The car wash on site at the Nissan Technical Center North America is about the size of a popcorn machine. If you ever played with Hot Wheels or Matchbox cars as a kid, you may remember the car wash play set. This is like that, only much more specialized. The tiny wash utilizes a unique brush that allows engineers to evaluate how paint samples hold up when subjected to automatic washes.
The Nissan Technical Center North America is located in Farmington Hills, Michigan near Detroit. We’re not sure if it’s actually the smallest car wash in the world, but it is definitely the smallest we have ever seen.
Nissan’s engineers want the paint to hold up throughout the vehicle’s life, especially if the owner is meticulous and washes it frequently. And frankly, if we had one of the new Midnight Edition packages, we would be visiting the car wash a lot too. The pint-sized brush spins a good clip (180 rpm), causing the bristles to make steady contact with the paint as the water jets activate. Arizona dirt is placed on the model car to mimic a dirty vehicle in the real world. After each wash cycle, engineers try and determine how the paint held up.
The short clip below outlines the process. During actual testing, Nissan paint is applied to rectangular plates (such as the yellow sample seen in the video), which are then placed into the miniature car wash and tested multiple times to ensure a top-quality finish. The vehicle in the video is a 1:16 scale model of a Nissan 370Z.
Carl Anthony is Managing Editor of Automoblog and resides in Detroit, Michigan.