The reliability of Sears' Kenmore brand of appliances can vary greatly from model to model and from one type of appliance to another. This is because multiple manufacturers make the appliances that Sears sells under the Kenmore brand, including GE, Whirlpool, Samsung and Frigidaire.
Overall reliability of Kenmore appliances is typically poor relative to other brands, according to appliance repair site ApplianceAssistant.com. For example, Kenmore washers have repair rates of approximately 10 percent for front-loading models and 8 percent for top-loading washers, as compared to approximately 6 percent for the most reliable brand of front-loading washers. Similarly, Kenmore electric ranges have a repair rate of 11 percent, over twice that of the most reliable brand. However, Kenmore gas ranges are some of the most reliable available, with a low repair rate of 8 percent compared to several brands with rates of 10 percent or higher.
Much of the high repair rate of Kenmore models is due to the fact that multiple manufacturers construct these appliances, some of whom produce much more reliable appliances than others. For example, LG front-loading washers have a very low repair rate, so a Kenmore front-loading washer manufactured by LG is much more likely to be reliable than an appliance manufactured by another brand. Kenmore appliances have a three-digit code that indicates the manufacturer in the serial number, so it is possible to determine what company produced a particular Kenmore appliance and estimate its likely reliability more accurately using information about those company's products.