I purchased a Maytag electric dryer Bravo 300 Series in November 2009. December 2010, the main computer board went out and had to be replaced. move onto another brand. They do not stand by their defective products. First and last Maytag purchase.
My 10-year old Whirlpool side-by-side (25 CF) started to fail a couple of days ago. So many of the followers of this blog have given insight I thought I'd take a stab at aksing here. The frezzer side seems fine, and hold cold quite well. The refrigerator, however, started making a clicking sound (relay operating then dropping out is what it sounds like) at the top fo the compartrment directly above the controls. Even at max cool setting, the refrigerator temp is now at 61F. Given the near-total inaccessibility of the area in question: since this sounds like a control board failure, with a $150 service charge and maybe another $150 for the board, does anyone have an alternative suggesstion to repair this, or should I just get a new fridge?
I did have an old "Kitchen Aide" dishwasher that I purchased used for $100, and after only thirty years the timer drive motor failed and the replacement motor was not available except with the timer, for $50. So I replaced it with a more modern one, a "Whirlpool", and after one recall repair so far the only problem is that that cheap membrane switch panel is starting to peel off. But I did have to work on a similar unit for somebody else, and on that one the membrane switch failed and the processor failed. and with the price of that cheap membrane switch around a hundred dollars, and no assurance that the processor at $175 was not also bad, we wound up replacing the whole thing. The big advantage of the electronic controls is that they are cheaper to build than a mechanical timer, and that there does not need to be a repair team to service them because they can't be repaired because repair parts are not available.
Interesting point. I have a top end high efficiency variable speed furnace. I could now lease it, fully serviced. Two years ago I could only buy it, but I can get an extended warranty for another chunk of change.
With the new one I have more concerns the expensive electronic controls will eventually go than I ever did with the old simple two speed unit.
So, is it cheap? No, it was expensive. Is it reliable? We will see, but I hope it is. Or I'll wish I'd leased it. That is my point.
At least this unit doesn't put the electronics directly below the condensate lines.
Rolls Royce is synonimous the world over for high quality, long life and (justifyable) high price. It is first and foremost an Engineering company. Unfortunately, it followed many engineering-lead companies into bankruptcy. Just like Maytag. The fact that the Volksvagen group were so keen to buy them means there is still a place in worldwide manufacturing industry for good design and engineering, but the cost/performance balance has to be right. My boss told me on my first day of work that an Engineer is someone that can do for 50p what any fool can do for a pound. This is not cos-cutting, it's fundemantal to being a good engineer.
Yeah, me too. My wife and I bought a Maytag washer and dryer set in 1989 for about $1,300. (About one month's pay back then for me) We raised four children with these units. Just this past year the washer finally broke when the upper bearing in the transmission unit dried out and seized. I bought a new transmission and replaced the belts, but after doing a post-mortem on the 'dead' tranny, I could have just disassembled it, cleaned and lubricated the sleeve bearing and put it back into service. I saved the old tranny just in case.
The dryer needed some rollers/bearings for the rear rollers and new glide bearings on the front of the drum a couple of years ago. And just last year, I needed to replace the element in the heater unit. That's it.
For 22 years, we just (ab)used these things. Unfortunately, now that Whirlpool owns the Maytag brand, they sullied the storied history of Maytag. I will keep these gems going as long as I can get the few repair parts that I need.
When we moved into our current house about sixteen years ago, we replaced the icky dishwasher with a brand new fancy Maytag (Whirlpool plastic piece of crap) dishwasher to the tune of $800. Within the year, I needed a new main control board. A year later, the membrane touch panel switch board went Tango Uniform. The plastic latch handle of the door broke. It was prone to 'locking up' or 'freezing' and the only way to reset it was to go into the basement and flip the breaker. The particulate filter on the pump housing failed so the dishes came out with chunks all over the place. The adjustable racks require these water risers with little rubber flaps to 'shut off' the unused ports. They don't seal or close sometimes so the sprayers get precious little water pressure. Oh how I wish I had my old KitchenAid with the real enameled steel tub and old reliable clock timer switch assembly. I should have taken it when we left our last house. :-(
Chuck, I'm also amazed about the bad manners--and for that matter, very poor job skills--of call center staff. But I sure as heck will not pay more for good ones. To me, that implies that lousy service is OK and the norm. I wish there was a way to send financial pain back up the line to the company allowing these people to talk to me. Something similar to not tipping a waiter, for instance.
The toughest position an engineer has to take is when marketing says they want you to cut corners to just get the price down, and your name is on the product. You don't want to make garbage but it is out of your hands. So, the product works for a while, then it breaks. Then the readers of Design News comment on the lousy engineering, and that makes you cringe. It isn't always the fault of the engineer.
Tried ignoring the "gripe" heading as long as I could. Virtually every poorly designed, under-engineered, latently defective component described in these hallowed pages was likely designed by an engineer. I submit that these discussions describe in one sense the essence of engineering. Make the best part to meet the design goals at a reasonable price. It appears we are the victims of our success. Plastic gears at a tenth the cost with a design lifetime of 80% of brass seems to make sense. Plastic window regulators work fine if the windows never freeze. These blogs do a pretty good job of showing how difficult it is to make that balance between the optimum part and the affordable price.
Wal-Mart will hold its second Made in the USA Open Call July 7-8, at its headquarters in Bentonville, Ark. The event will be a repeat effort by the world’s biggest seller of consumer goods to increase the amount of US-made products it sells in Wal-Mart stores, in Sam’s Club members-only wholesale outlets, and on walmart.com.
From design feasibility, to development, to production, having the right information to make good decisions can ultimately keep a product from failing validation. The key is highly focused information that doesn’t come from conventional, statistics-based tests but from accelerated stress testing.
There’s a good chance that a few of the things mentioned here won't fully come to fruition in 2015 but rather much later down the line. However, as Malcolm X once said, "The future belongs to those who prepare for it today."
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