Can RC Cars Go in Snow?
A lot of people ask if they can drive their RC car in the snow. The answer to this is yes, but take a few cautions first. Brushless motors don’t like getting wet, so use a car that has a brushed motor. You could also waterproof your existing ESC with silicone sealant or purchase a waterproof ESC. You’ll also need to protect the receiver from water by encasing it in rubber.
Another option is just to get a car that has waterproof electronics. You can often find snow-specific RC cars that aren’t only waterproof, but also have the right kind of tires to get that extra traction you need in the slippery snow.
One more thing to keep in mind is that plastic becomes more brittle. Be careful about crashes and other damage to your plastic parts. The cold weather can also make grease and lubrication thicker. You may want to use thinner oil for lubrication during the colder months. As we said earlier, a lot of electric models feature waterproof electronics, so you don’t have to worry about a homemade waterproofing job.
Also, waterproof isn’t rustproof. Be sure to dry your car after use, and don’t submerge it for cleaning. It’s a good idea to use something like WD-40 on bearings, axles, and other parts that can rust. This will act as a rust inhibitor.
If you’re using a car that has a fuel-powered Nitro engine, electronics aren’t as big of a deal. You still need to worry about rust, metal parts, and any existing electronics that are on your Nitro vehicle. You might want to warm your engine at room temperature before trying to start it in the snow.
If you’re going to run a Nitro engine when it’s cold, that engine will require a break in period. You don’t want to wear out the engine pistons or other fragile moving parts. Whether you’re running an electric or a fuel-powered RC car, what you really need to be concerned with is moisture and cold.
If you find a way to keep your car safe from the damage of water and warm enough to run properly, you can have hours of fun driving an RC car in the snow. It’s not only a great way to be outside and get a break from indoor heated air, but it’s also just a fun way to blow off steam.
What a waterproof RC car really gives you is water-resistant speed control, receiver case, and a sealed servo. You’ll still need routine maintenance if you’re going to expose your RC car to moisture, the elements, and snow.
The waterproof receiver usually consists of a box that helps to keep water out. This box needs to be checked periodically to make sure it’s actually doing its job. There should also be a sealant where the wires enter the box. You can check this sealant, and even reinforce it with some silicone. In addition, you can use a balloon to protect components. Just be sure that no water is trapped inside after use.
You’ll also need to look out for rust on the connectors of your waterproof controls. Check the battery terminals, the on/off switch, and any other exposed metal surfaces. A lot of ESCs have a rubber cover over the on/off switch. Make sure that no moisture is trapped inside it.
The battery cells are completely contained and waterproof. What you need to watch out for is moisture and rust on the solder tabs that connect the cells together. The common sense approach is to check your batteries and keep water out of them as much as possible. If water does get in, do your best to remove any remaining moisture.
Rust is really the enemy of all of the metal parts on your RC car. After having your fun in the snow, make sure that your car is completely dried out, and that there’s no moisture remaining that can damage the sensitive parts. Using a compressed air can also help dry out the parts.
You can drive your RC car in the snow, but common sense, along with extra precautions and additional maintenance are required to enable you to drive it in the snow more than once.