Although not as common as electric models, Nitro RC cars have gradually increased in popularity. However, while Nitro engines can help boost performance, they can end up being too noisy. These noises can take away from your RC driving experience and upset your neighbors, so how can you make your RC Nitro engine quieter?
Here’s how to make your RC Nitro engine quieter:
- Modify the engine to a small block.
- Modify the exhaust with a muffler.
- Add sound deadening material to your RC car.
- Deaden RC Nitro noise with steel wool in the muffler.
- Avoid driving at maximum speed.
- Buy an RC car with noise reduction technologies.
- Avoid racing in your neighborhood.
- Maintain your RC car regularly.
How To Make Your RC Nitro Engine Quieter?
We will discuss some ways to make your RC Nitro engine quieter and a lot more bearable for you, your family, and your neighbors.
1. Modify the Engine to a Small Block
The beauty of Nitro RC cars is they can be modified many times to suit the owner’s preference. If you have the time, you can consider switching to a different engine, preferably small block engines, as they’re a lot quieter.
Please note that modifying an RC car Nitro engine can prove costly. However, high-quality engines like the Yamix Toyan FS-L200 are totally worth the cost, especially if you’re modifying to race.
NOTE: Before changing your RC car's engine, it is highly advisable to consult an expert or read the specifications to ensure you upgrade to a product that's compatible with your car. With many engines out there, finding one that perfectly suits your custom RC can be a nightmare.
2. Modify the Exhaust with a Muffler
Another great way to reduce Nitro engine noise is by adding a muffler to your exhaust to absorb some of the noise.
The type of muffler you use depends on the exhaust system of your RC car:
- A single exhaust RC car will need one muffler.
- A double exhaust car will work best with a double muffler.
Over time, it’s only natural that your exhaust tubing will start to degrade, especially if you put your RC car to frequent use. An old or worn-out exhaust tubing is among the biggest causes of noise, so it’s best to make replacements whenever you suspect that your tubing is damaged.
NOTE: Similar to replacing engines, it's crucial to confirm whether the new exhaust system or muffler will fit your RC car. As a good rule of thumb, you shouldn't be in too much of a rush to buy RC car products without first confirming their compatibility with your car.
3. Add Sound Deadening Material to Your RC Car
If you’re still not pleased with the noise levels, you can try adding sound-deadening material to your car. While it can be difficult to place the materials directly on your exhaust, you can improvise and place patches of the materials in the easy-to-access areas.
Some hobbyists claim that installing sound deadening material like Kilmat Butyl Automotive Sound Deadener around the muffler helps to reduce the overall noise levels.
TIP: Try placing the sound deadening materials in as many locations as you can, especially close to the engine area.
4. Deaden RC Nitro Noise with Steel Wool in the Muffler
Some hobbyists trust this method more than any other in reducing the noise made by RC Nitro engines. The idea is to feed the steel wool into your RC car’s muffler. While this method might sound straightforward, there are some key tips to observe if you want successful outcomes.
First, you should avoid using regular steel wool as it will eventually rust and risk damaging the muffler. Go for items like copper or stainless steel wool if you choose to use this method.
Roll the stainless steel wool into a ball and place it inside your muffler.
NOTE: Although the noise won't be completely eliminated, you'll notice a slight reduction that can make all the difference in neighborhood settings.
5. Avoid Driving at Maximum Speed
The noise emitted by your RC car will be loudest when you’re about to hit its top speed. Therefore, if you don’t want to end up making too much noise, you might want to avoid reaching the top speed.
While this solution is impractical in race setups, it can come in handy when used around homes, especially if you love racing around the neighborhood.
TIP: Try driving your RC car at moderate speeds to keep the noise levels low.
6. Buy an RC Car With Noise Reduction Technologies
Alternatively, you can purchase RC cars that integrate noise reduction technologies. While these cars can be costly, they can give you the freedom to drive without worrying much about noise.
Point to note, though, noise reduction technologies like tuned pipes and mufflers won’t completely eliminate the noise made by your RC Nitro engine. You’ll still need to modify the car further if you want to achieve significant noise reduction.
7. Avoid Racing in Your Neighborhood
This is a huge bummer for people who fancy driving their cars outside their homes. But if you want to enjoy the rowdiness that’s commonly associated with RC Nitro engines, then it’s best to consider racing in a race track or somewhere far away from homes and offices.
Another tip is to choose your playtime wisely. Your RC Nitro engine will obviously disrupt the neighborhood peace if driven at night.
Therefore, instead of driving during weird hours, planning for mid-morning or mid-day drives when people are mowing their lawns or busy with their activities is highly advisable.
8. Maintain Your RC Car Regularly
On some occasions, the noise made by a Nitro RC car emanates from faulty parts. Therefore, if you suspect that the noise made is unusual, then it’s best to check the car and inspect for any faults.
To reduce the chances of damage, it’s highly advisable to clean your car regularly, especially after driving in muddy or excessively wet tracks.
It’s also wise to grease and waterproof the internal parts of your car before driving on wet surfaces as the exposure to moisture can gradually damage some of the parts, and lead to a noisier drive.
What Is the Noise Level of Nitro RC Cars?
Understanding the noise level of a Nitro RC car is important not only in determining the relevant modifications to make but also in protecting your ears from excess noise.
The noise level of Nitro RC cars is typically between 80-95 dB, which is much louder than a standard electric RC car. This sound can be even higher if you have a problematic Nitro RC car that needs repairs.
To ensure your Nitro RC car doesn’t make excessive noise, it’s best to maintain it regularly and make replacements whenever some parts get damaged.
Can I Use My Nitro RC Car Indoors?
You can technically use your Nitro RC car indoors, but they are meant for outdoor use and will typically be too big and too noisy to use in a home. Also, given that many can reach speeds as high as 60 km/h (37.28 mph), using one indoors will likely cause an accident.
If you were to use your Nitro RC car indoors, the noise levels would be too loud for the naked ear and consequently lead to ear damage. Even a sound-treated Nitro RC car is too risky to drive indoors on anything but a large indoor race track in a big building.
Another reason to avoid driving your Nitro RC car indoors is the risk of inhaling potentially toxic fumes. While the smell of burnt gas might help add to the allure of RC car driving, inhaling too much of the fumes might lead to health complications.
Therefore, due to noise and the risk of fumes, it’s best to drive your RC cars outdoors.