Most car buyers are probably not aware of all the steps involved in bringing a quality vehicle to their driveway, but suffice to say that the process is far from simple, easy or straightforward. Case in point: GM assembly plants use numerous methods and techniques to assemble its vehicles, including large, complex machinery, human know-how, and a wide variety of tools. Meanwhile, various processes ensure quality control standards are met before a car is shipped out to a dealer. One such quality control measure is the water intrusion test, which is meant to detect any interior leaks and address them before a vehicle is shipped out to the dealers.
To ensure a leak-free interior, vehicles are randomly subjected to a rigorous eight-minute, “monsoon-like” water test. Once the vehicle is soaked, it is examined for any visible signs of water intrusion, and a water probe is used to evaluate the interior for any unseen moisture that could have entered the cabin.
The water probe is carried out using two-foot-long pins approximately the size of knitting needles. These pins are attached to a gauge that records the presence of moisture in the vehicle. These flat, thin needles are placed in various parts of the cabin floor to generate the readings. As with any other GM quality tests we have discussed, vehicles rarely require repairs.
“[Some] tools may be small, but they are really important in helping us build vehicles that deliver on customer expectations”, explains Mike Ptashnik, quality manager at the GM Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly.
Other GM Quality Tests
General Motors is dedicated to ensuring that all vehicles cleared for shipment meet and exceed quality expectations. To deliver on that promise, GM facilities use various quality control measures, including the Door Velocity Meter that checks that just the right amount of effort is required to close the doors, female ostrich feathers that ensure a spotless paint job, sniffer gauges to ensure that a vehicle’s air conditioning system is without leaks, and gap sticks to ensure that panels are within appropriate gap tolerances.
So, the next time you get into a GM product, just think of all the steps that went into delivering that vehicle to you.