ESC Blinking Red Light

ESC Blinking Red Light?: [5 Reasons & Solutions]

Rc cars are becoming more famous day by day. People are loving to play with them and to know more about them. But sometimes they tend to face different issues. One way to know that there’s an issue is ESC blinking colored lights.

Thus, if ESC is blinking red light, then it can be indicating warnings of several problems. 

So, actually why is esc blinking red light?

Well, there are many reasons behind ESC blinking red light. It may indicate thermal shutdown or overheating damage or low voltage protection. It can slo indicate current spike protection or overvoltage protection. Also, improper connections of wires can make the ESC show red light. 

So, what can you do right? Worry not! There are solutions to every one of those problems too. To know more about them in detail, go through all the segments.

Let’s get started!

ESC Blinking Red Light: Troubleshooting!

Without a doubt, ESC is a special part of your RC cars and trucks. ESC indicates some warnings to prevent any damage to the RC cars and transmitters.

Apart from esc flashing red light you can also see esc flashing green light

Like all of these, by blinking red light, ESC indicates some specific warnings to some problems. It might be blinking slowly or fast, which to indicates different things.

So, why is my esc blinking red? There are a few possible reasons behind this. 

But don’t worry! Here I’ve listed all the problems together with their solutions for you. You just need to figure out which one is applicable to you.

It’s time to get to know them.

Reason 1: Overheating Damage

Have you noticed some blinking red light on Traxxas esc? Then one of the reasons behind it may be due to protection of your device from overheating. Just like Traxxas ESC it can happen to any ESC.

There is a feature on ESC that can protect your devices from overheating. Whenever heat increases too much, it starts to blink red light. The name of this feature is thermal shutdown protection.

With this feature, if there’s any overheating, it shutdowns the device to protect it. It detects the heat and warns the user by fast blinking red light.

Source: YouTube

In some ESC, there are two stages of it, like Traxxas VXL-3S. In stage one, it reduces the power and warns the user. But in stage 2, it completely shuts down the car.

Solution: Add Some Cooling Fans

To solve this issue, you need to prevent the motor and ESC from overheating. Their temperature should be below 88°C. To keep the temperature in check you can use CDN Digital Pocket Thermometer.

You can only solve this problem with the installation of a fan over the ESC. From some veteran racers, I’ve collected this cooling fan’s list. Hopefully, it’ll come to your help too.

You should pick the fan according to your battery capacity. Otherwise, it’ll keep bleeding out your car’s battery.

Reason 2: Protection from Current Spike

One reason behind the fast red blinking light on esc is to protect the device from the current spike. 

Current spikes can generate when your RC car gets stuck but you keep the throttle on. You need to release the throttle here. Current spikes are harmful as they can be the reason for motor failure.

Source: YouTube

When it faces any kind of current spikes, you will notice ESC blink red lights. And it will also cause the car to shut down to prevent damage.

Solution: Stop Throttling if Your RC Car is Stuck

The only solution to stop current spikes from occurring is to release the throttle. If you increase and keep the throttle on, it will generate current spikes. 

So be mindful whenever your car gets stuck against any obstacle or in mud. It’ll be better if you release it manually rather than keeping the throttle on.

Reason 3: Improper Connections

ESC has many wires. You need to connect some wires with the motor, then some wires with the battery. 

If you connect any of these wires in the wrong way, then your car will have a low connection. And as a warning, your ESC will blink red light.

Solution: Maintain Proper Connection

You need to connect the wires in a careful way. Connect the wires for the motor ESC with motors in a parallel way. 

Be careful when connecting with the battery. 

The positive wire should be connected to only the positive terminal. And the negative wire with the negative terminal. The positive wire will have a red mark on it.

After reconnecting the wires in a proper way, you must recalibrate the ESC. But what to do if there’s a broken solder joint?

In that case, all you can do is to use a soldering iron and re-solder it. The one I use on a daily basis is the SREMTCH’s soldering iron

But if you can increase your budget I would recommend you to go for ANBES Soldering Iron Kit.

Look at this perfect soldering job on a broken solder connection.

Reason 4: Over Voltage Detection

Is your traxxas vxl-4s blinking red light in a fast way? Then one of the possibilities behind the situation is that your device has faced over-voltages.

There is a feature of ESC that can detect voltage surges. When it detects the voltage surge it shows red blinking light to let the user know. 

It will start blinking a fast red light to indicate the overvoltage protection stage. Then it will shut down the vehicle to protect it from any damage.

Overvoltage is very harmful to RC vehicles. It can literally burn your ESC and damage your motor too. It can also stop your RC servo from working.

Solution: Do Not Overspeed

It depends on the battery you are using for your vehicles. You need to maintain the voltage level of the battery.

Check the manual of the battery to know the voltage level and run your vehicles within that voltage.

If you increase the speed of your vehicle, it’ll increase the voltage eventually. The more you will increase the speed, the more it’ll increase the voltage.

So, try to keep the speed of your vehicle within an optimum level. Thus it’ll prevent any kind of voltage surges.

Reason 5: Low Voltage Protection

Is your hobbywing ESC blinking red light? Is it blinking slowly? Then your battery may be going through low voltage. 

If that happens there might be some other symptoms as well. Like, steering servo twitching of your RC. It can be caused by the low voltage of your battery.

As you know ESC warns and protects our vehicles from harmful damages. It has many features to save our vehicles. Like other features, low voltage detection (LVD) is one of them. 

Whenever the voltage drops too low to be harmful, then this feature will detect it. It will warn the user by blinking red lights slowly. 

Then it will shut down the vehicle to prevent further damage. This is also a possible reason for arrma esc blinking red light.

This feature is only applicable when you are using a LiPo battery. Because you should never use them below their minimum discharge voltage. 

To use this feature, you need to set your ESC to LVD mode. If you don’t know how to do that follow this video if you use a Traxxas ESC.

How-to switch between LVD modes on Traxxas EVX-2 ESC

But remember one thing, you shouldn’t turn this mode on when you’re using a NiMH battery. 

Because the voltage and charge holding feature of NiMH are not the same as LiPo. Anyway, LiPos are the best for RC vehicles.

Solution: Recharge Your Battery

Whenever voltage starts decreasing, you will notice that the power will start decreasing too. This is also a part of the LVD feature. If LVD detects low voltage, it will reduce the power of the vehicle to 50%.

So, check if there is any decrease in the power of your vehicle. If so, then this is an indication of the low voltage of the battery. 

Now, what you have to do is to take the battery out of your vehicle. And recharge it until then use another fully charged battery.

Here’s a list of some of the best-selling LiPo batteries on Amazon.

That’s all my friend. Now you know all the reasons why the esc starts blinking a red light. Hope you will use the solutions and prevent your ESC from blinking any red light. 

Before ending the whole discussion, I’m leaving you with an important suggestion. Remember that you have to keep a regular check on your ESC. If you notice that the ESC is not turning on, it is going to be a huge problem for you. 


How will you know if the MOSFET of your ESC is okay or not?

You can test the MOSFET. If you see any burn mark or hole on it, it isn’t okay. Next, you can check it by continuity. Test the continuity between motor solder pads and power positive, and then with power negative. Test it for all 3 motor pads. If you catch any continuity between them, it isn’t okay.

What are the ways to install ESC on a car?

Hold ESC to the car with both-sided tapes. Strip and solder the end of the bottom motor wire and link it to the motor by melting. Link the extra two wires in parallel. Link the positive and negative wires to the battery. Glue the capacitor. Push the related wires in the motor and ESC and calibrate the ESC.

What are the steps to factory reset ESC?

First, ensure that the speed controller is on. Hold both buttons on ESC jointly until it flashes and chimes. Let it end its chiming. Search if it needs radio calibration or it is neutral. Calibrate the radio if it needs to. By resetting, all data will fade. So, reinstall the settings again.

Final Words

Now you know all the reasons for esc blinking red lights and their solutions too. Go through the solutions one by one to solve your problem.

Hoping that you’ve enjoyed the article. Share your ideas with us in the comment section.

Until then, good luck!

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