Not everything has to be high-tech.
Automakers do an insane amount of testing behind the scenes, literally everything from seat fabrics to quality exterior paint. For the latter, the key word is ‘quality.’ Bad paint can lead to all sorts of problems, mainly rust, and that’s never a good thing. For Nissan, testing paint samples is a regular occurrence, and its team of engineers have come up with an interesting, yet effective, way of going about this.
They use a scaled-down car wash, about the size of a popcorn machine, to ensure exterior paints holds up to not only day-to-day wear and tear, but also actual car washes. Modern car washes can actually scratch clearcoats and abrade paint, so Nissan equipped its mini car wash with a spinning brush with blue bristles that supposedly replicates the real thing.
Before any new Nissan model arrives in dealerships, engineers test every shade of exterior paint made available in its mini car wash. In order to properly mimic an automatic wash cycle, its brushes spin at around 180 rpm which causes the bristles to harshly slap the paint as water jets spray what’s called “Arizona test dirt,” supposedly a special dirt. Owners will probably know for sure whether this method and testing technique is as bullet proof as Nissan makes it out to be in the years to come. But, at the very least, it’s fun to watch the mini car wash testing in the video above.