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If you’re a prepper or survivalist, you’ve probably heard of EMPs, or electromagnetic pulses.
EMPs are a type of burst of electromagnetic radiation that can be caused by a nuclear explosion, a solar flare, or a man-made device.
EMPs can cause widespread damage to electronic devices, including cars.
However, there’s a lot of misinformation out there about how EMPs affect cars.
In this blog post, we’ll take a look at the facts and debunk some of the myths.
Why cars are vulnerable to EMP
Solid-state electronics, such as computer chips and transistors, are extremely vulnerable to nuclear EMP under the right conditions.
These devices are low-voltage and can’t take sudden infusions of electrical energy.
So the current spikes created when a high-altitude nuclear detonation sends out an EMP can fry the electronics in a car, rendering it inoperable.
Will older cars survive an EMP better than new cars?
There’s a theory that older cars lacked the integrated computing systems and complex electrical engineering that modern cars have, making them less vulnerable to EMP damage.
While this is true to some extent, cars have had computers since the 1970s.
In almost all cases, modern cars should be more resilient to EMPs than older cars.
Beware EMP snake oil and fake news
If you’ve spent any time on this topic, you’ve probably run across some links telling you that the EMP Commission tested some cars in 2004, and they mostly came through it just fine.
Or you may have seen ads for EMP-proofing products for your car.
Unfortunately, much of this information is misleading or outright false.
The EMP Commission did test a few cars in 2004, but those tests were not comprehensive or conclusive.
And many of the EMP-proofing products on the market are nothing more than snake oil.
Preparing your car for an EMP
The good news is that most vehicles will survive an EMP without missing a beat.
According to a study conducted by the United States EMP Commission, only about 1 out of 50 vehicles are likely to be rendered inoperable by an EMP.
So unless you’re driving a car with a lot of sensitive electronics, you probably don’t need to worry too much about EMPs.However, if you want to be extra cautious, there are a few things you can do to prepare your car for an EMP:
- Store spare parts in a Faraday cage: Any car of any make/model/year needs its critical electrical parts to be protected by a metal Faraday cage for best results. The fact that cars are made of metal does not mean they are automatically protected from EMPs. You can buy a Faraday cage or make one yourself.
- Keep a spare car: If you’re really worried about EMPs, you could keep a spare car that’s less vulnerable to EMP damage. Look for a car with a conductive metal body enclosing the engine and passenger compartment or cab.
- Learn how to fix your car: If your car does suffer EMP damage, you may be able to fix it yourself if you know how. Learn how to diagnose and repair common problems with your car, and keep a stock of spare parts on hand.
While EMPs can be a serious threat to electronic devices, including cars, most cars will probably be fine after an EMP.
Don’t fall for the EMP snake oil and fake news out there, and take a few simple precautions to prepare your car for an EMP just in case.Sources: