Someone told me that one makes a שהחיינו on a new car, air conditioner, dish washer, refrigerator or any other major appliance. Where is the source for this?
The Mishna (Brachos 9:2) writes that one recites a bracha upon hearing good news, building a new house or buying new items. The Shulchan Aruch (OC 223:6) and Mishna Berura (223:13) explain that this only applies to items that are important and one is particularly happy about acquiring. This applies equally to used items (Shulchan Aruch OC 223:3). The Gemara (Brachos 59b) writes that when others benefit from the good news or new items then one recites hatov vehametiv; otherwise, one says shehecheyanu. (See Shulchan Aruch OC 222:1; 223:3, 5)
The Magen Avraham (OC 223:5) notes that many people aren’t particular about this practice and the Shulchan Aruch Harav (Birchos Hanehenin 12:5) and Kaf Hachaim (OC 223:20) write that one only needs to recite shehecheyanu when buying new clothes. Nonetheless, R’ Moshe Feinstein (Igros Moshe OC 3:80) writes that one should recite shehecheyanu when buying a new car for oneself. R’ Ephraim Greenblatt (Rivevos Ephraim 1:375) writes that when buying a family car, however, one should recite hatov vehametiv.
R’ Chaim Falagi (Lev Chaim 3:52) held that one buying (a car, for example) on finance doesn’t make a bracha as their simcha is diminished somewhat. R’ Eliezer Waldenberg (Tzitz Eliezer 12:19) however, disagrees, writing that at times one says shehecheyanu even when one is left a significant inheritance when one’s relative dies.
If the car needs servicing, one should wait until any repairs have been done before saying the bracha (See Mishna Berura 223:17).