Quick Fixes for Nitro RC Car Not Starting

Quick Fixes for Nitro RC Car Not Starting

Nitro RC cars are a fun and exciting hobby for many enthusiasts. However, frustration can quickly set in when your beloved vehicle won’t start. It’s not uncommon for nitro RC cars to encounter starting issues, and there can be various reasons why this happens. Possible culprits include fuel issues, dirty air filters, glow plug failure, and ignition issues. Figuring out the cause of the problem is essential in getting your nitro RC car back on the road. This article will explore some common reasons why your nitro RC car won’t start, and offer helpful solutions to get it up and running again. By following these tips and troubleshooting techniques, you’ll be back to enjoying your nitro RC car in no time.

Fuel Issues

Fuel issues are one of the most common reasons why nitro RC cars fail to start. Here are some possible causes for fuel-related starting problems:

  • Old Fuel – Fuel that’s more than six months old is likely to cause starting problems. If you’ve been storing your nitro RC car for a while, it’s best to drain old fuel and refill the tank with fresh fuel.
  • Incorrect Fuel Mixture – Nitro RC cars require a specific fuel mixture of nitromethane, oil, and methanol. Ensure that you follow the instructions provided by the manufacturer to mix fuel correctly.
  • Fuel Lines – Check the fuel lines connected to your car’s carburetor to see if fuel passes through. If there’s no fuel flowing, it could indicate an obstruction in the fuel line.
  • Carburetor Issues – Check if the carburetor is working correctly. A clogged or dirty carburetor can prevent the engine from starting. Clean or replace the carburetor if required.

If you’re unsure how to address fuel issues in your nitro RC car, consider seeking professional assistance or contacting the manufacturer for support. Some online resources, such as NitroRCX, offer a range of nitro RC car parts and accessories, including fuel tanks, carburetors, and fuel tubing.

What kind of fuel do nitro RC cars use?

Nitro RC cars use a special fuel known as nitro or glow fuel. It is a mixture of methanol, nitromethane and oil. This fuel is available at hobby stores, online stores and outlets that sell RC cars and parts. It is important to use the right type of fuel to keep your nitro RC car running smoothly and prevent damage to the engine.

Dirty Air Filter

A dirty air filter restricts proper airflow into the engine, leading to starting problems. Some potential causes and solutions for air filter-related starting problems are:

Cause Solution
Air filter clogged or dirty Clean or replace the air filter if necessary. It’s usually an inexpensive and easy fix.
Air filter installed incorrectly Check the manual to ensure that the air filter is installed correctly. Reinstallation may be required.
Air filter cover missing or damaged Replace or reinstall the cover. It protects the air filter from debris and prevents performance issues.

Some interesting facts about air filters are:

  • A clean air filter can improve your nitro RC car’s engine performance and increase its life.
  • In dusty or dirty environments, air filters may need more frequent cleaning or replacement.
  • Some manufacturers offer reusable or washable air filters, which can save time and money in the long run.

If you need to replace your nitro RC car’s air filter, consider browsing websites such as amainhobbies.com or towerhobbies.com, which offer a vast selection of air filters and other RC car parts.

Can Air Filter Affect Car Starting?

Yes, a dirty air filter can affect your car’s starting. Here are a few reasons why:

  • A dirty air filter restricts the amount of air that flows into the engine, which can cause a rich fuel mixture. This can make the engine difficult to start.
  • Restricted airflow can also affect the Idle Air Control valve (IAC valve) which may cause your car to stall or have a rough idle.
  • A clogged air filter can also cause carbon buildup in the engine, which can lead to misfires that make starting difficult.

Regular air filter replacements can help prevent these issues. Check your vehicle’s owner’s manual for recommended intervals or consult a mechanic for advice.

If you need to purchase a quality air filter, consider visiting websites such as AutoZone or Amazon to find the right fit for your vehicle.

Glow Plug Failure

The glow plug is an essential component of a nitro RC car’s engine, as it provides the necessary heat to ignite the fuel and start the engine. If your nitro RC car’s glow plug fails, you may encounter starting problems. Here are some ways to detect and fix a glow plug issue:

  • If the engine won’t start, try removing the glow plug and checking it for signs of wear or damage.
  • If the glow plug element is broken, burnt, or not working, replace it with a new one.
  • Check your nitro RC car’s manual to ensure that you’re using the correct type of glow plug for your engine.
  • If you’re encountering frequent glow plug issues, you may need to adjust the fuel mixture or engine timing.

If you need to purchase a new glow plug, consider browsing RC hobby websites like horizonhobby.com or nitrorcx.com. These sites offer a wide range of glow plugs for nitro RC cars, along with other parts and accessories. Remember to always follow the manufacturer’s recommendations and maintain your nitro RC car’s engine regularly to prevent starting problems caused by glow plug failure.

What causes RC glow plugs to fail?

There are a few different reasons why RC glow plugs may fail:

  • Repetitive heating and cooling can cause the coil in the plug to break down over time, leading to failure.
  • If the plug is not properly seated in the engine, it may not receive enough heat to stay lit, causing it to fail prematurely.
  • Excessive amounts of oil or other contaminants can build up on the plug, interfering with its ability to create the necessary spark.

Regular maintenance and cleaning of your RC glow plugs can help to ensure they last as long as possible. If you need to replace a glow plug, you can find a variety of options online at websites like Amazon or Tower Hobbies.

Ignition Issues

If your nitro RC car still won’t start after checking for fuel, air filter, and glow plug issues, the problem may be with the ignition system. Here are some things you can try to fix ignition problems:

  • Check that the battery is fully charged and is correctly connected to the ignition system. A weak or faulty battery can cause starting problems.
  • Check the spark plug wire for wear or damage, and ensure that it is properly connected to the glow plug.
  • Check the igniter for damage, and replace it if necessary.
  • If you’re still encountering problems, check the switch and wiring for faults or loose connections.

If you need to purchase new parts for your nitro RC car’s ignition system, visit online RC hobby stores like towerhobbies.com or amainhobbies.com. These websites offer a wide range of nitro RC car spare parts, including ignition systems and wiring. You can find both OEM and aftermarket parts on these websites, along with customer reviews and ratings, which can help you select the right parts for your nitro RC car. Always follow the manufacturer’s guidelines when replacing parts in your nitro RC car’s ignition system to avoid further problems.

What do you need to start a nitro RC car?

To start a nitro RC car, you will need the following items:

  • A nitro RC car
  • A nitro engine
  • Fuel
  • glow plug igniter and batteries
  • A remote control
  • A charger for the batteries

There are many options available for nitro RC cars and parts. Do your research and shop around to find the best fit for your needs. Some popular websites for purchasing nitro RC car products include HorizonHobby.com and TowerHobbies.com.


Nitro RC cars require regular maintenance to keep them running at their best. If your nitro RC car won’t start, it can be frustrating, but there are several issues you can check to identify the problem. Amongst the common causes of a nitro RC car not starting are fuel issues, dirty air filters, glow plug failure, and ignition system problems. Troubleshooting is key to identifying the problem, and you can employ DIY techniques such as checking spark plug wires, igniter, battery, and switch for wear or damages. If you cannot solve the issue yourself, consider taking your nitro RC car to your local hobby store’s service center for further assistance.

In case you need new parts, you can always consult online RC hobby stores that offer a wide variety of parts, both OEM and aftermarket, and even user reviews to help you determine if a part is best for your nitro RC car. Whatever the cause of the starting issue, it’s important to address it promptly to avoid further damages to your vehicle. With proper maintenance and troubleshooting, your nitro RC car will be back on track and ready to perform to its maximum ability.