Worries about a warranty?

From time to time I receive letters regarding various questions about warranties.

If you’re like most people, it’s very seldom we really read and understand a warranty on a product. Having been responsible for the warranty on Lycoming engines at one point during my career there, I can tell you that gives one a whole new viewpoint. I can honestly say that the warranty policies of most major manufacturers are fair — if you comply with your responsibilities under the warranty policy.

This is where most folks get started off on the wrong foot. They never submit the warranty paperwork that comes with the product, which is their first responsibility. This essential step puts you on record as the owner of the product should you need to apply for warranty consideration. By submitting the correct paperwork, you also make it easy for the manufacturer to contact you in case of a product recall or some other important issue.

There have been many instances over the years where a customer has installed a new engine from the factory or reputable field overhaul facility and noticed there is just something not quite right about the engine’s performance. It could be something as simple as an oil- fouled spark plug, but it seems funny that this often occurs as the item is approaching the warranty expiration date.

You don’t feel it may be a serious problem, but don’t want to seem like an alarmist either. The best thing you can do is get the specific details on the official record. I’d suggest this be done via phone and a follow-up email or letter covering the entire subject in detail. Note: Always get the person’s name and date when you make your contact and keep it with your records. Remember, those covering the warranty haven’t shot anyone in years for providing too much information.

By taking this simple step, the warranty period may come and go, but if the situation does turn out to be a problem — within a reasonable time after the warranty expires — the company can look back in the records to see if it was noted before the expiration date.

If it was, you stand a good chance that the situation will be given fair consideration and probably resolved in your favor.

There is one very important thing that cannot be stressed enough when it comes to contacting a company regarding warranty and, as a matter of fact, anything regarding the product. Always provide the specific model and serial number of what you are discussing and specific details of your complaint or concern.

Paul McBride, recognized worldwide as an expert on engines, retired after almost 40 years with Lycoming. Send your questions to: AskPaul@GeneralAviationNews.com.

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