my RC car won’t move

My RC Car Won’t Move: Here’s How to Fix It!

Isn’t it frustrating when your RC car stops moving? It can be nerve-wracking if it happened right out of the box. Worst case scenario, you might never get to use that RC again. You want to fix your RC car as soon as possible.

In that case, you might question, why my RC car won’t move?

The reason could be a bad motor or malfunctioning ESC. It could also be stripped gears. However, the most common reason behind this is a loose slipper clutch. Sometimes, worn-out wires cause the RC to stop functioning as well. Steering problems, however, are because of a bad servo.

These are the common reasons why RC cars stop moving. Do you have a few minutes to spare? If so, let’s get your RC car fixed with the following solutions-

Why Is My RC Car Not Moving?

When you’re facing movement problems, it’s usually a few common parts malfunctioning. Comparing nitro and electric RC cars, it’s the same most of the time. For instance, the motor, slipper gear, or the ESC.  

It could also be some stripped gears or worn-out wires. Whatever it may be, we have the solutions ready for you. So hop on to the next section-

Bad Motor

No noises generating from your car even on full throttle points to a motor problem. Or it might be some loose wires on the motor. Either way, your motor is not turning at all. Consequently, your RC car isn’t moving.


First, check if there are any loose wires. Resolder them if necessary. If your motor still won’t work, you’ll have to replace it. In case you have a brushless motor, you can check its condition with a multimeter.

Loose Slipper Clutch 

This is the most common reason for RC cars to stop moving. Slipper clutches are there to save your spur gear from stripping. It’s always a bit loose, to begin with. However, if it gets too loose, the spur gears won’t turn at all. 

And that is what happens very often. If you’re hearing a weird noise when on throttle it’s usually from the slipper clutch. Another way to identify a loose slipper clutch is when the car won’t move fast enough. Even with full throttle, the speed will not reach its maximum.


To fix this problem, you just need some vices and screwdrivers. You have to tighten the slipper clutch next to the spur gear a little bit. Don’t tighten it too much, or it’ll stop doing what it’s supposed to.

Loose Screw in Drive Cups

There are a few drive cups in your RC car. These are bases attached to the shafts that turn the wheel. If the drive cups are loose, only the bases turn while the wheels don’t.


To fix this you need a screwdriver. Use it to tighten the screws on your drive cups. There are usually 4-6 drive cups in an RC car. Make sure to tighten all of them.

Stripped Gears

If you can hear your motor turning but your car won’t move, some gears might’ve stripped. It could be your spur gear or the gears on the axles. 


You’ve to open up your casing and find out which gear is melted or stripped. Sometimes they can be broken too. After that, you’ll have to replace that gear with a new one. In most cases for stripped or damaged gears, you can’t fix and reuse them. You’ll have to buy a new replacement.

Sometimes, it’s the gear housing that’s damaged. It causes the gear to slip so the wheels don’t turn. Or they may turn in only one direction. In that case, you can fix the housing, or install the gears in new housing.

ESC Malfunctioning

Your ESC malfunctioning can also cause our RC car to stop moving. You can test your ESC using a multimeter as well. There could be a problem in binding the frequency. In which case, you’ll have to calibrate your ESC again with your radio controller.


To do that, make sure the ESC is on the same frequency and turn it off. You can do this by holding down its power button for around 10 seconds. Then press the power button 3 times. And then, press it one last time and hold for 2 seconds. You’ll hear beeps on every time and will know if it’s working again. 

Worn-out Wires

The wires could be worn out frequently. There could be slits on the covers and wires coming out. Or positive and negative wires might be making contact.

This usually happens on battery and ESC wires. You just have to resolder new wires or use electrical tapes on them. Make sure to waterproof your wirings when using electrical tapes instead of new wires.

Servo Malfunctioning

Lastly, it could be your servo stopping your RC from moving right. This is when you’re facing problems with the steering.

Open up your car casing and take a look. Most likely your servo horn is detached from the front axle. You’ll have to attach them again. It might also be the case that your servo horn went missing. This is not uncommon if you drive your RC car aggressively. 

You can buy and install new servo horns if you can find them. Or you could install a new servo for proper steering. 

And with this, you can troubleshoot common problems that are keeping your RC from moving. These are usually what’s wrong if your RC isn’t moving. However, if none of the fixes work, we recommend seeking professional help. Your RC might be facing a more complicated problem.


Question: How do I know my gears are stripped?

Answer: You can identify stripped gears by looking at the spikes. If you see they’re blunt and smooth, they’re stripped. The blunt edges don’t connect with other gears and slip.

Question: If I change my motor, do I have to change my ESC?

Answer: The short answer is, no. If there are no problems with your ESC, you have no reason to replace it. You can just rewire your old ESC to your new motor

Question: How do I know if it’s not a battery problem?

Answer: Well we recommend you start troubleshooting after you’ve already checked your battery. However, you’ll know a bad battery if it looks swollen. Or if the fuel is leaking out.


Are you still asking why my RC car won’t move? I hope not! Hopefully, this article was helpful to you.

If you follow the steps properly, you should be able to get your RC running in no time. Make sure to follow basic safety precautions.

See you soon, take care!

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