Too Noisy? How To Make Your RC Nitro Car Quieter

RC cars are a fun toy for kids,(And us big kids!), but nitro-fueled RC cars are not child’s play. They are fast, noisy, and brutal. These are mostly used for racing. Using the same mechanism as a life-sized motorcar, they give a similar experience. The only downside is their noise. The sound they make may seem too much for running them in your neighborhood.

You can resort to several methods to reduce the noise. All of them rely on the same objective; decreasing the engine power. Other than that, you can use materials in the muffler that absorb sound, if you don’t want to compromise the engine power.

The process is not that complicated, but some basic knowledge is needed. In this article, I am going to talk about everything you need to know about how to make your RC nitro car quieter so stay tuned.

How to Reduce the Noise of RC Nitro Cars?

The primary source of the noise of RC nitro cars is the engine. If the motor is powerful, generally it produces more noise. So, engine modification is the key to noise reduction. Also, the exhaust and the muffler play a role. So, tweaking these can also reduce noise. Let’s take a look at some of the ways you can reduce RC nitro car noise –

  • Size of the engine block

The engine block has a crucial role in the noise making. If it’s bigger, it produces more power so the sound is more. So, you should look for the engine’s horsepower at the time of purchase. This will give you an idea about the noise. You can opt for less powerful RC cars as you can’t change the entire engine block later.


If somehow you end up with a noisy RC nitro car, there are some ways to reduce it. You can replace some parts of the engine block to reduce the sound. This requires an expert hand so don’t consider it as your DIY project. You might irreversibly damage the engine. Consult any local RC service centre to replace the parts.

  • Using metal wool

Remember those noise-absorbing materials I was talking about? This is the part where I explain what I meant. When someone says the name wool, we think of those small soft balls of fine fibers to make clothes.

Metal wool is basically the same thing, except they are made of metal. These metal wools work as an excellent noise absorber.


You can place the wool near the muffler or all the way into the exhaust. Placing it near the muffler will be more efficient for obvious reasons. Make sure the metal wool you are using is stainless steel or copper. Regular steel catches rust and using them can cause damage to the exhaust.

  • Exhaust modification

The noise of the engine is released from the exhaust. The muffler, or more popularly known as the silencer is attached to the exhaust to suppress the noise as much as possible. Besides using a muffler, you can modify the exhaust to reduce noise.

There are parts available that can reduce the noise by working in unison with the muffler.

How Loud Are Nitro RCs?

If you’ve never operated or seen any RC nitro cars, you are probably wondering while reading this article “why is it a big deal? How loud a toy car can be?” The answer is, very loud. The one who is operating the car may not feel it due to excitement and adrenaline rush, but others nearby will be overwhelmed by it.

Standard RC cars are usually 50-60 dB which is not much. Any normal man to man conversation 60 dB. RC nitro cars are around 90 dB. It resembles a lawnmower, subway train, and heated discussion. So, it’s safe to say that it’s pretty loud.

Sounds above 85 dB start to become harmful for human ears. For any regular RC nitro cars, 90 dB is normal. If the engine is old or faulty, it can exceed 100 dB. So, it is highly likely to cause damage to the ears of anyone nearby, especially children.

Tips on Running RC Nitro Cars

The main goal of reducing the noise is to mitigate the nuisance it causes other people around. Also, you should take some care of your ears as well as their loud noise can damage your ears too. Here are a few tips to help you have fun with your RC car without busting your ears or causing annoyance for others –

  • Using noise-canceling headphones is a great way to protect your ears from the noise. There are tons of good quality noise-canceling headphones available in the market at an affordable price. You can check the local gun store, RC car service centers, hardware stores to get a pair for you as well as your family.
  • The closest thing the sound of RC nitro cars resembles is lawnmowers. It’s available in almost every home. Practically every day, some of your neighbors will mow their lawn and it’s an excellent opportunity for you to floor it! The noise of the car will be concealed by that of the lawnmower.
  • Do not use your RC car at night time if you don’t want angry neighbors shouting at you. Everyone sleeps at night and even the slightest sounds feel like fireworks cracking. So, run your cars in the daytime when there is usually much noise. Car horns, neighbors mowing the lawn, kids playing, etc. will muffle the roar of the engine
  • You can use soundproof fence panels. It might seem quite a bit of an investment but if you are an enthusiast, it’s the right thing for you. There are various types of high-quality sound-absorbing fence panels available in the market. You can use them to surround the area of your house and run your RC cars anytime.
  • You can also consider switching to electric RC cars. Although this opinion may not be appreciated by many, I have to put it here. If the deafening roars of RC nitro engines are a bit much for you, you can always switch to its quieter counterparts. They are cheap, more affordable, and shall not wake the neighbors.

Causes for Excessive Noise

The source of the noise is always the engine. But there can be a few contributing factors that abnormally influence the noise. All of these factors can be controlled to reduce noise. So, they are worth knowing. Here are some of those causes:

Faulty engine: A faulty engine is and always has been the primary cause of excessive noise. As RC nitro cars are miniatures of large motorcars, the engine quality is a significant factor. If there is any defect in the engine or it’s malfunctioning; there is a higher chance of causing unbearably loud noises. So, know your engine before purchasing. Consult an expert if possible.

Faulty fuel: If the fuel you are using has any fault in it, it can cause excessive noise. Nitro RC cars use a complex mixture of nitromethane, methanol, and lubricants. If these are of low quality then it will cause the engine to work more to gain power. In return, the machine will malfunction and those intolerable loud noises will yield.

Size of the car: The size of the RC car is a significant factor. The size is usually measured in ratio, like 1:10 or 1:16, etc. What this means is that the RC car is 10 times or 16 times smaller than the life-sized vehicle of the same model. Usually, smaller cars make less noise. So, if there is a 1:10 and a 1:8 version available, go for the 1:10.

Speed: High speed means the engine is working hard. The pistons are dancing and the fuels are burning, all at a higher rate than usual. So, by the rule of thumb, it will result in more noise. The same rules of real-life cars are applied here.

Location: If the race track or the place you are running your car is in small confinement, there will be more noise as the sound will echo. So, try switching to a more spacious place.

Conclusion

RC nitro cars are for hobbyists and enthusiasts. They are pricey, difficult to control, and loud; yet loved by so many people. The amusement you get from those frantic RC races with friends is unparalleled. You can’t put a price on it. The noise can feel too much sometimes, but there are solutions.

In this article, I walked you through those possible solutions. I’ve also talked about the factors that influence louder car noise so that you can diagnose your RC car if you face abnormally loud noises. I hope that you now have a good idea on how to make your RC nitro car quieter. Thanks for reading this far.

Please take a look at my other content. I’m sure you will find some helpful information related to the world of RC.

Paul Good

This awesome hobby has something for everyone, whether you like to build your RC from scratch and keep modifying till you've got it to just how you want it, to track racing. You might be out with a boat, or perfecting your skills with a plane. Are you taking some cool pics with your drone? I'm sure my site will help you on your journey.

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