View Full Version : Bad Garmin Servos

Tom Martin
10-13-2017, 01:32 PM
I have been making great progress with the new RV14, the building part is done, the hours are flown off, I have the final flight permits with the restrictions removed. The only issue I am having is with the Garmin Servos. A month ago when I was putting things together I tried the autopilot and got hardware and power supply errors for the pitch servo. Both pitch and roll servos are the same but I call one pitch and roll for obvious reasons.
Turns out Garmin had a bad batch of servos and did not take the time to track down serial numbers and get back to customers. I will give them the benefit of the doubt, maybe the problems were not in a particular batch of servos but intermittent failures. Stein Air did the panel and they have been very helpful with information. Garmin on the other hand refused to send a new servo directly to me. As I live in Canada it had to go directly to a Garmin dealer. Three weeks later I got the servo today at noon. I rushed to the airplane and installed it only to now find the same error message at the roll servo. Stein is going to send a servo directly to me as I just do not want to wait for weeks to get one from Garmin. Hopefully Garmin will reimburse Stein for the overnight shipping. As always, Stein and company are very helpful. This stuff is expensive, and mistakes happen, but it is how mistakes are handled that gives me comfort in a company. Not shipping a part directly to a customer is an indication of inflexibility in dealing with a customer problem.

Kyle Boatright
10-13-2017, 02:07 PM
Wasn't there another thread on bad Garmin servos recently?

Sez the slightly concerned guy who received a pair of 'em this morning...

Larry DeCamp
10-14-2017, 06:03 AM
I received two a month ago also. Maybe G3xpert will help us with serial numbers . It is no fun troubleshooting a new aircraft at the airport .

10-14-2017, 06:58 AM
Kyle and Larry,

We appreciate your concerns, but you have nothing to worry about with your new servos.

As explained in this posting made in April, shipments were stopped when an issue was discovered, so servos shipped since that time are not affected.

Even if you had servos that were affected, you would not have difficultly troubleshooting because the servo would report the failure when powered up, and we would replace the servo.

As always, please contact us directly if you have questions.


TS Flightlines
10-14-2017, 08:06 AM
Tom---not being an electrical guy, I'm slightly confused (Suzanne says I stay that way). Initially you had an error on the pitch servo, and not on the roll servo. Now that you have replaced the pitch with a new good servo, you get an error on the roll servo, that you didnt have before.
Am I to think that these servos are supposed to be matched somehow? Seems that initially the roll was good, or not showing an error. is it that now that the pitch error has been fixed the EFIS cant recognize the roll one?
Just asking, because pretty soon I'll be having to think about all of this for my 7.


Tom Martin
10-14-2017, 03:48 PM
Hey Tom
I can not explain it. Initially an error message showed the pitch servo had a "hardware" issue. I replaced that servo and now have the same message coming from the roll servo. Maybe the system only reports the first problem but not the second one. Electronic systems are amazing when they work.
As a friend pointed out; If these failures had been in the certified world the suspected serial numbers would have been tracked down. What about the guy that takes five years to build his plane? are they going to come good at that time?
And if I am a customer, no matter where I live, Garmin should send the servo directly to me. I did not create the problem but extra shipping and handling to a Garmin dealer who was not involved in the sale makes absolutely no sense.

Tom Martin
10-16-2017, 05:16 PM
Stein shipped a servo out friday afternoon and I had it first thing this morning. I replaced the faulty roll servo and now, finally, have no error messages. Christer at Steinair, got me going with the autopilot set up and it is ready for a test flight first thing in the morning. I am optimistic that the system will work fine once I get it figured out.

What are the odds of getting two bad autopilot servos. I received these units in early winter, February?. If you got servos around that time maybe you should get them checked out.

I did get, and missed, a call from a Garmin rep late Friday. Hopefully someone will get back to me again.

11-07-2017, 03:03 PM
Wasn't there another thread on bad Garmin servos recently?

Sez the slightly concerned guy who received a pair of 'em this morning...

Yup, that was probably me:


Both of mine appear to be working correctly now.

11-14-2017, 02:53 PM
I powered up my G3X for the first time yesterday and sadly both servos are reporting hardware failure. They were shipped new in January and I've approached Garmin Europe for replacements.

11-29-2017, 01:03 PM
Just a follow-up. Garmin (Europe) supplied me with new replacement servos, not service-exchange items, as the failures were out-of-box. Happy with that.