table to see how various frequencies compare:

Frequencies Range Channels Noise interference from other products
27MHz 10-30 meters 2-3 channels Low
40MHz 10-30 meters 2-3 channels Low
49MHz 400 meters 6-7 channels Low
72MHz Up to 1000 meters 40 channels High
2.4GHz Up to 2000 meters 80 channels Variable

Take the time to understand your car’s frequency before purchasing a remote control for your RC car.

Can I use any remote for my RC car?

No, you cannot use any remote for your RC car. It is essential to use the remote that matches your RC car’s frequency and model. Some remotes may have different buttons, controls and functionalities that vary from other models, and they may not work or affect the performance of your RC car.

To ensure you get the compatible remote, refer to the instruction manual of your RC car or contact the manufacturer. You can also check websites such as Amazon, RC Planet, and Horizon Hobby for compatible remotes for your RC car.


The channel on your RC car refers to the specific range of frequencies it uses to communicate with the remote control. It’s essential to pay attention to channels when purchasing a new remote control or trying to use a different remote control other than the one that came with your car. Here are some points to remember:

  • Most RC cars have different channels that you can tune your remote control to, which means you can have multiple cars running at the same time without interference.
  • If you have purchased a multi-channel remote control, you can typically use the same remote control for different cars that operate on different channels.
  • It’s essential to ensure that your remote control’s channel matches your car’s channel, or you won’t be able to control your car.

If you are unsure whether the remote control you are looking to purchase will work with your car, it’s always best to check with the manufacturer or seek advice from the seller before making a purchase. Some websites provide detailed information on their remote control products, including compatibility, making it easy for you to find a match for your car. Take the time to understand your car’s channel and frequency before purchasing a new remote control for your RC car.

What are the channels on a RC car?

RC cars are equipped with different channels that control various features of the car. Here are the most common channels found on RC cars:

  • Channel 1: Controls the steering of the RC car.
  • Channel 2: Controls the speed and direction of the car’s movement.
  • Channel 3: Activates any accessories or additional features like lights, sound, or switches.
  • Channel 4: Some RC cars have a fourth channel that can control other functions such as a winch, shovel or crane.

If you’re interested in purchasing an RC car, ensure that you check the specifications and features to see how many channels it has and what each one controls. Websites like Amazon, HobbyKing and Horizon Hobby offer a wide variety of options when it comes to RC cars.

Brand vs. Third-Party Remotes

When it comes to purchasing a new remote control for your RC car, you have two options to consider: brand and third-party remotes. Here are some points to help you make the right choice:

Brand Remotes

  • A brand remote control is usually made by the same manufacturer that produced your RC car, which means it should work correctly with your car.
  • Brand remotes have been tested on the product, and you can expect high-quality performance.
  • Brand remotes may cost more than third-party options, but they are generally more reliable and less likely to damage your car.

Third-Party Remotes

  • Third-party remotes are made by companies other than the manufacturer of the RC car.
  • Third-party remotes may have fewer features or be less functional than brand alternatives.
  • Although third-party remotes may cost less, they also may not work efficiently, could damage your car, or cause interference with other remote-controlled vehicles in the area.

Some websites may offer a range of remote control products for purchase, including both brand and third-party options. Always do your research and read customer reviews before making any purchase to ensure that you are getting a quality product.

Can I use a different brand remote for my TV?

Yes, you can use a different brand remote for your TV as long as it’s compatible with your TV model. However, not all functions may be available and some buttons may not work.

To find out if an alternative remote is compatible with your TV, check your TV’s manual or try searching online for a list of compatible remotes. You can also visit websites such as Amazon or Best Buy to find compatible replacement remotes for your TV model.


Assuming you have found a compatible remote control for your RC car, the next step is to program it to work with your car. Here are some tips to help you navigate the programming process:

Check the Manual

Make sure to read the manual that comes with your remote control and the manual of your RC car to see if they cover programming instructions.

Match Frequencies and Channels

  • Ensure that both the remote and the car are on the same frequency and channel, or else the car will not respond to the remote.
  • Refer to the manuals to find information about which frequency and channel settings to use.

Program the Remote

  • Turn on your remote and your RC car, and then follow the instructions to program the remote.
  • This may involve holding down a button or a combination of buttons, depending on the remote.
  • Be patient and follow the instructions carefully to avoid damaging your car.

Professional Help

If you are having trouble programming the remote, or are simply not confident in your ability to do so, it’s always a good idea to seek help from a professional.

Some websites may offer programming tutorials or professional remote control programming services. Be sure to research and find a reliable source before attempting to program your remote control, or seek assistance from a professional if necessary.

How do you program a remote control to your TV?

To program a remote control to your TV, follow these steps:

  • Find the TV remote control code. The code is usually listed in the TV manual or can be found online at the manufacturer’s website or on universal remote control websites.
  • Turn on your TV and the remote control you want to program.
  • Press and hold the Code Search button on the remote control until the indicator light turns on.
  • Enter the TV code using the number pad on the remote control. The indicator light will turn off if the code is entered correctly.
  • Test the remote control by pressing the power button to turn your TV on and off.

For more information, consult your TV or remote control manual, or visit the manufacturer’s website for troubleshooting tips.

Note: Some TVs require a different process to program their remote control. Refer to the TV manual or manufacturer’s website for specific instructions.


Using a different remote control for your RC car can be a tricky process, but it is possible with the right steps. Remember to check compatibility of your remote control, matching frequencies and channels, as well as programming information from your car manual or online tutorials if necessary. Additionally, it’s important to consider the safety and reliability of using a third-party remote, as it may not be compatible with your car or could cause damage. In conclusion, while it is possible to use a different remote control for your RC car, it is important to carefully follow the instructions, seek help if needed, and use caution so that you can continue to enjoy your RC car safely and for a long time.