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Can I Use a Sensored ESC With a Sensorless Motor?

If you are researching sensored ESCs (Click here to see my best one, on Amazon), you may be wondering if they are compatible with a sensorless motor.

Can I use a sensored ESC with a sensorless motor?

You can use a sensored ESC with a sensorless motor. This is because most ESCs can be run on either type. However, it’s worth double-checking your proposed model first because there was always an exception to any rule.

When choosing an ESC it can be quite confusing especially when you factor in sensored vs. sensorless, brushed vs. brushless motors, etc.

But, what is the difference between a sensored and sensorless motor? What are the benefits of a sensorless motor? Keep reading for these answers, and much more.


What is the difference between a sensored and sensorless motor?

The difference between a sensored and sensorless motor is how the motor communicates with the ESC. The ESC controls the motor speed by tracking the position of the rotor. With sensorless ESCs it will gauge the rotor position by sending power to the motor and receiving back a voltage signal (Click here if your car is losing its signal).

Sensored motors are different, they have inbuilt sensors that communicate the rotor position to the ESC. The benefit of this is the speed of synchronization and improved efficiency.

What are the pros of a sensored & sensorless motor?

The benefit of a sensored motor is the smooth and powerful acceleration, especially from 0 Mph. It also offers amazing torque, which is ideal for rough terrain such as rocky ground. This is because the sensors allow the ESC to track the position of the rotor efficiently.

The benefit of a sensorless motor is the reduced weight. It is also more efficient at high speed, less complicated mechanically, and therefore less prone to failure.

Do I need a new ESC for a brushless motor?

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You will need a new ESC for a brushless motor if the rating is incompatible. Meaning the Amp rating. The ESC must handle the amp output of the motor. Therefore, you need a higher Amp rating on the ESC compared to the motor.

For example, If you had a 14 Amp rated motor you would need an ESC 10 to 20% higher than this. When choosing an ESC this is one of the most important factors (more on this later). And, is one of the key areas that new RC car drivers tend to get wrong.

So, now you know what to look out for when you need to pick up a new brushless motor or ESC (Click here for the reviews on Amazon).

How can I run a BLDC Motor without ESC?

You cannot run a BLDC motor without an ESC. This is because the ESC is a mandatory component that cannot be excluded. The BLDC, also referred to as, BL, or simply “Brushless”, relies on the ESC to work.

Without a full understanding of the relation between the ESC and the BLDC, it can be quite difficult to understand what you can and cannot get away with. But, now you have learned that you cannot run the BLDC motor without the ESC.

How do I choose the right ESC for my motor?

When choosing a new ESC (Click here for an example, on Amazon) the most important thing is making sure that you get the correct amp rating. Meaning, the ESC needs to be able to handle the output of the motor. Also, it needs to have the same amount of cells as the motor.

Regarding the rating, the ESC should be at least 10 to 20% higher than the motor amp rating. For example, if you have a motor that outputs 14 amps. The ESC should be at least 10% larger, but ideally 20% higher.

Another consideration is having a BEC (Battery Elimination Circuit) built-in. This is basically a voltage regulator.

How do I know if my ESC is working?

The best way to check if your ESC is working is by testing it with another proven motor. For example, get hold of another motor, if possible, and swap them. After you have swapped, if the motor is spinning fine and working, it can’t be the ESC, and points the finger at the old motor being at fault.

Alternatively, if the motor is still not working, then it could be the ESC or another component. But, at least you can eliminate a component to help you troubleshoot further.

How can I test my brushless motor without ESC?

How can I test my brushless motor without ESC?
How can I test my brushless motor without ESC?

It’s not possible to test a brushless motor without an ESC. The ESC is needed to run it so this is not an option. You will need to inspect the wires for loose connections or anything else. Alternatively, swap the components and troubleshoot the issues one by one.

Testing brushless motors can sometimes be very technical and time-consuming, especially if you have not had a lot of experience. This is where intermediate, or professional RC drivers excel. And, the beginner tends to struggle.

Can a Brushless ESC run a brushed motor?

A brushless ESC can run a brushed motor. However, it is very unlikely to work. This is because most brushed ESCs are not compatible. For example, different firmware and a brushless type require three banks of MOSFETS.

So, now you know, even though it is theoretically possible, it’s very unlikely to get a brushless ESC to run with a brushed motor. Especially if you are new to this. In this case, you should assume that it will not work.

Can a bad ESC burn up a motor?

A bad ESC can burn a motor. Also, a bad motor can damage a functioning ESC, which can in turn lead to burnout. This is why it’s important to replace any malfunctioning parts to avoid these problems.

So now you know about the SC combined upper motor and calls you expense and headache.

What happens if your motor has a higher rating than the ESC?

If your motor has a higher rating than the ESC the motor can pass more power than the ESC can handle. This can result in the ESC burning ou,t wires burning, etc. Therefore, the ESC must have a higher rating than the motor to avoid is happening.

Most RC car enthusiasts, who need to replace their ESC or motor, often wonder what will happen if the motor has a higher rating than the ESC. So, now you know what will happen in this scenario and how you can avoid any problems.

What causes a brushless motor to fail?

Two main issues can cause a brushless motor to fail. Firstly excessive Heat, or dirt in the bearings. Regarding heat,  if the temperature 175 ° F you may notice your car losing power or even worse.

The other issue, dirt in the bearings, this can cause problems with the motor running and other issues with your internal components. This is one of the reasons why Nitro cars are known to wear out bearings faster.