Being a take-it-apart-myself kind of guy I never opt for the extended warranties, which means I'm the one with my head in the dishwasher on New Year's day. Let's take a dishwasher apart and try to make it work better.
Back when I was in the Air Force all of the equipment was subject to periodic maintenance. Maintenance might involve changing air filters, checking connectors for corrision, verifying power supply tolerances, or performing field verification of radio signals.
Performing a regular check allows you to catch and correct things before they became an actual problem. A good idea especially when the equipment is depended on daily by hundreds of pilots.
Around the house though there aren't many periodic maintenance checks. You might mark a date on the calendar to check smoke alarm batteries (if not, how about now?) and maybe change the furnace filters as winter approaches. But how often do you take apart and clean the dishwasher or vacuum the refrigerator coils?
There's not much incentive or guidelines for periodically checking your own mechanical and electronic gear. Prices keep going down and it's usually cheaper to replace things than to repair. Appliances are the exception but they are typically sold with extended warranties which hold the promise that someone else fixes them over the years.
With or without a warranty there's a lot to be said for taking care of your appliances and extended warranties don't catch problems before they happen.
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