It’s inevitable, if you drive your R/C’s like they should be driven they are going to get dirty. Like everything else worth having, they will need to be cleaned/maintained. Especially if you drive your rigs in mud and water. While some people view this as a chore, it must be done to get the most life and best performance out of your rig and it’s inner workings. Here’s a short list of tips to help you clean/maintain your R/C’s in less time.
If your vehicle is waterproof, then a hose can be the best way to wash your vehicle off when it is really dirty/muddy. But, be aware that rust will set in on any steel surface eventually. WD40 can work great for keeping rust at bay, if you spray your metal parts down after being submersed in water, or hosed off. Another thing to keep in mind is WD40 will break grease down over time. So, re-greasing the gears and bearings is recommended regularly. You don’t need to re-grease everything after every cleaning. But, it may be a good habit to get into in order for your inner metal components to last as long as possible.
This is the method I use the most. If you own, or have access to, an air compressor. This is one of the best methods to clean an R/C car in my opinion. You should be able to remove any dust, or clumps of dried mud without much drama. I would like to stress that safety glasses are a must for this method. Last thing you want to happen is to start blowing off your rig, only to get blasted in the eyes with dirt and debris. Not fun! After you blow off the bulk of any stuck on dirt and mud, you can use a brush to finish the clean-up. I went to the local hardware store and bought a pack of 3 assorted sized paint brushes. It is nice to have an assortment of sizes, the small brushes work extremely well in tight areas.
This is another method I have seen used by some nitro racers. The Pledge actually shines your whole car up nicely, similar to using Armor All on your 1:1 vehicle. The oils in the Pledge will actually help keep rust at bay as well. Basically, you spray your whole car down with Pledge, and wipe everything off with a shop rag. Try not to saturate your electronics either, if they are not protected by a box or balloons. If the electronics aren’t protected, spray the cleaner on your rag, then wipe your vehicle down.
Motul “Shine & Go” is another spray on cleaner that can be used to clean your rigs after a hard day on the trails. It is originally designed for cleaning plastic fairings on motorcycles, and interiors on 1:1 vehicles. But, it also works really well for cleaning RC cars and trucks, especially lexan bodies and panels. Just spray a light coat on and wipe down with a clean rag, for that shiny “new” look. Use in a well ventilated area, and avoid soaking your electronics.
Following these tips should help keep your rig clean and in good working order, without taking you away from your next adventure for too long.