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How to Test a Winch Motor

Each and every part of a winch has it own role and importance. Though we would like to discuss each and everyone of them, we could not do it all in one article which is why in this article, we shall focus on one of the most important parts of your winch and that is your winch’s motor.

Without a good working motor, your winch would be useless and would just be a piece of junk. This is why it is important to ensure that winch motor works at its peak performance and ensure that it is not damaged nor broken. To ensure this, you will have to test the functionality of it.

Safety First

Before we go in details, we must prepare first and one of the steps is to ensure that you are safe. One of which is if you do not have sufficient understanding about electricity and how it works, we suggest for you not to meddle with it. This would definitely eliminate risks of harming yourself and others.

Wear gloves. This is actually one of the most basic safety measure which you could do. Ensure that your gloves are strong and are of good quality.

Check your equipment. Ensure that your equipment of machinery is not damaged.

Avoid fire hazards. Ensure that you are not near any flammable materials as there could be sparks from the electric components of your winch could cause flammable materials to react.

How to Test a Winch Motor

Jumper Cable Test

  • Disconnect wires of your winch from your vehicle
  • Connect your vehicle’s battery to your winch using jumper cables
  • Use red cable on the positive terminal
  • Use black cable on the negative terminal of your battery
  • Connect the other end of the black cable to any terminal of your winch
  • Softly tap the other terminal of your winch through the use of your positive red cable
  • If the drum moves then your motor is working perfectly fine.
  • If your drum does not move, then the problem could be the electrical component of your winch and motor.
  • On your drum, connect to your terminal. This would turn your drum in one direction.
  • Reverse the connection to rotate it to the opposite direction.

Possible Problems

In this part of the article, we shall identify possible problems that your winch could be experiencing if your winch’s motor does not work.

  • Blown fuse – this is an electrical problem. The reason to this could be due to too much power being drawn by your winch which could have led to your fuse blowing up. To fix this problem, just replace the fuse and you are good to go.
  • Short circuit – this could be due to your wires being damaged which could have led to short circuit. Ensure that you check all the cables and wires. Ensure that they are not exposed.
  • Damaged brushes – If your drum would not move even after you tap the positive cable on your winch terminal, then the problem could be with your motor brushes. Just replace them and you will be good to go.

Voltage Drop Test

  • Use a multimeter.
  • Set your multimeter in VDC.
  • Connect one of the probes to the grounding of the winch
  • Connect the other probe to one of the cables of the winch. The polarity does not matter.
  • Activate the multimeter and the winch

Cleaning the Motor of Your Winch

  • Disconnect the motor from your battery
  • Through the use of a toothbrush and spray brake cleaning liquid, clean your motor
  • Ensure that you also clean the housing of your winch’s motor.
  • Wait for your motor to dry before you assemble it back.
  • Perform the voltage drop test again

If cleaning your motor does not improve it, then, there is a possibility that your motor has some broken parts in it. Hence, you might have to replace them or do a complete motor rebuilding.

Motor Goes Only One Way

If your motor goes only one way, then, here are some possible causes:

  • Bad wiring – ensure that there are no faulty wirings. Also, check the switch as bad wiring could also happen there as well.
  • Faulty switch – As mentioned earlier, you could have a faulty switch which could lead to your motor to turn one way. Hence, try to fix the electrical components of your switch or better yet, replace the whole thing.
  • Solenoid troubles – a solenoid’s main purpose is to make your winch drum rotate in one direction and another set would turn it to another direction. Ensure that your solenoids are not rusty, broken nor stuck.
  • Dirty motor – you will always have to maintain your winch’s motor by cleaning it.

Winch Is Very Slow

The reason to this issue could be the following:

  • Motor does not receive enough power – this means your motor could not be receiving sufficient power which would lead to reduction in speed and strength. This could be due to your battery, wiring or even your solenoids.
  • Greasing Problems – this issue could appear due to grease being applied wrongly on the mechanical parts. Once the grease gets too thick then particles could mix into it which makes the gears experience resistance.

Maintain Your Winch Motor

For you to not experience difficult issues regarding your winch’s motor, you will have to ensure that your motor is always kept maintained. This way it would lessen the risk of it being damaged. However, with over time, your motor could get damaged and when this happens, you will have to check and determine the problem that your winch’s motor is experiencing. We hope that through this article, you were able to find useful information which could help you in doing some tests to determine the issue or problem.

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