Skip to content
Home » Servo Motor Failure

Servo Motor Failure


Keeping your servo motor maintained and running in prime condition is vital to any industrial business, robotics enterprise, or CNC machine. Downtime from a faulty servo motor can be costly, both financially and to your lead times. Let’s take a look at some of the most common causes of servo motor failure and potential ways to avoid them.


Overheating can damage or destroy most mechanical and electrical devices, from automobiles to laptops. Servo motors are no exception. A motor may seem to have “survived” an instance of overheating: it may not seem damaged or show immediate signs of failure, but each overheat drastically reduces the overall lifespan of the motor. Blockages within the motor or environmental temperature increases are the leading causes of overheating. The temperatures created from other machines running in close proximity to a servo motor can also lead to an overheat. Monitor the temperature of your work space and that of your servo motor to help avoid heat damage.


Electrical surges and overcurrents can quickly damage a servo motor. Lightning strikes to motors that have no surge protection are a common occurrence, but power spikes from the power company, or faults from connected machines can also over deliver current. Introducing too high a current to a motor through human error can also cause damage. The electrical components in a motor (such as the circuit board) are particularly vulnerable to power surges. Make sure your servo motor has sufficient surge protection, and that it is not pushed beyond its electrical capacities.


The introduction of any sort of excessive moisture to your servo motor can cause its components to perform at less than optimum levels.  It can also contribute to component deterioration through rust. The negative effects of moisture are higher in closed-body motors. Drying your motor offline with fans and heaters at the first sign of moisture can help offset potential risk. As well, avoid over-lubricating your motor as the lubrication can be thrown into other internal components. Regulating your environment for humidity and ensuring your servo motor is protected from accidental flooding are excellent ways to reduce the risk of moisture damage.


Foreign debris in your servo motor can cause many of the same issues as moisture and accelerate the motor’s deterioration. Additionally, build ups of dirt can block or jam parts—in particular fans, which can then lead to overheating, another leading cause of servo motor failure mentioned above. If your motor is not fully closed, regular inspection and cleaning will keep your motor in good shape. 


Loose or unsecured parts, or foreign materials and dirt can cause unwanted vibration in your servo motor. Vibration can also mean there is a misalignment of a part within the motor, and continued usage can cause part failure. To avoid vibration damage, inspect the fittings and alignments of all internal components as soon as you notice the vibration. Keep an eye out for dirt or loose objects as you check things over.

We hope that we have provided your business with options for maintaining your servo motor. If the worst does happen and your servo motor fails, we are here for you! Ensil is a world leader in industrial and electronics repair. With highly skilled technicians and over 30 years in business, we provide fast, expert, cost-effective repair solutions for your operation. Visit to get your free repair estimate.