ALLEN PARK, Mich. (WJBK)
We get to practice driving in winter conditions for about three months each year. At Ford?They do it whenever they want.
Ford used to test all their vehicles in Manitoba, Canada. When they got sick of driving all the way there, though, they built a facility in Allen Park.
"We can also vary the temperature. Temperature ranges from 40 below zero F to about 130 F and wind speed from zero, obviously, up to about 125," says Steve Wegryn, supervisor wind tunnel operations.
From a meteorologist standpoint, these guys are heros. They literally control the weather.
They set up some paramaters for us when we visited.
"We're at a 40 mph wind speed, the fan rpm is at 287 and we are approaching negative 15," explains Ted Tokarski, a wind tunnel engineer. "[The wind chill] is probably about negative 70 F, which is extremely cold."
Hopefully we never experience a situation like this, but Ford wants to be ready in case something ever happens.
"We test every one of our vehicles through this test method," says Wegryn. "We test until we are satisfied that they complete our criteria."
Test for the worst to handle the best.