Rotax has issued a new Service Letter – SL-912-014 R4 – concerning the use of non-Rotax parts on their engines.
They are concerned that after-market manufacturer claims of more power and/or lower fuel consumption through the addition of these parts may compromise the reliability and safety of their engines.
In particular, Rotax quotes that unauthorised replacement piston kits, after-market turbo-chargers and fuel injection systems have all caused engine failures. They also list cheap oil filters, replacement crankshafts and electric starters as causing problems.
Bearing in mind the price of Rotax spare parts, I suppose people can hardly be blamed for considering cheaper alternatives – however, as a friend repeated to me only the other day (about something completely different) – “cheapest is not always the lowest cost”. When it comes to my life, I think I’d rather stick with the genuine item, which has already been exhaustively tested. At my age, I’m not really up for being a guinea pig.
At least Rotax puts a huge amount into the development and safety of their engines – which is more than can be said of some manufacturers. With well over 50,000 912 series engines out there, they have plenty of experience. Not for nothing have they become the engine of choice for many manufacturers and home builders.