Maintenance Matters

April 2009 Issue

Engine Warranties: Stay Close to Home

The six-month warranty is almost a thing of the past. One year is common. But our surveys reveal that reputable engine shops frequently perform beyond that.

If there is a truism regarding piston aircraft engines, it’s this: Standard warranties aren’t. Our research and responses to a recent survey suggest that manufacturer and shop support quality is all over the map, literally and figuratively. For example, engine manufacturers generally enforce limitations in warranty provisions, without exceptions, right? Most of the time, yes, but evidence suggests exceptions are made. At the other end of the spectrum, stories abound of local overhaul shops going beyond their warranties, usually as a way to ensure favorable reports about them spread among area pilots. But if they go out of business, where does that leave you? Despite those exceptions—or perhaps because of them—survey responses indicate you’re better off addressing the obvious questions of expense and downtime by sticking close to home: If one shop did all the work, you know where to go if something isn’t right. But if you bought a factory reman, for example, and your local FBO did the installation, getting the right person to pay attention to a problem can be, well, a problem. The good news is there are plenty of choices; the bad news is horror stories are alarmingly frequent. And, as many owners know, it seems no matter whose cylinders are bolted on, there’s no guarantee there won’t be an AD or factory recall adding to the frustration.

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