Drones are expensive.
You want to protect that investment.
And nothing does more to extend the life of your drone than basic drone maintenance.
Taking a little extra time to give your quadcopter the proper care ensures it does not suffer a premature death.
Perform the following easy drone maintenance tasks regularly. It’s not hard, and it doesn’t take a lot of time.
But it makes all the difference.
Table of Contents
- 1 16 Drone Maintenance Tips To Follow
- 1.1 Get A Drone Case
- 1.2 Keep The Batteries Safe
- 1.3 Never Fly Your Drone Indoors
- 1.4 Check The Propellers Regularly
- 1.5 Check The Wiring
- 1.6 Make Sure The Firmware Is Up To Date
- 1.7 Clean The Motors
- 1.8 Lubricate The Motors
- 1.9 Invest In A Blower Brush
- 1.10 Never Store Your Drone In Extreme Temperatures
- 1.11 Check The Gimbal
- 1.12 Clean The Drone With Isopropyl Alcohol
- 1.13 Let Your Drone Cool Down
- 1.14 Inspect The Drone Feet
- 1.15 Study The Antennae
- 1.16 Partially Disassemble When Storing
- 1.17 Consider The Drone’s Flight Path
- 2 What Happens If Your Drone Is Damaged?
- 3 How To Troubleshoot Your Drone
- 4 Related Questions
- 5 Drone Maintenance: Conclusion
16 Drone Maintenance Tips To Follow
Even the best drones need the proper care. The tips below ensure your drone gets that care and continues to fly for a long time.
We added a 17th tip to the bottom, but didn’t count it, since it does not involve any actual maintenance. But it is important to keep your quadcopter functioning correctly.
Get A Drone Case
Our top tip is to transport and store your drone in a carrying case that is water-resistant. This can be a backpack or a hard shell case, as long as it keeps your drone safe from water and dirt that can damage its components.
As a bonus, if you’re taking your drone somewhere to fly it and it starts to rain, you’ll have a quick and easy way to keep it safe from damage. Most drones are not built to withstand getting wet and can only tolerate a light rain.
Keep The Batteries Safe
Without functioning batteries, your drone can’t fly properly. You need to keep them in good condition. Remember to always remove the drone’s batteries when you’re not using it. And never fully drain the batteries.
Whenever you handle the drone batteries, do so gently without dropping them. Always store them in a place that doesn’t experience extreme temperatures.
Pro tip: Always make sure you recharge your drone’s battery fully before you take it on a flight to prevent it from running out. After a flight, check the battery for any damage.
If you have backup batteries, make sure you always keep them fully charged and carry them with you whenever you fly your drone.
Never Fly Your Drone Indoors
You might think it’s safer to fly indoors than take your drone outdoors, especially if you’re flying your drone for the first time. But it can lead to many problems.
For starters, you could injure people or pets that are inside the home. You could also fly into objects and walls. That can damage those objects, and also your drone. There are simply too many obstacles indoors.
Check The Propellers Regularly
Keeping the propellers in top shape is vital to ensuring the drone can fly properly. Check them regularly for any abrasions and cracks.
If the propellers are damaged, you should replace them immediately. And damage increases the chances of the drone crashing mid-flight.
Many drones come with extra propellers when you purchase them. If the drone you want to buy doesn’t include spare propellers, try to see if they are easy to purchase separately.
If not, this could prove problematic if you ever need to replace the propellers. You might have difficulty finding stores that sell them.
This might not seem like a big issue when you first get your drone and everything is working great, but you’re going to have to replace the propellers sooner or later.
Check The Wiring
There are some things you should do every time before you take flight. Checking the wiring is one of the most important. You should also do this after a flight.
If there are any loose wires, this could cause a power shortage that will result in your drone failing and crashing. You should also check the drone’s wiring harness for any damage. Tiny cracks can be easy to miss, but disastrous in their consequences.
Make Sure The Firmware Is Up To Date
Most people never even think about updating the firmware for things like drones or digital cameras, but it is something you should definitely do.
Make a habit of checking if there have been updates to the firmware on a regular basis. And if an update is available, install it. You want to keep your drone working at its peak performance.
Drone manufacturers regularly provide updates for drone owners. These are great because they can fix bugs and increase the drone’s functions. They basically give your drone an all-round upgrade.
Another good reason why you should update your drone’s firmware is to prevent drone jamming. This is when hackers try to interfere with, or block, the drone’s signal, causing it to crash or giving them control of the drone.
Firmware updates help keep your drone safe from hackers because they include the latest security features installed.
When doing a drone firmware update, you usually download and install it via a mobile app so it’s very convenient. There is no excuse not to upgrade.
Clean The Motors
The drone’s motors can quickly collect dust and debris as a result the suction they generate when they spin. You need to ensure that you keep the motors free of debris, before it scratches, or otherwise damages, the motor’s bearings.
It’s easy to clean drone motors. Simply use compressed air to blast away any dirt. Just make sure that you hold the compressed air can upright when using it to clean the motor. Otherwise you could cause moisture to get into the motors.
Lubricate The Motors
After cleaning the motors, it’s always a good idea to lubricate them. This decreases friction when the motors run, which in turn prevents them from overheating and suffering damage.
You should choose an oil that is suitable for use with high temperatures and high RPMs. A good option is Singer machine oil. The nice thing is that you only need one drop, since the motors are small, so one bottle will go a long way.
Invest In A Blower Brush
A blower brush is a great item to have handy, whenever you need to give your drone a good cleaning. It can help you remove any dust, dirt, and debris that gets stuck in your drone.
Carefully use it to clean any nooks and crannies between the propellers and motor. It’s valuable for cleaning the camera too. If you don’t have a blower brush handy, try using a pipe cleaner.
Never Store Your Drone In Extreme Temperatures
Temperatures that are too hot or cold can damage drones, as is the case with many electronic devices. Do not store your drone in an area of the house where it gets exposed to direct sunlight, or in a place that’s humid or very cold.
These conditions can result in moisture accumulating inside the drone, which eventually leads to corrosion of vital components.
Check The Gimbal
The gimbal is another important part of the drone that you should inspect regularly to see if it has suffered any damage.
The drone gimbal is the part that maintains the camera’s stability. It ensures the camera stays even, despite the drone’s movement. It is vital for taking photos or video mid-flight.
Clean The Drone With Isopropyl Alcohol
This is a smart tip to try if your drone has become stained and using water to clean it doesn’t work. A bit of isopropyl alcohol applied to a damp cloth will work well to make your drone look good as new.
You can also use isopropyl alcohol to clean the propellers. But never try to clean sensitive components like lenses with alcohol.
Let Your Drone Cool Down
We get it – you want to spend a lot of time out there flying your drone. But make sure you give your drone’s motor a chance to cool down between flights.
If you merely swap the battery for a new one and immediately take to the skies again, you won’t give your motor a chance to cool down. It will stay too hot, which can result in damage.
Inspect The Drone Feet
The drone’s feet are what help it land, so they can easily become damaged. Make sure you check them regularly to ensure they’re still in good condition.
Look for any signs of damage, for example if they’re cracked or bent in places. The feet usually have shock absorbers made out of rubber. Make sure those are still intact and looking good, too.
Study The Antennae
You can’t have a solid connection with your drone if its antennae are damaged or improperly fitted. Check that they’re still in good condition and screwed in properly before every flight.
Partially Disassemble When Storing
If you’re not going to be flying your drone for a while, you should never just store it with all its components attached. If someone accidentally bumps into the drone, it could easily suffer damage.
Remove the propellers and be sure to clean them before you pack them away. This will prevent them from getting damaged. You should also remove the drone battery to store it safely.
Consider The Drone’s Flight Path
Although this tip doesn’t refer specifically to cleaning and maintaining your drone, it’s an important tip to follow to keep your drone as safe as possible during flight.
It will reduce the amount of maintenance you need to do on your drone.
- Before you fly your drone, check the weather conditions and wind speed, so that you can determine if it’s safe to fly – bad weather could cause unnecessary damage to your drone.
- Weather conditions aside, also look at any structures or obstacles that you will need to avoid when flying your drone. These include trees and buildings.
- Make sure you have a safe point from which to take off and land your drone, and it should be an area in which you have a strong signal. Become comfortable with the area in which you want to fly your drone to prevent nasty surprises, like accidentally flying into an unexpected tree or suddenly losing the signal.
What Happens If Your Drone Is Damaged?
Although you might be tempted to continue flying your drone if it has suffered damage, this is a bad idea. It can be dangerous and cause further damage.
If your drone is damaged, take it to a drone service center. Professional care will make your drone good as new. The longer you wait to repair your drone, the more difficult it will be to do so, so you want to act quickly.
Can You Repair Your Drone Yourself?
You should always leave big repairs to experienced professionals. Otherwise you risk causing more damage.
But what about small repairs?
If you have a warranty, it’s best not to do any repairs yourself, because this could void it.
Similarly, if you don’t have any experience with repairing drones or replacing some of its parts, you could end up causing more damage.
Parts Of A Drone
It helps to know what a drone’s components are before you can properly take care of, and maintain, it. Let’s take a look at the different parts of a drone. In addition to those listed below, every drone also has an antenna and battery.
There are two types. The first is known as a tractor propeller and is located at the front. The other is the pusher propeller. The propellers spin in opposite directions to enable the drone to take off.
You’re likely to find brushless motors in modern drones. These enable peak performance during flight.
The landing gear is generally fixed, but some expensive drones have retractable landing gear, so that you can enable 360-degree views during flight.
These are part of the main drone body. Shorter booms improve how well the drone can maneuver, while longer booms enhance stability.
This is the main part of the drone, where the main boards, cameras, sensors, and battery are located.
Electronic Speed Controllers (ESC)
This is an electronic circuit that serves to change the motor speed, direction, and even brake the drone.
This enables the drone to be tracked. The GPS nodule also regulates elevation.
This is a mount that rotates to give the drone more control of the sensors and camera. Some drones come with gimbals, while others do not, so you have to buy them separately.
How To Troubleshoot Your Drone
Although you might not be able to do many repairs on your drone yourself, it helps to be able to identify what could be wrong with it. Here are some common issues you might encounter.
Blades Don’t Spin
The most common reason for drone blades not spinning is if they’ve got dirt, dust, or grass trapped in them. You can fix this yourself.
Gently pop the blades out and give them a thorough clean. To make it even easier, you’ll find that some drones you purchase come with U-wrenches included.
Another common reason why the blades might not be spinning is if you’ve replaced them and the new ones are in too tight. Gently try to raise them a bit so that they’re not so tight, but still be securely fitted.
Blades Spin But Drone Won’t Take Off
This can happen because you’ve put the wrong blades on the motor. Always ensure that you use the correct ones and also consult the manufacturer’s instructions to ensure you’ve installed the blades in the right way.
Drone And Connector Don’t Pair
This can simply be the result of a lack of battery power which causes you to lose signal. Make sure that you’ve fully charged the drone and check that the controller batteries also have power.
How often should you replace your drone’s propellers?
You should aim to replace them every 200 or so flights. Or sooner, if they are cracked or otherwise damaged.
Does it cost a lot to replace drone propellers?
Since the propellers are the most delicate component of a drone, they commonly need to be replaced. As a result, they tend to be readily available and inexpensive. Replacement propellers usually cost around $10.
Drone Maintenance: Conclusion
Having a drone is fun, but you have to maintain it properly. If you do not, it’s lifespan could end up being a lot shorter than you might want.
Follow the basis drone maintenance tips above to help keep your drone in excellent condition. Take good care of it and it will reward you with many, many more hours of fun!
- 16 Drone Maintenance Tips (Avoid An Early Drone Death!) - April 9, 2021
- Jamming A Drone Signal: Is It Legal And How To Do It - March 19, 2021
- Do Drones Have Night Vision? (What You Need To Know) - February 3, 2021