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

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.

RC Nitro Fuel Alternative

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.

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.


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.

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 your 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 that 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:

#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, then 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.

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 doing good. We know that maintaining RCs has already taken a big bite from your wallet. Therefore, it will 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.



Welcome to the home of John, the founder & editor of The RC Valleys. Here you’ll find everything RC related guides, reviews, and even videos too! Stick around and see what we have in store.