DETROIT – Each of those shiny new Silverados in Chevrolet dealerships benefits from 12.5 million miles of durability testing before the first customer ever receives the keys.
From the scorching desert of Yuma, Ariz. to the sub-zero cold of Kapuskasing, Ontario, and the outdoor torture tests of General Motors’ Milford Proving Ground in Milford, Mich., the all-new full-size trucks completed more than 4 million miles of combined vehicle durability testing. In addition, a fleet of test vehicles racked up 8.2 million miles of real-world mileage.
Validation and durability testing pushed the trucks to their limits before they went into production in Silao, Mexico, Flint, Mich., and Fort Wayne, Ind. In many of the tests, the trucks are loaded to gross vehicle weight. While most customers do not drive fully loaded on a regular basis, these tests ensure the Silverado can withstand even the most demanding conditions.
“It takes refinement and testing to build the strength that our customers expect and rely on from their trucks,” said Phillip Hubler, vehicle system engineer. “Our philosophy with the 2014 trucks was to improve what needed to be improved and leave alone what was already considered world class.”
The trucks proved their mettle by traversing the Belgian blocks, splashing though the off-road-simulating grit trough, climbing and descending a 30 percent grade and driving at high speeds.
Grit intrusion is a challenge for any off road vehicle. The grit trough test ensures the trucks have enough sealing to protect bearings and key suspension points, while a trip along the dust road helps determine all seals are functioning properly and that dust does not contaminate the bearings or other moving parts.
Some of the key durability improvements from the previous generation trucks include:
- A frame formed from high-strength steel to ensure it will not crack, even when loaded to full capacity
- New four-wheel-disc brake system with Duralife™ brake rotors offer up to double the service life, along with brake-tuning revisions that improve pedal feel for more confident braking performance on any driving surface
- Anti-chip coating on the lower body side for extra protection from stones or gravel
Source: General Motors