Seat highlights importance and complexity of testing cars to the max.
Ever wondered how your car manages to remain (mostly) rattle-free for years and years? Wonder no more, as Spanish car maker Seat has lifted the lid on its extreme testing procedures, designed to ensure that its cars remain in one piece long after you’ve hit your fist pothole.
Of course, Seat isn't alone in doing all this, and car makers routinely punish components and complete cars to within an inch of their lives so that we don’t have to make regular trips to the dealership.
You’d be pretty disappointed if you lived in a hot country and your car wilted when parked out in the sun all day. That’s why car makers will subject cabin materials, paint finishes and numerous other components to punishing regimes in specially built heat chambers to simulate midday in Mexico or Madrid.
The same is true for the opposite ends of the temperature spectrum, as cars are just as likely to misbehave if the temperature is low enough to have polar bears shivering. Subjecting components and cars to freezing temperatures - low enough to rival a Siberian winter - allows engineers to determine if they need to make their cars more resilient when under many feet of snow.
Working in a laboratory is all well and good, but sometimes there’s no substitute for finding out for real. Shipping cars and engineers around the world to all manner of different climates is still a big part of the development process, even when computers are now powerful enough to simulate most eventualities.
The vehicles remain there, exposed to the elements, to ensure that no car part will deteriorate in any weather condition. Often it’s only when out in the real world when unexpected faults occur, and it’s better to for things to fail now and not after a car is launched to the public.