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Why Does My RC Car Keep Flipping?

If your RC car keeps flipping keep reading to learn why and what you can do about it. Also, learn what traction rolling is and how you can stop it.

Why Does My RC Car Keep Flipping?

Here are the most common causes of this:

High Center of Gravity:

RC cars, like any other vehicle, are subject to the principles of physics. If the center of gravity in your RC car is high, the chances of it tipping or flipping over during high-speed maneuvers or when taking corners sharply increase.

Most RC cars have their weight distributed such that the center of gravity is as low as possible, but aftermarket modifications or improperly installed components can disrupt this balance.

Speed and Turning:

RC cars are designed to operate at high speeds, but this doesn’t mean they are immune to the effects of momentum and inertia. If an RC car is moving at high speed and makes a sudden turn, the momentum can cause it to flip over.

This is especially true for lightweight models that don’t have much mass to counteract the momentum.

Tire Grip:

The type of tires used on your RC car and the surface on which you drive can significantly affect the stability of your vehicle. For example, slick tires may not provide enough grip on a smooth surface, causing the car to slide or flip over during turns.

Suspension System:

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An inadequate or improperly adjusted suspension system can also lead to an RC car flipping over.

If the suspension is too stiff, the car might not be able to adequately absorb the impact from bumps or uneven surfaces, which can result in flipping. On the other hand, if the suspension is too soft, the car may roll over during fast turns.


The aerodynamics of your RC car also plays a vital role in its stability. If the car’s design isn’t aerodynamically sound, strong winds or high-speed runs can cause it to lift and potentially flip over.

Mitigating the Flipping Problem

Here are some effective strategies to prevent your RC car from flipping:

  • Lower the Center of Gravity: Try to keep the weight distribution low and centered in the car. You can do this by using heavier components, such as batteries and motors, as low as possible in the car’s chassis.
  • Adjust Your Driving Style: Be mindful of your driving style. Avoid making sharp turns at high speeds and try to gradually decelerate before making a turn. Practice smooth control to manage speed and direction more effectively.
  • Tire Selection and Maintenance: Make sure you’re using the right type of tires for your surface. Also, maintain your tires well to ensure they provide optimum grip.
  • Tweak the Suspension System: Adjust your car’s suspension to match your driving style and the terrain you’re driving on. You may need to experiment with different settings to find the optimal balance.
  • Improve Aerodynamics: If possible, use an aerodynamically-designed body shell for your RC car. Also, you can use spoilers and other aerodynamic aids to increase downforce and stability at high speeds.

What is Traction Rolling?

When an RC car has too much grip or traction—especially during a high-speed turn—it can cause the vehicle to flip over. This is what we call “traction rolling.”

Factors That Contribute To Traction Rolling

Several factors contribute to traction rolling. One key factor is the type of tires used. Certain tires are designed to provide a high degree of grip to improve acceleration and handling. However, this enhanced grip can become a double-edged sword as it also increases the risk of traction rolling.

The nature of the surface is another crucial factor. Some surfaces provide more grip than others. For example, a smooth, clean concrete surface offers more traction than a loose gravel surface.

The track’s condition, such as the presence of dirt, dust, or oil, can also influence the amount of grip a tire can generate.

Impact on Racing Performance:

Traction rolling can significantly affect racing performance. For starters, it can disrupt a driver’s rhythm, especially if it occurs in the middle of a high-speed turn. It also slows down the vehicle as the driver has to get the car back on its wheels and regain momentum.

Mitigation Strategies:

There are several ways to reduce the risk of traction rolling. These include:

  • Adjusting the Suspension: You can lower the vehicle’s center of gravity by reducing the ride height, which makes it less likely to roll. You can also stiffen the suspension springs or dampers, reducing body roll during cornering.
  • Tire Choice: Choose tires that offer a balance between grip and the risk of traction rolling. Sometimes, less grippy tires may improve overall performance if they reduce the risk of flipping over.
  • Throttle Control: Modulate your throttle input during high-speed turns. Abrupt throttle changes can destabilize the vehicle and lead to traction rolling.
  • Chassis Weight Distribution: Adjusting the weight distribution of your car can also help. A more balanced weight distribution reduces the risk of flipping over during turns.

How Do You Stop RC Traction Rolls?

Here is what you need to do:

Lowering the Center of Gravity (CoG)

One key factor that influences the stability of an RC vehicle is its center of gravity. The lower the CoG, the more stable the vehicle will be, especially during high-speed maneuvers.

You can lower the CoG by using a low-profile body shell, installing a lower suspension setup, or using heavier components low in the chassis. Remember, though, that changing the CoG can alter other aspects of your car’s performance, so it’s important to experiment and find the right balance.

Reducing Grip

Since excessive grip is the leading cause of traction rolling, reducing the grip can mitigate this problem. Consider using tires with less aggressive tread patterns, or a harder compound that offers less grip.

However, be cautious as this can affect your car’s overall handling and ability to navigate certain terrains.

Another option is to adjust the camber of your wheels. A more negative camber (where the top of the tire is angled inward) can help to reduce grip during cornering and thus reduce the risk of traction roll.

Adjusting the Suspension

The suspension system plays a crucial role in controlling traction roll. Softer suspension settings may increase the risk of traction roll because the car leans more in the corners, lifting the inside tires and putting more weight on the outside tires.

By stiffening the suspension, you can reduce the body roll and thus decrease the likelihood of traction roll. However, a stiffer suspension can make the vehicle less responsive to smaller bumps or changes in the terrain.

Using Roll Bars or Anti-Roll Bars

Installing roll bars or anti-roll bars can help reduce the tendency of your vehicle to flip over. These bars distribute the force from a turn more evenly across the vehicle, reducing body roll and increasing stability during high-speed cornering.

Practicing Controlled Driving

Finally, remember that the way you control your RC vehicle has a significant impact on its stability. Avoid sharp turns at high speeds, instead try to slow down before turning and then accelerate out of the turn.

Practicing controlled driving can help you get a feel for your car’s limits and reduce the risk of traction rolls.