Just like real cars/trucks RC cars/trucks need to be maintained regularly. The schedule for maintenance will depend on how important the truck’s performance is to you. If you are just bashing or casually having fun then an infrequent schedule is okay. If you are doing any kind of racing, maintenance will quickly become one of your top priorities if it is not already. In either case, regular maintenance will allow your vehicle to perform consistently.
Look over the truck completely to assess its general condition. The inspection is mainly to bring to attention anything that may be out of place/damaged/showing excessive ware. This should be done after every run and does not take much time. You may need to clean the truck of any dirt/grime before being able to inspect it. A cleaning solution can be used to help with the caked on crud.
There is no way to avoid a tear down of your truck! This is the only way to assess the condition of each individual component your truck is made of. If you are a causal driver you’ll not have to do a tear down very frequently but like anything, the more often you check the sooner you’ll find things. Your truck does not have to be torn down completely in one session – you can stagger it out so that you are working on just the shocks or the front assembly or back assembly or drive train. This will make it a much less daunting task (and lessen the chance that you find a bunch of ‘extra parts’! )
What you are looking for during a tear down is any parts that may need fixing/replacing due to wear or damage. When disassembling the components, take this opportunity to give them a good cleaning with the toothbrush or q-tips.
Ensure all screws and bolts are tightened. Replace any that have worn excessively. Use lock tight on metal to metal screws. Be careful to not strip the plastics by over tightening screws.
With the wheels off your truck, inspect them for cracks or excessive ware. Replace the wheels if they are cracked/broken. Reglue the tires if they have come off.
Over time dirt and grime can build up on the shocks and make their way into the shock oil affecting their performance. Rebuild the shocks when you notice a change in performance or a leaky shock.
Front Assembly /Rear Assembly
The front assembly contains the steering linkages/steering block/front shock tower. The rear assembly contains the transmission/drive train/rear shock tower. With the parts disassembled, replace any pins/shafts that are bent and cannot be fixed. Bent shafts will cause components to bind. Ensure the tie rods are in good shape. Also check the drive shafts and outdrives from the transmission for ware.
Rebuild the transmission if dirt/grime got in or if the transmission is leaking oil. Ensure the gears are not showing signs of excessive ware.
Brushed motors need more maintenance then brushless motors. Both will need dirt/grime removed and have their bearings/bushings oiled. Brushed motors will need extra maintenance with their brushes which will get worn over time. For nitro engines, ensure the glow plug/air filter is in good shape.
This is generally what is involved in maintaining your truck but is by no means exhaustive. It is a starting point for what is involved to have your truck be in good working order. The more maintenance you do the better you will become at identifying concerns and diagnosing issues that may come up with your truck. Maintenance may not be that fun but doing it regularly will ensure that you will have much more fun later!