Are you aware of the average number of electronic components in today’s average passenger car? It is estimated that on average, cars these days contain up to a hundred electronic modules for various vehicle operations.

It wouldn’t be wrong to say that today’s vehicles have a lot of automated functions and all these functions such as steering, braking, safety, entertainment and many other functions need to be controlled by electronic modules. 

Like all other electronic components, these electronic modules not only emit electromagnetic radiation but can also be affected by the radiation from the outside environment. This is why all these components need to pass certain EMC tests.

In addition to the EMC regulations formulated by various standard bodies, the suppliers also need to follow the EMC specifications outlined by specific manufacturers. Following are 7 steps to successful automotive EMC testing:

1). Defining The Market 

If you are going to supply parts to a vehicle OEM, you will have to meet their design specifications and those should also include their EMC and other requirements.

On the other hand, if you are going to introduce a product in the market on your own, you will need to comply with the regulatory requirements of the country where you are going to supply the product. Depending on the product, you might need to get it tested by an accredited test lab and obtain a certificate to be able to sell it.

2). EMC Testing Plan

If you are going to supply parts to a vehicle OEM, you will most likely be asked to get the EMC test plan approved by the OEM engineer for the project. For best results, it is recommended to partner with an accredited test lab for early review.

You might not feel the need to have a test plan for aftermarket products but having a test plan helps in meeting the compliance standards in various geographical locations.

Automotive EMC Testing Step By Step Process Success

3). Test Plan Details

The test plan should have detailed information on the tests that need to be conducted, the mode of operation and the results that should be included in the final test report including the function of the device.

The test plan should also include the number of samples to be tested, test methods, immunity test levels, operating load during tests, pass/fail criteria and expected performance.

4). Development Testing

One of the ways to shorten the product development time is to include development testing in the manufacturing process at the design stage.

Development testing does not involve too many different kinds of tests with only a small subset of the tests used for evaluating immunity and emissions. Get in touch with experts at Compliance Engineering to learn more about test applicability for development testing.

5). Keep Reporting To The OEM

It is recommended to report the findings of the tests with the vehicle OEM in order to quickly resolve the problems. Usually, OEMs will work with suppliers and also provide assistance from the EMC experts on their staff to expedite and resolve any design issues.

6). Schedule Testing In Advance

Don’t wait to schedule tests to the last minute. Test labs are always busy and this is why it is better to get in touch with the test lab months in advance to schedule the desired tests.

Coordinate with the test lab to ensure that they have the expertise you need for the required OEM standards and test methods.

Automotive EMC Testing Step By Step Process Success

7). Test Preparation

You should deliver a fully functional system to the test lab on the scheduled date including the support equipment, wiring harnesses and other related items.

It is recommended to make preparations to provide an approved test plan, the devices to be tested, wiring harnesses, monitoring equipment, load box, instructions for operating the equipment and other things to the lab on the scheduled test date.


Overall, automotive EMC testing is a challenging process. A modern motor vehicle contains dozens of electronic modules and all those modules need to meet the required OEM standards as well as the national standards in various countries.

This is why you need to have an automotive EMC testing plan in place in order to ensure efficient and quick testing. Get in touch with Compliance Engineering to learn more about our automotive EMC testing services.

Please call us today on + 61 3 9763 3079 or leave an enquiry.