So, you’ve made the decision to invest in a remote control car. Whether you are just stepping foot into the RC world or you’ve owned a few models in your childhood, you’re now faced with a decision: Do you choose gas remote control cars or nitro RC cars?
Wait, aren’t they the same thing?
For those that don’t know the difference between the two or if you’re one who uses the terms interchangeably, gas remote control cars are powered by a mixture of oil and traditional fuel whereas nitro RC cars run using a combination of oil, nitromethane and methanol. While there are many other factors to consider if you’re thinking about purchasing an RC vehicle such as cost and design, here are some ways that gas remote control cars outshine nitro RC cars and as well as some reasons why choosing a nitro RC car could in fact be a better choice in some cases.
1. Gas remote control car engines are often more powerful.
Because the engines in gas remote control cars like the HPI Racing 10610 Baja 5B SS Kit are often more powerful, they are traditionally used in larger models than nitro RC cars such as monster trucks or large off-road buggies. Also, many larger “real life” replicas will often run off of gas due to the sheer power of the engine. More power allows the car to generate more torque so the gas remote control cars can handle off-road courses and push through more obstacles than their nitro RC counterparts. On the other hand, nitro cars will most likely be smaller, giving them a speed advantage. Many models can top 80 miles per hour or more. If you know for a fact that you will be racing and are simply looking for a fast car, then you will most likely benefit more from a nitro RC car. Be careful not to confuse speed with power; the torque in a gas-powered car will be greater than that of a nitro RC vehicle, but the latter will generally move quicker and with greater agility than the former.
2. The gasoline and oil mixture that powers gas engines is cheaper.
Gas-powered cars run on a gasoline and oil mixture while nitro cars are fueled by nitromethane. It goes without saying that gasoline is the cheaper of the two. Gasoline will run you however much it is going for at your local gas station, but nitro fuel like the Torco RC Fuel 20% Nitro Car & Truck Gallon may cost you 30 to 45 dollars per gallon. Depending on how often you plan to use your car, you might want to consider how the cost of fuel will add up over time as well as of course the safety precautions that you will need to take while handling and storing flammable and potentially hazardous chemicals which make up nitro and gas fuel.
3. The engines in gas remote control cars require less maintenance.
As you may or may not know, the engines in nitro cars may be testy depending on how well you tune the car, the temperature outside, the fuel grade, humidity, the age of the engine and other factors. These cars require more tuning in general, like replacing components more often due to wear and cleaning the chassis and air filter. If you’re unsure about the care of your nitro RC engine, you might want to consider investing in a guide such as the Ultimate Nitro Engine Guide for Radio-Control Vehicles to maximize your engine’s power potential. On the other hand, gas-powered cars have a solid reputation of requiring less maintenance and work to get them on the road. Also, many RC enthusiasts relish in the fact that these gas RC vehicles, while they may be easier to service and maintain, often have a longer lifespan than their nitro counterparts, and nearly anyone from any RC background can properly care for these vehicles.
4. The engines in gas remote control cars will last longer.
By their nature, nitro engines like theTraxxas 5407 3.3 TRX Engine, IPS Shaft with Pull Start will wear out faster than those of gas-powered cars. Due to the increased amount of fuel needed to run these vehicles and the extra maintenance that is required to keep them functioning, many RC enthusiasts find that the added wear and tear on the engines can really take a toll on the vehicle as a whole. However, gas-powered RC cars require less maintenance and use less fuel, so the wear and tear on the engines aren’t nearly as great. Also, due to less maintenance, these cars often boast a longer run time. Typically, a gas remote control car that has a full gasoline tank (and a fairly standard sized tank) can run up to 45 minutes, although the time will depend on whether the car will be used for cruising or racing. While you may be faced with a higher upfront cost than nitro RC cars, many find that the investment is worth the long-term use of the car.
5. Nitro cars still have several advantages.
While gas-powered cars have several perks over nitro RC cars, it is important to be aware that the latter still comes in ahead in several ways. First, because gas RC cars are typically larger, they need a lot more space to comfortably and safely use them, so consider where you will be running them before you purchase one. Nitro RC cars, on the other hand, can be used nearly anywhere, although you will still need to keep in mind that these cars can be noisy and emit hazardous fumes, so you will be limited to outdoor use only and not during early morning or late night hours. Also, as a general rule, gas-powered RC cars often struggle to reach the same top high-end speeds as nitro RC cars due to their sheer size. Because nitro cars such as theTraxxas 4807 1/10 Nitro 4-Tec 3.3 RTR are smaller than gas remote control cars, you will find that these vehicles have an advantage and may be more suitable for racing or competitions in which you need agility and quick pick-up speed.
Gas Remote Control Cars or Nitro RC Cars!
While most RC car fanatics have had the opportunity to test each type of RC vehicle and may favor one fuel type over the other, if you’re just starting out, it’s important to compare the benefits and drawbacks of both gas remote control cars and nitro RC cars before making a decision. Since there are plenty of expensive, high-performance RC vehicles trucks with their own advantages on the market as well. Making a choice will ultimately be a matter of personal preference, but you must also think about the level of commitment you are willing to devote to the hobby as nitro RC cars will require more care and maintenance than gas remote control cars, while gas-powered vehicles will often come with a higher upfront cost. And indeed if you are concerned about the effort required to run either of these types of cars then you may even want to consider investigating electric RC cars which are much simpler to run and maintain while still providing a lot of the same types of great benefits.