If it's a new track or you haven't used it for awhile, then it's normal for the cars to stop the first 10 laps or so. You just give the car a push and after a few laps the cars will go around the track without stopping.
Once the track is up and running if you run your cars slowly you should be able to see where they stutter or are having problems. If you focus on those track joints by cleaning the rail, tweaking the two pieces so they meet well and give a snug connection then you will get a really good running track. It can take a little while to do each one but it really is worth it.
All good suggestions and things I have done over the years.
"Car not move" is either due to connections or rail surface oxidation. Here are my latest and bestest remedies:
For the rail oxidation I use CRC 2-26 (Plastic safe lubricant, penetrant and corrosion inhibitor that helps prevent electrical malfunctions caused by water penetration, humidity, condensation or corrosion. Restores resistance values and helps stop current leakage--CRC.) to take most of the oxidation off the rails --without being abrasive. I put a drop on the shoes and motor around--initially pushing as I go on oxidized track. If the oxidation is heavy enough you will have to use an abrasive initially. I used to use #400 grit sandpaper, would suggest giving the rough side of a kitchen scrubby pad a try.
Connections-- Pick the rear wheels up and listen to the rpm as you move across a joint. When you find a reduction, pull it apart and look closely. Is there visible oxidation? It has to go. Are the rails "sprung" and are not providing good contact? They will have to be adjusted.
When buying used, it is easy to get into a lot of work over saving a relatively small amount of cash, so inspect carefully.
All of this is the single biggest aggravation of slot car racing. And why I hard soldered copper wire between EACH AND EVERY connection on the underside of each of four lanes.
One month of pain followed by 4 years (so far) of an occasional drop of CRC and I'm done.
ps--Keeping the track in an air conditioned (that is, de-humidified) environment makes a big difference too.
pps-- Oxidized pickup shoes will give you the same results. Usually they clean up after a few laps.
I have polished them up with #400 grit. Probably the big boys recommend against that on the car as minute metal shavings could get into the motor.
These days the CRC shines up the shoes as it shines up the rails.
A final thought (maybe)--be careful when cleaning with a coin or similar to not press the rails further into the plastic. AFX are already a little deeper in than Tyco, and of course, if they are too low the car will also stop.
You know, I am not really sure. But that never stops me from making stuff up. This is what I think I know:
WD40 is more of a lubricant per se, like for garage doors and whatnot. Kind of greasy in comparison. It also is kind of antisieze, but I never had much luck with it for that either. I use "PB blaster" for stuck bolts & etc. Many apparently use it on their rails. I tried WD40 along the way on the track, and never saw much help with the rails. I DID see a greasy track that immediately needed cleaning.
Have dealt with "inox" along the way a little bit to goop up big household-feed sized electrical connections, it also seemed to be of wheel bearing grease consistency.
CRC2-26 is thin, and it cleans about like "ospho"--which is essentially phosphoric acid. I have used ospho for bodywork (that is, rust that I cannot completely eradicate), and it reportedly turns iron oxide into iron phosphate. That is not to say that crc HAS phosphoric acid in it (it might, but I dunno), just that it behaves similar to ospho.
The CRC leaves the surface a little grey, not shiny when new or sanded. But the cars work smoothly and I do not have to re-treat but once in a great while. No problems with the plastic track. Ospho also will really eat your skin up (ask me how I repeatedly know...), the crc does not.
Read about it on another board, tried it, and have never looked back.
I've had good results from using Inox. Dab some on the braids of a Micro Scalextric and run that around to clean your rails and the shoe cars will find it a lot easier to get going.
But as I said before, it really does wonders to pay special attention to those joints that are giving a little lag. Take the track apart at that point. Clean the rail faces where they meet with a little abrasive and then give them a tweak with pliers to give a snug connection. You'll see a massive difference but it does take time to complete them all.
I can't imagine how much time you put it on soldering every joint SB!
Thanks for all the help. I think the old nickel thing helped the most. I got two I think I got almost 2 Giant Raceways and a Infinity track. Got lots of extra track. I have my track on a 4' x 8' Styro Foam 2" thick board. I think it keeps it a bit more quiet then on wood. I get kind of bored racing on the same track all the time so I change it up every month or two. I put together the inside track of the 4 way challenge. Which is a great one. Above that I put up a oval track with banked corners. 2 separate tracks.
If you tend to get bored with your layouts there is an alternative to conventional set type plastic track. I have a MaxTrax, that has sections made of Sintra. The sections are much longer than set track and the stainless steel keys that join the track sections make perfect connections that you never have to fuss with.
My own track is usually configured as a road course, it is 50 feet long and only has 23 joints. From time to time I convert the track to an oval and only one special extra section is needed to do that.
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