How to Start a Nitro RC Car with Glow Starter: Beginner's Guide

How to Start a Nitro RC Car with Glow Starter: Beginner’s Guide

Nitro RC cars have always been a popular choice amongst remote control toy enthusiasts. With their impressive speeds and engine roars, they are undeniably thrilling to operate. One of the essential elements of owning a nitro RC car is knowing how to start it up properly. While electric RC cars only require a battery charge, nitro RC cars’ engines require a little bit more effort. The trick to starting them lies in the use of a glow starter. The glow starter helps ignite the fuel in the engine, allowing it to power up and run. In this article, we will go over the step-by-step procedure on how to start a nitro RC car with a glow starter, from pre-start procedures to running the engine. Following these tips will ensure a smooth start-up and a fun ride.

Pre-start procedures

Before attempting to start a nitro RC car, certain procedures need to be taken to ensure the car runs smoothly.

Maintenance and Care

– Keep the RC car clean and dust-free
– Check for clogged fuel filters and air filters regularly
– Maintaining the engine with quality nitro fuel is necessary


– Turn off the radio and make sure the throttle is in the neutral position
– Ensure the exhaust pipe is clean and not blocked by any debris
– Make sure the fuel tanks are filled with the right amount of fuel

Batteries and Charger

– Make sure the glow starter batteries are fully charged before starting
– Check the condition of the glow starter before each use
– Invest in a good quality glow starter like the Duratrax Kwik-Pit, which is reliable and durable.

By following these pre-start procedures and investing in a quality glow starter, starting the nitro RC car with a glow starter will become a smooth and easy process.

How does a glow plug in a nitro engine work?

A nitro engine is a type of internal combustion engine used in remote-control vehicles, such as cars and planes. In order for the engine to run, a glow plug is required to ignite the fuel mixture. Here’s a quick rundown of how it works:

  • As the engine is started, the fuel mixture enters the combustion chamber.
  • The glow plug, which is heated by a battery, begins to glow red-hot.
  • The heat from the glow plug ignites the fuel mixture, causing a controlled explosion.
  • This explosion creates energy, which is turned into motion, allowing the vehicle to move.
  • After the engine is started, the glow plug is no longer needed and can be removed.

If you’re interested in learning more about nitro engines and remote-control vehicles, there are many websites and products available that offer information and guidance.

Connecting the Glow Starter

Once the pre-start procedures have been taken care of, it is time to connect the glow starter to the nitro RC car engine. Follow these simple steps:

Step by step guide

Step Procedure
1 Remove the glow plug from the engine
2 Connect the glow starter to the glow plug
3 Check the connection by pressing the glow starter against the glow plug while warming it up
4 Remove the glow starter once the engine is running smoothly
5 Replace the glow plug and tightly screw it back into place

Protection and Safety

Connecting the glow starter to the nitro RC car engine requires careful attention to ensure you do not damage the battery, starter, or engine. Always use gloves to protect your hands while handling the engine or glow starter.


One of the best ways to make sure the connection is secure and efficient is to use a quality glow plug wrench like the Dubro Glow Plug Wrench. The wrench is easy to use and fits snugly over the glow plug, ensuring a tight connection between the glow plug and the starter.

How do I know if my glow starter is charged?

Here are some easy ways to tell if your glow starter is charged:

  • Try turning on the engine with the glow starter.
  • If the engine starts easily, the glow starter is likely fully charged.
  • Check the battery level indicator, if it has one.
  • Some glow starters have LED lights that illuminate when the battery is charged.

If you’re still unsure, check the manufacturer’s instructions or reach out to their customer support. They may have specific recommendations for checking the charge level of your glow starter.

Prime the Engine

After connecting the glow starter, it is essential to prime the engine before starting it. Priming involves preparing the engine for fuel combustion. Here are the steps to follow:

Step by step guide

Step Procedure
1 Turn on the remote control device
2 Activate the throttle
3 Use the primer pump to pump fuel into the carburettor until fuel droplets appear in the carburettor
4 Let the fuel soak through the engine for about 10 seconds

Facts about Nitro RC car engines:

– Nitro engines are miniature replicas of full-size internal combustion engines.
– They are powered by a mixture of nitromethane, methanol, and oil.
– Nitro engines can reach speeds of up to 100 mph, making them incredibly fast and powerful.


One of the best products for priming a nitro RC car engine is the Hobbico Top Fueler Manual Fuel Pump. This product is easy to use and can quickly and efficiently prime the engine with fuel. The pump is also affordable and easy to transport, making it a must-have for any RC car enthusiast.

Starting the Engine

With the engine primed and ready, it’s time to start the nitro RC car engine. Here’s how to start the engine using the glow starter:

Step by step guide

Step Procedure
1 Connect the red clip of the glow starter to the glow plug on the engine.
2 Cover the carburettor with your finger and pull the starter cord until you hear the engine pop or start to turn over.
3 Activate the throttle on the remote control to help the engine start.
4 If the engine fails to start after a few attempts, wait a few minutes to allow the engine to cool down before trying again.
5 Once the engine is started, remove the glow starter and attach it back to the battery pack.

Adjusting the Carburetor

After starting the engine, it’s important to make sure that it’s running at an optimal level to prevent it from shutting down unexpectedly. The carburettor controls the air and fuel mixture that the engine needs to run, and if it’s not adjusted correctly, the engine will not work effectively. Here are a few tips to help you adjust the carburettor:

– Use the adjustment screws on the carburetor to make small adjustments to the air and fuel mixture.
– Make small adjustments to avoid causing damage to the engine.
– Test the engine at both high and low speeds to ensure that it can run smoothly at all speeds.


One of the best products for adjusting the carburetor of your nitro RC car is the Dynamite Machined Aluminum Hex Driver. This product is specifically designed to fit adjustment screws on most carburetors and is made from durable materials to ensure longevity. The driver also has a comfortable grip, making it easy to use, even for extended periods.

How do you start a nitro RC engine?

To start a nitro RC engine, follow these simple steps:

  1. Turn on the radio transmitter and receiver
  2. Fill up the fuel tank with nitro fuel
  3. Prime the engine by covering the exhaust pipe and pulling the starter cord
  4. Insert the glow plug igniter into the engine
  5. Hold down the throttle and pull the starter cord to start the engine
  6. Once the engine starts, remove the glow plug igniter and adjust the needle valve until the engine idles smoothly

It’s important to read the manufacturer’s instructions and follow their specific guidelines for starting and operating your nitro RC engine. If you’re looking for more information or help, check out hobbyist forums or websites like or

Running the Engine

Now that the engine is up and running, it’s important to make sure you take steps to properly maintain it so that it runs smoothly and lasts a long time. Here’s what you need to know about running the engine:

Safety Precautions

Running a nitro RC car can be a lot of fun, but it’s important to stay safe while doing it. Here are some safety precautions you should take:

– Always wear safety glasses or goggles to protect your eyes from flying debris.
– Never run the car in a public area, as it can be dangerous to others.
– Avoid running the car near water or wet surfaces to prevent damage to the engine.

Tips for Running the Engine

To keep your nitro RC car engine running smoothly, follow these tips:

– Change the air filter after every two or three runs to ensure maximum performance.
– Check the fuel filter regularly and replace it if necessary.
– Avoid running the engine at full throttle for extended periods, as this can cause damage.


One of the best products for maintaining your nitro RC car is the Traxxas Nitro Engine Oil. This high-quality engine oil is specially designed to provide maximum protection against wear and tear, as well as to ensure that the engine runs smoothly. It also helps to prevent oxidation and rust, which can damage the engine. The oil comes in a convenient bottle with a precision applicator, making it easy to use, even for beginners.

How do you run a car engine?

To run a car engine, follow these basic steps:

  • Insert the key into the ignition switch.
  • Turn the key to the “on” position.
  • Press the brake pedal (this is required in most modern cars before starting the engine).
  • Turn the key to the “start” position and hold it there until the engine begins to turn over.
  • Release the key as soon as the engine starts.
  • If the engine does not start, wait a few minutes and try again.

For more detailed information on car engines, you can visit websites such as Car and Driver or Popular Mechanics, or check out products like the Haynes Repair Manual.


Starting a nitro RC car with a glow starter may seem daunting at first, but it’s actually quite simple once you know the steps involved. By following the tips outlined in this article, you’ll be able to start your nitro RC car with ease, and keep your engine running smoothly for years to come.

Remember to always take proper safety precautions when running your nitro RC car, and to maintain your engine regularly to avoid costly repairs. With a little bit of practice, you’ll be able to master the art of starting and running your nitro RC car like a pro.

In conclusion, starting and running a nitro RC car can be a very rewarding hobby, but it does require some knowledge and preparation. By using the information provided in this article, you’ll have everything you need to start your nitro RC car with confidence, and maintain your engine for maximum performance.