How to Test ESC with Multimeter

How to Test ESC with Multimeter: 3 Easy Steps


Sometimes our car engine or water motor suddenly stops operating.

Most of the time it’s difficult to identify a reason behind a failed motor. Especially when a swapped motor doesn’t even work. Right then you might want to check your ESC.

Do you want to learn how to test ESC with multimeter

First, inspect your ESC thoroughly. Next, put your multimeter in the continuity mood. And finally, test for short in your MOSFETs. If you get any beep tone while testing that indicates short or continuity.

This is the summary of the whole ESC test in three steps. If you are still confused then it’s okay. Let’s discover the whole method together.

How Does an ESC Work?

ESC activates the brakes to help you steer the vehicle in the desired direction.

An ESC or an Electronic Speed Controller regulates the brushless motor activity. It initiates the related MOSFETs to generate the rotating magnetic field. A MOSFET is a little electrical button that transfers the surge of electricity periodically. Hence, the motor rotates. 

The faster the ESC moves, the higher the speed of the motor will be. Just like your roar-approved 17.5 motor. 

You see, the ESC has an essential function in the engine’s performance. Nonetheless, problems with it could result in troubles with the vehicle’s operation and drivability.

A dying or poor ESC module will develop some signs. And those will notify the driver of an apparent difficulty that must be checked. 

How Can You Know About A Bad ESC?

Here are some apparent indications that your ESC is failing. They’ll suggest when you should check your ESC. So, here’s how to test if an ESC is working:

Symptom 1: The Car Doesn’t Spark Or Start

A no spark situation is a clue that you are having a broken ESC. Keep in mind that the ESC module is a part that controls the engine spark. 

It could put your car without a spark if it malfunctions. A car might still crank without any spark. But it won’t operate anymore. 

Your RC car won’t start if the ESC goes bad.

Symptom 2: The Engine is Lagging

Engine slowing down is one more indication of a failing ESC. A failing and malfunctioning ESC module might affect your engine. Then it will stall and won’t start again. 

You might know about a car’s engine operation. It could often be resumed after a little time. Normally, after the ESC has been enabled to cool off. 

Symptom 3: More Engine Operation Issues

This is quite possibly the most normal signal of a malfunctioning ESC. Do you see the ignition module failing? 

You might observe cases that could develop performance problems with the car. Such as decreased fuel economy, failure of power, delay, or misfires. 

If your ESC has a burnt electronics smell coming out of it, then there is a chance that your ESC has gone bad or burned out. Again, if the secondary motor doesn’t run properly, it’s also an indication of bad ESC.

You need to test your ESC right away if you notice such. So, now we will look into how you can test ESC with a multimeter. Let’s find out-

How to Test ESC With a Multimeter?

Often it can be tough to distinguish whether the motor or ESC is wrecked. Sometimes, it’s apparent. 

In this case, you should check your brushless motor with a multimeter. Otherwise, you can simply switch the motor. If the motor still doesn’t swirl right, you conclude it’s the ESC. 

We will introduce you to an easier way to test the ESC. You see, you can do this all by using a multimeter. Follow the following steps to guide yourself appropriately.

Step 1: Scan Your ESC

In this first step, just take a look at your ESC. Make sure there’s no physical damage, no missing capacitors that popped off. Also, ensure there aren’t any singed capacitors or whatever appears as though it’s dissolved.

Every ESC has 3 phases to which motor pads correspond. You will know your ESC is bad if one of the phases gets damaged and stutter due to the motor not spinning properly.

Step 2: Continuity Test Mode

Firstly, grab your digital multimeter. Then, put it into continuity test mode. Next, touch the probes together. You will get a beep tone. 

Before getting to the connectivity test you should know this. ESC functions in a way that electricity moves toward the central energy lead. Then it runs to MOSFETs. 

Primarily, the MOSFETs switching on and off runs the motors. It lets electricity flow out the particular motor pads. Thus the motor spins. 

Normally, you shouldn’t have an electrical connection when such MOSFETs are shut down.  

Step 3: Test The Connectivity 

Look for any short or continuity. Test the connectivity between the positive and the negative pad with the motor outputs. You can test the ESC still seated in the quad with an XT60 plug. 

Let me tell you if there’s any continuity you’ll get a beep sound. So, carefully test between the motor outputs. Because you have a broken FET if there’s any continuity. 

Remember that no continuity doesn’t indicate the ESC is good. The ESC is fried when you get continuity. Furthermore, you should fix it.

Just like a decent servo tester, you might want the best ESC for your motor. No worries! We’re mentioning some good quality ESC to help you- 

Product 1 
Product 2 

We’re done with explaining all the steps of the test for you. Hope you would now know how to test your ESC with a multimeter. 

It’s the safer option to keep ESC on all the time. That’s also applicable for driving on a high-speed dirt road.


Question: Why does ESC burn out?

Answer: An ESC burnout because of some possible reasons. For example improper gearing and imperfect soldering. Also, faulty battery and factory defects can cause the ESC to burn out.

Question: How to know which ESC to use?

Answer: The primary thing to see while picking ESC is the current rating. It’s measured in Amps. Motors draw current when they spin. But if it draws more Amps than your ESC can’t handle. It will start to overheat.

Question: What are the multimeter safety precautions? 

Answer: Before you measure with your multimeter, you should visually scan it first. Screen the meter, test probes, and accessories. Look over for physical damage. Make sure all fittings fit safely.

Final Words

Congratulations! Now you know how to test ESC with a multimeter. Hope these explained steps will assist you in discovering a bad ESC. 

That is all for today. Let us know if you successfully tested an ESC with a multimeter.

Ciao, for now!

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