Slot Car Maintenance
We’re sure you’ve heard the cliché that goes, “Don’t fix it if it is not yet broken”. However, this cliché may not hold true all the time. The case of slot cars are a good example. Just like life-size automobiles, time will inevitably take its toll. Your cars will not necessarily break down, but you shouldn`t wait for this to happen! Good slot car maintenance will prevent problems before they happen.
Slot cars need regular maintenance to ensure top-notch speed and performance. Unlike life-size automobiles, maintaining slot cars need not be a complex or daunting task. If you maintain and clean them regularly, you should avoid most major issues.
As with any other machine, slot car parts can be prone to wear and tear. This is especially the case for moving parts. These include the tires, gears, axles and motors..
If you start to notice your slot car is gradually losing speed, you should immediately check the tires, gears and axles. Tires can absorb dust, causing them to lose their grip on the track.
One simple way to clean the tires is by rolling them over Scotch tape. The dirt will simply adhere to the tape. Consequently, the tires will have better grip.
Axles and gears are also especially susceptible to dust, dirt and lint. If you let the dirt accumulate, it will eventually clog the gears and cause the car lose performance. Use a pair of tweezers to remove dirt particles one by one.
What If Your Car Is Still Slow?
If you`ve checked everything and you still notice that your cars are running slow, then turn your attention to the slot car tracks. Remember the two main enemies of the slot car track are dirt and corrosion.
If you know you will not be using your track for a while, you should either cover it, or remove it from dusty areas, like the garage or the basement. Too much dirt and dust will interfere with the flow of electricity. This could reduce the speed of your slot car and its overall performance.
Never leave tracks in humid areas. Be especially cautious with moisture if you have a metal track. Moisture will eventually rust the track and will lead to corrosion.
If you already notice a large amount of dust and lint on your tracks, you should wipe them off with a damp micro-fiber cloth. Then, wipe them again with a dry one. Remove the rust with sandpaper or a coarse wire brush. For safety, make sure you turn the power off before you begin any cleaning.
Finally don’t forget to lubricate your slot car parts and tracks. Humans need water to live; slot cars need lubricants to keep them going. But, don’t overdo it; a moderate amount is plenty for your cars to run smoothly again. Follow these best practices of slot car maintenance and you will keep your cars running at top speed for years.