Top 4 RC Nitro Fuel Alternative: Which One Is Best For You? (2022)

We may earn commission from links on this page at no extra cost to you. We only recommend products we back!

When you run an RC with a nitro engine, you will always need nitro fuels. Nitro fuels are not always available, or you might find them costly.

But hey, you are maintaining a nitro RC, and doing so as a hobby is quite expensive. Do not worry about spending so much money on your engine fuels. As a solution, we will suggest some other fuel which will be RC nitro fuel alternative. You can use any of them when you cannot find the actual nitro fuels.

Top 4 RC Nitro Fuel Alternative: Which One Is Best For You? (1)

We are going to discuss these alternate fuels. This article will also tell you the benefits of these fuels and if there are any drawbacks or not.

(Video) TOP 5: Best RC Nitro Fuel 2022

Nitro Fuels

Nitro fuels power your nitro RC. The fuels contain a mixture of nitromethane and methanol. The proportion of nitromethane varies between 10 to 40 percent, and the rest of the fraction is completed by methanol.

Usually, these chemicals are highly combustible which is suitable for racing cars. But they are not available in normal fuel shops. It would be best if you look at unique hobby shops for these fuels.

Alternatives of Nitro Fuel

As the ingredients of nitro fuels are expensive, it makes nitro fuels more costly than regular fuels. Another critical thing to notice is its availability. It is tough to find nitro fuels now and then. Therefore, it is a must to find an alternative when you do not have the primary fuel around.

But the other options will not work as the real ones. Some RC enthusiasts have considered using some alternate fuel by several experiments.

Some of them do well in the engine, and some of them don’t. On top of that, they might damage your nitro engine. When it comes to alternate fuels, the most common names are diesel, gasoline, and kerosene. But they are not suitable to use.

#1: WD-40

WD-40 is pretty popular when it comes to any alternate fuels for nitro engines. Though it is not marketed as a fuel, you can use it in your engine. But there are some rules you need to follow while using WD-40 as fuel.

Top 4 RC Nitro Fuel Alternative: Which One Is Best For You? (2)

First of all, you cannot use the WD-40 directly into your RC nitro engine. It is because this fuel is so powerful that a nitro engine cannot even ignite it. While using the WD-40, you have to mix it with nitro fuels. The ideal ratio should be 50 percent WD-40 and 50 percent nitro fuel.

If you mix the WD-40 less than 50 percent into the mixture, it will work no matter what. But when the ratio is more than 50 percent, the fuel may not even ignite inside the engine. Therefore, it will be best to use it as a mixture with nitro fuel.

(Video) Nitro RC Cars SUCK

Suppose you are running out of fuel in your nitro RC, and there are no shops to buy one. In this situation, you can use WD-40 with the rest of the nitro fuels and make it lasts for a little bit longer until you find the nitro fuel. It will also save your wallet.

Here’s a quick video showing how to use WD-40 for a nitro RC engine as a nitro fuel alternative:

#2: Kerosene

When you compare kerosene to diesel and gasoline, it is less powerful and less flammable than them. Therefore, it can be a suitable alternative to RC nitro fuels. Like the WD-40, you have to mix it with nitro fuels. Many experts say the mixing ratio should be in 80 percent of nitro and 20 percent of kerosene.

In this ratio, the mixture will work properly. If you are on a budget and cannot effort nitro fuels for some time, buy a kerosene bottle and use the proper mix to continue your RCs performance. Another advantage of using kerosene is that it will not damage your RC nitro engine.

When you are thinking of using alternate fuels, the first thing that comes to your mind is whether it is harmful to the engine or not. If kerosene is used as an alternate fuel, you can rest assured about safety.

But keep it in your mind that the kerosene is still flammable, and your car might catch fire sometimes. Well, the experts say the chances of catching fire are less, but there is always a possibility. It will be best to stay alert.

Here’s a quick video showing how to use Kerosene for a nitro RC engine as a nitro RC fuel alternative:

(Video) How to make your own RC Nitro fuel at home my farmulations and the oils to use

#3: Gasoline

Many people use gasoline as a mixing component of nitro fuel. But we will not recommend it. That is because it has similar properties to diesel. Your nitro engine cannot handle such high power.

On top of that, gasoline will put your engine at risk because it can damage the parts. Even if you manage to ignite the gasoline, it is going to overheat your RC. When it comes to gasoline, they are more expensive than nitro fuels.

Here’s a quick video showing how to use Gasoline for a nitro RC engine as a nitro fuel alternative:

#4: Diesel

You might be thinking diesel can be a good option, so why not use it as an alternative to nitro fuel. But it will be a bad decision to use diesel in your nitro. It needs a significant amount of compression to ignite, and the nitro engine cannot provide that.

Another disadvantage is that diesel might damage the parts of your engine. But there is a way to use diesel in the nitro engine. You have to modify the engine. The manufacturer can do the job for you if you contact them.

It will be a tough job to modify the nitro engine for diesel at home. But when the modification is done, you can use diesel in your nitro.

You Can Make Own Fuel!

Yes, you can do it. But how can you make the nitro fuel? We will say that with the right chemicals, you can prepare a fuel that will apply to your nitro engine. The chemicals you will need are castor oil, nitromethane, methanol, and a container to mix the ingredients.

There are some variations in the ratios of these ingredients. But a preferable one is 30 percent nitromethane, 8 percent castor oil, and 62 percent methanol. First of all, you have to mix the nitromethane and castor oil, then give it a good shake so that no separate layer is present in the container.

(Video) How to (still) run nitro rc cars in Europe after 20 - 30% nitro fuel ban

After that, you can combine the methanol and shake the whole container again. Now, the RC nitro fuel is ready to rock. You will not have to look for these fuels from shop to shop anymore. This homemade fuel will give a much better result than other alternate fuels.

Check out our How To Make Nitro Fuel In A Cheap Way article to see how we made nitro fuel at home.

Final Tips

Alternate options are not always good for your engine. If you are thinking about using diesel or gasoline, probably that is not a good idea. They will harm more than do good. We know that maintaining RCs has already taken a big bite from your wallet. Therefore, it will be best to use WD-40 or kerosene if you are looking for alternatives. The best option is to make your fuel at home and be tension-free by managing nitro fuels.

Final Words

Nitro fuels are pretty expensive and very hard to find in nearby shops. But the alternatives can also do a good job instead of the real one. It will not perform like the real one.

But hey, the RC nitro fuel alternative will not disappoint you, and we can guarantee that. It would help if you were careful when you are choosing any alternatives among all the options. Just make sure that it will not damage your RC.

Top 4 RC Nitro Fuel Alternative: Which One Is Best For You? (3)

(Video) Cheap Nitro RC Car


Chief Editor @The RC Valleys (or, in plain English, I'm the guy responsible for ensuring that every blog post we publish is helpful for our readers.


What can I use instead of nitro fuel? ›


We all like to just use methanol and castor oil or if you want a synthetic oil that will mix with methanol (motor oild will not mix with methanol). Klotz Benol is a good oil to use.

Is nitro or electric better? ›

Electric Cars are much faster then Nitro cars with upgrades. Typically Ready to Run (RTR) models are stocked with basic parts that are mostly plastic.
Beginner RC Series: Nitro vs Electric.
Speed, RTRVery GoodFair
Speed, upgradedGreatGreat
AccelerationVery GoodGreat
Power bandRPM-happyTorquey
8 more rows
8 Aug 2016

Which is faster nitro or brushless? ›

With a high voltage supply, brushless motors can help a beginner RC race at blistering speeds. RCs equipped with brushless motors currently hold the fastest speed records for RC—yes, faster than nitro.

How long does a quart of nitro fuel last? ›

Typically, you can expect to get about 10 minutes of run-time from one tank of fuel. Nitro models can be quickly refueled without shutting the engine off, making hours of continuous run time possible.

Can a nitro engine run on kerosene? ›

if you run nitromethane in the fuel, you cannot mix kerosene or gasoline with it.

How do you know if nitro fuel is good? ›

If your nitro is still as clear as the day you bought it, then 99% of the time its fine. If you see globs of gel or uneven coloring then the fuel has started to varnish and is no good anymore. Before you move it too much, check to see if anything has separated to the bottom.

What is the fastest gas RC car in the world? ›

Traxxas XO-1 – Fastest RC Car In the World

As we noted in another article here, it can reach 100 mph (160 kph) in just five seconds so we can easily call it the supercar of all RC cars.

What's the fastest nitro RC car? ›

“The Traxxas XO-1 is the fastest RC car, full stop. The largest brushless motor on offer propels the car from 1 to 60 in 2.5 seconds. Not only is this car stylish, but it also reaches speeds over 100 miles per hour.”

Are gas or battery RC cars better? ›

Electric RC cars are more durable, faster, and longer lasting than gas powered RC cars. Depending on your husband's needs, an electric RC car will probably be a good match. Electric RC Cars are better for speed. Electric RC cars have an average top speed of 35-60+ mph.

How long do RC nitro engines last? ›

21 about 30 hours of run time, when you think about it thats a fair bit of run time out of such a high performance engine these glow engines are.

How can I make my nitro car faster? ›

If you are running 20% nitro in your engine you can easily increase top speed by increasing the nitro content of your fuel. As you increase fuel percentage, you may have to adjust the head shims under your heat sink head accordingly. The higher the nitro content the more shims you need to install.

What is pros of electric powered RC planes? ›

The electric airplanes when compared to the gas engines are more efficient, because of their higher reliability and less maintenance. If you use Lithium polymer batteries and brushless motors, it would then allow you to enjoy an instant response of a high powered flight.

How long does nitro fuel last? ›

20 to 30 years in storage is fine for glow fuel. Keep it sealed up good, out of the sunlight, off of a concrete floor and out of extreme temperatures and the stuff is good for seemingly forever.

How do you store Nitro RC fuel? ›

RE: Nitro fuel storage.

Please store your fuel in a cool place, in the dark, tightly capped. It is better if stored when the bottle is mostly full, this prevents excess moisture from going from the air in the bottle into the fuel each time you open the bottle.

What color is Nitro RC fuel? ›

Nitro doesn't have any specific color, but when its combusted it gives off a blueish smoke.

Is glow fuel the same as nitro fuel? ›

RC glow fuel, also often called nitro fuel, is a special blend of three main ingredients, plus a few minor additives, used in radio control model engines.

Is jet fuel the same as kerosene? ›

Kerosene is a light refined product (C6-C16) that has a lower boiling point range than diesel/No. 2 fuel oils. Jet-A (freeze point of -40°C) and Jet-A1 (freeze point of -47°C) are highly refined kerosene-type fuels used in commercial and general aviation turbine engines.

Can a nitro engine run on petrol? ›

No, nitro engines won't run on gasoline. They don't have a spark plug.

Can I use old nitro fuel? ›

Fuel can be decades old and still run perfectly fine. There is a big myth that fuel degrades unilaterally and it's no good after X amount of time. If it's been sealed well in a climate controlled environment and out of sunlight, it should be just fine.

What can you do with old nitro fuel? ›

RE: How to dispose old nitro fuel? If your community has a hazardos materials disposal facility take it there or if they allow open controlled burning put it in an open metal container in a fire pit and burn it.

Can nitro go off? ›

it ignites but does not run . does fuel go bad after time? Nitro fuel is not like a whiskey, or a red wine. If your bottle of fuel has a lot of condesation apparent ,yes!

Whats the fastest RC? ›

The World's Fastest Ready-to-Race ® RC Supercar

From a dead stop, 60mph flashes by in 2.3 seconds. Keep the throttle pegged and you'll smash the 100mph barrier in 4.92 seconds. Simply put, XO-1 is the fastest and most outrageous Ready-to-Race® RC car ever created.

What is the most powerful brushless RC motor? ›

What is the most powerful RC motor? The MGM Losi 5-T brushless motor is regarded as the most powerful RC motor. The model comes with soldered battery, PC cables and motor connectors for providing very high power.

What is the fastest RC boat? ›

In the meantime, you may wonder what the fastest RC boat in the world is? Apparently, the speed record was set in Germany a few years back with a Hydro L8 speed boat that reached an incredible 206 mph!

What is the fastest toy car? ›

“Traxxas claims its all-wheel-drive XO-1 is the world's fastest ready-to-run, electric RC supercar. It says the XO-1 can hit 60 mph in 2.3 seconds and exceed 100 mph.

Whats the difference between a nitro RC and a gas RC? ›

RE: Whats the difference between nitro and gas? As stated above, nitro engines run on a methanol/nitromethanol blend with added lubricants, gas engines run on pump gas mixed with standard 2-cycle oil. In general, 2-cycle nitros have a higher power to weight ratio, and are much simpler in operation.

How fast are nitro powered RC cars? ›

Having a maximum speed of 10 mph to 70 mph, sometimes if the vehicle has a robust built, it will go up to 100 mph. The fastest gas-powered RC cars give a steady speed of 50+ mph. Cars like Redcat Racing Earthquake and Traxxas Nitro Rustler are models which are quick and run on gas or nitro.

How fast do electric RC cars go? ›

A well-made hobby RC car can go as fast as 70 mph. If the RC car is modified or made for drag racing, then they have the potential to reach speeds of more than 100 mph.

How do you make glow fuel? ›

To accomplish this, you will simply need to add 11.3 ounces of nitro and 2.8 ounces of castor/synthetic oil to your 113 ounces of fuel. When you are done, you should end up with 127.1 ounces (0.99 U.S. gallons) of newly blended, custom fuel.

How do you make nitromethane? ›

Nitromethane is produced industrially by combining propane and nitric acid in the gas phase at 350–450 °C (662–842 °F). This exothermic reaction produces the four industrially significant nitroalkanes: nitromethane, nitroethane, 1-nitropropane, and 2-nitropropane.

What is nitro fuel made out of? ›

Nitro fuel is made of methanol, nitromethane, and oil, and it is readily available by the can or bottle in hobby shops. But the percentage of nitromethane in the fuel will differ, from between about 10 percent to 40 percent (20 percent is typical), depending on the type of vehicle you have.

Can you run a nitro rc car on petrol? ›

RE: Can Nitro engines run on regular gasoline? It will work if you fit an ignition system but it will run way hotter because the gasoline doesn't cool the engine down like methanol does.

Is glow fuel the same as nitro fuel? ›

RC glow fuel, also often called nitro fuel, is a special blend of three main ingredients, plus a few minor additives, used in radio control model engines.

How do you make RC nitro fuel? ›

Making your own nitro fuel for RC motors. ( video 1) - YouTube

How do you make race fuel at home? ›

How To Turn Regular Pump Gas Into Higher Octane Race Fuel - YouTube

How much HP does nitromethane add? ›

It has been learned that nitromethane can increase power output by as much as 13 percent on an indicated or gross basis when added to methyl alcohol and by 7 percent when added to a benzene-isooctane mixture in concentrations of 20% by volume.

Can I run nitromethane in my car? ›

Trying to put regular racing gasoline, pure methanol, nitromethane, or leading racing fuel will completely ruin your engine. The same goes for a car tuned to use 87 octane gasoline. You cannot put anything other than gasoline in that car, or you risk causing costly damage to your engine.

How much does nitromethane cost a gallon? ›

There's nothing funny about paying $45 a gallon for nitromethane for a funny car—and burning 14 gallons on every single run. NHRA teams pay $1800 for a 40-gallon drum of nitromethane, so they're paying $45 a gallon—and that's a group discount negotiated for the entire racing season.

Is nitro methane toxic? ›

Nitromethane is a chemical pollutant that is hazardous, flammable, toxic, and explosive. It harms our kidney, liver, and our central nervous system.

Is Top Fuel the same as nitro? ›

A "nitro-burning" engine and a "top fuel" engine are the same thing -- engines designed to burn nitromethane rather than gasoline.

Can you mix nitro with gasoline? ›

Nitro doesn't mix with gasoline—they separate, with the gas on top. You can, however, mix nitropropane (C3H7NO2) with gas, and even 10 percent nitropropane in gas can provide small power increases.

How long do nitro RC cars run for? ›

21 about 30 hours of run time, when you think about it thats a fair bit of run time out of such a high performance engine these glow engines are.

Can Glow engine run on gasoline? ›

As long as the filament is the proper temperature, I can see ANY engine running on gasoline and glow, with or without catalythic action.

How long does RC fuel last? ›

20 to 30 years in storage is fine for glow fuel. Keep it sealed up good, out of the sunlight, off of a concrete floor and out of extreme temperatures and the stuff is good for seemingly forever.


1. Top 10 Traxxas Cars & Trucks Available NOW! 2021
(AMain Hobbies)
2. Nitro RC Car Engine Running on WD40
(Rc Obsessive)
3. 5 Things To Do If Your Nitro RC Car Engine Won't Run
(Mark Santa Maria)
4. This BRUSHLESS Carbon 1/14 RC Buggy is AWESOME but EXPENSIVE!!
5. Nitro Engine Running on WD-40
6. Will a Gas Engine Run on RC Racing Fuel? Let's find out!
(Project Farm)

Top Articles

You might also like

Latest Posts

Article information

Author: Carmelo Roob

Last Updated: 11/30/2022

Views: 6187

Rating: 4.4 / 5 (45 voted)

Reviews: 92% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Carmelo Roob

Birthday: 1995-01-09

Address: Apt. 915 481 Sipes Cliff, New Gonzalobury, CO 80176

Phone: +6773780339780

Job: Sales Executive

Hobby: Gaming, Jogging, Rugby, Video gaming, Handball, Ice skating, Web surfing

Introduction: My name is Carmelo Roob, I am a modern, handsome, delightful, comfortable, attractive, vast, good person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.