How To Start A Nitro RC Car Without A Glow Starter

Many people consider the design, brand, speed, and tires when shopping for remote-controlled cars. However, has it ever occurred to you that igniting a Nitro RC car can be a problem at some point when using it? At times, the glow ignitor can fail you, but that doesn’t mean that you should give up on your Nitro RC car.

The ways to start a nitro RC car without a glow starter are by using a 12mm drill bit. An electric starter, (As long as they are compatible with your car). A DIY glow starter can be made using a pair of os AA batteries, wires, and tape.

What Equipment Do You Need to Start Nitro RC Car?

Here is a list of equipment that you need to get beyond the Nitro RC Car to start it up. Every item on the list serves its purpose, and it is essential in the overall startup of your Nitro RC Car. These things include;

  • Nitro fuel
  • Fuel bottle
  • Tuning screwdriver
  • Glow igniter/starter/driver

Let’s go more indepth;

  • Nitro fuel – There is a general rule of picking up a nitro fuel, and it depends on the kind of engine that your Nitro RC Car has. Any engine under .18 usually goes with a 20% fuel, and those engine .21 and above goes with a 30% fuel. The fuels also differ in the purpose of serving, e.g., racing fuel, basher fuel, but it is essential to use the specific fuel as recommended by the manufacturer.

  • A Fuel bottle helps you transfer the fuel from the can to the tank of the Nitro RC Car. Some manufacturers give this out together with the Nitro RC Car but then get one since it makes your work easier. It isn’t easy to pour the fuel directly from the can, and the bottle comes through and helps with measurements.
  • Tuning screwdriver – They are for tuning the needle valves on the end of the engine.
  • Glow ignitor/starter/driver – Used to hit up the glow plug on top of the engine.
  • There are two types of glow drivers; those that use batteries to work, and it is advisable always to use fresh batteries for your glow driver every time you are going to use them. The other type are the rechargeable ones, which come with a charger, and before using them, ensure that they are fully charged for effective results in the ignition.

A keynote: The glow plug needs to burn hot to fire up the engine, so it is crucial to have a well-functioning glow starter.

Some Nitro RC Cars do not use glow ignitors, they come with their own ignition tools. Some of these tools include electronic starters, while others don’t have a starter box, so that you will require one for them.

What is the Proper Way of Starting a Nitro RC Car?

If your Nitro RC Car is in perfect condition or you just got it from a manufacturer, then the process of starting it is quite simple. Here are the steps to follow;

You have to get everything required to run the engine, and they are the fuel and the glow ignitor.

You will then fuel the tank and remember not to over fuel.

You will then prime the engine, which is basically to get the fuel from the tank to the carburetor. It is done by holding the exhaust and upholding the starter until you see fuel going through the mentioned path.

You can also remove the pressure tube and blow it into the pipe.

Test everything from your transmitter to your receiver.

Stick your glow ignitor in the engine and pull the starter until the car starts.

How to Make a DIY Glow Starter

If you happen to have misplaced your glow starter, using simple, locally available materials can be your key to starting your Nitro RC Car.

There are different variations of making a DIY glow starter, but a simple one is worth working with. The materials needed include a pair of AA batteries, wires, and tape.

The connectivity of the batteries will be crucial. Attach the battery and tape them together such that you’ll have a single positive side and a single negative end. If not, you can wire the two in series, and it will give the same result.

You will then have two lots. One to fit on the tip of the glow plug and one on the side will require some work to get it right, and the plug will ignite immediately.

Related post: Is Nitro RC Dying?

Why is My Nitro RC Car Not Starting?

Several reasons might make your Nitro RC Car fail to start. The incident might happen if you overuse the car or stay for a long time without using it.

The causes for your RC nitro car not to start are:

  • Overuse of the car.
  • A long time without using your nitro RC car.
  • Using old fuel.
  • Bad fuel storage.
  • Leaking fuel pipes.
  • Fully functioning glow igniter.
  • Fuel circulation.
  • Overflow from fuel tank.
  • Correct proportion of fuel settings.
  • Correct maintanence of the exhaust pipe.

Old fuel – You should think of using new and fresh nitro fuel to power your engine since old fuel or that which is incorrectly stored tend to accumulate moisture, which causes the engine to malfunction or not function at all. Old fuel also tends to stick and clog on the carb and in the fuel pipes, and the call of action should be either cleaning or replacing it.

Storing fuel – Nitro fuel tanks should be appropriately stored away from sunlight since they are flammable, and the lid should be tightly fitted.

Leaks – You should check if your fuel pipes are correctly connected and any cuts or splits that might be causing any leakages. Confirm if the fuel tank cap is tightly sealed and any potential cracks. The exhaust should also be diagnosed if any likely conditions might cause a dysfunction.

Glow ignitor – Test if it is fully charged or if the batteries need to be replaced to provide that power required. You should further confirm if it is in good condition or it might have been blown out.

Fuel circulation – Ensure that you prime your engine so that there will be a good fuel flow from the tank. There might be blockages, which might be the cause, and cleaning the pipes is a solution or unblocking the fuel tank.

Overflow – Do not overflow the fuel tank since it can cause you difficulties using the pull start.

Carb – The low-speed needle and the high-speed needle should be adjusted appropriately to ensure that the mixture of air and fuel settings are in perfect proportion.

Exhaust pipe – They hold the unburnt oil that might lead to sticking on the chassis. It usually leads to blockages and changes in sound, and it requires frequent cleaning for maximum performance.

What is the Purpose of a Glow Starter?

A glow starter is a timed switch, and its purpose is to provide current.

A glow ignitor has batteries, or for the rechargeable ones, they have stored energy in them.

When they are pinned on the glow plug, they complete a circuit. If you want to help with the current flow, the pull starter is used, or a drill and that activated the flow of current, which heats up, and the glow plug produces flames stored in the combustion chamber that will be burning the fuel as the Nitro RC Car is running.

How Do I Know if My Glow Igniter is Working?

Testing your glow ignitor is crucial since it plays a pivotal role in starting a Nitro RC Car.

It is easier to know if it is working for the rechargeable ones since the charging indicator will be evident, which will be a good sign. However, the best way is to test it in the car.

Following the proper fitting to the glow plug and using the pull starter will tell if the glow igniter is in good shape. If it doesn’t work, and a spare one starts the car, then check for that battery or charge or consider replacing it if it has burnt out.

Why Should I Fully Charge My Glow Starter?

The glow starters’ energy is of great importance since they create the current, which ignites the glow plug. Having a glow ignitor that is not fully charged or not using new batteries for those that use batteries won’t provide as much current.

The glow starter will fail to ignite the glow plug time and time again, and the more you use the pull-start, the more the power in the batteries will deplete, so eventually, the Nitro RC Car won’t start.

What Batteries Can You Use on Your Glow Starter?

Glow starters are different, and they operate differently, so it is essential to know what to select when buying.

For the glow starters that use batteries, you should get one AA battery, and the trusted brands are GP, Energizer, Duracell, or you can opt for the rechargeable ones.

If your glow starter has a charging slot, then you will have to charge it to use it. However, you can get a battery charger and buy the rechargeable batteries so you won’t have to replace the batteries every time you want to use the Nitro RC Car. It is an effective solution and a long-lasting one as well.

Once the Nitro RC Car Starts, How Long Will It Run?

Trying to start the car is one task, but the real test of the Nitro RC Car comes in running it. It is important to keep the car going if it is in perfect shape, but you should also consider the conditions you’re putting the car in. On an almost full tank, since overfilling isn’t advised, and having a car in an okay state, you can keep it going for about 12 to 15 minutes without fault.

That is how long the fuel in the tank can run before it entirely burns out.

Racing cars, however, can go a little longer depending on the strength of the engine and the tank’s size. It would be best if you did not let the fuel tank dry completely as replacing it is critical to avoid any future malfunctions, and it is also a proper maintenance strategy.

Is Starting a Nitro RC Car by a Drill Advisable?

There is a reason why Nitro RC Car comes with a full set required for its proper functioning. The reason why manufacturers recommend specific items is because they are what works best for the car.

A drill can be used to start up your Nitro vehicle but theres a few steps you need to take to be able to do this without causing damage to your car.

Please see my post: Here’s How To Start A Nitro RC Engine With A Drill

Can You Replace Glow Plugs?

Glow plugs are an essential part of the Nitro RC Car since they provide the glow which burns the fuel to run the engine.

Like any other machinery, they tend to wear out over time due to overuse or cold weather. Cold weather is the worse condition for a nitro car since it makes the glow plug deteriorate much faster than in warmer weather conditions.

It is important to frequently service these parts, primarily if you often use the car or replace them if they no longer are reliable.

When Should I Go Back to My Manufacturer for Help?

When ordering a Nitro RC Car, you should have done your research on the different types of cars and their functionality. One essential information is the car’s strength and speed, which will dictate a lot of the functionality.

Upon receiving your package, there is a manual that should help you with everything. It is also advisable to get every other required item from your manufacturer since they will sell to you what is compatible with the type of car you’ve purchased.

When your glow starter starts having issues in the early stages, then you should head back and ask what might be possibly wrong with it.

If you have a store where you are getting it from, then consider assembling and testing the car altogether to ensure everything is intact and correctly working. You should go back to your manufacturer when there are early issues or if you need to replace any part that is no longer functioning correctly.

Are Rechargeable Starters Different from Glow Ignitors?

Some Nitro RC Cars come with their rechargeable starters that are nothing like the glow ignitors. Even though they perform the same task, rechargeable starters and glow ignitors look different.

The former is quite more significant, and they use quite a different battery than what the glow ignitors use. The battery is a bigger one with cables which are charged with electricity. They also last longer since they store more energy and are more durable.

Paul Good

This awesome hobby has something for everyone, whether you like to build your RC from scratch and keep modifying till you've got it to just how you want it, to track racing. You might be out with a boat, or perfecting your skills with a plane. Are you taking some cool pics with your drone? I'm sure my site will help you on your journey.

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