Why Is My Traxxas Blinking? [ESC, Charger, Or Receiver]

Traxxas RC cars are legendary for their performance and quality. Traxxas is well-known for building innovative features into RC cars of all kinds. Some of the built-in features on all Traxxas RC cars are LED lights used to indicate specific processes or issues within the RC car and its control systems. Understanding what it means when these lights blink is critical.

A blinking LED on Traxxas ESC units indicates LVD is activated. LVD must be deactivated when using NiMH batteries. Traxxas battery charger LEDs display various battery health information and charging issues. Traxxas receiver LEDs blink when they have been disconnected and must be reset.  

Every LED light means something different on a Traxxas RC car and control system, which makes understanding what each light indicates vital for maintaining the car well. Some of the most essential LED indicator lights are found on the ESC, the charger, and the receiver. Let’s explore what it means when these LED lights blink.


Why Is My Traxxas ESC Blinking?

An RC vehicle’s Electronic Speed Control, or ESC, is one of the most critical components of the car. It controls the speed at which the motor turns.

On some more sophisticated RC models, the ESC can even be responsible for dynamic braking and elements of the transmission as well.

The LED indicator light on Traxxas ESC units is designed to indicate specific processes and issues within the ESC unit. The primary function of the LED light here is to display which battery mode the ESC is set to.

Traxxas ESC units have two different modes for NiMH (Nickel-Metal Hydride) and LiPo (Lithium Polymer) batteries. An ESC set to NiMH mode should not be run with a LiPo battery and vice versa. LiPo battery mode turns on the Low-Voltage Detection (LVD) system within the ESC.

The indicator light on the ESC will blink when the LVD system is engaged, which can cause damage to ESC if used with a NiMH battery. If you use NiMH batteries and the LED is flashing red and green, do not drive the RC car.

Traxxas VXL ESC with green light on

This flashing light indicates that the LVD is engaged. The battery must be recalibrated for use with a NiMH battery.

To recalibrate the ESC for NiMH battery use, follow these steps:

  • Step 1: Disconnect the battery from the ESC.
  • Step 2: Turn on the transmitter (controller).
  • Step 3: Press and hold the EZ-Set button on the ESC until the LED light turns solid red. Release the button immediately when the light turns red. The LED will then blink once and turn off.
  • Step 4: When the LED turns off, activate full-throttle on the transmitter and hold it until the LED blinks twice.
  • Step 5: After the two blinks, immediately switch to full-reverse and do not let go. The LED will begin to blink rapidly.
  • Step 6: While still holding full-reverse, press and hold the EZ-Set button on the ESC for ten seconds until the LED turns solid red. The ESC may also play a short melodic tone at this point.
  • Step 7: Immediately release the throttle and the EZ-Set button when the light turns solid red. After a short blink, the LED should now be solid red and no longer blinking.

When the LED is shining solid red, the batter is now in NiMH mode, and it is ready to use safely with a NiMH battery.


Why Is My Traxxas Charger Blinking?

Another standard LED indicator light on Traxxas equipment is the LED indicator installed on the charger for Traxxas batteries. This LED may seem straightforward, but the truth is that this little LED provides you will all of the information you need regarding the battery, its charging status, the battery’s health, and any problems that may occur within the device.

This light indicates a lot of information, and you only need to know how to interpret it. Once you learn what the various indications shown by the LED on the charger mean, you will understand how important this little light really is.

Traxxas battery charger

Below is an explanation for each indication provided by the LED on Traxxas battery chargers:

Common LED Indicators: The LED light on Traxxas battery chargers indicate various important information.

The table below identifies the multiple meanings of the LED lights.

Solid red LEDBattery ready for charging
Steady flashing green LEDBattery charging in progress
Solid green LEDBattery fully charged
Flashing red LEDCharger or battery error
No LED illuminatedNo power to charger

Green Flashing LEDs: The LED on the charger will flash green when a battery is plugged into it to indicate the current charge state of the batter. The table below interprets what each flash of the green LED means.

1 green flashBattery is 0 – 25% charged
2 green flashesBattery is 25 – 50% charged
3 green flashesBattery is 50 – 75% charged
4 green flashesBattery is 75% charged or higher
Solid green LEDBattery is 100% charged

Red Flashing LEDs: The system of red flashing LEDs is essential to understand as well. Check the table below to know how to read the red flashing LED light on Traxxas chargers.

1 red flashCheck power source is properly connected
2 red flashesBattery error: disconnect battery and reconnect
3 red flashesSafety timer elapsed: disconnect battery and contact Traxxas support
4 red flashesHigh charger temperature: disconnect battery and allow to cool

Why Is My Traxxas Receiver Blinking?

Every RC car has a receiver that receives input information from the transmitter to control how the vehicle operates. If the receiver malfunctions or encounters an error, it can no longer control the car. Depending on the error, the vehicle may slow to a stop or continue in the same direction until it hits something. 

If an error occurs within the receiver, the LED indicator light will rapidly blink red. Fortunately, there is a simple solution to this issue that requires almost no time to fix. The receiver simply needs to be reset to resume normal function.

Traxxas TQi receiver with green light on

To reset the receiver:

  • Remove the body of your RC car. 
  • To expose the receiver, remove the waterproof cover over the electronics. 
  • You should see the receiver and the blinking red LED. 
  • Be sure that the ESC and every other car component are turned off before continuing.
  • With the receiver is exposed, turn off your transmitter and hold in the top button that reads “SET.” 
  • While holding the SET button, turn the transmitter on, and let go of all the buttons.
  • Next, press and hold the button on the receiver adjacent to the LED. While holding down the receiver button, turn on the ESC. 
  • Once the ESC is on, the light on the receiver should turn green, signaling that the receiver has been reset. 

The car should now be ready to drive.  


Conclusion

Understanding what each LED indication light on your Traxxas RC car means is essential to running and maintaining your RC cars well. Each LED is there for a reason, and interpreting the information that it relays is the best way to understand what is happening inside the components of your RC car.

Take the time to read through your instruction manuals for your Traxxas RC cars and RC car components, and all of the information you need will be found there. Understand the LED lights on your RC car, and you should be able to solve the issues that they indicate very quickly.

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