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Scalextric Car & Track Maintenance

Scalextric FAQs & Troubleshooting

Guide & Braid Maintenance

The braid is fitted to the guide blade assembly. It allows electrical power to pass from the track slot, up through the braids and into the car, any issues with the braid will result in the car not working correctly. If your car isn’t working, checking the braid is therefore the first thing to try.

With regular use, the braid will eventually wear out and will need to be replaced. Regular maintenance and care however can see a braid last for the life of the car.

The below pictures show the difference between worn and new braids and the correct positioning. 

braids-1web.jpg braids-3web.jpg

Top tips for keeping the braid in good repair:

  • Always clean them with a small stiff brush (an old toothpaste brush is ideal)
  • Ensure that the braids are flat against the guide and not angled down.
  • Ensure that the braids are positioned so that they are in line with the track slot rails.

Replacing the guide braid is straight forward and easy to do. The below video's show you how to replace the guid braid and also the guide blade. (The guide blade however should only need replacing in the event of a breakage). 





Tyre Maintenance

Cleaning the tyres gives the greatest amount of benefit to car performance.

Before using these tips, ensure that the track surface is clean and dust free.

A good tip is to visually check the colour of the rear tyres. If they are grey (the colour of dust) then they need cleaning. Repeat the process of cleaning and testing until the tyres remain black after a track test. Then, the tyres are ready to produce the best results.

Tyre Cleaning

For the novice racer:

  • Clean the rear tyres with a slightly damp cloth
  • Dry the rear tyres
  • Test the car on track.

For the experienced racer:

  • Clean the tyres with tape (masking/gaffer tape or similar)
  • Test the car on track. 

For the advanced racer:

  • Clean the tyres with tape
  • Apply 3-in-1 oil (or similar) to the tyre surface. Rub it into the tyre surface
  • Gently remove any excess oil from the tyre surface. Tyres can be moist but not wet
  • Test the car on track.

Tyre truing is also recommended for the advanced racer and involves running the 
rear tyres on a flat surface of sand/glasspaper to wear the tyres down to a smooth 
flat surface where 100% of the contact area touches the track surface.


Cleaning & Lubricating the chassis

Scalextric cars do not require additional oiling when used, say, for racing for fun. However, if you wish to improve the performance of your car there are several things you can do.

TOP TIP: Lubrication of moving parts.

LEVEL: BEGINNER - Use these instructions if you have basic hobby skills.

Tools required: Small philips screwdriver, small stiff brush, tweezers and 3-in-1 oil.

  1. Remove the chassis from the car body
  2. Use a small stiff brush to remove the dust and dirt from the interior of the chassis
  3. Use tweezers or similar to remove debris entangled in the axles and wheels
  4. Place one drop of light 3-in-1 oil to each of the axle bearings and to the motor shaft bearings
  5. Wipe off any excess oil
  6. Re-assemble the chassis to the car body
  7. Test the car on the track.


LEVEL: EXPERT - only carry out these steps if you are an experienced hobbyist.

Tools required: Small philips screwdriver, small stiff brush, tweezers and 3-in-1 oil.

  1. Remove the chassis from the car body
  2. Remove dust and dirt from the interior of the chassis
  3. Remove impacted or loose debris at the axles, wheels, bearings, gears and, very importantly, 
    between each tooth of the motor pinion gear and main axle gear wheel.

Place one drop of light 3-in-1 oil to:

  1. Each of the axle bearings
  2. The motor shaft bearings
  3. Guide blade shaft (remove guide blade screw)
  4. Thread of each chassis screw (during re-assembly)
  5. Wipe off any excess oil
  6. Re-assemble the chassis to the car body. Tighten the body screws fully (do not over-tighten) then back off the screw by one complete turn to leave the chassis slightly loose to the car body. 
    This may not be appropriate for open wheel cars, but as a general rule this will improve performance. Test the car and adjust the screw tightness accordingly.
  7. Test the car on the track.


Improving Car Performance

Scalextric Performance Parts can be used to tune up new and old cars. A range of motors, gears, bearings and tyres can improve performance on track.

Motors fitted as standard to Scalextric cars normally have a 18,000 rpm specification. The Performance range offers three more motors of a higher specification at 20,000, 25,000 and 30,000 rpm.

Tyres are extremely important. The Performance high grip tyres make a remarkable difference. The tyres come in a range to cover F1, GT, Touring, Rally, Mini and Nascar cars.

Gearing can be changed on car motors. The simplest method is to just change the pinion gear. This is the small gear that fits on the motor shaft, 9-tooth for in-line and 11-tooth for side-winder chassis configurations is standard. Changing these gears can give higher top speeds with slower acceleration or slower tops speeds with higher acceleration. The enthusiast would experiment with the different ratio combinations to get the best set-up for the car/motor/grip/circuit combination. Up to twenty-five combinations are possible.

The performance of an older car from past years can be restored to its former glory or at least improved in most cases. It should be noted that the quality and performance of the more recently produced cars tends to improve over the years. So much so that it is normally unrealistic to expect a car produced before the year 2000 to be able to race favourably with a car produced since 2000.

Improvements can be made by the most basic maintenance. Cleaning the axle, axle bearings and chassis in general, lubricating the axle and motor bearings, replacing the guide braid and tyres, will generally improve performance.


Track Maintenance

Track Cleaning

Light cleaning of the track surface is recommended to keep the track in good condition and ensure the best grip from the car tyres.

Check the slots regularly and remove any debris that might be stuck.

Do not use any liquids or abrasive materials on the track.

It is recommended to use a damp cloth or very lightly oiled cloth. This removes light grime and dust from the track surface. Wipe surface dry after using a damp cloth.

Corrosion and heavy tarnishing

Depending on how the track is stored and how old the track is you may experience some corrosion and heavy tarnishing.
Use a mild abrasive material to shine up the running surfaces of the pick-up rails, making sure that the male and female connections at the ends of the track sections are also bright and shiny.
Be aware that sometimes no amount of cleaning of heavily corroded rails and connectors will return the track to a useable state and replacement of track in this condition is the only alternative.


CLICK HERE for our SCALEXTRIC FAQ page for more Scalextric queries and troubleshooting.