Nitro Radio Controlled Cars - Off to the Races!

Doesn't the term Nitro Radio Controlled Cars remind you of Saturday night at the races? Hot dragsters zooming down the track at 400 miles per hour. The roar of the crowds, the smell of the exhaust.

The red-yellow-green of the "christmas tree" as the racers peel off from the line with tires smoking. Gas-powered radio controlled cars run on a fuel called nitromethane, or nitro for short. If you're thinking that this fuel sounds exactly like what the real dragsters run, you're absolutely right.

The only difference is, a radio controlled car doesn't have to be a dragster to burn nitro. They all burn it. Since nitro radio controlled cars do not have a lubrication system like real automobiles do, the manufacturers of RC nitro fuel mix it with a bit of castor oil to keep the engine from overheating.

The advantage of nitro radio controlled cars over electric cars is higher maintained speed over a longer time. You can quickly refill a nitro car and get it back on the road. An electric car, on the other hand, can run for about 10 to 20 minutes before it will require an extended pit stop for battery recharging.

Of course, the downside of nitro radio controlled cars over electric cars are noise and exhaust. No indoor racing with these beasts. Personally, I think that the noise and exhaust adds to the excitement. After all, how exciting is the hum of an electric motor? Because they are essentially running an internal combustion engine, nitro radio controlled cars require more maintenance, and are more expensive, than an electric car.

They are also a bit messy because of the fuel and exhaust residue. Starting nitro radio controlled cars is a bit different than starting an electric one. With an electric one you simply flip the switch and you're good to go. Nitro cars, on the other hand, requires a glo plug igniter, the equivalent of a spark plug, so that the fuel in the combustion chamber can ignite and cause the engine to run.

Once the engine is running internal combustion keeps the glow plug hot, and the glow-plug igniter is then removed. Since there is no ignition key or starter motor on nitro radio controlled cars, some cars come with a lawn mower-type pull starter, while others require a hand-held, 12V starter or an electric starter box.

The starters utilize a spinning rubber wheel which is held up against the engine's flywheel, which, in turn, causes engine's crankshaft to rotate and fire the engine up. For my money, nitro radio controlled cars are the only way to go if you have regular access to wide open spaces where the noise and smell of the exhaust can be ignored.

If you live in an area with long and cold winters, however, you may want to keep an electric car around as a spare to keep you from "Jonesing" during the dark winter months.

I hope this information on nitro radio controlled cars has been helpful. Click here to get more great rc car information.