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How To Drive Your RC Car
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How to Drive Your RC Car


So you have purchased your brand new RC car RTR (ready to race), or just finished assembling it from a kit. It’s gleaming and that paint job looks schmick. The look on your face has your mouth stretched ear to ear. The batteries are charged (sorry to all the nitro car guys) and there is only one thing to do: Boogity boogity boogity, let’s go racing boys!

OK, let’s back it up a bit here; maybe you haven’t even made it to your local track yet because it’s still a bit embarrassing in your backyard or neighborhood street because you have come to grief a few times. Don’t give up because you’re about to get some important tips with insight on how to drive your RC car!

Challenge Ahead

One of the most frustrating things that you will get to experience when you first start out in this hobby when driving is how you wanted to go in THIS particular direction, but the wall or curb jumped out of nowhere and smacked into your car! Oh no! Not more RC parts ($$). Yes, I know the feeling all too well when starting out, and this is where we need to keep our feet firmly planted on the ground. First things first: take your RC on-road car (or it might be an off-road vehicle) somewhere in a nice open area, and I mean like a local school where you are likely to find a basketball court or sports field. Stand directly behind the vehicle and observe the steering direction left-right movements and take it slowly getting a ‘feel’ of what your RC car is doing as it moves along. Get accustomed to the type of radio transmitter you have and its features as this can help soften sometimes aggressive-like steering movements. Don’t be afraid experimenting with the car ‘Set Up’ or radio transmitter settings; for example, if its featured in your radio, try dialing in some Exponential + or –. Practice your driving, and whatever you do take it slow and don’t be tempted to gun the throttle because you’re not ready yet. How does that feel? OK, another thing you might want to practice is to have the car slowly travel towards you face to face; now turn the steering gently left and right. Notice how things can get a little bit confusing because of the reverse direction? Be patient, it will come to you.

Practice Practice Practice

A good place to visit after you have gained some confidence with your direction and ‘feel’ of your RC car is a local club that race either on-road or off-road. Why, you might ask? Well here is your chance to have some social interaction and meet some people who can also share and help you first hand on what your needs may be. Be open, perhaps get one of the local expert drivers to inspect your car and to test drive it in case there has been something overlooked, or there is some uncharacteristic behaviour in your ‘Set Up’. I myself drive a Tamiya RC Mini and it’s amazing what you learn over time and can pass on to the novice driver – being young or old – that wants to get into this hobby. Just remember, go slow, avoid crashing as much as possible and learn the track layout, asking lots of questions along the way.

It’s Coming Together

Like anything you tackle in life, perseverance along with being patient will ultimately gain you a lot of confidence and knowledge, not only with your driving skills but also with the other aspects of understanding your vehicle. So it doesn’t matter whether you have a Tamiya RC mini or an off-road model radio control car (oops, yes, even RC nitro cars), your passion to learn and sometimes learning from your mistakes will eventually all contribute to, and will help it all come together.

A Podium Finish

If you decide to take your interest to the next level by hitting your local track, this is going to make things so more interesting if you decide to compete, because it won’t be just you traveling in that clockwise or anticlockwise direction! Take it easy, go slowly. Ignore that competitive urge to be number one. Just focus on staying off the barriers or crashing as this can waste valuable time each lap. You might even find yourself passing others as they have crashed out. Slowly push yourself to keep it clean and to be a little quicker each time round. At times there will obviously be mistakes, some not always your fault, but learn to be patient and courteous (learn your local track rules) and have fun while you do it. Eventually I have no doubt you will get to experience a podium finish.

Let’s re-cap on How to drive your RC car

Get accustomed to learning all about your car and its ‘Set Up’ along with your transmitter features, while practicing in a nice open area and eventually heading to a local track if possible. Learn to meet others more experienced than yourself and don’t be afraid to seek advice. You will be amazed at how much you will learn. Lots of practice in turn will help boost your confidence. Eventually your ultimate goal (I’m sure, like all good drivers) will be to get to the stage when you’re driving your RC car around a track, listening to your improved lap times being called out by the automated computer, or anticipating what the slower driver in front of you will do. Your driving skill will even sometimes help in avoiding an accident. Winning will be one of the most rewarding feelings you can have driving your remote control car.

Street Talk

Thanks Sherry, likewise with your articles as you have a very interesting background.

  about 1 decade ago

Great exposure to RC cars! and *Nice* website also. Looking forward to checking out more of your articles.

  about 1 decade ago
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