9 most common Traxxas Maxx Issues (troubleshoot)


The Traxxas Maxx is an RC truck that changed the course of RC model history with its power and bashing capabilities, so it’s likely that many of you own one.

Today, we’ll be cataloging common problems with the Traxxas Maxx and how to fix them.

1. Traxxas Maxx Won’t Move

One such problem is that the Traxxas Maxx will turn its tires, but will not move forwards or backwards.

Maxx that doesn’t move is more than likely caused by a bad motor.

When your motor has seen too much action, such as running hard through rough terrain, taking water damage from exposure to rain, or is even just simply too old, your motor will eventually break.

Of course, a broken motor means that your RC model won’t be able to move forwards or backwards; 

But what if your Traxxas Maxx can’t move forwards and backwards, plus the tires won’t turn?

This problem is most definitely related to your battery. Either the wires have been disconnected from the battery in some way or the battery has gone bad.

Like with the motor, your RC battery can also take quite the beating, as well as fall victim to the sands of time.

If your Maxx doesn’t move and steer due to a bad battery and/or motor, the best and most obvious fix is to purchase replacements for these components.

2. Traxxas Maxx Won’t Turn On

This problem is in the same vein as our previous one. Sometimes, the Traxxas Maxx won’t just not move, but will simply not power on at all.

If your Traxxas Maxx won’t turn on, this is a power supply problem.

To make sure that this isn’t simply human error, please open up your Traxxas Maxx and take a look at the battery’s connector plug’s connection.

If your plug isn’t properly connected or is loose, please reconnect the battery’s plug properly and try to power on your Traxxas Maxx again.

If your Traxxas Maxx still won’t turn on, please inspect the battery’s connector plug’s pins, which will be located on the inside of the plug’s head.

If the pins are damaged or bent, you will need to buy a new battery connector. If the pins are coated in dust, grab a can of compressed air and blow as much of the dust away as you can.

It is also important to check if your RC transmitter is on. Make sure that your RC transmitter controller is turned on and has fully charged batteries.

However, if your Traxxas Maxx still won’t power on, then this means that your battery has gone bad and is no longer functional.

It is recommended to check with another battery to make sure that this is the issue causing your Maxx not to turn on.

If the battery has gone bad, this, of course, means that you will need to purchase a new battery for your Traxxas Maxx. 

 3. Traxxas Maxx Won’t Reverse

If you’ve run into this problem, you know it can be a real pain. Sometimes, your Traxxas Maxx may simply refuse to reverse.

One of the most common causes of this issue is not giving your model enough time to switch shifts.

When you’re in the moment, the fun and action can take your attention and care away from the functionality of your Traxxas Maxx, so you may forget that your RC truck needs time to complete certain tasks.

To check if it’s just human error, bring your RC truck to a full stop, then wait at least one second after shifting to reverse. Now your Traxxas Maxx should be going in reverse.

If this doesn’t seem to fix the issue, then it’s possible that there is some damage to the transmission internals. 

If your Maxx’s servo initiates reverse drive but your rig doesn’t move backwards, open up your RC truck and disassemble the transmission to look for damaged gears.

If you do find damaged parts, your best option is to order new parts or a new transmission from the manufacturer’s website.

4. Traxxas Maxx Won’t Steer

What’s worse than an immobile Traxxas Maxx? Realizing that you can no longer steer as your RC truck is about to collide with an obstacle at high speeds.

The main culprit of most cases where you can’t steer your Traxxas Maxx is a loose or disconnected servo connector.

Sometimes, servo connectors can come loose through rough use of your RC model, as well as just general use over time.

You can fix this by opening up your Traxxas Maxx and firmly reconnecting your steering servo to channel 1 of your micro receiver, then firmly reconnect your throttle to channel 2.

If this doesn’t resolve the problem, then listen closely to the servos as you try to steer your Traxxas Maxx. If you hear the servos responding to your input, check your servo linkages for damage or possible disconnection.

If your servo is damaged or the linkages are damaged, then it’s time to purchase a new servo, send the servo in for repairs, buy new components, or send in the damaged components for repairs.

5. Traxxas Maxx Overheats

Unlike the last issues we covered, overheating poses a much more immediate risk for your Traxxas Maxx.

Your Traxxas Maxx may overheat due to frequent use on terrain that is both rough and has sharp inclines.

Your Traxxas Maxx may be built for rough run, but every RC model has its limits. If you frequently subject your RC model to hard running and excessive bashing without many breaks, you can expect a number of problems to arise, such as overheating.

Another reason for your Traxxas Maxx overheating is that your motor may be going bad.

Before you can determine that your RC motor is going bad, firstly, you must open up your RC truck and take a look at its motor.

Does the motor smell strongly of something that has been burning? That’s a big indicator of an overheating motor.

Make note of what type of motor you have. For example, does your motor have brushes? 

If it’s the brushed motor Maxx then it’s more prone to overheating due to the friction that the brushes create.

If it’s the brushless Velinon version motor, it is less prone to overheating. However, brushless motors can still overheat.

The common reasons for a brushless motor overheating are bad bearings and taking on too much current from the power supply.

When a current from the battery is applied to your brushless motor, some of that energy is wasted and converted into heat, which will result in a higher risk of overheating.

The best way to keep your Traxxas Maxx from overheating due to high voltage is to make sure that the battery you’re using meets the voltage requirements of the brushless motor you are using.

traxxas maxx esc problem

7. Traxxas Maxx ESC Won’t Turn On

Much like the problem of your Traxxas Maxx not powering on, your ESC may also face the very same problem.

If the ESC in your Traxxas Maxx won’t turn on, this could be the result of damaged or disconnected wiring.

Of course, the best way to make sure that your ESC’s wiring isn’t damaged is to open up your remote controlled truck and inspect the ESC.

If you notice that your ESC’s wires are damaged, it’s time to purchase replacements for what is broken.

If you notice that your ESC’s wires aren’t properly connected to your Traxxas Maxx, carefully readjust them and reconnect them until they’re properly connected and try to power your ESC.

Additionally, if your ESC’s LED light is blinking a certain amount of times, make note of that and look up the sequence online to see what kind of error code it is.

If all else fails, it’s time to purchase a new ESC.

8. Traxxas Maxx ESC Blinking Red

However, if the ESC of your Traxxas Maxx is blinking red, this can mean a few different things.

Depending on the ESC you have, a blinking red light could indicate a spike in current, activation of thermal protection mode, or that your LiPo battery’s voltage discharge is reaching its minimum.

For example, if a Traxxas XL-2.5 is blinking red rapidly, that means that it has entered thermal protection mode. This is induced by extreme heat, so the best way to fix this is to discover what is causing the overheating and to resolve it.

Some Traxxas ESC models have four lights that will blink red to indicate a certain problem, such as the ones mentioned above.

An example of the Traxxas ESC models that have four LED lights are the Traxxas Velineon VXL-4s, 6s, and 8s. 

If the ESC throws error codes with its LED light blinking red even though you have fixed the power supply and the overheating problem, this is indicative of a faulty ESC and it should be replaced. 

9. How Do I Reset My Traxxas Maxx?

If your Traxxas Maxx is simply giving you too much trouble on its current settings, one of the best things to do may be to restore it to the factory default settings.

  • To reset your Traxxas Maxx to factory default settings, you must firstly turn off the transmitter controller.
  • Secondly, hold both the menu button and the set button, turn on your transmitter, then release the menu and set buttons.
    Your transmitter LED will blink red.
  • Now press the set button and clear settings. The LED will turn solid green and your transmitter will be back to the default factory settings.

Sources used for this article

Traxxas: Model does not run (no movement)

Traxxas: Reverse drive will not engage

Traxxas: Throttle works, but there’s no steering

Traxxas: Overheating on electrics and gearing

Traxxas: Restoring Factory Default Settings

Traxxas Maxx Manual (PDF)

How Brushless Motors and ESCs Work