Watch How Ford Can Control the Weather
Foul weather testing is the staple of any OEMs product development cycle, which requires shipping prototypes around the world for various extremes. Ford has come up with a way to tighten up the process with its climate chamber and wind testing. Sure it’s never going to completely replace on-road, real world testing. But you gotta figure it’s going to save tons of money and improve engineers’ health if they can do all their work in Dearborn as opposed to Death Valley. RELATED: Watch a Formula Race Car Tackle Snowy Nurburgring Ford also calls it the drivability test facility. It’s where the Blue Oval’s engineers and product guys test out upcoming Ford products as well as the current competition. The space can simulate almost any weather extreme including high winds, says John Toth, project and facility engineer. The facility can also create temps from -40 degrees Fahrenheit all the way up to 131 degrees. It can also recreate altitude changes to see how a car is going to respond. Who needs the Continental Divide? RELATED: See Photos of the New Shelby Mustang GT350R The best part of the test video (below) shows what accumulating snow can do to an engine block. “People don’t realize your air filters can clog up with snow,” says Toth. The testing looks at the engine infiltration system. Engineers are also looking for shifter linkage freeze up and the lights icing over. Better to find out now than out in the open prairies.
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