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Why do DJI batteries fail so frequently?
1297 14 2023-8-5
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Zyzzyva100
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I am sure I won't get an answer, but if nothing else I just want to vent.  I now have a third Mavic 2 Pro battery that has stopped working, with the same error as the other 2 (battery communication error).  All batteries have appeared fine, charged fine, showed appropriate charge indicator and powered the drone to standby without issue.  But the app refuses to see the battery (just says N/A), and nothing can be done to change this.
I have tried letting it completely discharge, charging again, updating the firmware (was already updated, when I use assistant 2 and try to force a refresh it fails at 82% and says the battery cannot be updated).  Clearly there is an error with the controller chip inside the battery.  Of course this now happens when the battery is out of warranty, so I am out of luck.  But this is now $450 worth of batteries that have failed.  And when you do a search for this issue, people with drones both older and newer than mine have been having the same error, and there does not appear to be any solution beyond 'buy a new one'.  The batteries have been well cared for, never crashed, kept in climate controlled areas, no evidence of any physical damange.  The real common denominator is they are made by DJI.  And while I love my drone, its hard to have a drone without working batteries.  Clearly this is a systemic and ongoing problem, but why would a company in China care when theres no recourse for customers?
2023-8-5
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DJI Mindy
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Hi there, we are sorry to know about this issue. If possible, please try another battery for troubleshooting.
If the issue is resolved after using another battery, it indicates that the battery is malfunctioning.
If the issue persists after trying several batteries, you may need to send the battery and aircraft back for inspection as the aircraft or the battery may be malfunctioning.
For malfunctioning components, we recommend wiping metal contact pins on the battery or the aircraft with isopropyl alcohol (concentration > 75%).
If the issue persists, send the battery for repair if it is under warranty. If the battery is out of warranty, we recommend you purchase a new one. You can send the aircraft for repair regardless of whether it is under warranty. http://www.dji.com/support
2023-8-5
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Zyzzyva100
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DJI Mindy Posted at 8-5 07:10
Hi there, we are sorry to know about this issue. If possible, please try another battery for troubleshooting.
If the issue is resolved after using another battery, it indicates that the battery is malfunctioning.
If the issue persists after trying several batteries, you may need to send the battery and aircraft back for inspection as the aircraft or the battery may be malfunctioning.

Yea, not helpful.  I know it's a bad battery.  What is ridiculous is that it's a $150 battery, and this is the third one this has happened to.  Just want to make sure any potential customers know what they are getting themselves into.
2023-8-5
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CloudVisual
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Questions; What percentage do you allow your drone to discharge to when flying? What's the worst you go down to?

Not discrediting your claim, but I've owned a LOT of DJI batteries and only seen one failure in 10 years. I would say they make extremely reliable batteries, but it's down to the battery management and how people treat them which causes failures.
2023-8-5
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Zyzzyva100
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CloudVisual Posted at 8-5 08:46
Questions; What percentage do you allow your drone to discharge to when flying? What's the worst you go down to?

Not discrediting your claim, but I've owned a LOT of DJI batteries and only seen one failure in 10 years. I would say they make extremely reliable batteries, but it's down to the battery management and how people treat them which causes failures.

Maybe 25%? Worst 20%? I always try to be landing before the low battery alarm starts and I think once ever have I actually had to use the automated RTH (and was already mostly back by then).  I have the appropriate discharge set for each battery, and I have never charged them while hot.  I only have like 10 hours of total use on my drone.
2023-8-5
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Sean-bumble-bee
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Not being nasty but given that you have had 3 failures I would have to question whether or not it is
a) a problem with the drone, or
b) a problem with your handling and or storage of the batteries?
Think about it with a cool head.
If failures occurred at that frequency with EVERY USER then the internet and drone forums would surely be literally awash with threads, complaints and screams of anguish.
2023-8-5
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Zyzzyva100
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Sean-bumble-bee Posted at 8-5 09:46
Not being nasty but given that you have had 3 failures I would have to question whether or not it is
a) a problem with the drone, or
b) a problem with your handling and or storage of the batteries?

Well if you search this issue, you will find there are at least several other people having the same issue (including multiple failures).  The first time this happened I sent the drone and battery back to DJI since it was under care refresh.  They said it was just the battery.  The second time was out of warranty but my amex covered it under extended warranty.  Now this is the third time.

I treat my drone with absolute kid gloves.  Nobody else touches it, it's never gotten wet, travels with me in a backpack that never leaves my side.  It lives in my office closet when not in use (dark and cool).  And I'm not some half tech literate fool either. I have a masters degree in engineering and build all the electronics that go in my high power rockets, and have plenty of pricey regular camera hardware that has never had a failure.  Lots of hobby toys for me to play with, and nothing else has had issues like this.  I suppose it's possible there's a problem with the drone itself that's doing this (though my other 2 remaining batteries are fine), but DJI said it was fine.  There are many threads scattered on the internet of people having this same problem, and the only solution DJI ever provides if the battery is more than 6 months old is to buy a new one.  Just because your stuff is working fine doesn't mean that its bull... that 3 of these have failed in the same way for me.
2023-8-5
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Zyzzyva100
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Dirty Bird Posted at 8-5 10:56
I am going to disagree some of the other commenters with my own experience...  

I own the following DJI batteries:

Well at least I know it's not just me.  None of mine ever swelled up (I just looked again, all nice and flat - but I did have a LiPo from my rocketry stuff swell up on me recently, so I know what you mean).  I don't think its a contact issue either (I just cleaned them all really well with a fine cleaning kit and rubbing alcohol), and have never had a problem with them coming loose (or even looking loose).  It powers the drone up just fine, so I can only assume the controller chip in it goes back and doesn't allow the software handshake.

And as you have said, there are many others posts about this (and lots that are for the Mavic 2).  So I think there really is a problem with these batteries, but DJI would never admit it and now it's too old for them to care.  I didn't get mine until the very end of 2019, and this last battery to go bad was one that was replaced 5/21, so its only a little over 2 years old.
2023-8-5
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Suren
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In all my years of flying and owning various Dji drones and other types, I have never had a battery fail on me, even when I take them right down. I, after maybe 6 months will run a battery down to 0% at a hover and then let battery cool and recharge again. Many will disagree about this method but I found that taking a battery down to 0 after regular flying and charging keeps my battery in good shape. I normally always land at 25 to 30% battery, wait for them to fully cool down then charge them up to full and keep away, many charge to 60% and then store and fully charge before a flight. Each have their own methods of battery care but my method seems to work for me.
2023-8-5
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Glhs958
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I would agree with Dirty Bird 100% The only batteries I have ever had issues with are the Mavic 2 batteries. I currently have 7 on the shelf from bloating and cracking. I personally blame it on the design of having a battery sit on top a hot main board with what seems to be a sticker separating them but what the hay do I know!
2023-8-5
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DJI Mindy
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Zyzzyva100 Posted at 8-5 07:12
Yea, not helpful.  I know it's a bad battery.  What is ridiculous is that it's a $150 battery, and this is the third one this has happened to.  Just want to make sure any potential customers know what they are getting themselves into.

We are sorry for the inconvenience. Hope you understand that all electronic products come with fixed warranty periods, especially batteries, which have a fixed number of charging and discharging cycles before they begin to degrade. To extend battery life, we recommend that you discharge the battery to between 40% to 65% and store it in a cool, dry space (at an ambient temperature of 22°C to 28°C) when it is going to be idle for more than ten days. Check the battery’s power every three months and fully charge and discharge it at least once. Please perform this routine maintenance to keep your battery healthy.
If you suppose it's a battery issue, you can purchase a new battery for use and test with the drone.
2023-8-6
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DJI Mindy
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Glhs958 Posted at 8-5 19:40
I would agree with Dirty Bird 100% The only batteries I have ever had issues with are the Mavic 2 batteries. I currently have 7 on the shelf from bloating and cracking. I personally blame it on the design of having a battery sit on top a hot main board with what seems to be a sticker separating them but what the hay do I know!

Hi there, we are sorry for the inconvenience. You can contact our support team through the link below and provide pictures and serial numbers of the batteries for further assistance. http://www.dji.com/support
2023-8-6
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Zyzzyva100
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DJI Mindy Posted at 8-6 01:34
We are sorry for the inconvenience. Hope you understand that all electronic products come with fixed warranty periods, especially batteries, which have a fixed number of charging and discharging cycles before they begin to degrade. To extend battery life, we recommend that you discharge the battery to between 40% to 65% and store it in a cool, dry space (at an ambient temperature of 22°C to 28°C) when it is going to be idle for more than ten days. Check the battery’s power every three months and fully charge and discharge it at least once. Please perform this routine maintenance to keep your battery healthy.
If you suppose it's a battery issue, you can purchase a new battery for use and test with the drone.

It would be nice if the support people would ever actually read the posts before just replying with canned company line BS. Yes I realize there’s a warranty period.  But it’s 6 months on the batteries. And to have 3 fail the same way in less than 3 years (really just over 2) just shows they are poor quality. The problem is not the cells, not overuse (like I said maybe 10 hours total use over 3 batteries). They have been stores and charged/discharged appropriately. The problem is clearly the controller chip which fails and then the battery is a paperweight.
2023-8-6
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bjr981s
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Zyzzyva100 Posted at 8-6 09:15
It would be nice if the support people would ever actually read the posts before just replying with canned company line BS. Yes I realize there’s a warranty period.  But it’s 6 months on the batteries. And to have 3 fail the same way in less than 3 years (really just over 2) just shows they are poor quality. The problem is not the cells, not overuse (like I said maybe 10 hours total use over 3 batteries). They have been stores and charged/discharged appropriately. The problem is clearly the controller chip which fails and then the battery is a paperweight.

DJI batteries require a recharge every 3  months, to ensure that the smart technology does not run the battery down to damaging levels.

Have you stored your batteries for longer than 3 months without a recharge?
2023-8-6
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DJI Mindy
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Zyzzyva100 Posted at 8-6 09:15
It would be nice if the support people would ever actually read the posts before just replying with canned company line BS. Yes I realize there’s a warranty period.  But it’s 6 months on the batteries. And to have 3 fail the same way in less than 3 years (really just over 2) just shows they are poor quality. The problem is not the cells, not overuse (like I said maybe 10 hours total use over 3 batteries). They have been stores and charged/discharged appropriately. The problem is clearly the controller chip which fails and then the battery is a paperweight.

We are sorry for the inconvenience. We will record your feedback and forward it to the corresponding team. Hope you understand that the battery indeed has a certain warranty period. Since your battery is out of warranty, we are unable to provide warranty service. If there is anything else we can help you with, please feel free to contact us.
2023-8-8
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