Traxxas XL5 ESC Troubleshooting

Traxxas XL5 ESC Troubleshooting: 6 Easy Fixes!


Your aging Traxxas XL5 has been facing some problems lately. You’re not really sure why such problems are surfacing. 

This brings out the question, how to conduct a Traxxas XL5 ESC troubleshooting?

The XL5 faces issues that can be fixed with proper maintenance. You can troubleshoot the problems by calibrating or Reprogramming the ESC. Some of the problems might be caused by external factors that need hardware replacement.

This much information is not enough to depict the entire subject. However, if you’re looking for more troubleshooting, why not spare a minute and read along?

Let’s dive in!

Common Traxxas XL5 ESC Issues And Troubleshooting

After a period of usage, roller cars eventually start having performance and hardware issues. A quality RC brand like Traxxas is no exception to that.

The root of the issue stems from several external factors that negatively impact the RC parts. This can show a drastic drop in performance or cause malfunctions.

To maintain optimal performance, the Traxxas ESC may require periodic calibration. But only resorting to calibration isn’t always enough to fix every issue. Manual troubleshooting is required to overcome the problems.

Let us learn more about the possible ESC problems, causes, and simple fixes-

Problem 1: Motor Not Running Despite ESC Working.

It can happen due to having a bad or damaged motor that is no longer functional. Another reason is due to the ESC thermally shutting down. The RC car throttle will stop responding. It can be confirmed by a rapidly blinking red LED. 


Try checking the motor and its connections by supplying power to it. Disconnect the ESC from the motor before conducting any form of testing.

Check if the input voltage to the ESC corresponds to the working voltage of the motor.

Take the power cable and plug it into the Channel 2 of the receiver. After plugging the power cable into the throttle channel, check the operation of the radio system. Use a servo to check the throttle channel of the radio system.

Plug the XL5’s power cable into the throttle channel of the receiver (Channel 2). With a servo, check the operation of the radio system’s throttle channel.

Overheating can shut down the process. So allow the ESC to slowly cool down to its normal temperature. 

Problem 2: XL5 ESC Won’t Go Into Programming Mode

Your ESC will not go into programming mode or calibrate in this case. 

This particular problem can happen for misplacing the throttle channel. The XL5 won’t go in programming mode if plugged into any channel other than channel 2.


Plug the XL5 into Channel 2 on the receiver. The XL5 should be turned off before trying the program or selecting a profile.

Unplug the RC car battery and reconnect the XL5 ESC. Repeat the process if it doesn’t work on the first try.

Problem 3:Throttle Stutters During Acceleration

Broken or missing motor capacitors usually result in such behavior. Having the receiver too close to power wires or batteries can culminate in such issues. This will make the RC facing problems to reach full throttle and stutter while accelerating.

Some other reasons why the throttle might stutter during acceleration is due to –

  • Bad connections
  • Excessive current to the motor 
  • Faulty/damaged wires


Replace the motor with a new one if damaged.

Damaged wires will disturb the connection and interrupt signal transfer. Replacing the impaired wirings with new ones can improve the connection significantly.

Try using a smaller pinion gear or a milder motor to avoid channeling excessive current.

Here are some great motors we recommend that are compatible with Traxxas XL5-

Product 1
Product 2

Problem 4: Motor Runs Slowly

Slow acceleration often happens if the motor is improperly geared. Furthermore, incorrect transmitter and speed control adjustments can also be the reason for slow acceleration. 

Your RC will fail to reach 100% throttle capacity in such cases.


Check the motor and battery connectors for potential damages. Replace them if any issue is detected.

Inspect if XL5 is set in training mode. If that is the case, the throttle will run at 50% capacity.

Reprogram the XL-5 if the ESC is set in training mode. Programming the XL5 to Sports or Race mode will restore the throttle to 100% capacity.

Problem 5: XL-5 Overheats And Shuts Downs

Running on tall grass or binding the drivetrain can overheat the ESC by overloading the motor. The motor may exceed maximum specification or just simply is not geared properly. Such cases overheat the ESC, leading it to shut down abruptly.


XL5 requires motors limited to 15-turns or 540 sizes. Don’t exceed that limit.

Use a milder motor to hinder excess current from flowing within the motor. Check the drivetrain for possible bindings. Remove the bindings that clog up the drivetrain.

Problem 6: Short Run-Time With NiMH Battery

This problem usually surfaces without any sign of overheating. It happens due to not disabling the Low-Voltage Detection( LVD) when using NiMH Battery. NiMH and LiPo are the only two types of batteries for Traxxas.

The ESC might face battery failure by over-discharging a LiPo battery. So use LiPo batteries only with ESCs having a low-voltage detection system to prevent that.


Disable LVD before using NiMH batteries. This will ensure that the ESC isn’t overcharged while running. Enable LVD if you switch back to using LiPo batteries.

Don’t try to fix any internal malfunction by yourself if detected. Return the XL5 to Traxxas if any internal damage is detected.

With that, we’ve troubleshot all the common ESC problems of Traxxas cars.


Question: Why does my Traxxas charger blink red light?

Answer: The red flashing can happen due to an issue with the fuse. Or it may simply be the battery not being properly connected with the charger. It can also happen if the battery turns too hot or if you use incompatible batteries.

Question: What do ESC beeps mean?

Answer: This means that the ESC was able to capture the signal range of the throttle from the transmitter. The ESC will emit three rapid tones, followed by two short beeps after connecting the battery.

Question: Can the XL5 ESC run a brushless motor?

Answer: The XL5 ESC only runs brushed motors down to 15 turns. Brushed motor is favored over brushless motor due to its suitability in operating in extreme environments.


We have elaborately discussed every possible Traxxas Xl5 ESC troubleshooting. Read the user manual provided by the manufacturer properly for more insight into the topic.

Hope you gained enough knowledge from these troubleshoots and fix your ESC problems.

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