Thursday, April 21, 2016

Real EMP effects on vehicles?

Most survivalists have a problem with keeping things real. Too often they let fantasy get in the way and at times it isn’t that easy to tell fantasy from fiction.
EMP threat would be a good example. Elector magnetic pulses do occur, they are very much real and they do cause serious problems. But if you ask preppers and survivalists what would happen if a nuclear device was detonated above North America many of them would reply with significant confidence that most electronic devices would be affected by it and that cars would immediately stop running unless they were several decades old and didn’t have computers on board. Since pretty much everything has a computer in it these days, everything from cellphones to cars would stop working and we would be going back to the stone age overnight. Well, as common as this belief is, its far from accurate.
The following link explains actual tests of how EMP affects both running and non-running vehicles.
Its far from what most people think. A couple important points from the research linked:
1)All cars that weren’t running when hit by the EMP  were not affected and ran when turned on.
2)Only 3 out of 37 vehicles hit with EMP stopped running.
3)About one car in twenty may expect damage that requires a mechanic for repairs.  Two out of the three cars that stopped running due to thee EMP would run normally once turned on again.
Fernando “FerFAL” Aguirre is the author of “The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving the Economic Collapse” and “Bugging Out and Relocating: When Staying is not an Option”.


Anonymous said...

All automobiles have a surge protection ability. Automobiles are constantly encountering various levels of electric shock and static during normal operation. However, the level of surge protection is built to protect the automobile over the normal live of the automobile and at levels expected to be encountered in normal operations. Even if the EMP does not have a death ray effect, the life expectancy of the surge protection could be cut drastically. Instead of lasting 10+ years (probably the life of the warranty), they may have 5 years burned off of them by the heavy EMP charge.

So, does your local deal have enough replacement devices to handle a much shortened lifespan for your community?

This is similar to what a satellite will encounter. They too have surge protection built in, and it too is for the normal useful life of the satellite. EMP could greatly reduce the expected life of both.

TFA303 said...

Excellent points, and correct in terms of all the available information that I've seen.


Cars, cell phones, computers and the like are peripheral issues. The key issue would be an EMP's effect on the power grid, which is one of the systems that is most susceptible to EMP effects due to coupling effects caused by transmission lines acting as antennae.

If that went down, the lead times to repair/replace power generation systems, transformers and substations would be measured in months at best. So yes, your car will most likely continue to work, and planes will not fall out of the sky. But the lights go out, and stay out for a long time, so the gas you have in your car's tank will likely be the last you'll get for that long time.