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Slot Car Maintenance Tips

Just like in real life, you have to maintain your slot car!
Here are some common questions we hear, and what you need to know. If you don't already own a basic maintenance kit, we sell one that includes the oil, grease and a screwdriver. With each kit comes a link to our you tube video demonstrating what you need to do to maintain your slot cars!

Q: Should I lubricate my car?
A: When you take your new cars out of the race set box, put a small drop of light plastic-compatible oil in each rear axle bushing, in each front axle hole, and in each motor shaft bushing. If you have a front-motor car with a shaft going to the rear axle, also put a drop of oil in the drive shaft bushing just in front of the pinion gear. Don't overdo it, especially in the motor bushings. Most people tend to over-oil their cars.

Q: Is there an easy way to change tires on my slot car?
A: Slip-on silicone tires go onto your cars' wheels much more easily when you coat the wheels or the inside of the tires with a little liquid hand or dish soap first. This greatly reduces the stretching and stress on the tires and prevents most of the splitting and tearing that occurs when a silicone tire is stretched beyond its limit. You can sometimes use this technique to get a tire onto a wheel that normally would be a little too big in diameter for it, giving you more tire diameter and width options.

Q: Can I fix my wheels that fall off?
A: Sooner or later the press-on plastic wheels on your 1/32-scale slot cars will become loose on the axles. This happens to virtually all of them sooner or later, given enough time and wear. When (notice that we didn't say if) this happens, there is a simple fix for the problem. Remove the wheel from the axle. Check the wheel to see if it's cracked around the axle hole. If it is cracked, it will have to be replaced. If the wheel is not cracked, clean the protruding end of the axle thoroughly with a tissue, paper towel, or cotton swab to remove all dirt and oil. Put a tiny drop of light oil in the axle bushing, being careful not to get any on the cleaned portion of the axle. Place a tiny drop of medium or thick cyanoacrylate (CA) glue (super glue) on the end of the axle. Press the wheel back on the axle. Let it sit for a few minutes to make sure the CA has had time to set. The wheel should now be tight on the axle, but if you ever need to get it off again you'll be able to do so. As long as your wheels don't crack around the axle holes you should be able to repeat this process any number of times as needed to keep your wheels tight as the years and the races go by.

Q: How do I clean dust and dirt out of my car?
A: Use a cheap, disposable natural bristle trim paint brush to clean out all the accumulated guck from a car's chassis and the inside of the body. A little vigorous brushing will get rid of dirt, dust, fibers, and so on, while the bristles absorb oil and grease. The bristles get into all the nooks and crannies where rags don't, leaving your chassis and body looking clean as new. You can buy one of these brushes in any paint or home improvement store for a dollar or so.

Slot Car Maintenance videos
Slot Car Video: Maintaining Slot Cars Demonstrating Carrera Digtal132
Slot Car Video: Maintaining Slot Cars Demonstrating SCX Digital Slot Cars
Slot Car Video: Maintaining Analog Slot Cars Demonstrating Scalextric 1/32 Analog Car

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