Bump Starting a Nitro RC Car: A Quick Guide

Bump Starting a Nitro RC Car: A Quick Guide

Nitro RC cars have been an exciting source of entertainment for hobbyists and enthusiasts alike. These cars are powered by a gasoline-based fuel known as nitromethane, which makes them faster and louder than their electric-powered counterparts. However, despite their speed and power, nitro RC cars can be challenging to start, especially if the battery is low, the fuel mixture is incorrect, or if the engine is damaged. If you find yourself in such situations, bump-starting your nitro RC car is an alternative to using an electric starter. Bump starting your nitro RC car may seem daunting at first, but with the proper preparation and understanding of the process, you can get your nitro RC car started and back on the road in no time. In this article, we’ll go over the steps you need to follow to bump start your nitro RC car safely and effectively.

Preparing Your Nitro RC Car for Bump Starting

Before you proceed to bump-start your nitro RC car, it’s essential to prepare it adequately for the process. Failing to do so can damage your car or make the starting process much harder. Here are the steps you need to follow to prepare your nitro RC car for bump starting:

  • Charge the battery and ensure it has enough power.
  • Make sure your glow igniter is fully charged.
  • Check your air filter, pull-start, and fuel tank for cleanliness.

A fully charged battery and glow igniter help provide the necessary power to ignite your car’s engine, while ensuring proper air filter maintenance, and cleaning the fuel tank will ensure that the fuel mixture is correct and clean. If you’d like to learn more about the specifics of nitro RC car maintenance, check out some of the many online tutorials or communities dedicated to the hobby.

How do you start a nitro car for the first time?

Starting a nitro car for the first time can be tricky, but with the right steps, it can be a breeze. Follow these steps to start your nitro car for the first time:

  • Fill up the fuel tank with nitro fuel and ensure that the glow plug is connected.
  • Prime the engine by filling the carburetor with fuel until it overflows.
  • Turn on the transmitter and receiver to ensure that you have a signal.
  • Turn on the power switch on the car.
  • Use an electric starter tool to spin the flywheel until the engine starts.
  • Once the engine starts, let it run for a few minutes to warm up.

If you need more detailed instructions, you can visit hobby and car enthusiast websites like RC Universe, Nitro RCX or Horizon Hobby for step-by-step guides and product recommendations.

Finding the Right Location

Once your nitro RC car is ready for bump starting, it’s time to find the perfect location. Keep in mind that the location you choose will affect the success of the starting process. Here are some tips to help find the right location to bump start your nitro RC car:

  • Look for a level and clear space to avoid toppling the car.
  • Avoid starting on rough or bumpy surfaces that might affect the process.
  • Clear out any small debris such as pebbles or dirt that might obstruct the car during the starting process.

There are many interesting facts about nitro RC cars, such as their maximum speed being around 70-80 miles per hour for the fastest models. Nitro RC car enthusiasts can find more information, tutorials, and support from various websites dedicated to the hobby. Some such websites include NitroRCX.com, RC Universe, and RC Groups. Here’s a sample table of some popular nitro RC car models and their specifications:

Model Top Speed Engine Type Scale
Traxxas Nitro Slash 50+ mph Nitro 1/10
HPI Racing Savage X 45+ mph Nitro 1/8
Losi 8IGHT RTR 45+ mph Nitro 1/8

Why Isn’t My Nitro RC Car Starting?

  • Check the fuel: Make sure the fuel tank is full and the fuel is fresh.
  • Inspect the glow plug: Make sure the glow plug is in good condition and glowing hot when the engine is turned over.
  • Check the air filter: If clogged, it can prevent the engine from starting.
  • Inspect the fuel filter: If dirty or clogged, it can prevent fuel flow to the engine.
  • Make sure the battery is charged: A weak battery can prevent the engine from starting.

If you need further assistance, check out online forums or tutorials for troubleshooting tips specific to your nitro RC car model.

How to Push Start Your Nitro RC Car

With your nitro RC car in the right location, it’s time to push start it. The process of push starting your nitro RC car can be broken down into simple steps:

  • Turn on the remote and receiver.
  • Inject fuel into the car.
  • Hold the car with an assistant to stabilize it at the rear.
  • While someone assists, push the car forward briskly.

It’s important to push the car fast and hard enough for the car to jolt and start the engine. Remember, don’t let your fingers get caught in the wheels or any moving parts. Once the engine catches, give it a few short bursts of speed, then tune the high-speed needle until it’s running smoothly.

If you’re new to the nitro RC car hobby and are looking for reliable advice or recommendations on nitro RC car models, you can browse through various hobbyist websites, including NitroRCX.com and RC Universe. Additionally, these websites have helpful tutorials, support forums, and an array of nitro RC car models and accessories you can peruse. NitroRCX.com, for instance, has a range of bump starter boxes specifically designed to help hobbyists start their nitro RC cars easily and reliably.

How do I start my nitro RC car?

Starting your nitro RC car for the first time can be a bit daunting, but once you get the hang of it, it’s a breeze. Here are the steps to start your nitro RC car:

  • Make sure your RC car is fueled up with the right nitro fuel.
  • Turn on the transmitter first, then turn on the receiver of the car.
  • Prime the engine by putting your finger over the exhaust and pulling the starter cord a few times.
  • Give your RC car some throttle and adjust the idle screw until the car is idling smoothly.
  • Pull the starter cord one last time and watch your RC car roar to life!

If you want more information about nitro RC cars, there are plenty of websites and products available. For example, nitrorcx.com has a wide variety of nitro RC cars and parts available for purchase.

Getting Your Engine Started

After successfully bump starting your nitro RC car, it’s time to get the engine running.

Here are a few steps to follow:

  • Give it a few short bursts of speed to get the fuel flowing and air out of the fuel line.
  • After a few attempts, tune the high-speed needle until it’s running smoothly.
  • Then switch to tuning the low-speed needle. This will provide better power management while idling.

It’s important to be patient and persistent when tuning your engine until it runs smoothly. It may take some practice, but with time and repetition, you’ll become familiar with your nitro RC car’s mechanics and be able to make necessary adjustments as specific conditions and driving styles change.

If you have any questions or concerns about tuning your nitro RC car’s engine or general maintenance, you can explore hobbyist websites such as RC Driver or Talk RC. These websites have support forums and detailed tutorials on nitro RC car-related topics, including engine maintenance, parts replacement, and general troubleshooting. Additionally, some nitro RC car manufacturers like Traxxas and HPI Racing have helpful websites with clear instructions and recommendations for beginners and experienced hobbyists alike.

How do I get more power out of my nitro engine?

Here are some tips to help you get more power out of your nitro engine:

  • Upgrade your air filter to a high-performance one that allows for better airflow.
  • Install a tuned pipe to improve exhaust flow and increase power.
  • Use high-quality fuel with a higher nitromethane content to boost performance.
  • Adjust the fuel mixture to ensure the correct air/fuel ratio for optimal performance.
  • Upgrade to a higher voltage battery for better ignition and improved overall power.

For more in-depth information and expert advice, check out websites like NitroRCX or Tower Hobbies which offer a range of products and resources for nitro enthusiasts.

Tips and Tricks

There are few things to keep in mind while bump starting your nitro RC car to ensure a successful start and safe experience. Here are some tips and tricks to help you get the most out of your nitro RC car:

  • Avoid bump starting if you have difficulties tuning the engine. Forcing the engine to start in this situation will likely result in the car stalling or not starting at all.
  • If the engine runs hot, decrease the speed on the high-speed needle to cool it down.
  • Regularly maintain the air filter, fuel tank, and pull-start to ensure they’re clean and free from debris. This will help prevent issues with starting your nitro RC car.
  • Ensure the exhaust pipe is clean and free from any water or debris before starting the engine.
  • Make sure to keep the nitro fuel far from flammable substances, as it is highly combustible, and can cause a fire.

By following these tips and tricks, you’ll be able to bump start your nitro RC car with ease, ensuring a safe and fun experience with your toy car. Be patient, practice often, and seek assistance from hobbyist websites like RC Driver or Talk RC if you need further guidance or support.

Why is my nitro RC car not starting?

Possible reasons why your nitro RC car is not starting include:

  • The glow plug is burnt out or not getting hot enough
  • The fuel tank is not properly filled or the fuel is stale
  • The carburetor is dirty or clogged
  • The air filter is dirty or clogged
  • The spark plug is worn out or not getting a spark
  • The engine is flooded

To troubleshoot and fix the issue, you can:

  • Check and replace the glow plug if needed
  • Empty and refill the fuel tank with fresh fuel
  • Clean or replace the carburetor
  • Clean or replace the air filter
  • Check and replace the spark plug if needed
  • Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to clear the engine of excess fuel

If you need further assistance or parts for your nitro RC car, you can visit websites such as amainhobbies.com or rcplanet.com.


Bump starting a nitro RC car is an easy and practical method for starting your engine. Following the proper steps and keeping your car maintained will ensure a successful start and prolong the life of your nitro RC car. If you are having trouble starting your car, double-check your battery and glow igniter, and inspect your car’s parts for any signs of blockage or debris. As always, it’s essential to bump start your nitro RC car with someone to stabilize it at the rear, ensuring that it doesn’t accidentally hit you or someone else.

In conclusion, familiarizing yourself with the techniques of bump starting a nitro RC car is crucial for any nitro RC car enthusiast. By following the steps mentioned above, you’ll be able to enjoy the thrill of bump starting your car with ease. Remember to seek support from hobbyist websites for any assistance, and always prioritize safety while performing any maintenance work on your nitro RC car.