DIY Repairs and Maintenance for Your Drone

By Mark LaFay

If your drone needs a tune-up, don’t worry. You don’t have to send it in to have a repair technician work on it. You can make the repairs on your own. Several resources are available online where you can find the answers you need to repair your drone.

Before you scour random message boards, however, visit the website of your drone manufacturer. For example, if you purchased a Parrot AR.Drone 2.0, follow these steps to get help online:

  1. 1.Using your computer or web-enabled device, launch a web browser and go to the Parrot website.

    The Parrot website appears.

  2. Click the support link located at the top of the web page.

    The support homepage appears.

  3. Locate your drone model on the screen, and click its associated link or icon. If you are looking for support for the AR Drone 2.0, click its icon located in the center of the screen.

    The Parrot AR Drone 2.0 support site appears. On this site you will find several videos and documents that will help you navigate common repairs.

    Get help with your Parrot AR Drone 2.0 online.
    Get help with your Parrot AR Drone 2.0 online.
  4. If the videos and information contained on the support site do not help you repair your drone, contact the support staff using the email or phone number located at the top of the screen.

Larger and more prominent drone manufacturers are more apt to have a robust online database of help documents, videos, tutorials, and other useful information for repairing your drone. This is one major benefit to buying a drone from a major manufacturer like DJI or Parrot. That is not to say that the milieu of startup drone companies should be avoided. These companies are creating quality products that, in many cases, can take non-manufacturer specific replacement parts.

If you are having a hard time finding information for fixing a particular issue with your drone, you should look into the various drone support groups and online communities.

How to find replacement parts for your drone

Purchasing spare parts for your drone is a good idea whether you need them or not. The part you will replace most often is your propellers, simply because they are the most likely to get trashed if you run into objects or crash land. It is always good to have a couple spare sets of propellers on hand so that you can repair your drone and get back up and running in no time.

You can find replacement parts by going to your device manufacturer’s website. For example, if you own a DJI Phantom 2 drone, purchase replacement parts, like propellers, online through DJI by following these steps:

  1. Using your computer or web-enabled device, open a web browser and go to the DJI website.

    The DJI website will load.

  2. Locate the Store link at the top of the screen, and move your mouse cursor over it.

    A submenu appears revealing several options.

  3. Locate and click on the Tuned Propulsion Systems link.

    A page filled with various propeller options appears.

    Shop for replacement Phantom drone propellers at dji.com.
    Shop for replacement Phantom drone propellers at dji.com.
  4. Locate the set of propellers you want, and click on the item.

    The product page appears, giving you all pertinent information on the propellers.

  5. If you would like to purchase the propellers, click the Add To Cart button to add them to your cart, and follow the on-screen directions to complete your purchase.

Sometimes purchasing parts from your device manufacturer is not the most cost-effective option. You can also look for replacement parts on Amazon and eBay.

Finding a drone technician

If you aren’t confident or prepared to repair your drone yourself, it may be time to hire a drone technician. If you purchased your drone from a major manufacturer such as Parrot or DJI, first determine whether your repairs can be covered under your device’s warranty. To do this, you need to refer to the instruction manual that came with your device. If you find that the repairs are not covered under the warranty, you need to pay for the parts and labor.

Make sure you don’t void your manufacturer’s warranty by doing something inadvertently. To make sure you’re always in compliance, check the manufacturer’s website. It is generally a good idea to not dismantle your drone, fly it in the rain or crash into water, modify your drone with unapproved parts, or lose your proof of purchase.

Parrot Drones does not offer repair service for anyone living outside of the UK. So if you own a Parrot drone, you need to contact the retailer where you purchased the drone to get service for your device. If you purchased a DJI drone, you can send your drone back to DJI for repairs. To do this, you must first contact the DJI service and support team in your region.

Sending your drone into a technician can take quite a bit of time, depending on the number of drones that are already waiting to get service. This can mean extended amounts of downtime before you fly again. Before you commit to sending in your drone, see if you can get the help you need online to perform the repairs on your own or go to your drone manufacturer’s website to see if they have a listing of authorized repair centers or a listing of retail partners.