Determining Reliability: The Chevy Colorado Endures Water Testing

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Images: GM

Have you ever wondered how your truck would fair if it were immersed in water? Well, while no one hopes you find yourself in a situation where you’re stuck in a substantial water event, Chevy tests their trucks, especially the new Colorados (for both US and international markets), for just that. Some tests are so extreme, in fact, that the chances of you ever running into something as considerable in real life are slim.

Chevy’s testing consists of five water intrusion tests, including a bout with a dunk tank, misters, high-pressure sprayers, and a fording trough.

“Truck customers around the world expect to get to their destination no matter what’s happening outside the vehicle–be it a flooded road, river crossing or storm,” Kevin Dunn, GM global vehicle performance owner for splash contaminants stated according to GM Authority. “When you think of all the sensitive equipment on trucks these days it is critical to ensure that Colorado customers will never have to worry about how their truck will perform under extreme conditions.”

The first test that Chevy Colorados go through is the dunk tank test, where the truck is driven in and then water is added to the tank until it reaches the truck’s rocker panels. This simulates static water fording like some customers might experience idling in flooded conditions, which allows engineers to see the water’s affects on the truck’s chassis and underbody.

cq5dam.web.1280.1280 (44)Another test Colorados see is the mist test, where the trucks are subject to fine misty conditions. This tests the trucks’ resistance to low-compression water along door seals and weatherstriping.

The universal water test uses the same 330 nozzles that the mist test does but sprays 825 gallons (3,123 liters) per minute for eight minutes along the sides, bottom and top of the truck with them.

This allows engineers to see how exposure to similar amounts of water, such as in a severe rainstorm, will interfere with powertrain and venting components, as well as body panels and seals.

Similarly, the test involving high-pressure sprayers tests fuel system and powertrain vents, as well as charge ports and air induction systems for their resistance to high-pressure water spray, like that from a power washer.

cq5dam.web.1280.1280 (45)The fifth and final test new Chevy Colorados are subjected to is the fording test, where the test trucks are driven slowly through a 15 meter outdoor fording trough to see how the vehicle’s seals, venting, electrical and powertrain components (transmission fluid and exhaust included) fair when they are subjected to partial or full immersion. This is helpful in testing the truck for circumstances like fording a river on an off-road trip, etc.

The Chevy Colorado may be only one of the many trucks out there on the market, but with extensive tests like this done throughout developmental stages, it’s no wonder so many people rely on the Colorado to get them through just about anything.

About the author

Lindsey Fisher

Lindsey is a freelance writer and lover of anything with a rumble. Hot rods, muscle cars, motorcycles - she's owned and driven it all. When she's not busy writing about them, she's out in her garage wrenching away. Who doesn't love a tech-savy gal that knows her way around a garage?
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