RC Car Turns Off While Driving? Here’s Why

Have you ever noticed a scenario where at times, In the middle of a fun race with a fellow RC fan like yourself, your RC Vehicle suddenly turns off and stops while driving? This can be the most annoying thing sometimes, as you may not even know why your RC broke down in the first place.

In this article, I’m going to give you all the reasons why your RC car may suddenly stop while driving, and all the necessary checks to find the problem so you can fix the issue and get up and running in no time at all.

RC Car Turns Off While Driving? Here's What To Do
My Traxxas Slash with its controller

Reasons Why your RC Car May Stop While Driving.

The batteries

There could be a number of reasons why your RC car may turn off while driving, but the most common cause may be that your RC’s battery Is dead. This can occur either on the battery in the vehicle, or the battery in the remote control itself.

Another good reason could be that the connection between RC and transmitter is damaged and not working properly.

The transmitter

Radio-controlled cars are miniature model wheeled vehicles, like a car or a truck that can be controlled with a transmitter or remote from a distance. 

Related post: Can Any Controller Be Used On Any RC Car?

The term “RC” has been used to mean both “remote-controlled” and “radio controlled,” where “remote-controlled” includes vehicles that are controlled by radio, infrared or a physical wire connection which is now a technology that’s out of date. A common use of “RC” today usually refers only to vehicles controlled by radio. This means that the remote controller or transmitter is one of the most important aspects of an RC vehicle.

If it’s damaged, the car is as good as dead. 

Failure could be due to the battery of the transmitter being dead or other mechanical damage like bad wiring or signal loss in the controller. As for the mechanical damage, the connection between the RC vehicle and the controller could be permanently destroyed, leaving the car useless.

With other less serious mechanical damage to the controller, like for example, a wire getting loose or damaged, it could easily be replaced either by yourself if you’re confident and skilled enough or by a technician.

Related post: RC Car Remote Control Not Working? Here’s What To Do

Lack of Fuel 

A problem could be fuel, Nitro-fueled RC cars use fuel to run, so the vehicle may stop if the tank is empty.  Make sure to check the fuel tank for fuel, ask questions like;

Is there enough fuel? Is the fuel good enough? If a quick inspection does not reveal a simple solution, you may need to dig deeper and do a full system check.

Related post: What Is Nitro Fuel Made Of?

How To Get Your RC Car Started again.  

The most ideal method for managing a situation such as this one is to take some time and use a straightforward process of elimination.

You’ll need to spend some time checking your RC vehicle and controller to find out where the fault is.

This is simply the best way to determine which part of your RC vehicle may need tending to.  A great start is by checking the replaceable parts of the RC like the battery, motor, servo, ESC, or remote system.

By the end of the check, you will have found out the cause of your problem. 

Quick solutions

Let’s start with the first possible solution.

1.     Locate and check your On/Off Switches. Perhaps it could just be off for some reason.  

2.     Consider doing a battery replacement to a new or fully charged battery. 

Missing batteries:

Check both the RC and transmitter.   

Reinstall batteries:

Always verify that your batteries are installed the right way, in the right slots, and face the right direction.

Replace old batteries:

Try out some new batteries. Also, consider changing the brand of batteries you use. If you’re using a battery pack, make sure it is fully charged.


If your car hasn’t been moving for a while or the battery compartment has been exposed to moisture and air, odds are, there could be some corrosion. So apart from replacing the batteries, you should also clean the battery contacts.

3. In the case of your transmitter,

  • Verify and make sure you’re using the correct Transmitter and Frequency for your RC controller and vehicle. You can easily replace it if it is destroyed. RC transmitters are interchangeable, so finding one that works for your car shouldn’t be such a hassle.  
  • Reconnect Your Wiring. also, in a case of a mechanical fault, the wire connections in your transmitter or vehicle itself could simply be damaged or disconnected.  Inspect your vehicle and transmitter properly to find out, and do any necessary fixes that may be needed to get it properly connected again. 

4. Test Your Servos: 

in an RC vehicle, we have what’s called a servo, which is a name for the device that’s used to control the steering of your RC vehicle. It can also be used to manage the throttle on some RC cars. These sometimes come as a single unit that contains all the electronics to control the motor and a gearbox that leads to an output shaft.

Related post: How To Choose A Servo For Your RC Car: Ultimate Guide


sometimes it’s just a matter of double-checking your RC car beforehand, so you don’t get disappointed later. Most times, the solutions could be as simple as a battery replacement.

In most cases, doing regular maintenance checks on your RC car can help you spot possible faults and dealing with them before the problem can become a more serious issue.

If you enjoyed reading this article, you may find some of my other posts helpful. See below, to mention a few:

Why Your RC Car Won’t Go In Reverse And How To Fix It

RC Car Not Working? Top 4 Most Common Reasons And Fixes!

RC Wheels Spinning In Opposite Directions? Here’s Why

Overheating RC Motor? Here’s What To Do

How To Clean And Maintain A Brushed RC Motor

RC Car Not Responding To Throttle? Here’s Why

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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