When you drive a brand new car, one of the first things you notice is how little there is to notice. The doors shut tightly, the engine hums, and there aren't any rattles or clanks. If all has gone well in the auto manufacturing process, a new car will be quiet and secure, thanks to the fine-tuning performed at the factory.
There are several ways to fine-tune a vehicle during automotive manufacturing. Some companies give the car a thorough tuning at the end of the line before the car ships to the dealer, while others incorporate that kind of attention to detail into every step of their assembly. Still, some auto builders build so few cars, such as luxury or high-performance cars, that the final fine-tuning process is a significant part of the time it takes to make the car. Aston Martin, for example, uses what it calls a "rectification area" at the end of the building process. Even though their cars are built completely by hand, the vehicles are still given a once-over at the end.
Toyota, on the other hand, builds quality control and fine-tuning into its manufacturing process. As one of the top-producing automotive manufacturers in the world, the company builds far more cars than Aston Martin. Toyota incorporates its fine-tuning throughout the car-manufacturing process; however, it still performs some final inspections, including the testing of braking and water seals, before giving a vehicle the OK.
As one of the most luxurious auto builders on the planet, Bentley uses some of the most advanced fine-tuning technology alongside handcrafting techniques. For example, every piece of glass is polished with optical-grade pumice, and four-axis measuring machines check 2,500 measuring points on each finished car.
Why do these companies go to all this trouble? Read on to find out what makes this attention to detail worth it.