How to buy avionics:  New



New avionics equipment comes with manufacturer's warranty which ranges from 1 to 2 years (though up to a 5 yr warranty is obtainable in rare cases). Some manufacturers offer extended warranty programs. Though the warranty period is important, how warranty situations are handled is paramount. Here are a few things to consider in a warranty situation:

  • Does the manufacturer offer loaners?
  • What is a typical repair turn-around period?
  • Does the manufacturer offer new or overhaul exchanges?
  • What is the perception of the manufacturer's status in the industry?
  • Can the shop you are dealing with provide any examples of exemplary performance of the manufacturer with respect to warranty situations?

There are two levels to warranty/repair situations:

  • The level of service the manufacturer can provide; and
  • The level of service the dealer/shop can provide.

The ultimate scenario for the customer is when both the dealer/shop and the manufacturer are providing the best possible service in synchronicity. From experience, I feel that we have been limited a manufacturer's policies on a few occasions. A shop can only provide the kind of service it receives from the manufacturer. The reverse is also true.


Warranty on workmanship from the installing facility is just as important as the products you buy. For example: a few years ago, a customer squawked that his autopilot would no longer track the Loran which we installed 6 years previous. After several hours of troubleshooting, a poorly crimped splice was the culprit. The splice we had previously installed was replaced and the customer was not charged. It was considered a workmanship defect. What kind of workmanship warranty does your shop provide?

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Much of the new avionics equipment sold today can only be purchased through Authorized Manufacturer Dealers. These dealers are bound by contract agreement not to sell "over-the counter" to the end user unless the selling dealer is also the installer. Infractions in this area can result in a shop losing its dealership. Exceptions can include factory "Re-Man" products or new products being sold to be installed in "Home-Built" or Experimental aircraft.  | Next Page >>