How to Make Your RC Car Faster?(7 Simple and Affordable Tips)

RChobby Lab Profile Picture Ted Dulles
Reviewed by Kristen Ward
Updated on
Reviewed by Kristen Ward
Blog cover: how to make your RC car faster

If you’re an RC car enthusiast, you know that there’s nothing quite like the thrill of watching your car speed around the track or through the streets.

But some drivers like to go faster and they don’t want to be tied to the technology of RC car manufacturers.

Therefore, I have prepared a speed upgrade manual for you so that you can push the limits of RC cars.

Let’s dive in.

PS: Increasing the speed of RC cars often requires extra money and time. The upgrade steps in this article are not in any order of priority but simply according to the cost of implementation from cheap to expensive.

1. Replace cheap brass bushings with ball bearings

Well, the first one of easy-to-follow tips on how to make your RC car go faster is to replace any brass bushings that you may have got in your RC car.

The cheaper the RC car, the more likely it is to use brass bushings rather than ball bearings.

Bearings will not only help your car to run slightly faster, but they will also greatly improve the run time, as they have far less friction than the bushings.

A full set of ball bearings typically costs around twenty dollars, depending on the size and number needed for your car.

You don’t need a lot of technical skills to do this job. Anyone with moderate technical skills should be able to replace all of the bushings on their car with bearings.

The next affordable way to increase the speed of an RC car is to change the gears.

2. Replacing the Gears

A smaller pinion or a larger spur gear will provide more torque and acceleration, making your car go faster. But this will come at a cost as it will stress your motor and electronic speed controller.

As a result, it’s crucial to be cautious when modifying the pinion gear size; it’s recommended to increase the pinion gear size by only two or three teeth at a time to prevent drastic, potentially harmful changes.

Also, be aware that gearing changes can significantly affect your car’s performance on different terrains, so consider your primary driving surfaces when making adjustments.

3. Remove excess weight

To shed excess weight from your RC car, consider replacing the stock frame with a lighter alternative, such as aluminum or graphite. These materials lessen the load on the wheels, resulting in less slowdown compared to dense plastic and heavier metals.

However, be aware that a lighter car may have reduced traction during turns.

For those adept with a rotary tool, remove unnecessary plastic sections from the chassis and body, like the area surrounding the battery socket or the speed control tray.

Trimming most of the bulk from the car’s front end can enhance its aerodynamics and decrease the likelihood of flipping over when braking at high speeds.

4. Changing your tires

Tires are definitely something that can help your car go faster.

The paddle tires will be super fast on the sand, but they’ll get a lot of grass and drag on gravel.

The other is a slick tire for street and dirt., which will have a slightly reduced rolling resistance compared to the paddle tires. This slick tire, however, will be an absolute blast on the blacktop and tarmac.

It’s really a very simple method. Setting your tires correctly will not only allow you to reach the top speed but will also improve the acceleration time and battery life of your RC car.

Anyway, tip number five is coming up.

5. Upgrade your batteries


I cannot stress how important they are to go fast. Let me illustrate this with an example.

This Arma Nero car on 4S will do about 45 miles an hour. On 6S, it will do about 60 miles an hour. That’s a 15 miles an hour difference just for running different batteries.

As I mentioned in my previous article, the voltage level of a battery depends on the number of packs.

2S battery = 7.4 volts
3S battery = 11.1 volts

For most manufacturers(like Arma and Traxxas), the top speeds they quote and the specs for their cars are based on the larger pack sizes.

The 3S packs are doubled up in the case of Arma to 6S. In Traxxas, they’re quoting that their top speeds may be based on a 3S pack rather than a 2S pack.

So, if you’re just using a 2S pack in a Traxxas Rustler VXL thinking it’s doing 70 miles an hour, it’s not. It’s probably only 50-55.

Get that 3S pack fitted in if you want to hit that peak speed of 70 miles an hour. That is the kind of difference in speed that changing from 2S to 3S can make to your car.

Please refer to the following steps to update your battery pack:

Step #1 – Check that your car’s ESC can run LiPos and what size LiPo. A lot of the smaller RC cars will only run 2S.

If you force to run a 3S battery on the thing, it may run but not for too long before you fry it, and then you’ll be disqualified from the after-sales warranty.

Step #2 – Make sure you only ever use a LiPo-compatible charger for your new power source. You cannot use a NiMH charger for LiPos, and trying to do so can be very dangerous.

Even if your RC car is not brushless, you can still use lithium polymer batteries. As long as your ESC is LiPo compatible, you can give your car a great boost by fitting a LiPo battery instead of a nickel-metal hydride battery.

6. Going brushless

When it comes to how to make your RC car go faster, one of the best things you can do is obviously change from a brushed motor to a brushless setup.

However, I left this to last, as I appreciate that not everybody has the money to upgrade to brushless because you need the brushless motor, a LiPo-compatible ESC, LiPo batteries, and a LiPo charger.

So, the expenditure could actually double the price of your car from it being a brushed car to switching it up to a brushless setup.

You can buy cheaper, no-name brushless motors from the likes of eBay and Amazon, but you may run into motor incompatibility or quality issues.

Let’s go back to how to upgrade the motor.

First, check what type of motor you have. An easy way to do this is to look at the number of wires you have on your motor.

Brush motors have two wires, and brushless have three wires.

KV is the constant velocity of a motor. This value is the number of revolutions per minute or RPM a motor turns when one volt is applied with no load attached.

So, a 4000 KV motor with one-volt input equals 4000 RPM and 8000 RPM with a 2-volt input, and so on.

The higher the KV rating, the faster the motor. 5000 is faster than 4000 KV.

However, lower KVA motors have a higher torque output. 4000 has more torque than the same size 5000 KV motor. Go too high on this value, the motor won’t have the torque to move the car.

If you’re struggling to determine what size or KV motor to get for your RC car, check to see if the manufacturer already has the same model in a brushless, as you can use the motor they install as a baseline.

There are various types of brushless motors with different KV ratings, but having a very high KV rating and going very fast does not mean it’s the best one for your car.

If you’ve got a big, heavy buggy like the Arma Nero, putting a 6000 KV motor in there would be counterproductive.

Final Words

I hope these 7 tips on how to make your RC car go faster are helpful. Remember to always consult your instruction manual or local hobby store for guidance and happy racing!

If you enjoyed this article, please share it with friends.

Did you like this article? Rate it!

We are sorry that this post was not useful for you!

Let us improve this post!

Tell us how we can improve this post?

Photo of author

Written By Ted Dulles

I'm Ted Dulles, an avid RC hobbyist extraordinaire! My passion for the world of remote-controlled (RC) models ignited in 2018. Just a year later, fueled by this passion, I took a bold step and opened my own RC shop in California. I have a deep fascination with all kinds of RC models – be it cars, planes, or boats. I'm always eager to take on new challenges and absolutely love the thrill and excitement that come with this hobby.

Leave a Comment

RChobby Lab