When you purchase a major appliance for your kitchen or laundry room, you want to get your money’s worth. But too many people often find themselves with problem-prone machines that can be expensive to repair. 

It often seems like your old kitchen stove or laundry machine are running smoothly, while your new stainless steel appliances are scheduled for yet another costly repair. 

It just seems like products aren’t made like they used to be. What’s the reason behind that?

“Appliances today have sensors and circuit boards that control and monitor functions, so your dishwasher can sense if it needs to run longer and your dryer will stop running when your clothes are dry. But all those electronics can introduce reliability problems that weren’t common 30 years ago,” said Sara Morrow of Consumer Reports. 

But that means more complex machines require more complex repairs. 

A 2016 Consumer Reports survey found that only 60 per cent of appliance repairs were completed during the first service visit. 

According to Consumer Reports 2018 surveys, between 15 to 40 per cent of major appliances will develop problems or break down within the first five years, depending on the product. 

“This is the first year that we looked at average predicted reliability to compare brands based on how reliable they are across a range of major appliances,” Morrow said.

When it comes to brands, some just don’t make the cut.

“So if you’re looking to outfit your kitchen or laundry room with appliances from a single brand, you’ll do well to consider Miele, LG, Thermador and Bosch,” said Morrow. 

But when it comes to brands that didn’t do well, Viking ranks last among the 24 brands. None of its major appliances earned more than a fair rating for predicted reliability. 

Be careful when considering Electrolux, Samsung, Jenn-air and Dacor-brand appliances. While they do have some categories that score at least a "good" for reliability each has multiple appliance categories that earn a poor reliability rating. 

What about an extended warranty? Consumer Reports says you should consider how likely the appliance is to break during the extended warranty, and whether the warranty would cost more than a repair itself. 

Consumer Reports’ latest refrigerator survey found that in general the average cost of an extended warranty is the same as the average repair cost.