Do RC Motor Fans Work? Are They Worth It?

In most cases, excessive heat is what causes motor failure. Maybe you’ve geared up a bit or installed bigger wheels on your RC, a motor fan might be just what you need to keep your motor cool.

RC motor fans do work to reduce the motor temperature which will extend its life and prevent the thermal overload protection from powering off your system. Not every RC motor needs a fan but it does help to keep things cool especially if you’ve fitted bigger gears or tires and for driving in hot weather.

Motor fans also prevent overheating during long run times like when you change out batteries with fresh ones and continue driving. The motor doesn’t get a chance to rest.

In most cases though, if your’e running a stock RC, you probably aren’t going to need a cooling fan.

Do YOU Need An RC Motor Fan?

The best way to determine whether or not you require an RC motor fan is by monitoring the temperatures of your motor with a temperature gun. (Amazon listing for temp gun) Most RC motors shouldn’t get much hotter than 160 degrees Fahrenheit. If your motor is running higher than 160 degrees Fahrenheit you run the risk of damaging the motor magnets.

Related post: Overheating RC Motor? Heres What to do

At the same time, you can check the temperatures of the other components like batteries and ESC. The batteries shouldn’t get much hotter than 120 degrees Fahrenheit and the ESC shouldn’t get much hotter than 140 degrees Fahrenheit. Although you should check your owners manual for your specific temperature limits.

You might need a motor fan if:

  • You’ve installed bigger/heavier wheels to your RC car. They can overheat the motor because of the extra resistance and weight.
  • You’ve fitted bigger gears to your RC. They will also create more resistance for your motor and will raise the temperatures.
  • In very hot weather and direct sunlight, your RC motor will get very hot and may need additional cooling.
  • You running your RC for long periods of time using multiple batteries.

How Hot Should Your RC Motor Get?

Keeping in mind that you should check your manual for specific temperature ranges. Most RC motors run well at around 150 to 160 degrees Fahrenheit. Much more than 160 degrees and you run the risk of overheating your motor. Luckily most new brushless motors have built-in protection that will cut the motor off before it gets totally fried.

Other Ways To Keep Your RC Motor Cool

There are a few ways in which you can cool your RC motor down without using a fan, here are the most popular ways.

Increase the airflow around the motor:

You can drill holes into the body of your RC to allow some wind to pass through. You can even cut out small pieces of the body to allow more airflow to the motor. Modify your RC body and monitor the motor temps after an aggressive 10 to 15-minute run. If the temperatures are below 160 degrees Fahrenheit after the run, you probably don’t need a motor fan.

Related post: How To Tell if An RC Motor Is Bad: A Straightforward Guide

Using a suitable heat sink:

Distributing the heat of your motor through to a heat sink will cool it down but you have to make sure not to block any motor ventilation holes. You also need to be careful with the size of the heat sink you choose. It doesn’t help if the RC weight is increased too much as the extra weight will just cause the motor to work harder and create extra heat.

Using only a fan is good because fans are so lightweight that it doesn’t make much of a difference to the total weight of the RC but still cools the engine well.

Use highly efficient bearings:

You can replace brushless motor bearings with stainless steel bearings or ceramic hybrids which will decrease the resistance within the motor. The motor will turn easier and perform better without using extra power, efficient bearings will actually allow the motor to perform better while drawing less power from the batteries.

Gear down:

Reducing your gear sizes can significantly reduce your motor temperatures. To oversimplify gearing, the bigger your gears are the faster the car will go and the hotter the engine will get because it’s working harder. As you decrease your gear size you will lose top speeds while the engine runs cooler because it’s much easier to turn the smaller gears.

Do Brushless Motors Run Cooler?

Brushless motors do run cooler than brushed motors because there’s no friction in brushless motors while brushed motors have bushes that create friction while the motor is running. Bushes also create arcing which causes more heat in the motor. Not only do brushless motors run cooler, but they also draw less power from your batteries to do the same amount of work as a brushed motor.

Best Selling RC Motor Fans

After considering the information in this article, if you determine that you need an RC motor cooling fan, take note of the following basic advice.

If your’e installing a motor or ESC fan, make sure to have the air blowing onto the part you want to cool. (The motor or ESC) Don’t try to cool the motor by installing the fan backward to suck hot air away from it, it’s just not as effective as blowing the air onto the component. This is proven by the fact that CPU fans on computers blow fresh air onto the heatsink and don’t suck hot air out. You also face a fan blowing towards your body if you want to cool down and not away from you.

Also, make sure not to cover up any motor ventilation holes while applying heat sinks.

You’ll need to check the compatibility with your specific RC as this range of fans won’t fit every type of car. With all that out of the way, here are some of the best selling RC motor fans available.

Apex RC 30x30x10mm Ball Bearing Motor/ESC Cooling Fans

This is a good option that includes two fans, you can use one for your ESC as well. It plugs into receivers 4.8V-6.0V Voltage input. Each fan will add 7.75g of weight to your RC which is hardly anything.

See it here on Amazon

Hobbywing Ezrun 5V C4 Cooling Fan with Heatsink

This motor fan and heatsink are suitable for ⅛ scale RC cars. (4465 motors)

The fan is a 5V C4 Fan and the heatsink is 44 x 65mm in size.

Simply attach the heatsink around your motor and plug the power cable into an available slot on the receiver.

See it here on Amazon

Dynamite Motor Cooling Fan With Housing

Another cooling fan suitable for ⅛ scale RC models. The housing makes it easy to clip in and install. Plug the power in the receiver and you are good to go.

See it here on Amazon

HobbyCrawler Motor Cooling Fans

This fan will work with 1/10 scale RC models. Mount the fan to blow air onto your motor and plug it into the receiver. It’s a 30mm size and made of durable and light plastic.

See it here on Amazon

Nitro Hobbies 30mm Alum Case Cyclone Cooling Turbo Motor Fan

Here’s another option for people with 1/10 scale models. The max voltage is 8.4V and the fan spins at a maximum of 28000RPM. It comes with a JST connector and also has dual ball bearings. A heatsink is also included.

See it here on Amazon

Dynamite Motor Cooling Fan 1/10

The Dynamite Motor Cooling Fan also comes in sizes suitable for 1/10 scale models. It has its own casing which makes it easy to install.

See it here on Amazon

Conclusion

RC motor fans help a lot in reducing the heat of the motor. Since excessive heat is the main cause of motor failure, a fan can prevent your motor from being burnt out. If you’re running a stock standard RC in normal weather and terrain conditions you probably won’t need a cooling fan. The best thing to do as an RC enthusiast is to buy a temperature gun to monitor all components of your RC so that you can properly determine whether or not anything is overheating. This one on Amazon is relatively low priced.

Paul Good

This awesome hobby has something for everyone, whether you like to build your RC from scratch and keep modifying till you've got it to just how you want it, to track racing. You might be out with a boat, or perfecting your skills with a plane. Are you taking some cool pics with your drone? I'm sure my site will help you on your journey.

Recent Posts