Whether you are an experienced drone pilot or you are new to the hobby, it’s important to know how to swap out your DJI drone batteries and whether or not you are able to replace your DJI battery for free.
DJI battery replacement is as easy as purchasing a battery suitable for your drone model. DJI will replace faulty batteries under certain circumstances such as a known manufacturing fault leading to a swollen battery.
In this article, I have broken down the steps that you need to know about DJI battery replacement and whether DJI has a battery replacement program.
How to replace a DJI battery
DJI have made their batteries very easy to replace. Being able to remove and charge a drone battery outside of the drone means that you can carry multiple drone batteries to extend your flying time.
Replacing a DJI battery is as easy as identifying that it needs to be replaced, disposing of the DJI battery sensibly and appropriately, and then purchasing a new one for your drone model.
Does it need to be replaced?
If you have noticed that your DJI battery is not holding as much charge as it used to and you again significantly lower flight times, it may be time to upgrade your drone battery. Sometimes, the drone battery can have manufacturing faults that result in swollen or bloated batteries.
Ultimately, if you feel like your drone is not safe with any battery it is time for it to be replaced.
Disposing of a drone battery needs to be done correctly.
There are many toxic chemicals and components inside a lithium polymer battery that need to be kept away from entering the environment.
To dispose of your drone battery it must first be fully discharged. Connect the drone battery to the drone, turn the drone on, and allow it to completely discharge. Alternatively, you can set the drone battery in a safe and cool place for five months to allow it to discharge.
Once they are fully discharged you can take the drone batteries to your nearest recycling centre. There are recycling centres in many popular shopping locations such as Best Buy, Walmart, Lowe’s, Staples, and home depo.
You can also use the Call2Recycle locator page to find your nearest battery drop-off location. They are able to recycle lithium polymer batteries as well as other types of dry batteries (non-automobile type)
Check with your local council to see if they also have a battery recycling system.
Buy one for your model of drone
Once you have disposed of your drone battery you need to purchase another one for your model of drone.
Not all drone models have readily available replacement drone batteries.
Here is a list of replacement drone batteries for popular DJI drone models:
|DJI Mavic 3||Find online|
|DJI Air 2||Find online|
|DJI Mini 2||Find online|
|DJI Mini SE||Find online|
|DJI FPV||Find online|
|DJI Phantom Pro||Find online|
As long as your battery is specifically designed for the drone you are flying all you have to do is plug and play.
Make sure that you are using official DJI drone batteries as third-party batteries may void your warranty and cause issues with the drone.
I like to have at least three batteries for each model of drone that by fly regularly.
How often should you replace a DJI battery?
A typical DJI drone battery will last anywhere from 300 to 500 charge cycles. If you notice that your drone battery has got many hundreds of charge cycles on its counter (viewable in the app) you should consider replacing the DJI battery.
Drone batteries are typically lithium polymer batteries which means that they need to have a much more rigorous maintenance and storage routine than other rechargeables.
The lithium polymer batteries are super light and powerful which is just what a drone needs to stay in the hair.
Every lithium polymer battery is made up of individual cells – between one and eight of them. These cells are typically rated at 3.7 V and up fully charge when the voltage is 4.2.
If anyone of these cells fail you will need to replace the battery or if you let the battery voltage drop below 3.7 you will permanently harm the battery – meaning it will need to be replaced.
Here are some extra resources if you think your DJI battery is dead and you want to revive it:
Will DJI replace a faulty battery?
Sometimes, DJI will replace batteries under very specific conditions.
For example, there have been swollen batteries in the past and replacements are offered to drone owners if there has been a known manufacturing fault reported. For example, the DJI Mavic 2 had an issue with batches of batteries which would become swollen.
There is more information in the YouTube video, below.
In my experience, DJI replacing a faulty battery is not common unless it is a known manufacturing issue.
Batteries are viewed as consumable and replaceable components of your drone and, over the lifetime of your drone you may have to replace one or two of your batteries.
DJI battery replacement program
DJI does not have a replacement battery program.
Because of the hard-working nature of a drone battery, DJI only offer replacement batteries and no exchange service.
How to make sure your battery lasts as long as possible
The easiest way to ensure that you do not have to replace your DJI battery often is by looking after it as rigorously as possible.
There are number things you can do to make sure that your drone battery lasts as long as possible including:
- Check the battery regularly for damage and debris.
- Keep the battery clean and free of dirt and grime.
- Avoid extreme temperatures when using or storing the battery.
- Store the battery in a cool, dry place.
- Follow the manufacturer’s charging instructions carefully.
- Use only compatible chargers and batteries.
- Avoid overcharging or deep discharge of the battery
Keep them clean and dry
Store your batteries in a clean and dry area. Moisture can cause them to corrode, so avoid getting them wet at all costs. If you need to clean the contacts, you can use isopropyl alcohol (IPA) to remove any dirt that has accumulated.
Let your batteries cool off before charging
If you are like me – you will be eager to get back in the air as soon as you land your drone. However, charging up your drone battery as soon as you land is not a great idea! During flying the batteries discharge at a fast rate and all this movement of electrons can cause a little bit of heating. The battery shouldn’t get really hot, but it’ll heat up a little bit.
Wait at least 20 minutes before charging your battery again. Charging the batteries will generate heat and can cause the battery to overheat, which can ruin the battery.
Store at 50% charge
Never leave your drone batteries fully charged if you’re storing them for a long period of time. They’re best left at 3.9 volts per cell, so they don’t store too much energy and are less likely to experience a short.
Some of the smart batteries will also discharge themselves so that they reach about 3.9 V per cell.
Keep in a cool spot
You should make sure that your lithium polymer batteries are kept in a spot that is no more than 40° C.
Leaving the batteries in the back of a car while on a shoot for example is a very bad idea.
Cars can easily get very hot in the sun and incredibly cold during the winter months. If you can, you should carry your batteries with you at all times so that they do not get too cold or too hot.
Use the correct (official) chargers
Official DJI accessories and charging hubs are the only ones you should ever use.
DJI batteries are getting smarter with each drone release and will require very specific charging conditions.
Always use the official charges for your drone batteries to avoid overcharging and the battery swelling.
Do not over or undercharge
Charge or discharge the battery to 40% ~ 60% if NOT intended to be used for 10 days or more. This can greatly extend the battery’s overall life span. It takes approximately 6 days to discharge the battery to 60%.
It is normal that you may feel moderate heat emitting from the battery during the discharge process. You can set the discharging thresholds in the DJI Pilot app. It’s recommended to store the batteries in the Battery Station.
DO NOT store the battery for a long period of time with its power fully discharged. It may lead to irreversible damage.
Avoid extreme temperatures
Avoid extreme temperatures during use and storage of your drone battery. For example, never leave your DJI battery in a hot car or in direct sunlight in a bag.
I learned the hard way when I took my drone to the beach and left my drone battery in direct sunlight. The drone refused to turn on and I had to buy a replacement battery to ensure the safe flight of my drone.
Always store Intelligent Flight Batteries in a well-ventilated place that does not exceed the operating temperature of 50° C.
Take care when handling
Lastly, ensure that you treat your batteries with care.
Whether you are flying, storing, moving, or installing your battery, you must always handle them with care. They are designed for use but will only stand up to minor drops from small heights and prefer not to be handled roughly.
Handling your batteries carefully will ensure that they last much longer and you can avoid them swelling and becoming unusable.
Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced drone user, it’s important to know how and when it is time to replace your DJI drone battery.
I hope that my tips have helped you understand the process and given you the confidence to make a good decision about replacing your DJI battery.
Remember, always consult your drone’s manual for specific instructions on how to replace your battery.
And if you ever have any doubts, feel free to contact DJI customer support for assistance. Providing them with as much information as possible will mean they will be able to answer your question quickly and as efficiently as possible.