Unlocking Ways: How to Start a Nitro RC Car with a Drill

how to start a nitro rc car with a drill

Are you tired of the hassle and unpredictability of starting your nitro RC car with a pull-start mechanism? Using a power drill to start your RC car can make the starting process more convenient and efficient. In this section, I will guide you through the step-by-step procedure of starting your nitro RC car with a drill, ensuring that you have a smoother and more relaxing experience.

Using a power drill to start a nitro RC car may seem daunting at first, but with the right instructions and equipment, you can easily master the technique. With a drill, you can minimize the effort required for starting, especially for larger engines, making it an ideal solution for hobbyists and professionals alike.

Key Takeaways

  • Using a power drill can make starting a nitro RC car more convenient and efficient.
  • A drill offers a quicker and more reliable starting method compared to traditional pull-start mechanisms.
  • Choosing the right drill and properly preparing your car are crucial for successful drill starting.

Why Use a Drill to Start Your Nitro RC Car?

Starting a nitro RC car with a power drill is a technique that has gained popularity in recent years. It offers several advantages over traditional pull-start methods, making the starting process quicker, easier, and more reliable. As an RC enthusiast, I can confidently say that using a drill for starting my nitro RC car has transformed my experience.

The drill start technique involves connecting a power drill to the engine’s flywheel, which enables the drill’s rotational force to turn the engine’s crankshaft, starting the motion. Unlike pull-start mechanisms, where one has to pull a rope multiple times to start the engine, a drill provides a consistent power output that can easily handle larger engines.

Another benefit of using a drill is that it saves a lot of effort and time. Pull-starting a nitro RC car’s engine can be a hassle, especially for beginners or those with weaker arm strength. With a power drill, the starting procedure becomes more convenient and efficient, giving you a hassle-free experience.

Overall, using a drill to start your nitro RC car provides a quicker, more reliable, and effortless starting method that can enhance your RC adventures.

Choosing the Right Drill for Your Nitro RC Car

As I mentioned earlier, choosing the right drill is an essential step in starting your nitro RC car. Here are some tips that will help you select the appropriate drill:

  • Consider the torque: Your drill needs to have enough torque to handle the engine’s compression. Look for a drill that provides around 400-500 oz/in of torque, as this is sufficient to start most nitro RC cars.
  • Electric or Cordless: When it comes to drills for starting nitro RC cars, an electric drill is preferred due to its consistent power output and ease-of-use. However, if you prefer cordless drills, make sure that they come with a powerful battery to avoid running out of power in the middle of starting your car.
  • Compatibility: Ensure that the drill you choose is compatible with your nitro RC car. Some cars may require specific drill attachments, so it’s important to consider this aspect as well.
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By following these tips, you can ensure that you have the right equipment to start your nitro RC car with a drill.

Preparing Your Nitro RC Car for Drill Starting

Before attempting to start your nitro RC car with a drill, you need to properly prepare the car. This will help optimize starting with a drill, and ensure a smoother running engine.

Check Fuel Levels

Make sure your nitro RC car is filled with enough fuel before attempting to start it. A low fuel level can cause the engine to easily flood, preventing it from starting. Use a fuel gauge or visually check the fuel tank to ensure it is sufficiently filled.

Ensure the Glow Plug is Working

The glow plug is responsible for igniting the fuel mixture in the engine. A faulty or weak glow plug can prevent your car from starting with a drill. Check the glow plug by removing it from the engine and connecting it to a battery. If it glows bright orange, it is working correctly.

Charge the Batteries

Ensure the batteries for the radio system and the starter box are fully charged. Low battery levels can cause the drill to slow down or stop, making the starting process difficult. Use a battery charger to fully charge both batteries before attempting to start your car.

Prime the Engine

Priming the engine involves filling up the carburetor with fuel to make the starting process easier. Place your finger over the exhaust pipe and pull the starter cord several times until fuel is seen in the carburetor. Be careful not to flood the engine.

Set the Throttle

Ensure the throttle is set at the correct position before starting your nitro RC car with a drill. The throttle should be in the closed position to prevent the engine from revving up uncontrollably. Adjust the throttle to the proper setting for your specific car model.

Step-by-Step Guide to Starting Your Nitro RC Car with a Drill

Using a power drill to start your nitro RC car can make the process more convenient and efficient. Follow these step-by-step instructions to ensure a successful start:

  1. First, check that your car’s battery and glow plug are properly charged and working.
  2. Next, connect the drill to the car by inserting the drill bit into the rotor starter shaft. Ensure that it is securely placed.
  3. Make sure the car’s throttle is fully closed and the choke is open.
  4. Place the drill in the reverse direction and slowly turn it until you feel resistance.
  5. Once you feel resistance, switch the drill to forward and hold it steady while slowly increasing the speed.
  6. As the engine starts, ease off the throttle to allow it to run smoothly.
  7. Gradually increase the throttle until your car is at your desired speed.

Remember to keep your drill in good condition and to use the appropriate safety measures when starting your nitro RC car.

Tip: If you encounter any issues during the starting process, refer to the troubleshooting section for solutions to common problems.

Troubleshooting Common Starting Problems

Even with the drill starting method, you may encounter issues when starting your nitro RC car. Here are some common starting problems and their potential solutions:

Problem: Flooded engine

If you smell fuel and the engine won’t start, it may be flooded. To fix, remove the glow plug and spin the engine with the drill to clear out excess fuel. Reinstall the glow plug and try starting again.

Problem: Ignition issues

If the engine won’t start at all and you don’t hear the “pop” sound of the ignition, check the battery connections and ensure the glow plug is working properly. If necessary, replace the plug or battery.

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Problem: Compression issues

If the engine won’t turn over with the drill, it may be due to low compression. Check for loose or damaged engine parts, and consider replacing the engine if necessary.

Remember, patience is key when troubleshooting starting problems. With these tips and a little perseverance, you can overcome any issues and get your nitro RC car running smoothly.

Safety Precautions When Starting Your Nitro RC Car with a Drill

If you’re planning to start your nitro RC car with a drill, there are a few safety precautions you should take. First, make sure the car is on a stable surface and the wheels are blocked to prevent it from moving. Safety glasses and gloves are also recommended to protect your eyes and hands from any debris or moving parts.

Before starting the car, ensure that all loose clothing and accessories are tucked away. Keep the drill’s power cord away from the engine and any hot surfaces. Additionally, be mindful of other people or pets in the area and ensure that they are at a safe distance.

When connecting the drill to the engine, make sure the throttle is set to the lowest position. This will prevent the car from suddenly moving forward if the engine starts unexpectedly. Always hold the drill firmly with both hands and activate the trigger gently to gradually increase the RPMs.

In case of any issues, immediately shut off the drill and disconnect it from the engine. Check for any signs of damage or malfunction and address the issue before attempting to start the engine again.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Using a Drill for Nitro RC Car Starting

As with any technique, using a drill to start your nitro RC car comes with its own set of advantages and disadvantages. Let’s take a closer look at both sides.


  • Efficiency: The drill starting method enables you to start your nitro RC car quickly and easily, without having to pull a cord repeatedly. This is especially advantageous when dealing with larger engines, which require more effort to start.
  • Reliability: Using a drill to start your nitro RC car is much more reliable than traditional pull-start mechanisms. The drill provides consistent power, ensuring a smooth and consistent start every time.
  • Convenience: The drill starting method is much more convenient than other methods, allowing for a hassle-free and efficient starting experience.


  • Cost: There is an additional cost associated with using a drill to start your nitro RC car. You need to purchase a power drill with enough power and torque to handle the engine’s compression.
  • Learning Curve: Using a drill to start your nitro RC car requires some practice and skill to master. You need to be familiar with the starting procedure and understand your car’s engine mechanism.
  • Safety: Although using a drill is generally safe, there are some risks involved. You must take necessary safety precautions to avoid injury or damage to your car.

Overall, using a drill to start your nitro RC car can be a great option, offering efficiency, reliability, and convenience. However, it’s important to weigh the advantages and disadvantages carefully to decide if it’s the right choice for you.

Maintenance Tips for Your Nitro RC Car

Now that you know how to start your nitro RC car with a drill, it’s crucial to maintain it regularly for top-notch performance and longevity. Here are some essential tips:

  • Keep it clean: After every run, clean your car with a soft brush to remove dirt, debris, and other contaminants. Use compressed air to remove dust from the engine components.
  • Check the engine: Inspect the engine components, including the air filter, glow plug, and fuel filter, for signs of wear and tear. Replace these parts as necessary.
  • Oil the bearings: Keep your bearings lubricated to reduce friction and prevent premature wear. Use a light oil such as sewing machine oil for this purpose.
  • Check the tires: Inspect the tires for cuts, punctures, and worn treads. Replace them when necessary. Ensure the tires are properly glued to prevent them from coming loose during runs.
  • Store it properly: When not in use, store your RC car in a cool, dry place. Remove the batteries and store them separately. This will prevent rust and corrosion.
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By following these maintenance tips, you can ensure the optimal performance and longevity of your nitro RC car. Don’t neglect the upkeep of your car, as it plays a crucial role in its performance and lifespan. With proper maintenance, your RC car will provide you with many hours of thrilling action.


Starting my nitro RC car with a drill has been a game-changer for me. Thanks to the convenience and efficiency it offers, I can spend more time enjoying my RC adventures and less time struggling with traditional pull-start mechanisms. By understanding the advantages of using a drill to start my nitro RC car, and preparing and maintaining my car properly, I can ensure that the drill starting method continues to enhance my RC experience for years to come. And with the troubleshooting tips and safety precautions I’ve learned, I can overcome starting problems and keep both myself and my car safe. So, if you’re looking for a hassle-free way to start your nitro RC car, I highly recommend giving the drill starting method a try. Just remember to follow the step-by-step guide, take necessary safety measures, and maintain your car regularly. With these in mind, you’ll be ready to take on the track in no time!

Are There Alternative Methods to Start a Nitro RC Car Without a Glow Starter?

Are There Alternative Methods to Start a Nitro RC Car Without a Glow Starter? Yes, starting nitro rc cars without glow starter is possible. Some alternatives include using a battery-powered starter box, a hand-held electric starter, or a cordless drill with the appropriate adapter to spin the flywheel. These options can provide a convenient and efficient way to ignite the engine without relying on a glow starter.


Q: What is the benefit of using a drill to start a nitro RC car?

A: Using a drill offers a quicker and more reliable starting method compared to traditional pull-start mechanisms. It minimizes effort, especially with larger engines.

Q: How do I choose the right drill for my nitro RC car?

A: Look for a drill with enough torque and power to handle the engine’s compression. An electric drill is preferred for its consistent power output and ease of use.

Q: What do I need to do to prepare my nitro RC car for drill starting?

A: Before attempting to start with a drill, check the fuel levels, ensure the glow plug is working, and make sure the batteries are fully charged. Prime the engine and set the throttle correctly for optimal starting.

Q: Can you provide a step-by-step guide for starting a nitro RC car with a drill?

A: Yes! We have a detailed step-by-step guide on how to start your nitro RC car using a drill. Follow the instructions carefully for a successful start and a smoothly running engine.

Q: What should I do if I encounter starting problems when using a drill?

A: Sometimes issues can occur even with the drill starting method. In our troubleshooting section, we provide tips to help overcome common starting problems, such as flooded engines or ignition issues.

Q: Are there any safety precautions I should take when starting my nitro RC car with a drill?

A: Absolutely! Safety is important when using any starting method. In our safety precautions section, we highlight important measures to ensure your safety and the longevity of your RC car.

Q: What are the advantages and disadvantages of using a drill for nitro RC car starting?

A: Using a drill has its advantages, such as convenience and efficiency. However, there are also a few disadvantages to consider. In our section on advantages and disadvantages, we explore both sides to help you make an informed decision.

Q: Are there any maintenance tips for my nitro RC car?

A: Yes, proper maintenance is crucial for long-term performance. In our maintenance tips section, we provide advice on regular cleaning and checking engine components to keep your car running smoothly.