Don’t you just love watching a live car racing show? The sound of the nitro fueled cars while they race and the thrill we feel when we cheer our favorite racers. Similarly, racing our Nitro RC Fuel cars is a thrilling experience because we are so fond of the “Vroom” sound. Most of us if not all, take delight in owning RC Nitro Fuel cars.
What is Nitro RC Fuel? This Fuel is required for RC cars with a Nitro RC engine. No! its not gasoline at all. This fuel is made up of 3 custom blended primary components. They are: Nitromethane (engine supercharger), Methanol (keeps the engine cool), and Oil (mixture of synthetic and castor oil, offers maximum protection).
Owning a Nitro powered RC car adds excitement and adventure in your life. After getting to know this basic information, you must be curious to know more about Nitro RC fuel and cars. Read on to find the answers of all the simple questions running in your mind.
How Does a Nitro Engine Work?
Having knowledge about how the nitro engine works in RC Nitro car is very important. Especially, if you already own one or recently purchased a new one. Here’s how it works.
Firstly, put some Nitromethane in the fuel tank and prime the engine (done with priming pump). Then place the ‘glow plug igniter’ on the glow plug and yank the pull starter. Like a spark plug, the glow plug is heated up with the igniter to start the engine. When the engine starts running, you control it with the transmitter. The carburetor (device that mixes air with fuel) opens when the throttle is applied. You can adjust the carburetor according to high, low, and idle speed needles.
The speed of your car and engine depends on the amount of fuel and air that gets inside. The carb is almost closed all the way when the brakes are applied. When the throttle is applied, all the 4 tires rotate as the engine is hooked with the crankshaft.
What are the Advantages of Having a Nitro RC Car?
The biggest advantage of having a nitro RC car is that it can give you the experience of driving and racing a real car. You also develop some mechanical skills when you own a Nitro powered car by carrying out its routine care and maintenance.
These RC cars produce a very real smoke and sound just like an actual racing car. RC Nitro powered cars give you 15-30 minutes of run time before you can refuel it. You can easily refuel it in seconds, no waiting for longer time period. Their speed is even faster than some brushed and brushless electric cars, which is also a plus point. In addition to this, these RC cars have water-resistant feature, which can benefit you when you race in snow.
Is Nitro RC Fuel Expensive?
The Nitro RC Fuel is obviously expensive but it depends on a few things. This fuel is a specialty item which makes it costly. If you have purchased a new nitro powered car, then you will need to buy RC nitro fuel in additional quantity. But if you are already a pro at using these cars then you know when to buy nitro fuel.
You can also try mixing the Nitromethane, methanol, and oil by yourself. This can be cheaper than buying the Nitro RC fuel directly from the market.
How Long Can You Store Nitro Fuel?
This totally depends on how you store the Nitro fuel and where you store it. If you keep the fuel container capped tightly, it will last much longer until you don’t use it up. It can absorb moisture if it encounters moisture laden air. You must be very careful when storing the fuel because the methanol and nitromethane will evaporate if it is left uncapped, leaving behind only the oil.
Where is the best place to store the fuel?
The best place to store the fuel is in an area which is well ventilated and not inside your house. Storing even a small amount of fuel inside your house can be dangerous. If you do not have a storage area outside your house, then you can build a small cabinet or purchase a small cabinet specially made for storing fuel.
Ensure that you store the fuel in factory approved cans before putting it into your storage place. Do not store fuel in containers that resemble food containers as children can accidentally pick these containers. Plastic or glass bottles are not safe for storing fuel. Avoid storing fuel in your kitchen, basement, or in a utility room.
How Long Does a Tank of Nitro Fuel Last in an RC Car?
This depends on 3 things. Firstly, on the usage time of the car on daily basis, secondly, the conditions in which the RC car is being used, and lastly, the model of the RC car. Generally, nitro fuel lasts up to 10-15 minutes per tank in a RC car. You can enjoy playing with the car for longer time period, if you refuel while the engine is still running.
1/8th and 1/10th scale models have larger fuel tanks and the engines are also bigger in size. Because of more capacity in these models, the fuel in your RC car will last longer than normal.
How to Tell if Nitro Fuel is Bad (Gone Off)?
When you start the nitro engine of your RC car at the previously run needle valve settings, and the engine does not start, this is the first indication that your fuel is bad. Another indication is that your engine has gone lethargic and it’s not giving the same RPM’s as before.
Another way to check if the fuel has gone bad is by sniffing it. If your nose still squirms while sniffing, then the fuel is good to go. The fuel gets thick and gummy sometimes when it goes bad, it looks like water condensing in the bottle.
How to Mix Nitro Fuel for RC cars?
You can get advice from fuel manufacturers or RC car retailers about how to mix nitro fuel. The three components used in RC nitro fuel are mixed in different amounts to make up a gallon of fuel. For measuring you can use homebrewers with measurements engraved on them or you can also use a 32oz Pyrex measuring cup. Most home brewers measure in volume but not all. So, make sure you know your measurements well, whether its weight or volume.
First off, you need to know how much oil and nitro you want. For oil, it is better to use both castor oil and synthetic oil. You can use a total of 10-12% oil by blending 60%/40% of castor and synthetic oil respectively. Nitromethane makes the engine more responsive and easier to tune but it is not required though. As a recommendation, you can buy pure nitromethane from eBay or Amazon.
After knowing the quantities of both oil and nitromethane, methanol is left. Measure out each ingredient before putting it in the final container. Use a big funnel to pour out these ingredients from the measurement jug to the main container so that you can avoid getting messy. Shake the jug properly, after you pour all the ingredients in it. As you have added castor oil, it may take time in blending as it has a thick consistency.
Mixing fuel at home can be very cheap and fun, than buying it ready made from a shop. Ensure that you take proper precautions while mixing it. Do not perform this task inside your house. Do it outside and away from flammable stuff. Methanol is just as dangerous as nitromethane. Wear gloves, keep a fire extinguisher by your side, and don’t try to sniff too much of this stuff as it might make you dizzy.
Now, that you have the knowledge about mixing nitro fuel for RC cars you can try it out yourself and cut down on the fuel cost.
Are There Any RC Nitro Fuel Alternatives?
You can use methanol/oil blends and no nitro. This can be one alternative if you are not competing with any one in a RC car race and driving your RC car just for fun. This will give you longer runs per tank as well.
If you are looking for a much cheaper alternative then use diesel or lubricating oil along with kerosene. You won’t need glow plug or igniting battery for it as they run on compression engine. Petrol can also be used as one of the alternatives as its more affordable than methanol and nitro fuel.
You can try these alternatives but they will not give you the same quality as nitro fuel. Nitro fuel is also called glow fuel and it is the most reliable fuel for Nitro powered RC cars. It will give you the most real and thrilling experience when you race your RC car.