I didn't know steam wash existed on IFB front loaders from twelve years ago. What is the model# or name of your machine? I'd like to see if I can find a manualI have never done a maintenance wash and just use powder, we rarely use the hot wash function, but the steam function 90% of the time.
Can you post a photo of the front panel of your IFB front loader ? that should make things clear
if the machine gets hot enough I can see why you never needed a maintenance wash as it would never develop a smell and sticking to powder will keep it that way.
Assuming the spider is fine, overloading or excess use will cause bearings and shocks to go before the spider.I guess I should expect another five years out of it and I can't complain as it's served us well. The key is not to overload the machine I believe.
Did you ever change bearings or shocks during the last twelve years?
The key takeaway with your use is spider failure due to corrosion has been delayed for as long as 12 years.
I've seen spiders fail in half that time and in some cases even sooner. Cannot prevent spider failure but clearly, it is possible to delay it.
I think high temperature on a regular basis plays an important role in delaying corrosion. Either through boil washes or other ways. Steam as you mentioned.
Only doing low-temperature washes will shorten the life of any front loader.