I agree Rob. Older cars are easier to fix, but unless you or your spouse or brother-in-law is a really good auto mechanic and willing to put in the time, they are not usually more reliable.
When it comes to washers and dryers, life has been a bit simpler for us in my household, but not always. We have replaced the control dials on the dryer, as well as its on/off switch, also a dial-type knob. But the on/off switch on the washer is a pushbutton--except that the covering is rubber, not something easy to remove. The interior mechanism is slowly wearing down and becoming too distant from the surface you push with your thumb. So we keep inserting the perfect fix: the little semi-coil plastic thingy you tear off the milk carton after you've taken off the cap the first time. There are now two of those under the rubber covering. This experience has taught me that I do not want an appliance with this type of control. And the idea of transparent touchpad-type controls on appliances that must withstand hundreds (thousands?) of repeated pushes over its lifetime sounds like a really bad idea.
I cannot agree more with you, OLD_CURMUDGEON !!! You are absolutely right.
Your advice to KISS, is absolutely right on the nail! Your bad experience with the latest versions of (what WAS) a good design from Toyota (And I would say from almost everybody else these days), is very true, sad and incredible far from a true "advancement", it seems more like a true backwards step in regard to reliability, repairability and fitness to the service.
I congratulate you in ACCEPTING it was a huge mistake to replace your perfectly OK 2004 Camry for the latest one. IT is happening in maybe 99% of all the cars and trucks in the last years "design"...
Lets discuss these stupid "design" trends that place a huge difficulty in servicing our automobiles by ourselves. Gosh!, even the mechanics at my near Dodge Chrysler dealer are pronouncing a lot of very colorful language when I ask them how THEY feel about the latter "designs", even they are affected by the very difficult maintenance that newer designs place on them, and supposedly they have the best manuals and software help!
My guess is that, apart from a "design for fast, automated assembly" and a perverse, planted-in design intended to discourage DIY maintainers; there is a large dose of unintended, naive and plainly stupid design by the younger generation of people born in the computer age; who have never-ever hold a common wrench in their hands, and who completely ignore that the need to repair instead of replace, which has transformed our world in a mess full of "last year junk".
As engineering professionals, we are in a unique position to understand and try to reverse this madness in design. at least this rants tell me I'm not the only one to recogniza the goodnes of past designs, and the flashiness of recent ones.
This is my nomination for good, solid design in a fully tried and time tested old design (about as old as the human race), which uses the most advanced "Predictive Bio-Software"; QUESTION: Who needs a computerized throttle, and for what stupid reasons?
and it is NOT trivial: As I understand, there have been about 14 deaths related to unintended sudden acceleration just in the USA.
Yes, MrMikel, it does make you wonder why these companies didn't start switching back when the electronic controls starting failing at a greater rate than the past mechanical controls failed. I would certainly think they're aware that repair incidences have increased. It makes you think they are OK with the problems. Seems odd.
The problems listed show a failure to select appropriate technology. Old mechanical controls in washers and dryers are all but foolproof, inexpensive and easily replaced by nearly anyone. They have the virtue of being mechanical devices which are not affected particulary by heat, humidity or the vibration present in these devices.
Electronics have none of these virtues, so why the substitution? Being modern, up to date?
In industrial controls where frills are not quite so dominant, machines are kept going 30 years because they continue to do the job. Good thing too, since that is how I make a living... keeping them going. Since they are $30K-$250K machines there is bit of a bias towards not replacing them. (grin)
In fifty years of driving, I've had only two "turkeys". The first one was my 1970 MUSTANG. It was a total lemon from day one! And, the next one was my 1976 TOYOTA CELICA fastback model. From my first vehicle, a 1960 FORD (of Germany) TAUNUS 17M KOMBI to my present vehicle, a 2010 CAMRY, they've all served me quite well for a minimum of 100K miles or more.
We're seeing again and again in these Monkey postings that older appliances seem work be more reliable than the newer models. The new electronics seem to be a big part of the problem. The mechanics seem to be build for 25 years, while the electronics seem to have a shorter lifespan.
I'm not sure the same thing is happening with cars. Older cars are easier to fix at home, but I'm not sure they're generally more reliable.
We have a GOLDSTAR microwave in the kitchen. It's NOT a fancy model, about 1,000 w, but it's been warming foods for about TWENTY FIVE years w/ ZERO problems. Maybe the conclusions of many in these blogs is NOT without merit: "Buy low end appliances WITHOUT all the bells & whistles". These devices seem to last much longer on average. Our refrigerator is also a relic of bygone days, a SEARS COLDSPOT, as old as the house. In the 35+ years, it required only one service call to replace a shorted compressor motor run capacitor. The SEARS (WHIRLPOOL) electric dryer is also that old, and continues to work flawlessly, although the companion top-load clothes washer has been replaced in this same time frame. My 2004 CAMRY w/ well over 100K miles suffered a failed throttle body assembly. Rather than spend the $2K to repair it (and replace worn out tires), I elected to upgrade to the new body-style CAMRY. WHAT A GIANT MISTAKE!!! Should have kept my 2004. The new style (2007-2011) & the 2012 are loaded w/ quirky features, ALL too much for my feeble mind to digest. The old adage, "KISS" ....... WHAT a PROFOUND concept!!!!
I have an 02 Ford F150 that has had an issue that seemed to fix itself a few times. Occassionally, in the morning, the trucks dome lights would be on when I walked to the truck in the morning. Turning the truck on would put everything back in working order. Over time and research I found that the windshield's on the 02 Fords tend to leak around the seal and into Power Control Module causing electrical faults. Long story short, nights that had heavy dew or light rain allowed enough water into the PCM to connect a circuit for the dome lights. To correct, it was necessary to re-seal the windshield. No problems since.
Reading this class of experiences, I feel compelled to share my impression on LG appliances, based on my three VERY different experiences with the microwave ovens from that company that I have used in the last 8 years:
First LG oven: a model MS-1442 DP, 1650 W, 13.6 Amp, 120 V, "made in England", 1.4 cu.ft. white color... This was a magnificent performance oven, Really powerful: quickly heated my LARGE coffe cup in less than a minute to boiling water temp (198 F or 92 C at our high elevation of 7350 ft ASL), this was one of three identical ovens purchased by the company I work with, to serve in the coffe area of the building.
I don't need to say that at lunch time, it was used and abused by at least 30-40 people, M to F, and even then, it kept performing without any apparent loss of power, but finally failed after more than four years of restaurant-like abuse!. I guesstimate it endured the equivalent of maybe 30 years of comparative household use. So, I was very favorably impressed and thought: When I'll marry, I'll buy this same model for my house...
Second LG oven: In 2007 the only available model that was most similar to the previous one, was model MS-1444DP (ECN:MS-1444DP/01), curiously labeled as"13.8 Amp." but with the same "1650W" power rating, in white color... this one "made in China", This oven was definitely NOT as efficient as the first ones at the office, requiring about 80 to 90 seconds to reach the same temp with the same cup (¿?) After only three years and two months of home use, the magnetron failed, and thanks to the omnipotent Internet, I was able to find a site with ample instructions (and warnings) on how to properly diagnose and repair it... the part replacement was faster and easier than actually browsing for it. It is still working with the new magnetron after a year, and the price of the part was about a third of the price of a new oven. Power is the same as before magnetron replacement. Operating noise is a bit higher than the made in England version, but not much. This could be caused by the lack of several screws to hold the cover, which had holes punched in the cover but not in the chassis and no sheetmetal screws.
Third LG oven (and most probably the last one!):
This is an smaller, 0.7 Cu Ft, silver color, LG design, bought to replace an old Sharp small microwave oven in the office (other building). I don't have the model number now, but this recent design is the PERFECT example of an Idiot Design (worst than Monkey designed)... the Stylish, mirrorlike door, is so stupidly designed, that it is completely impossible to see inside during operation, thanks to the mirrolike door and a badly placed lighbulb. Not only this is inconvenint, because nobody can see if a bowl of oat is already boiling and making a mess inside, and because it is so inefficient (It requires more than two full minutes on High to heat the same large cup of water, more like 2 minutes and 30 seconds), so that users tend to input "standard"or "commonly used" times, only to find that the damn little oven didn't heat the food enought, then they add "a little more time, and than find it still requires a third heating... at that time the accumulated heat frequently ends in an overheated, bubbling or alredy spilled mess! It also makes a higher level of noise than I remember from the other two larger models.
This means to me that:
a) LG WAS a good option about 8 years ago...
b) It appears that the power rating rules have been loosened at LG.
c) Could it be that sheetmetal screws are becoming scarce in Korea or China?
d) State of the Art in LG ovens:Now more 'stylish', innefficient and less durable.
Those are the lessons!
NOTES: My efficiency and ouput power estimates didn't measured temperatures with a calibrated thermometer, a certified chronometer, or a lab grade wattmeter... but I DID CHECKED that the AC voltage remained above 120 V; as a fact it was 125 plus or minus half a volt during my estimations, and the room temp was almos the same, so that gross differences were not a factor at all. A call and two emails to the LG representative in Mexico were completely unattended... So that I cannot recommend their ovens anymore.
The 3D printing revolution seems to have a knack for quickly moving technology ahead by way of collaborative effort and even a little friendly competition -- all of course in the name of scientific advancement.
Advantech has launched a new series of motion-control I/O modules to meet the increased demands that come with more distributed industrial systems that require control of a growing number of axes and devices.
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