Your visit to my website seeking appliance wisdom honors me!
Thank you, Samurai, for your table of the half-life of appliances. The Maytag gas dryer in my rental unit wouldn't heat. The pilot light wouldn't stay lit and following the instructions on the access door for lighting the pilot didn't help. The dryer was not new when I bought the property 17 years ago. Your table helped me to decide that, this time, it is probably not worth it to spend the money and aggravation to try to repair it. I'll check with you next time one of my appliances is "on the fritz".
Honor to you!
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The problem with your dryer was most likely a fouled pilot assembly. I don't even know if burner parts are still available for pilot-ignition gas dryers. Nevertheless, let's do a repair benefit analysis from the superior persepective afforded by reading my enlightening tome, "How Long Should Appliances Last?" which you mentioned in your email.
Looking up dryers in the appliance half-life table, we see that dryers have a half-life of 13 years. Since your 17-year old dryer is four years older than the half-life, your chances for a successful repair on this dryer is approximately 35%. Lemme put it this way: If one of my local customers were to call me to schedule a service call for this dryer, I would encourage them to get a new one.
You made the right decision.