Many chemicals both in the detergents and possibly in water can cause damages to the machine. There are some other problems like hosepipes or other fittings getting loosened in the course of time. Improper electrical connections can also cause damages to the machine. No one can predict the problems that may occur due to moisture, heat, chemicals and electricity. Overloading of clothes also can cause damage to the machine.
Even your average machine from Maytag, Whirlpool, GE and many of the other common brands eventually will balk at the neglect. Many times, these are basic repair issues. Replacing a band or pump, for example, is pretty easy to do. A good deal of the problems don't even require repair - a quick troubleshooting, like taking a kink out of a hose is all they need at times. If it is a little more problematic, affordable washing machine parts can be purchased for these same aforementioned brands on several internet sites.