Can You Run an RC Car in Snow?

This page contains affiliate links, As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases (with no extra cost to you). Learn more

RC cars are a popular gift for children and adults. Many users are gifted with one during winter. Therefore, the question is whether it is safe to use their rc car in the snow.

You can run an RC vehicle in the snow. However, you must run these cars with extreme care in adverse conditions, or you will end up damaging their mechanics in the cold weather. Some manufacturers have add-on options that make your vehicle usable in any climate.

This article will discuss why it is safe to run your RC car in the snow. I will also discuss the limitations that most vehicles have regarding cold weather and give workarounds.

Why You Can Run Most RC Cars in the Snow

Numerous vehicles include waterproof electronics, which allow snow adventures. Before exposing your car to freezing temperatures, you should read the owner’s manual on your model to guarantee you have this kind of vehicle.

Following a snow adventure, thoroughly drying the vehicle is normally sufficient to protect it from further damage. Additionally, it would help if you sprayed a rust-inhibitor such as WD-40 on rust-prone components, such as the bearings.

It is essential to understand the limitations of your RC car to maintain it in the best possible state during winter. In cold temperatures, the hardened plastic in most vehicles becomes fragile. 

By choosing alloy vehicle pieces, you will avoid most issues associated with plastics.

How Cold Is Too Cold for RC Cars?

Temperatures below 35° F (1.67° C) are too cold for RC cars. The nitro engine tends to lock under extremely low temperatures. Also, the fuel of RC vehicles can thicken in these conditions, causing harm to the engine and damaging the car.

Because the engine’s pistons are made of various materials that expand and contract at different speeds, nitro engines are typically ineffective at low temperatures. The cold air has a negative impact on the expansion of some mechanical components, resulting in the engine clamping. 

To circumvent this problem, store your RC truck in a warm location, such as the trunk of your vehicle. This assists in maintaining an operating temperature for the engine’s components.

Alternatively, it would help if you warmed up the engine’s heatsink with a hairdryer or heating tool. A pre-warmed engine starts more quickly and runs better than a cold one.

Can RC Cars Get Wet?

RC vehicles can get wet and drive in water without risking any damage if the exposed electrical devices are waterproof. However, even when the car has waterproof components, it cannot be immersed in water. It is only capable of passing across puddles and streams.

Molten snow can get into the RC’s mechanics. These pieces would eventually melt and wet the car.

Numerous components in your vehicle are not waterproof, and if you are not vigilant, water will inflict irreversible harm.

Following a snowy trip, you must wash the car to clear molten ice and any collected water.

Water-resistant receivers, servos, speed sensors, and other components are available from manufacturers. However, these may be very pricey, and you may want to opt for less expensive methods of waterproofing your car.

How To Waterproof Your RC Vehicle

For snow trips, it makes the most sense to invest in a waterproof remote control car. Still, a waterproof gadget does not guarantee that the device is impervious to water.

However, a scheme extends to most technological products that allow you to determine how waterproof anything is.

An IP Rating should be on the product’s package or the brand website’s technical specifications. The second digit shows the product’s tolerance to water. The following grading systems are utilized:

  • 1: There is no protection.
  • 2: Protection toward droplets that land vertically, such as condensation.
  • 3: Water droplets deflected up to 15° are covered.
  • 4: Spray-resistant.
  • 5: Protected on all angles from water splashes. This ranking guarantees that the object will be safe for at least ten minutes.
  • 6: Protection from low-pressure water jets.
  • 7: Protection from high-pressure jets. With this rating, you can directly apply water at any angle.
  • 8: Protection from complete immersion up to 39.3 in. (1 m.) for about 30 minutes.
  • 9: Protection from prolonged exposure in water at greater depths. The producer will specify precise measures.
  • K: Protection from high-pressure, high-temperature jets.

You may use this number to assess the degree to which your vehicle is waterproof and what additional shielding is needed for snow usage. Following that, you can protect the necessary components using one of the following methods.

Use Tape To Seal the Mechanics

Waterproofing the basic modules of your remote control vehicles is as simple as wrapping them with insulation tape. You should apply the tape, so no cables are left exposed.

Additionally, a drop of silicone should be applied where the wire exits the casing. Owners should also place an oiled foam ring around the gears.

Add Vaseline to Exposed Parts

Another way to waterproof the vehicle is to apply clear vaseline to the gears. You should perform this method on the pieces directly under the top case and those exposed.

Additionally, if your RC has any holes, you can apply vaseline to them to keep water out.

Why Buy an RC Car if You Live in a Cold Climate?

While certain RC cars can struggle in snowy climates, most can be customized to operate in frost, snow, or a combination of the two. Safe operation requires planning and follow-up maintenance to preserve your ride. Generally, this entails pre-lubricating and adequately cleaning the car after use. 

And since these are precautions that will be expected regardless of the weather, owning an RC car in snowy environments is not an added hassle.

Electric Vehicles Are Easier To Run in Snow

Electric RC toys are driven by a rechargeable battery, eliminating the problems associated with nitro motors. All that is needed is proper battery storage and pre-heating of the engine before each usage.

Additionally, they need less maintenance than nitro models. Also, electric cars are quicker in the snow than others. 

If you are serious about driving in frozen environments, you should upgrade to more powerful components such as:

  • Snow tires
  • Shovels
  • Snow chains
  • Snowplows

These add-ons are one-time purchases in most cases, and you can apply them to RC vehicles you own in the future.

Best RC Cars To Run in the Snow

Below are some of the best RC cars on the market that are perfect for running in the snow.

  • Traxxas 8S X-Maxx Monster Truck: Gears, driveshafts, and a wheelie bar have been added to the new X-Maxx to assist in keeping the truck on its tires during rapid acceleration in severe weather conditions. It is completely waterproof, allowing you to enjoy it in any amount of snow.
  • Traxxas 1/16 Summit: The Traxxas Summit is a 1:16 size truck with a larger chassis and wheels. It has a robust gearbox and suspension system that improves performance in snowy situations. in a new tab)

  • Traxxas 24054-1 Bandit: The Bandit comes ready for use right out of the package, which includes a Power Cell battery and a NiMH charger. The waterproof electronics mean no terrain is off bounds. It’s the best-selling RC buggy on the market, capable of speeds of 35+ mph (56.32+ kph) on its first use.
  • Traxxas 58034-1 Slash: This RC vehicle has full-throttle 900+ horsepower racing engines, power slides, massive suspension travel, and giant leaps. Additionally, it is waterproof, making it ideal for snowy conditions.

Read Next