Nissan has revealed a unique method that its engineers use to test paint samples. Rather than test how exterior paint holds up in a car wash on a full scale model, Nissan uses a miniature car wash to ensure exterior paint holds up to the demands of a modern car wash, which can scratch clearcoats and abrade paint.
A miniature car wash, about the size of a popcorn machine is used at the Nissan Technical Center North America in Michigan. The miniature car wash features a spinning brush that has vibrant blue bristles. To mimic an automatic wash cycle, Nissan’s miniature car wash spins the brush at around 180 rpm, causing the bristles to slap the paint sample as water jets spray and “Arizona dirt” replicates the harsh and abrasive real world.
Nissan says that it doesn’t actually use 1:16 scale models of its cars, like in the video you see here and instead uses rectangular plates, which are placed into the miniature car wash and tested multiple times.