My RC nitro won't start

Written by richard toole
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My RC nitro won't start
Learning how to handle basic Nitro car problems is a good idea for beginners. (Remote Control for flying in outdoor location image by photooiasson from

Radio Controlled (RC) vehicles are available in both electric- and gas-powered engines. The gas-powered engines are typically known as Nitro engines. Nitro vehicles require more maintenance and knowledge than most electric cars, simply because there are more moving parts. Once you are familiar with Nitro engines, their fuel system, and starting methods, you should be able to correct any problems that you may encounter. A few issues seem to crop up more than others, and learning how to deal with these problems will ensure a more enjoyable RC experience.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Glow plug starter
  • Clean rag
  • Nitro fuel

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  1. 1

    Check the glow plug and the glow plug starter. Charge your glow plug starter completely before attempting to start your Nitro engine. Wipe off the contacts with a clean rag where the starter fits onto the glow plug. Attach the glow plug starter to the glow plug. Observe the coil of the glow plug to see if it glows bright orange. Replace the glow plug if it glows red, or it simply does not glow at all.

  2. 2

    Replace your fuel supply. Check the date on your fuel can to see if it has expired. Buy a new can of fuel if yours sat in extreme heat or cold for long periods of time, especially outside. Nitro fuel goes bad very quickly and will make starting your engine very difficult if it is expired or compromised. Keep your fuel can out of direct sunlight in a cool, dry place.

  3. 3

    Examine your Nitro engine's fuel lines. Check all of the fuel lines for very small pinholes, which are a common occurrence in Nitro engines. Replace all of the fuel lines even if you find only one section with a hole. Buy extra tubing for future fuel line changes, and keep it in your hobby supply box. The tubing is quite inexpensive, and you'll be glad you have it on hand.

  4. 4

    Check and see if the engine is flooded. Stop pulling the starter cord if it becomes hard to pull; that is a signal the engine is flooded. Remove the glow plug from the engine. Turn the engine upside down, and hold it there. Pull the starter cord a few times to clear out the extra fuel that is flooding the engine (it should drip out after a couple of pulls on the starter cord). Turn the engine right-side up. Re-install the glow plug. Start the engine as you normally do.

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