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How to waterproof your RC car for cold weather

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The cold season and the humidity can really damage your RC car if you don’t properly prepare it for difficult or cold weather conditions. Cold weather shouldn’t be a reason for your RC car to go into hibernation. You can prepare it for the cold season in a few simple steps.

The most sensitive areas of your car are the engine, the battery, the receiver and servo or even the electronic speed controller. You will require some supplies to accomplish this task: some silicone sealant, plastic dip, balloons, electrical tape, some liquid tape, zip ties, some old sock and Green Slime (commonly find at your local hobby store).

The batteries are probably the most important component which needs waterproofing, especially for the exposed terminals. Use some electrical tape to cover wrap the exposed areas. Apply a layer of liquid tape with the wrapped areas so that the electrical tape is sealed because the liquid tape will create a coating around it. Apply a second thicker layer of liquid tape to finish the job.

Let’s move to the receiver area. The fan-favorite way to waterproof your receiver is with the help of a balloon. You just have to stretch the end of the balloon and stick the receiver in it. Remember to zip tie the balloon to prevent water from entering. Another way in which you can waterproof your receiver is using the plastic dip method. Plug all the connectors up with the servo wires and be careful not to have any spare slots open and exposed. Open a can of plastic dip and sink the receiver in. Let it dry for about an hour and sink it again. This operation will create a seal coating which will prevent water from entering this compartment.

The servo can be protected in two ways. You can either choose the plastic dip method as above, or you can use some silicone sealant for waterproofing. Each method is easy to perform and guarantees success. After you’ve dipped it and let it dry, you need to cut around the plastic dip around the main gear, because this component is pretty sealed as it is.

If you want to try silicone sealant, you need to unscrew the screws of the case and take out the top part of the case. Apply a thin layer of silicone on it and afterward some green slime on the inside of the main bearing hole.

The engine doesn’t really need sealing because it is not electrical, but the nitro engines really need some heat to get them going. Because cold temperature can impair the proper functioning of your engine, you need to pay special attention to glow plugs. You should choose a hot glow plug for winter driving. Another part you should pay attention to is the cooling head, which helps with the elimination of heat. In the winter time, you probably need to retain as much heat as possible in order to sustain the engine idle. In order to do that, you can use the elastic part of an old sock to place it over the cooling head.

Last, but not least, you should also take care of your electric speed controller during winter. You can use silicone adhesive or liquid tape to waterproof it. The silicone is used exactly as with the servo waterproofing. Open the ESC casing and apply a thin layer of silicone around it. The liquid tape waterproofing is a bit trickier because it can be really messy. You need to open the ESC case and paint the entire ESC board with liquid tape. Make sure you don’t paint the heat sink or its slot.

All these operations require minimum skill and handiness in disassembling your RC car. If you’re not really familiar with this process, you should consult the car’s instruction manual or talk it over with other RC car enthusiasts. So, don’t leave your RC car into hibernation mode during the winter!

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