How To Upgrade A Cheap RC Car: 5 Easy Steps

How To Upgrade A Cheap RC Car? A cheap remote control car can be a fun toy for the family, but it is important to consider the need to upgrade it. Many of these inexpensive models come with low-quality parts that can easily break and make replacement necessary. Upgrading these parts out of the box can improve your RC car’s performance, as well as its lifespan. These upgrades could include replacing the existing battery with a rechargeable one or swapping out branded motors with higher-powered ones. Spending a little extra money upfront on an upgraded RC car will ensure your family continues to enjoy hours of entertainment for many years.

How to Upgrade a Cheap RC Car?

Upgrade the Motor

Improving the performance of a low-cost RC car can be done in several ways, one of which is by upgrading the motor. When the car’s engine has more power, it can reach greater speeds and accelerate more quickly, which makes the vehicle more fun to drive.

When performing an upgrade on the motor, it is essential to check that the new motor is compatible with the other components of the vehicle and that it can be adequately cooled to avoid the motor from overheating. It is also a good idea to select a motor that has a KV rating that is comparable to the one that was originally installed. The KV rating is a measurement of the speed and torque of the motor, and having a comparable rating will ensure that the gear ratio and transmission of the vehicle are not altered in any way.

In addition, it is essential to keep in mind that upgrading the motor will also have an effect on the amount of time the car’s battery will last because a more powerful motor will use more electricity. Therefore, it is recommended that the battery also be upgraded, or that you select a motor that is compatible with the one that is already installed in the vehicle.

In general, changing the engine of a cheap RC car can be an excellent method to improve the performance of the vehicle and make it more enjoyable to operate. It is essential to do compatibility checks, take into account the other parts of the vehicle, and think about the effect the modification will have on the battery’s life.

Also Read: What’s The Difference Between 540 And 550 Motor

Adjust the Gear Ratio

Another method for improving the overall performance of a low-cost RC car is to play around with the gear ratio. The gear ratio is calculated by dividing the total number of teeth on the pinion gear (the small gear that is connected to the motor) by the total number of teeth on the spur gear (the large gear that connects to the wheels). Altering the gear ratio can have an effect on the car’s speed as well as the torque it produces.

When the gear ratio is increased, the outcome will be a greater speed; however, the torque output will be reduced; conversely, decreasing the gear ratio will result in an increase in the torque output. The style of driving you intend to do, such as racing or off-roading, will determine which gear ratio is optimal for your vehicle.

It is essential to check that the gears have properly meshed and that they are not binding or skipping before attempting to modify the gear ratio. It is also a good idea to choose high-quality gears that are created specifically for RC cars. This will ensure that the performance and longevity of the gears are not compromised.

It is recommended that in addition to upgrading the gear ratio, you also improve the motor of the vehicle. The speed and torque of the vehicle are determined jointly by the motor and the gear ratio. Additionally, be aware of the influence that this will have on the lifespan of the battery, and select a battery that is capable of meeting the higher power requirements.

Adjusting the gear ratio is, all things considered, a fantastic method to personalize the performance of a low-cost RC car and make it more appropriate for a variety of driving styles. It is essential to utilize gears of a good quality and to guarantee that the meshing is done correctly. Additionally, keep in mind that this will have an effect on the battery life, and think about improving the motor as well.

Change the Tires

Changing the RC car’s tires is yet another method that may be used to improve the vehicle’s performance. When it comes to the traction, handling, and stability of the vehicle, the tires are one of the most important factors. Off-road tires, on-road tires, and even tires developed specifically for circumstances like mud or snow can perform differently depending on the type of surface they are made for.

When replacing the tires, it is essential to check that the new tires have the same size and diameter as the previous ones, as well as that they are compatible with the car’s wheels. It is also a good idea to buy tires that are built for the type of driving that you intend to undertake, such as racing or off-roading, so that you may maximize the performance of your vehicle.

For instance, if you intend to go off-roading, you should probably select tires that have a deep tread and huge lugs so that they can give improved traction and stability in terrain that is less stable. On the other hand, if you intend to compete in on-road racing, you should select tires that have a smooth tread and a tougher compound. This will give you with improved traction and stability on the paved surfaces you will be racing on.

Additionally, in order to fine-tune the car’s handling and stability, you can also modify the internal foam that is contained within the tires. The firmer the foam, the more stability it will provide, but the more flexible the foam, the more traction it will offer, and the better it will handle.

It is essential to keep in mind that replacing the tires will also have an effect on the overall weight distribution of the vehicle, which in turn can have an effect on how it drives and its level of stability. Therefore, it would be wise to give the car a test drive and make any necessary modifications afterward.

Simply switching out the tires is one of the best ways to improve the overall performance of an inexpensive radio-controlled car and make it more adaptable to a variety of driving styles and terrains. It is essential to carry out compatibility checks, select tires that are made for the kind of driving you intend to undertake, and then test drive the vehicle to determine any necessary alterations before driving it.

Upgrade the Batteries

The performance of a low-cost RC car can be improved in several different ways, one of which is by upgrading the batteries. The electricity that is required to run the motor and the other components of the car comes from the batteries. Increasing the battery capacity of the vehicle can both lengthen the amount of time it can run between charges and boost its overall power.

When updating the batteries, it is essential to check that the new batteries are compatible with the charging and electrical system of the vehicle and that they also perfectly fit in the vehicle. It is also a good idea to use batteries that are intended expressly for RC cars, as these batteries are frequently constructed to manage the high power needs and cycling that are associated with the types of applications that require them.

Nickel-cadmium (NiCad), nickel-metal hydride (NiMH), and lithium-polymer batteries are some examples of the several kinds of batteries that are frequently utilized in radio-controlled (RC) vehicles (Li-Po). The capacity, discharge rate, and weight of each of these batteries are just a few examples of the ways in which they differ from one another.

Li-Po batteries are gaining popularity in RC cars due to the fact that they have a high energy density despite their relatively low weight. They also have a reduced rate of self-discharge, which indicates that they may maintain their charge for longer periods even when they are not being used.

It is essential to keep in mind that changing the batteries may also result in a rise in the total weight of the vehicle, which may have an impact on how well it handles and how stable it remains. Therefore, it is in your best interest to put the vehicle through its paces and make any necessary modifications thereafter, such as modifying the gear ratio or the suspension.

In general, changing the batteries is a fantastic technique to improve the performance of a low-cost RC car and to extend the amount of time the car can operate for as well as its overall power. It is essential to test the car’s compatibility with other components, select batteries that have been developed with RC vehicles in mind, and drive the vehicle before making any necessary modifications.

Reasons to Upgrade a Cheap RC Car

1.    Improved Performance

Upgrading a cheap RC car can be a great way to add performance and excitement to your driving experience. All you have to do is make some simple upgrades to the engine, suspension, and transmission systems of the car. For instance, switching out basic components such as the clutch and fuel line or replacing low-quality parts with high-performance ones will all provide an increase in speed and accuracy. Additionally, utilizing lightweight materials like aluminum rather than plastic can also significantly improve handling, especially when racing against other modified cars. These meaningful yet easy modifications will undoubtedly impact your enjoyment in obtaining better control of your vehicle for more exhilarating races.

2.    Increased Durability

Upgrading a cheap RC car is an excellent way to bring more lasting fun and durability to the vehicle. One of the easiest upgrades is a metal chassis, which can offer much more resistance to wear and tear than a traditional plastic chassis. Battery life can be improved by using larger batteries that have higher capacity such as LiPo batteries. Brushless motors are also a great upgrade as they create less heat and friction when used, using energy far more efficiently while providing more power. Finally, upgrading the tires and suspension are important measures for increased longevity – high quality rubber tires will help in maintaining better traction on various surfaces, while additional shocks can reduce bouncing caused by back roads and uneven tracks. With these simple yet effective upgrades, you can make your RC car last longer than ever before.

3.    Enhanced Handling

Upgrading a cheap RC car can take it from an ordinary toy to a truly remarkable experience. With just a few modifications, the handling of an RC car can be greatly improved and its performance optimized for racing. Common upgrades to consider include changing out body shells, differentials, suspension kits, and alloy wheels. A better gear ratio ensures that the car responds to commands accurately and the higher quality drive train parts provide more torque and speed. When done correctly, upgrading an RC car will not only increase speed but improve smoothness when cornering, allowing for a top-notch driving experience overall.

4.    Compatibility with Better Accessories

For the budding RC car enthusiast, there is nothing more exciting than the prospect of transforming a humble, cheaper model into something that can compete with the most sophisticated machines in the market. Upgrading a cheap RC car for compatibility with better accessories is a great way to get started on the journey. With a basic understanding of how electronics and mechanics work, it’s possible to make changes that are not too costly or time-consuming. Narrowing down important parts such as motor and battery type, as well as wheelbase size, will be one of the first steps to take before shopping for better accessories. By taking some extra time in researching which parts are necessary for an upgrade and seeking out good-value items, anyone can soon be well on their way to enjoying souped-up rides around dirt tracks or sidewalks.

5.    Prepare for Racing

If you want to get into RC car racing but don’t want to shell out too much cash on an expensive hobby-grade car, it’s possible to upgrade a cheap car with just a few tools and the right parts. To start, change up the tires. RC cars usually come with soft foam ones that are considered racing slicks; installing rubber or pin tires will give your vehicle far better traction and handling. Second, add some weight to the bottom of the chassis to increase stability and responsiveness while cornering. Finally, replace the motor and ESC (electronic speed control) with higher-quality models for improved acceleration and top speeds. With these simple upgrades, you can have a more powerful, responsive vehicle that’s ready for racing without breaking the bank.

Read also: What Is an ESC For RC Cars


If you are looking for a fun, interactive, and budget-friendly project, then upgrading a cheap RC (Remote Control) car is a perfect choice. Not only do these cars look great when upgraded, but they also provide hours of entertainment and quality time spent with friends and family. While some may think these cars are cheaply made and will not perform (well), many aftermarket parts are designed to support their installation on the RC car. This makes it easy to customize everything from suspension systems to transmission components to increase speed or enhance steering capabilities. Moreover, if money is not an issue at all, you can go wild with upgrades like carbon fiber body panels for an even more high-end look.