Hey there, fellow drone enthusiasts!
If you’re reading this, chances are you’ve had an experience with a drone that didn’t go as planned. Maybe it crashed, or perhaps it simply stopped working altogether and looked into DJI Repair.
In my case, I recently had an incident with my drone that left me with a broken drone and some questions about what had gone wrong. Thankfully, my friend Joel and I attempted to figure out what had happened and he was able to lend his expertise in electronics to the process.
In this blog post, I’ll be sharing my experience with repairing my drone out of warranty and some of the valuable lessons I learned along the way. So grab a cup of coffee, sit back, and let’s dive into my DJI repair out of warranty experience featuring Joel Creates!
Internal Storage and Battery Concerns
Another drone pilot I know mentioned that it was fortunate that the battery detached during the incident because otherwise, the situation could have been much more severe.
I encountered problems while trying to mount the microSD card that was used in this drone on two different computers, and I was wondering if the drone’s session files had been saved on the internal storage instead.
I am grateful to my friend Joel for looking at the drone and providing his expertise in electronics. His knowledge was super helpful in determining that if the drone had already failed with a new battery (something fried and smoked on me), it was unlikely to happen again.
When I attempted to use a different battery because the battery that was in the drone during the incident had broken clips but seemed okay otherwise, Joel recommended that I avoid storing that battery indoors in case there was an underlying issue with it.
Joel runs a successful YouTube channel (414K subscribers to date!) where he builds improbable and impressively impractical devices, his words. Joel Creates’ YouTube channel can be found at: @JoelCreates
Joel was interested in accessing the circuit board to learn more about why the drone failed, in addition to the visible damage to the motors, gimbal, and shifted circuit board.
To prevent any further damage to the drone, we took measures to keep its temperature down by placing a fan towards the aircraft. Our concern stemmed from the fact that the drone was making unusual sounds, and we were uncertain about how long it could withstand continuous operation without causing further issues.
Despite attempting to access the files on the microSD card using five different computers and finding no files on the internal storage from the day of the flight. I suspect that the issue might be related to the microSD card rather than the drone itself. It’s possible that the card was corrupted during the incident, which could have resulted in the loss of data. However, it’s difficult to say for sure what caused the problem without further investigation.
Tip: It’s a good practice to format your drone’s microSD card within the drone itself rather than formatting it using another device or computer.
We attempted to recover the lost data by using various data recovery programs, but we encountered difficulties in mounting the drive. In fact, we even tried using a Mac laptop, but the microSD card did not show up on it.
At this point, I decided to reach out to DJI Support and learn why they could do for me. I was initially surprised that they were not concerned about me sending in the drone with a broken cover.
Turning to DJI Support
You might be wondering if I had DJI Care Refresh for my drone. I did have it for a while, but it expired, and I am not sure if it’s possible to renew it after such a long time. It’s worth noting that DJI usually allows customers to submit images and videos of their products for a certain period after purchase to add DJI Care Refresh after the fact, but damage isn’t going to fly.
However, my experience shows the difference between having DJI Care and repairing your drone without it. The battery replacement cost me $115. It added a significant amount to the repair total, so I asked if they could use a refurbished battery instead, given the drone’s age and condition. Unfortunately, they couldn’t do that, however they were able to redo the quote and repair everything else without replacing the battery.
|1805S Motor (Front Aircraft Arm) (x2)||$18|
|1805S Motor (With Short Motor Cable) (x2)||$14|
|Aircraft Status Indicator||$2|
|Rear Aircraft Arm Main Body (Left)||$1|
|Aircraft Middle Frame Module||$6|
|Aircraft Lower Cover Module||$11|
|Gimbal Axis Arm Module||$35|
The repair cost me $267 with the new battery and $136 without the battery, which I believe is a reasonable price considering how much more expensive it would be to purchase a new DJI Air 2S at the moment.
I wanted to see how the drone would perform after the repair before investing in a new battery. Later on, I could always buy a couple of refurbished batteries for the price of one new battery, as I did when my DJI Mini 2 batteries died due to lack of use.
DJI Email Updates
The DJI team did a great job of keeping me informed throughout my entire repair process, from the initial shipping label to the ongoing email updates that I received during the process.
- 2023-May-10 Repair Received Notice
- 2023-May-11 Received Initial Repair Quote
- 2023-May-15 Received Updated Repair Quote (without battery)
- 2023-May-16 Repaired Drone Shipped
- 2023-May-22 Received Replacement Drone
I received updates from the DJI Support Team and UPS once the repaired DJI Air 2S was shipped. Throughout the process, I felt in good hands. Getting it repaired could have been 4 days faster if I hadn’t chosen to have the new battery removed from the quote.
You can check DJI’s website for possible prices on parts: https://repair.dji.com/repair/price-inquiry
Replacement Drone Received
Upon receiving the drone, I am pleased with its condition. However, visually determining whether it is the same drone or a different one proved challenging, prompting me to cross-reference the serial information. After doing so, I discovered that the received drone had a distinct serial number, indicating it may be a different unit altogether.
Regarding its physical state, the drone appears to have experienced minimal use. There are stickers, typically found on new drones, affixed to certain areas of the body and the gimbal. This suggests that only specific components may have been replaced with new parts, while the remainder of the body lacks the significant scuffs that were present when I retrieved the drone from the race track tarmac.
I forgot to mention that the front two arms have the stickers on them.
The propellers seem to be the ones I sent in, but I might replace them with new ones to start fresh and also purchase some additional replacements as a precaution.
Since I chose not to have the battery replaced, they returned the same battery to me. However, I will most likely recycle it because it’s not securely clipped in and I don’t want to assume that I can fix it. Even though batteries are expensive to replace, I’d prefer to recycle it and get a refurbished battery or two instead.
Overall, I’m highly impressed. This is a good business practice because no one wants to receive a drone with scuffs and marks, constantly reminding them of what happened. In its current condition, the risk is minimized, and as long as it performs normally, I’m unlikely to remember the incident whenever I fly it.
It would be interesting if they simply swapped out the entire unit and charged for the necessary replacements. This approach would expedite the repairs, as they wouldn’t need to wait for the drone to be fixed. Instead, they could continuously work through the repairs, potentially providing my original drone to another customer or utilizing its functional parts elsewhere.
In conclusion, although the repair cost totaled $136, it is actually a cost-effective option when compared to buying a brand new DJI Air 2S. I was pleased with the smooth out of warranty repair experience and the end result of having a replacement drone that functions like new again (with very little cosmetic wear) is well worth the investment.
Considering the unveiling of the DJI Air 2S on April 15, 2021, it might be more logical to choose the DJI Mini 3 Pro – Without Controller ($669.00) with its smaller sensor. Alternatively, you could opt for an upgrade to the Mavic 3 Series, such as the DJI Mavic 3 Classic – Without Controller ($1,469.00).
I am grateful for the expertise of Joel Creates and for the support from the DJI support team. If you find yourself in a similar situation with an out of warranty DJI drone, don’t hesitate to explore repair or replacement options.
It may just save you from having to buy a brand new drone.