How Cold Is Too Cold for a Brushed Motor (Avoid Damage)

Temperature changes can have significant impacts on motors. Quite often, people operate their RC cars with brushed motors during the winter at extremely low temperatures. Generally, you want to keep your RC brushed motor temperature between 150°F and 160°F.
While a temperature below 150°F, close to 120°F, is safe for your RC brushed motors, anything below 40°F can cause permanent damages to the motor. 

At What Low Temps You Shouldn’t Run Your Brushed Motor?

Since we’ve established that the average temperature RC brushed motors can run is between 150°F to 160°F, you want to know that a significant increase in the temperature levels can affect your motor’s performance, so also a decrease. 

Usually, temperatures between 170°F can be considered somewhat safe, but they can also cause potential damage to the RC motor. Most people try to stick with the 150°F to 160°F average. Others let the thrill of RC racing get them and go higher than this at around 180°F. Here’s what you didn’t know – with this temperature, you risk damaging the magnets of your brushed motors. 

At 180°F, the motor overheats, causing demagnetization, increasing the KV and heat output of the engine. This increased heat leave moves on to fry the motor components. Temperatures around 200°F and 300°F will also damage your motor as it becomes too hot to run. Plus, it damages the glow plug, making you spend money on costly repairs. 

Like these hot temperature illustrations, if the temperature of your brushed motors goes lower than 100°F, possibly 60°F to 70°F, it’s best to avoid track races because you will experience a drop in the performance. 
So, when it starts to get freezing outside, lower than 40°F, it’s better that you won’t run your RC car in the cold.

When winter comes and temps are lower than 40°F or 5°C, it’s better not to run your electric RC outside

What Temperature Should a Brushed Motor Run?

For a brushed motor, the lower the temperature, the better the performance. However, brushed motors should run on an average temperature between 130°F to 150°F. Why? While a lower temperature can boost the performance and speed of the motor, it’s always best to run at a safe temperature to prevent possible hazards on the track.

What Happens to a Brushed Motor in the Cold?

Brushed motors belong to the permanent magnet motor class, which works to generate torque through their inbuilt magnetic fault. 

When exposed to low temperatures, they lose their magnetic power, and their performance suffers, including; their speed and torque. 

As the temperature continues to increase, its resistance also increases, but the torque and voltage constant will decrease. An effect like this results in a no-load speed and makes your brushed motor struggle to maintain performance. 

Additionally, when running too cold, brushed motors could overheat. Admittedly, this condition is most common when RC brushed motors run too hot, it’s also possible for your brushed motors to overheat in low temps during winter. When the RC cars are used for an extended period in the cold without the right setup, proper ventilation, and airflow. 

Can a Brushed Motor Be Too Cold to Run?

Brushed motors work exceptionally in the cold, but you’ll have to consider their current state and performance before over-exerting the motor power. 

When your brushed motors are run too cold, you’ll likely damage the brushes, the com copper night loses color, and both the brushes and com copper will harden. Plus, you find that the wind gets darker. Likewise, the motor may overheat and weaken the magnet. 

Does the Brushed Motor Need to Warm Up?

You do not need to warm up the brushed motor in your electric RC car. Why? Motors are attached to your RC car, and it’s not possible to run them without your car moving. Your car may need to warm up for the drive, but your brushed motors don’t need to warm up. While battery performance may be affected easily In the cold, electric motors are 100% happy in the cold as they are on humid days. 

Are There Brushed Motors That Can Run at Very Low Temps?

Yes, there are brushed motors that can run at very low temps. Some of them are: 

  • 775 High Power DC Motor, DC 12V-24V 12000 RPM Large Torque Motor 
  • Greartisan DC 12V 550RPM Gear Motor
  • Greartisan DC 12V 200RPM Gear Motor High Torque

Can You Damage Your RC Car’s Brushed Motor if You Run It in the Cold?

RC brushed motors can easily damage when run in freezing temperatures, even when they notice heightened performance levels in the cold. 

Conclusion: Does Low Temp Affect the Performance of a Brushed Motor?

Brushed motors may not be widely used like their brushless counterparts due to their difference in performance functions. But, they do well in the cold weather. However, an excessively low temp can limit their performance levels. For this reason, it’s best to keep track of the temperature levels using a thermostat.