Skip to Content

Drone Motors: 7 Answers You Should Know (For Beginners)

If you plan to buy a drone, you need to find out some facts about it. Motors are a major part of a drone and are critical for the functioning of the drone, as they keep it in the skies. One of the questions you may have about your drone is how long you can expect the drone motors to last? Figuring this out and finding the right answers will help you make an informed purchase.

The lifespan of drone motors depends on the type of motor and how often you fly your drone. Brushed drone motors can last between 1,000 to 3,000 hours of use. Brushless motors will last for up to 10,000 hours of flight time before they start having issues. 

The price of the motor and the care you give it also determine its lifespan. For instance, brushed motors are cheap, and therefore they might not last for long. On the other hand, brushless motors will cost more, but they will last for a long time.

How long do DJI motors last?

DJI is a well-known name in the drone industry. DJI manufacturers make the best drones, and the same is to be said of their motors. DJI motors are built with quality materials making them last quite a long time if they don’t overheat.  This explains why most people prefer DJI drones. 

You can expect DJI motors to last at least 150 flight hours, though they have been known to last much, much longer than that, into the thousands of hours of flight time. You are much more likely to lose your drone to a crash or other damage before the motors wear out.

If you do start to have motor issues, it’s most likely not the motors themselves that are wearing out, but the bearings, which are easy to replace. 

Other sources of trouble for DJI motors could be related to overheating (make sure to let your drone cool down between flights!), or to dirt or debris in the motors. If you maintain your motors, you can easily get many years of use out of them. 

How long do brushless drone motors last?

Brushless drone motors have a long life expectancy. They can easily last for ten years or more because the motors do not have any brushes to cause friction. 

Wearing is the most limiting factor in most drone motors, but fortunately, the brushless ones aren’t limited by this problem. However, as much as they hardly wear, other elements affect brushless motors. They include dirt, overheating, water, and bad bearings. 

If these elements come into play with your drone’s motors, they can cause the motors to break. This is why you should periodically check for debris and dirt in your brushless motors, and make it a habit to clean them out. Also, make sure that they don’t come into contact with water. 

Generally, brushless motors last for a very long time.

How long do brushed drone motors last?

If you have a drone with a brushed motor, you are probably aware that they don’t last as long as brushless drone motors. You can reasonably expect the brushed drone motors can last for at least a year of heavy use, or between 1,000 to 3,000 flight hours. 

But as mentioned, this depends on the care you give them. The other factor that determines their lifespan is the brand. Some brands have better motors that will last for some time, while others won’t serve you for more than two months without failing.

What are the signs of a bad drone motor?

There are many signs that indicate that a drone motor is not okay.  The first sign is when your drone’s flying angle is odd. Also, something is wrong if your drone is not responsive to commands like it was before. The other sign is when the propellers fail to spin properly. In this case, you might have to buy new motors and replace the damaged ones.

You can also tell if the motor is bad by smelling it. If it emits a burning smell, you have a reason to worry. Also, if you notice that the windings have turned black or become dirty, that is a sign that the motor is faulty. 

Let’s recap. Here are the signs to look for to know when it’s time to replace your drone motors:

  • Drone flying at an odd angle
  • Drone doesn’t respond to commands as previously
  • Propellers fail to spin properly
  • Burning smell from motors
  • Blackened or dirty windings on motors

Many people measure each motor phase for resistance using a multimeter since it’s the easiest way to establish if all is well. If all the phases are the same, there is nothing wrong with your drone motor.

You don’t have to worry much if you notice any of the mentioned signs in your drone motor. The market has replacement drone motors which are fairly priced. Buying a new motor or two is cheaper than purchasing a new drone. However, you must be accurate on the replacement motor’s size. You don’t want to buy a unit that will not match your drone’s model.

Can I repair a burned-out motor?

Drone motor repair depends on the size of the drone. If your drone motor is small, it’s probably not worth it to repair it. You might end up spending more on repair than buying a new motor. 

On the other hand, if the drone motor is large, a repair job would be a great, cost-saving idea. If you don’t feel up to tackling the task yourself, find a qualified technician to do the repair for you.

What is the best way to maintain your drone motors?

Your drone’s performance is highly dependent on the motors. If the motors are in good shape, you can be sure to get the best out of your drone. This is why you should take good care of the motors.

The best way to do this is by always keeping the motors clean. Clean the motors with canned air, or a soft-bristled brush. If needed, use a slightly damp cloth to remove grime. Once you clean them, ensure they are dried since water is not good for motors. 

You should also ensure that your drone motors don’t overheat. Give the drone time to cool down between flights, even if you have spare batteries. Just a 10-minute break is enough to give the motors time to cool down to avoid overheating. 

What happens if my drone motor fails?

The failure of a drone motor is caused by the disruption of the motor’s balanced torque. When that happens, your drone will start spinning very fast. This spinning causes the drone’s controllers to fail since they can’t cope with it. 

You should help your drone maintain its position even if the winds are high in such a situation. This is the only way to reach its destination or return home safely.