Can I Put Any Motor In My RC Car? (All The Do’s and Don’ts)

Whether you want to replace your motor to upgrade your RC car or just because your current motor is fried, knowing the technical side of things can make a world of difference.

Today, we’re going to go over brushed and brushless motors for RC cars and go in depth about putting a motor in your model.

Here’s The Answer

Don’t want to be bothered with all the little details?

No, you cannot install just any motor into your RC car without also upgrading the ESC for compatibility.

If your RC car has a brushed or brushless motor, it will also have a brushed or brushless ESC to go with it. If you want to upgrade from a brushed motor to a brushless motor, you will need to also upgrade your ESC to a brushless one.

The brushless motor is a standard for hobby-grade RC car manufacturers, and this is due to its heat dissipation efficiency, the lack of noise it produces, and the higher speeds it can reach.

The brushless motor will last longer than the brushed motor, as the brushless motor won’t experience the same wear and tear that the brushed motor will, and this is due to the lack of brushes.

You cant put any motor in any RC car. You need to make sure it fits other electronics on your car

What Kind Of Motors Do RC Cars Use?

The first step in replacing your motor is to figure out which ones are used in most RC cars.

RC cars use two types of motors, which are brushed and brushless.
For many RC cars nowadays, brushless motors are more commonly used due to their longevity.

Which Is Better – Brushed Or Brushless?

Wait! Before you go and buy a motor, you’re going to want to know which of the two is better.

Brushed motors tend to overheat from overuse due to a low capacity for heat dissipation, which will damage the motor and render it useless over time.

The heat produced by a brushed motor is generated by the friction of the armature rotating at high speeds within the motor. The brushes in the brushed motor will also need regular maintenance.

However, they are cheaper than brushless motors to produce, and this is due to the production being entirely machine automated, which makes them cheaper to produce, and therefore, cheaper for you to purchase.

Brushless motors can dissipate heat more efficiently, leading to a longer lifespan for the motor, and in turn, your RC car. 

Since there are no brushes within the brushless motor, there is no need for regular maintenance. 

However, brushless motors are more expensive than brushed motors. 

This is due to the fact that brushless motors require more attentiveness and hands-on human intervention during production, which is a hard and tedious job for the manufacturers.

As an investment, brushless motors are considered to be the better option for your RC car, simply based on longevity.
It should also be stated that brushless motors are much faster than brushed and have longer run times.

Can You Put An Electric Motor In A Nitro Car?

Whether you can’t handle the extra expense of buying fuel for your nitro RC car, or you just want to convert your car to electric as a fun challenge, you must know if such a thing is possible before you begin.

You can convert your nitro RC car into an electric one by taking out the nitro engine, clutch, etc, then replacing these components with the electrical equivalents. 

To make this an easier process, conversion kits are sold all over the web, but depending on your specific RC car model, this kit could cost you up to $50.

Can You Put A Brushless Motor In A Brushed Car?

Do you want to upgrade your old, brushed RC car with a more modern, brushless motor? Is it even possible?

Yes, but…

To convert your brushed RC car to a brushless model, you must not only replace the motor, but the ESC as well.
The type of the ESC must be compatible with the type of the motor.

The way a brushed ESC works is by rapidly turning the voltage to the brushed motor on and off. This rapid switching occurs multiple times in a single second, which controls the speed of the RC car. 

If you want to go faster, the ESC will allow the voltage to pass to the brushed motor for a longer period of time, which will allow for your model to go faster as the motor rotates faster.
To slow down, the ESC will cut the voltage to the brushed motor for a longer amount of time, slowing the spin of the motor.

A brushless motor requires a compatible ESC, as a brushed ESC won’t know what to do without the brushed motor. 

Without the ESC, there would be no control as to how much voltage it is receiving and the voltage from your RC car’s battery would destroy your motor. 

The proper ESC is absolutely essential.

How Do I Choose An RC Motor?

You may still be a little lost, especially if you’re not too technically minded, but that’s okay because we’re here to give you the facts to help inform your decision.

A brushless motor is a good choice for the long-term functionality of your RC car, as less friction means less heat produced, and that means that your motor will last much longer than the alternative.

A brushless motor will also accelerate faster and be able to maintain high speeds for prolonged periods of time, and all with minimal noise. This is also due to the lack of friction.

A brushless motor is produced with more hands-on attention to the inner components, which is a difficult job for the workers to do, making the price of brushless motors higher than the brushed motors.

What About Brushed Motors? How Do They Compare to the Industry-Standard Brushless Motor?

A brushed motor is a good choice if you’re on a tight budget, but remember that for the long run they have a shorter life span than the brushless alternative. “Light-hobbyists” who only run their cars on weekends for a short time will probably won’t need more than a brushed motor.

A brushed motor will accelerate to a standard speed for toy-grade RC cars, however, for pro-hobbyists, this acceleration is outdated and unimpressive. 

A brushed motor is produced entirely by machine automation, which means it is cheaper to produce, as well as cheaper for you to purchase.

5 Best Brushless Motors For RC Cars

Before we wrap it up, let’s take a look at five of the best brushless motors on the market

• Traxxas Brushless Power System

• Tamiya Brushless RC Motor

• HGLRC Brushless Motor

• Honorall Brushless Motor

• Crazepony Brushless Motor


The brushless motor is standard for RC model companies, therefore, investing in a brushless motor is going to give you more bang for your buck, and it will ultimately prolong the lifespan of your RC car, as well as the fun that it brings you.

Sources used in this article to provide you the best information

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