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Watch how Nissan tests its paint quality

This mini car wash looks all fun, but it works

This 1:16 die-cast toy car sports the same paint finish you'll find on a real Nissan 370Z. SCREENSHOT FROM NISSAN

While most carmakers push their products’ mechanical limits, Nissan’s R&D facility in Michigan—Nissan Technical Center North America—is busy testing car paint by seemingly playing around. With a miniature car wash—bristles and all—Nissan is putting to the test the paint quality on its vehicles’ scale models, using the same paint as that found on their real-world counterparts.

In one test, a 1:16 scale model of the 370Z is covered with “Arizona dirt,” and then washed by 10,000 blue bristles spinning at around 180rpm. Nissan claims the process is pretty much what your car goes through when you get it all dirtied and cleaned by an automatic car wash. While we may not have the exact same dirt particles in the country, the harsh elements in the Philippines could be even worse than the impurities used on the mini Z car prior to cleaning. And your friendly neighborhood car-wash shop may be inflicting the same level of abrasion on your prized possession. So it pays to know if your paint job can hold up to the repeated chafing over time.

With this experiment, Nissan ensures that the paint finishes on the cars it sells can stand the beating they will encounter on a daily basis. Could this be the reason Nissan cars remain shiny-looking even after years of use?

Nissan's miniature car wash

Red Santiago

A jack of all trades, Red is passionate about cars, motorcycles and audio. He sometimes drives for a ride-hailing app company—just because he really loves driving.