Electric Motor Maintenance: A Guide for Optimal Performance

Electric motors serve as integral components in diverse industries and applications, spanning from manufacturing and transportation to household appliances. They play a pivotal role in powering complex machinery and equipment, thereby necessitating meticulous maintenance to ensure their efficient and dependable operation. While electric motors are designed to operate continuously, like any other mechanical device, they require regular maintenance to optimize their performance and extend their lifespan.

What does Electric Motor Maintenance look like?

Regular electric motor maintenance can and will save you from unplanned downtime, thus increasing your profitability and motor lifespan. Many of our customers have developed preventative maintenance plans to help them reduce their downtime and ensure plant efficiency.

The regularity of maintenance tasks for your motor, such as lubrication, changing bearings, and rewinding, depends on several key factors. These include how many hours a day the motor runs and the number of days it operates each week, in addition to whether the motor is frequently started and stopped or runs continuously. Additionally, the motor’s operating environment significantly influences its maintenance needs.

Preventative Maintenance Tasks

Routine maintenance tasks are essential for keeping electric motors in good working condition. These tasks should be performed periodically as part of a routine maintenance program. Here are some common maintenance tasks for electric motors:

Routine Inspection and Cleaning

Regular inspection and cleaning of electric motors is essential to keep them free from dirt, dust, and debris that can accumulate on the motor’s surface and affect its performance. Cleaning can be done using a soft brush or compressed air, avoiding the use of water or harsh chemicals that can damage the motor. During the inspection, the motor should be checked for any signs of wear, damage, or overheating, and any issues should be addressed promptly.


Lubrication is crucial for the smooth operation of electric motors. Bearings, brushes, and other moving parts should be lubricated according to the manufacturer’s recommendations. Proper lubrication reduces friction, minimizes wear and tear, and extends the lifespan of the motor. It’s important to use the recommended lubricant and follow the proper lubrication schedule to ensure optimal motor performance.

Motor Bearings Test

Bearings are critical components of electric motors that provide support and reduce friction between moving parts. Over time, bearings can wear out or become damaged, leading to increased noise, vibration, and reduced motor performance. Regular inspection of bearings is important, and if any issues are detected, they should be addressed promptly. Replacement of bearings should be done according to the manufacturer’s recommendations and by trained personnel.

Brush Replacement

Brushes are used in certain motors, such as DC motors, to transfer current to the rotor. These brushes can wear out over time and need to be replaced to ensure proper current transfer and motor performance. Regular inspection of brushes is essential, and any signs of wear or damage should be addressed promptly. Replacement of brushes should be done according to the manufacturer’s recommendations and by trained personnel.

Motor Winding Test

Motor windings are responsible for generating the magnetic field that drives the rotor. Inspecting the motor windings is crucial to detect any signs of damage, such as overheating, burning, or short circuits. Regular motor winding inspection can help prevent motor failure and extend its lifespan. Motor winding inspection should be performed by trained personnel following the manufacturer’s recommendations.

Alignment and Vibration Checks

Abnormal noise and excessive vibration can be indicative of underlying issues in electric motors. Regularly checking for abnormal noise and vibration during motor operation can help detect any potential problems, such as misalignment, unbalanced rotor, or loose components. If any abnormal noise or vibration is detected, further investigation and corrective actions should be taken promptly. Part of your preventative maintenance plan should include a regular assessment of the operating conditions to determine if how or where the motor is being used is leading to premature failure or increased maintenance over what is deemed “normal”.

Why Perform Electric Motor Maintenance?

Performing regular Electric Motor Maintenance on your Electric motors is extremely important to prevent wear and tear, without this maintenance, they can malfunction or even fail. When an electric motor breaks down, it can cause significant downtime, production losses, and safety hazards. Regular maintenance and repair can help prevent these issues and keep your motors running smoothly and efficiently. Here are some other reasons why electric motor service and repair are important:

  • Extended lifespan: Proper maintenance can extend the lifespan of electric motors, saving you money on replacements and reducing overall operational costs.
  • Increased Reliability: Regular maintenance helps identify and address potential issues before they lead to motor failure. This, in turn, increases the reliability of electric motors and reduces unexpected downtime.
  • Energy efficiency: Well-maintained motors consume less energy and operate more efficiently, which can save you money on energy bills.
  • Cost savings: By catching and repairing issues early on, you can avoid costly repairs and replacements down the line. You also save costs associated with your production line being down.
  • Safety: Faulty motors can be dangerous and pose a risk to personnel and equipment. Regular maintenance and repair can help prevent accidents and injuries.
  • Improved Performance: Well-maintained motors perform at their best, delivering the intended level of performance. This is crucial for applications where precision and consistency are essential.

Find the Best Services for Your Motor Maintenance

We recommend that our customers send in their higher horsepower motors for regular maintenance every three to four years. This includes the previously mentioned maintenance tasks, along with fixing or replacing any necessary parts. This procedure is quite similar to our “Repair Process,” but it’s more about preventive care. We thoroughly inspect the motor, identify potential repairs, and then provide you with a detailed assessment and a quote for the proposed maintenance work. Our goal at Universal Rewind is to ensure that your motor is performing as optimally as possible. By maintaining or repairing your motor proactively, we help prevent unexpected breakdowns that could disrupt your production and cost you thousands!

Our Service Process

Through our service process, we will determine the cause of the motor failure and provide a recommendation to ensure you get a longer, more productive, and more profitable life out of that motor.