First, Is it Really Broken?Always check the obvious first:
- Fresh batteries?
- Batteries installed correctly?
- Both RC and transmitter turned on?
- Antenna fully extended?
- If the toy has a channel selection option, is both the vehicle and the transmitter set to the same channel?
- Correct transmitter? If you have more than one toy with the same transmitter, make sure you're using the right one. A 27MHz transmitter will not worth on a 49MHz vehicle.
Still not working properly, then you may need to do some deeper searches for the problem.
If you are buying a new RC and there are special batteries, replacement parts, or upgrades available it's a good idea to pick some up right then. This is especially important with toys because unlike hobby-grade RCs, there usually aren't a lot of extras available and when they are, it's for a limited time.
The RC guys at hobby stores don't usually tackle repairs on toy RCs, but you can always ask. Or find a friend or family member who knows their way around small electronics.
Generally toy RCs are not designed to be worked on by the consumer. Getting to the internal parts such as motor, drivetrain, steering, and circuit boards can be difficult. But if you know what you're doing and have patience, it is possible to get inside and change out a dead motor or servo or replace stripped gears or re-solder broken connections on the circuit board.
Replace a Lost TransmitterCheck the frequency of your RC (usually 27MHz or 49MHz in the U.S. -- typically printed on the bottom) and buy another similiar toy RC car or truck at your local discount toy store. Its controller will usually work with other toys that use the same frequency -- but no guarantees. Or check your own RC collection for another transmitter of the same frequency.
While there are up to 6 channels within both the 27MHz and 49MHz frequency ranges, most toys use just one of those channels. For 27MHz toys it is usually the 27.145MHz, Channel 4. For 49MHz, 49.36MHz Channel 3 is a common one. However, the manufacturer rarely specifies specific channels (about the only way to be sure is to find the crystal on the circuit board inside the transmitter).
Replace Missing Tires on a Toy RCOn RC toys the tires usually push or snap on. Pull same size tires off a salvage RC and try pushing them on to your RC. Front tires may be a little harder to remove than back tires. On some toys, the tires are glued on while others may be bolted or screwed on. With front tires you might have to find a way to attach the steering arm to the replacement tire.
If the steering rod is broken or has become detached from the servo, you may be able to see and fix that without completely opening up the RC. It just depends on how it's put together and how much access you have without taking things apart. You may be able to fix a broken steering rod with glue, wire, or another piece of plastic.
Fix Body Damage on a Toy RCSuper glue and a little paint will do wonders. In fact, broken plastic internal parts can sometimes be fixed with a drop of glue. And if the damage is purely cosmetic, covering up with paint or decals can give an old RC new life.
For a complete overhaul, remove the body. Scrub it down. Remove any decals. Give it a whole new paint job.
Overhaul a Toy RC With Hobby PartsWhen the internal componenents are beyond salvaging but the body is still looking good you could replace the inner workings. This option would probably cost a lot more than the toy RC is worth but if you want to do it, get yourself a new hobby-grade transmitter -- it comes with servos, receiver, and other needed parts. Also purchase an electronic speed control.
If you have no idea what to do with all these parts, you're probably better off buying an entirely new RC.