Slot Car Maintenance
Routine slot car maintenance is not difficult. If you are maintaining larger sized cars, like 1:24 and 1:32, it should be even easier. This is because larger models don’t have hard to reach small parts. So, HO scale models, and others in between tend to be the easiest to clean.
In order to perform proper maintenance, you will need to know the model of your car. The basic components of slot cars are pretty similar for all makes and models, with some minor variations from model to model. Research your car before you open it for maintenance to avoid making any mistakes. If you need to replace a part for any reason, check available parts for your particular make and model in local hobby shops and online.
If you would rather not open the car yourself, you should look for a professional who can do it. Or, if you prefer to do the work on your own, pay special attention to opening the car for maintenance – start by removing a few screws to separate the shell from the chassis. After opening the model, you should inspect the following parts:
Braids, or brushes, are the wires connected to the side of the track that send power to the motor. These generally keep the power running to the car, although the also play an important role in keeping the car attached to the grooves on the track. If the braids are worn, they will not keep the car on the track. In addition, if they are worn, your car will not receive the electrical power it requires.
Needless to say, you should check of worn out braids and change them regularly. To do this, you simply need to pull the braids off and replace them. You will find that new slot cars often come with extra braids. If you need replacement braids, you can buy them in packs of 4 at a hobby shop or online.
An example of some replacement braids available on Amazon.
If you hear your car making strange noises while it is running, you you may have gear problems. If this is the case, simply replace the worn gears with new ones.
Nothing lasts forever, and motors are no different. Even if you buy a high-quality motor, it will wear out sometime. Your should replace your moto after many hours of racing. If you experience problems with speed or the performance of your car, chances are the problem is with the motor.
As a rule of thumb, you should replace your tires whenever you need to. Bad tires equal bad performance. Slot cars with bad tires perform slower than those with good tires. Bad tires will also cause a car to fly off the track because they no longer have any grip.
Other Slot Car Maintenance Tips
Slot car maintenance goes beyond the routines mentioned above. You should also make sure to periodically clean the entire car. Cars can collect dirt and debris found on the ground. In order to prevent them from adversely affecting your car’s performance, you should clean your car after every race. You don’t need to open the car every time. Simply scrape off the dirt small tools, like a screwdriver or a pair of tweezers.
However, if you wish to clean the debris from the interior of the car, simply unscrew the car to separate the chassis from the shell. You will then be able to access the gears, which act like magnets for hair, dirt and other particles.