CO2 Race Car




Introduction: CO2 Race Car

This project is simple, takes about 3-4 hours, and only costs around $10-$20. I did this project in class, and it was a lot of fun! Note: These cars can be dangerous! CO2 cartridges can explode.

Materials: (I do not know exact measurements for materials)

  • Medium sized piece of wood
  • Two large wheels
  • Two smaller wheels
  • Axel
  • 4 small washers
  • 2 fish hooks (optional)
  • Graphite (optional)
  • Straw (optional)
  • CO2 cartridge


  • Saw
  • Laser printer (you can try drawing freehand, but you will not get greatest results)
  • Paint, any color (optional)
  • Drill
  • Sander

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Step 1: Create Design

To create my design, I used CorelDraw x3. I drew my design with different lines, making sure to keep it symmetrical.

Step 2: Print Design and Cut

I then laser printed my design on the wood, I used a saw to cut it out. (Freehand drawing is also fine).

Step 3: Drill Holes

Then I drilled holes for where my axels and CO2 cartridge would be. Also above, I put in small pieces of straw to block the wood and axel from hitting each other. Putting graphite in the straw is also helpful to make the wheels turn smoothly. (Graphite is not necessary for your car).

Step 4: Add Axels

Put axels inside of cut straw. You will need to cut the axels down so they are slightly sticking out of the car. (Front axel is an example of the axel being too long, back axel is correct size.)

Step 5: Use Washers

Add a small washer to each side of both axels to prevent friction between the wheels and wood.

Step 6: Add Wheels

Add the larger wheels to the back, and the smaller wheels to the front. The axel will go inside of the hole in the wheel.

Step 7: Add CO2 Cartridge, and GO!

Add your CO2 cartridge into the hole at the back of your car. Make sure the hole is not punctured in any way, or the cartridge will explode. Lastly, add your fish hooks. These are encouraged, but necessary, for your car. If you are running a race in a track that has a string for the car to follow, these are perfect for staying on the string.

Step 8: Ask Questions!

If you have any questions about this project, feel free to ask me. Also, if you have a good project that you are working on, I would love to see it. I am always looking for new projects to work on! :)

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    3 Discussions


    Question 1 year ago on Step 8

    How far did it go?
    What size CO2 canister did you use?


    Question 1 year ago

    why do you use a staw??


    4 years ago

    Do you any tips for building an igniter on the car? I am thinking of trying to use a mouse trap somehow. this project is for a pinewood derby car I am building to race other dads. It is just going to be about fun. Thanks