You are about to buy your first RC car. You go into the shop and you are offered two different cars. One is powered by electricity (an electric RC car) and the other – by real fuel (the nitro RC car). You begin to wonder and you really do not know which one to choose.
If you do not want to be part of this situation, learn the differences about each type radio controlled vehicle before you go to the shop. Knowing the insides will help you make a choice.
The main difference between an electric car and the fuel powered car is the motor. The electric car has batteries. They are charged with electricity that makes the car function. The nitro remote controlled car has a motor. It is powered by fuel just like a normal car. The fuel used is a special methanol based fuel for RC cars. There are other RC cars that use gasoline though they are larger models and not quite typical hobby RC cars.
If you want an electric motor car there is one thing to consider – brushed or brushless motor. The brushed motors are usually used for toy RC cars while the brushless ones are used in hobby RC cars making. Brushless motors tend to be more expensive however they have better characteristics. They do not need a lot of cleaning, they produce less heat that extends the life of the engine, and they can give more speed to your car.
Once you know what kind of engine you want, you should consider the other very important structural element of the car – the chassis. There are two types – metal and plastic. The plastic chassis are made of carbon fiber that gives strength and is very light. The metal chassis are made of aluminum. It is the most common type of chassis for nitro and gas RC cars as it can stand the heat produced by the engine. Moreover an aluminum chassis helps the engine cool.
The gears, wheels and axels of a RC car are also important. They can be made of plastic (typical for the toy grade RC cars) or metal. Metal ones are more durable and recommended for the nitro cars.
The final thing to consider is the runtime of your car. If it is powered by battery it will be able to run for about 15 minutes per battery until you need to recharge. Depending on the number of batteries you may have a whole hour before the power goes down. The nitro cars depend on fuel so the tank size is important for their runtime. On the other hand a tank is refilled for less than a minute.