Skip to main content
  1. Blog/

DJI Mavic Pro Gimbal Failure (& How to Fix It)

7 mins
Drone Blog
Table of Contents

The Mavic Pro came out in 2016 and was the beginning of a new era in the drone industry. The compact drone allowed pilots around the world to take a step outside with their drone in something as small as a backpack.

The Mavic line has boomed in recent years, and although there is a plethora of upgrades to the original model, it remains on the list of great drones to purchase.

The Mavic Pro houses a stunning 12MP camera with a 1/ 2.3” sensor. It was the first DJI drone to come with a foldable design and one of the first in the general market.

This drone was created for recreational use and allowed a massive amount of people to enter the drone world at a reasonable price.

There are numerous features, flight modes, and upgrades that make it a great choice for a wide variety of pilots even today. However, it being the first of its kind, there are bound to be problems with the model, one of the biggest being the gimbal.

There are a couple different errors that can occur pertaining to the gimbal and the camera. Some of them are easy to fix yourself, while others require maintenance or replacement by DJI themselves.

The most common causes of the gimbal overload message are a loose gimbal housing, a broken or damaged ribbon cable, a need for recalibration, or out-of-date firmware.

In this article, we will go over the common problems, how to fix what you can and what to expect from DJI when working with them to repair your gimbal.

What is the Mavic Pro gimbal failure? #

First, the most obvious problem with the gimbal on this drone can be found across the internet and is a known issue.

The infamous gimbal overload error has occurred to numerous Mavic Pro pilots around the world and is a frustrating error.

To explain it simply, this error causes the gimbal to respond incorrectly to messages being received and eventually causes the motors inside to become stressed and overloaded.

The error is easy to identify using two methods:

  1. First, there will be a red gimbal overload message on the main display. This not only shows up at the top of the screen but also inhibits the camera from moving scarcely at all.
  1. Second, the gimbal will also begin changing directions so rapidly on startup that the camera practically slams from side to side.

The first time this happens, it can be terrifying. Everyone can see that a camera should not move with such force. Luckily, it does not make the problem worse, and it can be fixed.

When this error occurs, it can be frustrating because there is no apparent problem with the drone, and moving the camera and tweaking what you can only works on rare occasions.

This error can be fixed in a variety of ways, from things every pilot can do on their own to in-depth repairs which may be better done by a professional.

Either way, there is a fix to this problem, and we will discuss the solutions here.

If you are out on a shoot and this happens, it can become a bad situation very quickly. Most of the time, when flying a drone, there is a time restriction, and whatever needs to be photographed may not be there forever.

The fastest fix to this problem is to start the drone on its side. Simply hold the drone perpendicular to the ground in your hand and turn it on.

This will allow the gimbal to move with gravity pushing it from a different angle and helping it to overcome the overload on startup.

Although this is an easy thing to do, it will need to be done nearly every time you start your drone, which becomes cumbersome quite quickly.

This is by no means a perfect system, but if you are in a pinch, it may be necessary to try it.

» MORE: Can You Fly a Mavic Pro in the Rain? (What to Do if It Gets Wet)

What are the most common issues? #

Aside from turning the drone on its side, there are a few reasons the gimbal could have this error, and each cause requires a different method to fix.

This is not a complete list of issues, but they are the most common:

  1. Loose Gimbal housing
  2. Broken/damaged ribbon cable
  3. Gimbal out of calibration
  4. Out-of-date firmware

What are the solutions? #

Most of these errors are easily fixable at home, but some need more attention.

The loose gimbal housing can go one of two ways; it can be as simple as adjusting the plates which hold the gimbal underneath the drone, or it may need to be adjusted or replaced deeper in the machine.

Here are some solutions to look into:

Loose mechanics #

Loose mechanics can be one of the simplest problems to fix on the Mavic Pro.

The message will appear the same as other problems, but it can be identified and solved by looking underneath the camera housing at the base of the drone.

Underneath are four thin metal bars running from the gimbal to the body of the drone. Most of the time, when the problem is a loose housing, one of these bars will be in the wrong place.

To fix it, simply push the bar back up into the compartment where it sits normally. Keep in mind there will still be movement, but you should not receive the overload error message.

Ribbon cable #

If the ribbon cable is damaged, it requires a complete replacement.

In this case, it is possible to do it on your own, but DJI may need to be consulted if you are willing to be without a drone for a couple of weeks and possibly pay to have them diagnose and fix it.

On rare occasions, DJI will pay for the repairs due to a small window of manufacturing errors that occurred in 2016 because of high demand.

It is a hard gamble, but it may be necessary if you are unwilling to make repairs yourself.

Calibration #

This error sometimes does not come with the gimbal overload error message but can be frustrating regardless.

After the drone is in the air for a while, it can cause the gimbal to diminish in functionality. If you notice shaky footage or abrupt movements in the gimbal, try a calibration.

There are two ways to calibrate the gimbal on the Mavic Pro. The first can be done on the DJI Go 4 app and is under gimbal calibration in the settings menu.

The more serious calibration is done with the computer on the DJI assistant application.

Each gives instructions on how to calibrate the gimbal, and each one can address issues the gimbal is having after typical wear and tear.

Firmware update #

Sometimes the drone is just in need of an update after not using it for a while. DJI is constantly releasing new updates, and sometimes they involve firmware changes that affect the camera.

This is an easy fix, and there is no reason to allow your drone to be out-of-date either way. Simply go to the device menu, and there will be an option to update the firmware or other updates.

The drone will need to remain powered on and connected to the internet for most updates.

This may seem like an intimidating list, but it is always worth trying the simple things first.

Other methods worth trying include cleaning the gimbal, flying without the gimbal cover, and wiggling the gimbal gently.

There are also hundreds of videos available online which can help guide you in repairs and adjustments to your drone.

Conclusion #

Flying drones is a simple prospect that can bring joy to any creative person in the world. The market has evolved to allow more and more people to enter the industry either just for fun or with a commercial dream.

Although drones have made numerous industries better and more efficient, there are times when the technology changes and evolves.

This first model of foldable drone released by DJI was one of those times. The drone came with a new design, an incredible camera, and endless possibilities in flight.

The drone industry was changed forever and allowed millions of people access to a flying camera.

The Mavic Pro continues to be a great machine, and many pilots still use it after 8 years on the market.

The drone has great video and photo capabilities and allows videographers, surveyors, real estate agents, etc. to create breathtaking media and capture innovative data.

The original Mavic is a phenomenal product, but the weakest point in its design is the gimbal and camera design.

After applying the steps in this article, every pilot can overcome the potential roadblocks that come with this drone and use it to its fullest potential.


Part 8: Dronelife Forever!
11 mins
Drone Blog
DJI Mini 3/Mini 3 Pro: How to Create a DJI Account (Video)
3 mins
Drone Blog
Can You Fly a Drone in Light Rain?
9 mins
Drone Blog
Best ND Filters for DJI FPV
9 mins
Drone Blog
Registering Your Remote ID Module With the FAA
14 mins
Drone Blog
Part 3: How to Open A Drone Service Company
11 mins
Drone Blog