Car makers normally work to keep their development processes top secret, but, in the interests of proving the merits of the Qashqai SUV, Nissan has offered some insight into its techniques.
The dishwasher test is a benchmark test of how watertight a car is, and Nissan subjects every new model in its range to the assessment several times during engineering development.
Roughly 24,000 litres of water rains directly onto the vehicle – and during the most dramatic phase, more than 1000 litres falls in just 15 minutes – which is followed up by a fingertip inspection to ensure what Nissan claims: “the highest quality in waterproof sealing”.
Also known as the monsoon test, the waterproof benchmarking equivalent to a metre of rainfall.
Further to the dishwasher test, engineers at Nissan’s Cranfield facility in the UK have added an even more rigorous aspect to the process, attacking the vehicle’s seals and other weak points with jet washers, operating at pressures as extreme as 150 bar of pressure. Most domestic dishwasher units operate at 110 bar.
Carl Sandy, one of Nissan’s engineers who helped develop the test, explained: “Another member of the team will be in the car with a high-definition endoscope to see inside the panels, looking for even the tiniest drop of water that may have made it through”.
Sandy’s team has such an attention to detail that they will even strip out the whole interior to ensure that no water is coming in.
During the the entire testing process, up to 30,000 litres of water is used, which is then filtered back into a huge tank, ready for the next car that will undergo the same stringent testing.
“Rigorous testing is important because not every market is the same. For example, in Russia, commercial jet washers run at a higher pressure to cope with road dirt,” Sandy said.
“Through continuous evolution of test standards, we make sure that our cars stand up to the most demanding driving requirements in Europe.”
To see how Nissan’s dishwasher test works, watch a Qashqai take the test video above.