Why can't electronics on new washers & dryers be tougher?

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On Wed, 03 Jun 2009 08:08:34 -0500, Steve Barker

My microwave is 23 years old, and everything still works. Would a new one last that long?
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Mark Lloyd
http://notstupid.us
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Mark Lloyd wrote:

You would be lucky if it lasted 23 weeks.
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You can\'t have a sense of humor, if you have no sense!

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Around 1990 my brother had the family microwave and threw it away for because it was larger and was in the way. It was the 20 year old Heathkit microwave I assembled around 1970. Cost about $400, or $2000 in todays money. I had to keep up with maintenance though, fixing a couple things.
Right now my most expensive unit is a Sears GE mocrowave/turbo oven which run about $450, and I hope it holds up. Above the stove ventilator model. I prefer using the powerfull Panasonic 1250 watt inverter to the 900 watt GE most of the time. I also prefer to use my little turbo oven rather than the GE because it also works much faster. Good things come in small packages some times.
greg
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GregS wrote:

My ex threw away a huge, old, ultra-reliable uwave for pretty much the same reason. I was /really/ pissed off that she hadn't at least asked me if I wanted it.
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About 15 years ago I bought a discontinued made-in-the-U-S-of-A Litton microwave. I put it aside when I moved to a condo (as the new kitchen had a GE "vent hood" microwave that's given perfect service. But the Litton was solidly made, and on those rare occsions when I've had to schlep a microwave to a party or dinner, it's worked fine.
In fairness, the Litton and other American microwaves were probably "overbuilt" -- the quality level was much higher than it had to be, even for a product intended to last 20 years or more. The quality of the non-American GE appears to be "about right".
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William Sommerwerck wrote:

Canon used to build their laser printer engines (HP, Brother, Apple) that well. Not any more.
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Steve Barker wrote:

Safety interlock switches & catches go bad all the time. My own high-end National switch-mode uwave oven snapped a door catch while it was still under warranty, but it was just before xmas, so I repaired it myself. (Diassembled the door, glued the broken catch back together, cut up a steel plate the same shape as the catch as a strengthener, & glued it to the catch. It's been working perfectly ever since.) The uwave at my office stops cooking every now & then. It fires back up again if you push on the handle, so one of the uswitches is obviously a little out of position. I haven't bothered fixing that one.
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William R. Walsh wrote:

Really! I`m amazed, I`ve repaired or replaced dozens if not hundreds. Some are an easy fix, usually a duff capacitor or switch membrane, One very common model of oven regularly suffered from a o/c resistor in the supply to the display, others can be sent away for refurbishment at a reasonable price in comparsison to a new board.
Ron
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I once replaced a dead panel with a mechanical timer. They are really nice though for quick opperation and simplicity. All the orginals had them. My father loved it, allthough it was the same as our Heathkit Microwave.
greg
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GregS wrote:

Well, mechanical timers fail also, usually the coil fails in 'Crouzet type' motor driven ones. or the microswitches go intermittent. They can often be ressurected.
Ron(UK)
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It can be tougher!
If you ever go to an automobile wrecking yard, take apart something electronic on a vehicle which has to do with safety. Like an anti-lock brake electronic control module or an airbag monitoring module or the airbag crash sensors. These things are built like a tank!
Then take apart something which does not have anything to do with safe driving, and if it breaks, will not cause any safety issues. Like electric door locks, power windows, power trunk release, etc. These are all a piece of junk! And the switches which control these things many times will not be sealed. This allows dust to get in and the switches stop working after a period of time.
They want things to break, When things break, they get added revenue from repairs. Some people will purchase a new vehicle instead of having these things fixed. It means money for the dealers and manufacturer!
Actually I have seen many lower end products be better quality and the higher end products have all sorts of things which are designed to break and need service. I think they do this thinking lower cost product buyers don't have the money for repairs, but higher end product purchasers do.
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Bill wrote:

Having had to have the DME (Porsche-speak for ECM) on my 944 completely resoldered a few years ago to allow the car to run reliably, I am amused by your post... I guess Bosch is not the end-all be-all of reliable electronics manufacturing.
nate
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replace "roosters" with "cox" to reply.
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Nate Nagel wrote:

Are you sure they aren't using Lucas?
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| | Nate Nagel wrote: | > | > Having had to have the DME (Porsche-speak for ECM) on my 944 completely | > resoldered a few years ago to allow the car to run reliably, I am amused | > by your post... I guess Bosch is not the end-all be-all of reliable | > electronics manufacturing. | | | Are you sure they aren't using Lucas? | Old joke:
Q: Why do the English drink warm beer? A: They have Lucas refigerators.
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Q: Why don't the British make TV sets? A: They can't get them to leak oil. A2: They can make anything leak oil.
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Michael A. Terrell wrote:

Lord of Darkness?
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Bob Larter wrote:

Yes, except for his failed venture into a chain of all night greasy spoon diners where he was know as the 'Lard of Darkness'. ;-)
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Sounds like the epitaph for GMC! We have neighbours who have persistently bought Chevrolet/GMC pickups an a couple of mid-size GMC cars during the last 30 years we have lived in same area.
The Chevs. a) Don't last as long as our Nissans. b) Take more time/ cost for repairs. And we are not talking heavy commercial/contractor usage of the Chevrolet products, just back and forth on paved roads to work.
In fact our smaller Nissan/Toyota pickups were used for commercial catering work, carrying heavy loads of dishes etc. on a weekly daily basis in all weathers.
Since both our neighbours and ourselves have helped each other do many of the repairs we each have had an inside look at what has worn/needed repairs on both types of vehicles.
But our more recent (Japanese) vehicles have been assembled/ manufactured in the USA and contain more 'Made in Mexico' or 'Made in Taiwan' parts and have not had the quality of of our earlier vehicles made entirely in say, Japan.
Interesting how the Japanese manufacturing went from tin-pot junk in the 1930 to the high quality of today. A relative recently bought a nine year old Lexus; a beautiful car!
Seems to prove that cost and profit and high short term bonuses for auto executives were not the best policy?
And when it comes to home repairs/renovations etc. would one not expect domestic appliance to last at least as long/longer than a well used motor vehicle? However In one mid-eastern country we bought and used a full size US manufactured clothes dryer that was of excellent quality and capability, better than Italian and other European made products.
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I had to replace the circuit board on my RV furnace. The old one looked like it was basically just underbuilt. The circuit paths were very narrow and all the components were the smallest values possible. The replacement board from a company that just makes circuit boards was much beefier plus was a better design as far as function goes.
I don't get it because they could spend a few more bucks on the electronics and make it more reliable and simply charge a few more bucks for the appliance. Instead they get a bad reputation.
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Ulysses wrote:

price and not value is all that matters. So manufacturers do their best to make cheap stuff to meet low price-low value demands.
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