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Summary
  • Automotive quality control refers to the process of ensuring that every part and system of a vehicle meets industry standards.
  • Test drives, crash tests, and exposing the vehicle to extreme weather conditions are common quality control techniques in the automotive industry.
  • Today, automakers have adopted high-tech testing centers, precise sensors, and automated quality control systems to improve their quality control tests.

In the painstaking process of designing, manufacturing, and delivering your vehicle, there’s one important step manufacturers should never, ever forget: automotive quality control. Auto manufacturers must conduct quality control tests to meet industry standards and make sure you receive only the best of the best. 

What Is Automotive Quality Control?

Automotive quality control refers to the process of ensuring that every part and system of a vehicle meets industry standards. A vehicle that’s passed quality control means it’s free from glitches, operational problems, and other possible issues. 

There are three principles of automotive quality control: 

Quality in Product

Car quality is what often comes to mind when people think of automotive quality control, and they’re not wrong. The quality of the vehicle is one of the most important aspects of quality control.

The vehicle should meet all the expectations of manufacturers and consumers in function, behavior, and design. This includes engine efficiency, product features, emissions standards, and more. 

Quality in Production

This deals with the quality of the automotive manufacturing process. Is the manufacturer producing vehicles that consistently meet their standards? Are they meeting their set cost limits? 

Quality in Ownership

Quality in ownership is all about meeting customer satisfaction. This includes the entire purchase process, vehicle reliability, and driving experience. 

How Is Quality Control in the Automotive Industry Done?

Manufacturers have different ways of conducting quality control in the manufacturing process. Here are a few examples: 

Test Drive 

Driving the prototype car is one of the most common techniques of quality control. They test the ride’s smoothness, the suspension’s durability, and the functionality of other features. 

Exposure to Extreme Heat and Cold Weather

To make sure the vehicles can withstand extreme weather conditions, manufacturers expose the cars to extreme heat and cold weather. The heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems are put to the test. 

Filling the Car With Smoke

To make sure the window and door seals are all airtight, manufacturers typically fill the cabin with smoke. 

Crash Test

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) conducts two types of crash tests: the 35-mph frontal impact and the 35-mph side impact. However, these differ from the crash tests initiated by manufacturers themselves to make sure their safety systems and other features all work. 

Advancements in Quality Control Tests

Thanks to technological advances, meeting automotive quality standards is easier than ever. Manufacturers have come up with all sorts of ways to improve their quality control, such as the following: 

High-tech Testing Centers

Today, automakers have developed their own testing centers with high-tech features. These testing centers simulate real-world conditions and make it easier for them to test their prototypes. 

Precise Sensors and Computer Programs

Most manufacturers now use computer programs and upgraded sensors that can take better measurements of a vehicle’s test results. Not only are these measurements more detailed, they’re also more accurate. 

Automated Quality Control Systems

Some manufacturers have installed automated quality control systems that can automatically detect things like poorly fitted parts right on the assembly line. 

Quality Assurance Employees

There’s nothing quite like a sharp set of human eyes. Despite technological advances, several manufacturers still continue to employ quality assurance personnel to catch any lapses made by electronic quality control systems. 

Why Quality Control in the Manufacturing Process Matters

Quality control can be costly and time-consuming, but it’s a must when it comes to the automotive industry. Here are some reasons why it’s so important for manufacturers to conduct quality control tests: 

Increases Car Quality

Constantly identifying safety issues, defects, or inefficiencies can help improve the quality of a car. Without proper quality control, automakers are at greater risk of sending out a vehicle of poor quality. 

Compliance With Industry Regulations

The automotive industry is strictly regulated by the NHTSA and other similar government agencies to meet certain standards. To comply with industry regulations such as emission standards, auto manufacturers have to conduct quality control for all of their products. 

Reduces Manufacturing Time

Quality control in the manufacturing process can help automakers release products much faster. Thanks to advanced quality control systems, manufacturers can cut down on the production and delivery time of their vehicles. 

Lessens Risk of Recalls

Manufacturers avoid recalls like the plague. They’re time-consuming, expensive, and harmful to the company’s image. By conducting extensive quality control tests, automakers lessen the risk of recalls while maintaining their image and saving both time and money. 

Improves Customer Satisfaction

If there’s a goal all manufacturers share, it’s customer satisfaction. No business wants to sell a product that would upset their customers. Quality control ensures that they serve only the best. It also helps build consumer confidence in the brand by showing them that automakers strive to meet their expectations.

About The Author
Written By Automotive and Tech Writers

The CarParts.com Research Team is composed of experienced automotive and tech writers working with (ASE)-certified automobile technicians and automotive journalists to bring up-to-date, helpful information to car owners in the US. Guided by CarParts.com's thorough editorial process, our team strives to produce guides and resources DIYers and casual car owners can trust.

Any information provided on this Website is for informational purposes only and is not intended to replace consultation with a professional mechanic. The accuracy and timeliness of the information may change from the time of publication.

File Under : Automotive World , Features
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