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Why Won’t My Traxxas Summit Move?

If your Traxxas Summit is not moving keep reading to learn why and what you can do about it.

Why Won’t My Traxxas Summit Move?

Here are the common reasons for this:

Battery Issues:

Low Battery Power

One of the most common reasons for your Traxxas Summit not moving is a low battery. If your truck has inadequate power, it might not be able to move. Make sure the battery is fully charged. If the problem persists, consider purchasing a new battery, as the old one may no longer hold a charge.

Incorrect Battery Connection

If the battery is properly charged but the truck still isn’t moving, ensure that the battery is correctly connected. Check the wires and connectors for any visible damage. Ensure all plugs are securely fitted into their corresponding sockets.

Electronic Speed Control (ESC) Issues:

ESC Not Calibrated

The Electronic Speed Control (ESC) needs to be properly calibrated for the truck to move. If the ESC calibration is off, the truck may not respond as expected. Refer to your Summit’s user manual to understand how to calibrate the ESC.

ESC Damage

ESC components can fail due to overheating, overloading, or physical damage. If your truck doesn’t move even after ESC calibration, consider replacing the ESC.

Transmitter/Receiver Issues:

Frequency Interference

Remote control cars like the Traxxas Summit operate on specific radio frequencies. If there’s interference on that frequency, your commands might not be reaching the truck. Try operating your Summit in a different location to see if the issue persists.

Misalignment of Transmitter and Receiver

The transmitter (remote control) and the receiver in the truck must be properly paired for effective communication. Check the user manual for steps on how to correctly bind your transmitter to the receiver.

Mechanical Issues

Drivetrain Damage

If the drivetrain (gears, axles, differentials) is damaged or jammed, your Summit might not be able to move. Check the drivetrain for any visible damage or debris. Cleaning and regular maintenance of the drivetrain can prevent such issues.

Motor Failure

A burnt-out motor can also prevent your Traxxas Summit from moving. If you smell a burning odor or see smoke, this could be a sign that the motor has failed. In this case, you might need to replace the motor.

Is the Traxxas Summit a Crawler?

Traxxas Summit Truck.
Traxxas Summit Truck.

No. However, it partially is. The Summit combines elements of both an RC crawler and an RC monster truck. It’s capable of slow, controlled movement over rough terrains and can manage rock crawling with its low gear and high torque.

Simultaneously, it also enjoys the speed and agility of an RC truck in its high-gear mode. Therefore, the Traxxas Summit is more accurately classified as a hybrid RC vehicle.

It bridges the gap between a dedicated crawler and a high-speed off-roader, making it an excellent choice for RC enthusiasts who want the best of both worlds.

What defines an RC crawler?

RC crawlers, also known as rock crawlers, are remote-controlled vehicles designed for slow-speed off-road use, often for navigating rocky and complex terrains. They are designed with high torque, excellent suspension articulation, and a low gear ratio for extreme control on difficult terrains.

One of the standout features of the Summit is its ability to switch between high and low gear on the fly, with its unique transmission design.

The low gear of the Summit enables it to crawl at slower speeds and generate high torque, much like a conventional crawler. However, when switched to the high gear, it’s capable of reaching considerable speeds which is not characteristic of traditional RC crawlers.

How Fast is a Traxxas Summit?

As of my knowledge, the Traxxas Summit comes with a stock brushed motor and a two-speed transmission system, allowing it to reach top speeds of around 25 mph in high gear under optimal conditions.

However, the speed can significantly vary based on several factors including the type of battery used, the terrain it’s driven on, and the weather conditions.

Factors that affect the speed

For example, while a 7-cell NiMH battery can power the Summit to its typical top speed, upgrading to a 3S LiPo battery could potentially increase that speed.

However, it’s important to note that upgrading your battery should be done carefully, as the additional power could put more strain on the motor and other components, potentially shortening their lifespan if not properly managed.

Terrain and weather also play a significant role in the speed of the Traxxas Summit. Loose surfaces like gravel or sand can reduce traction, thereby affecting the top speed. Similarly, cold weather can cause the battery to discharge more quickly, which could also impact speed.

One of the unique features of the Summit, though, is its ability to shift gears remotely, allowing users to switch from high gear for maximum speed to low gear for more torque, which is necessary for steep hill climbing or negotiating tricky obstacles.

Additionally, some hobbyists enjoy modifying their Summit models to achieve greater speeds. This can involve changing the gear ratio, swapping out the brushed motor for a brushless one, or even using a larger pinion gear.

These modifications can potentially increase the Summit’s top speed substantially, but they should be undertaken with caution, as they can also increase the risk of overheating or other damage to the vehicle.