Electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) testing is a key part of automotive engineering. In this article, we’ll look at the steps needed to prepare for EMC testing in order to help you succeed with your next project. But first, let’s discuss what exactly automotive EMC testing is. 

What Is Automotive EMC Testing?

Automotive EMC testing is the process of ensuring that electrical and electromagnetic interference does not interfere with vehicle operations. Electrical signals from one component can disrupt or otherwise affect another, leading to an unpredictable performance in those systems. By employing a handful of different tests during production stages for vehicles, manufacturers are able to mitigate any potential problems before they start happening on the road.

Steps To Successful Automotive EMC Testing

The correct way to conduct automotive EMC testing can be a complicated process. There are many different laws, regulations, and standards that need to be considered before any tests can take place or data is evaluated for compliance. However, there are also steps in the right direction when it comes to successful automotive EMC testing: 

1). Understand And Define Your Target Market

The first thing a company needs to do in the automotive EMC testing and validation process is to answer these questions: What are you selling your product for? Who will be using it, and where will they use it? In what specific country or area of operation does this device have its highest market share potential? Defining your target market gives you a clearer picture of what design specifications and EMC testing requirements are for the automobile.

2). Craft A Test Plan 

With a well-written test plan, you will have an easy time selling your product to the car industry. A successful EMC validation program requires one and it is essential that they are completed by both parties involved in order for there to be a success. 

Test plans must also include specific information such as identification of equipment used, frequencies tested on or around customer premises (CP), limits applied and procedures followed so discrepancies can easily be resolved if necessary. A poorly-developed test plan can result in an invalid test report.

3). Specify Function & Expected Performance

How much information do you need to test a product? The key is that the more details, the better. You want end users to be able to trust that your company has thoroughly tested their purchase before it enters production. This means including all modes of operation and considering other conditions they might find themselves in when using this device for its intended purpose.

4). Account For Design And Compatibility

Testing requirements are based on the design for compatibility. For example, if the product is for a particular vehicle OEM, then corporate EMC standards typically set the benchmark. If it’s an aftermarket device, regulatory requirements are key. These are just a few important factors in this step.

Steps Successful Automotive EMC Testing

5). Use Development Testing To Confirm Design 

Development testing is an important step in a product design process. A full series of tests are usually not required for development testing, but rather just some basic ones to give engineers high confidence about the overall quality and emissions produced by their designs. Using the same EMC test lab for validation and development testing can help promote product familiarity and support equipment.

6). Communicate with the End-User

Automotive OEMs are typically experts in the field of EMC engineering and they work closely with suppliers to make sure that all test conditions are met. If something goes wrong during a vehicle’s testing, it is important for both parties involved to be on top of the situation so it doesn’t compromise safety standards or stifle innovation.

7). Schedule Appointments Ahead Of Time

If you’re looking for a stress-free way to have an automotive EMC test performed, schedule one ahead of time! This will save you time down the road especially if any unforeseen issues occur along the way.

8). Prepare for Validation Testing

Get ready for testing by configuring a fully functional system that can be delivered to the test laboratory on time. Be sure not to forget wiring harnesses, support equipment and so forth as you prepare the project start date.

9). Be Available When Testing Begins 

Always be sure to make it to your scheduled automotive EMC testing date. Take note of business hours and make it a priority to arrive a little bit ahead of time if you can.

10). Respond Quickly to Project Delays 

If there are any project delays, be sure to notify your engineers of any project delays especially if it means having to reschedule your appointment date. Notifying engineers in advance allows them to work on other projects while waiting for your project’s delays to be managed.


With these tips in mind, you can be confident that your automotive EMC testing is on the right track. Are there any other questions you have about this process? We encourage you to contact us today with any inquiries or comments! 

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