WD-40 is a unique lubricant that works like an aerosol.
However, it functions differently, from removing soil on metal surfaces to preventing rust, freeing up rusted metal parts, and removing dirt from a vehicle.
With all these benefits of WD-40, many RC hobbyists still wonder if using this lube will work well on brushless motors.
The truth is that WD-40 is a good cleaner but a very poor lubricant. If you use it to clean and oil the brushless motor, they work well, but they can affect the bearings and winding of the motor.
Can I spray WD 40 to the brushless motor?
WD-40 is not like a regular lubricant. While it does have some lubricating properties, it is more of a solvent than a lube.
On motors with brushes, using WD-40 is dangerous, particularly while the motor is operating. Why? The lube properties of WD 40 mean it has combustible vapors. So, spraying them directly on your brushed motor will mean risking sparks from the commutator brushes.
For your brushless motor, this is not the same.
Generally, yes, you can spray WD 40 on your brushless motor since it will effectively dissolve any corrosion on the metal parts it is sprayed on, However, it can attract dust and dirt to the motor.
The downside of spraying WD40 on brushless motors is that it dries up quickly and leaves a gummy residue, which invites more dirt on your brushless motor. The best way to avoid this is to spray the WD 40 on a rag, never directly on the motor. Then, use the rag to wipe down any dirt or rust.
Is WD 40 safe for electric motors?
As a lubricant, WD-40 is not safe for your electric motors since it can make the winding insulation and bearing of the motor weak.
As a cleaning solution, WD-40 is safe for electric motors since it removes rust and frees up stuck metal parts and hinges.
Can you use WD40 on motor bearings?
The most vital part of motor maintenance is lubricating the motor bearings because it promises an extended life for your RC motor. However, not all lubricants will work well for an RC motor bearing.
A good oil or lube used on the bearing of your motor should easily handle parts moving at a high RPM, heavy-duty, high temperatures, and in humid environments.
WD-40 won’t effectively handle these factors on the bearings of your brushless motor.
WD-40 is fantastic for applications such as; freeing up hinges, locks, cleaning, and rust-prevention, but it is the worst thing you can use on your RC motor bearings, especially as a lubricant.
Any oil that acts as a lubricant must have good oxidation resistance to resist sludge buildup at operating temperatures.
A good oil or grease will come with these antioxidant additives to provide this protection. WD40 does not contain such additives and would likely degrade rapidly.
What WD-40 has is a friction-causing element that will wear your brushless motor bearings.
Should you use WD40 for lubricating a brushless motor?
If you have brushless motors with ball bearings, you won’t have to lubricate them since ball bearings are sealed with grease in them.
If you do lubricate them, the results could be counter-productive while making a mess of the motor because the oil will attract specks of dust and dirt.
Regardless of this, you don’t want to use WD-40 to lubricate your brushless motors because of two main reasons:
- Most of the WD40 that you spray will evaporate and leave a gummy residue or oil behind. This oil has no benefits. Rather, if you previously used any good oil on the motor to lubricate it, it risks displacing the little good oil meant to maintain your RC car.
- The oil is very thin. So, it makes a good cleaning solvent but a very poor lubricating oil since it won’t protect moving parts from wear caused by friction.
Instead of using the WD-40 as a lubricant, it will best work as a cleaning solvent.
Why would you use WD40 for a brushless motor?
The most common downside of using WD-40 for brushless motors is that it will get dirty easily, especially if your run your RC car in dusty and sand-filled environments due to the gummy residues it leaves when it gets dry.
However, while WD-40 is not the perfect lubricant for a brushless motor, it does have its pros.
Technically, if you use it to clean the motors, it will help you maintain and improve the performance of your RC car.
Some additional benefits of using WD-40 for your brushless motor are that it runs smoother, produces less vibration and noise, becomes more efficient, and lasts longer.
The Bottom Line – Can I use wd40 on brushless motor
While many manufacturers term WD-40 a lubricant because it has some lube properties, it is not really a lubricant.
It works better as a cleaning solvent. If you’re considering lubricating the bearings of your brushless motor, check the recommended motor oil for your model.
On the other hand, avoid spraying WD-40 directly on your brushless motor. Instead, spray on a rag to use on the motor.
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