Provo High students named state’s best auto techs

Posted at 5:32 PM, May 02, 2013

SALT LAKE CITY - High school students from across Utah competed to repair cars for a chance at millions of dollars in scholarships.

Students from twenty high schools divided into ten teams for the Ford and AAA Auto Skills Competition. Ford provided the bugged cars and students worked to figure out what was wrong and how to fix the problem.

"We take the ten finest automotive teams in the state from the high schools and they have 90 minutes to diagnose ten bugged cars," said Brett Baird, the competition's manager.

Some of the problems were minor, easy fixes. Others took more time.

"I kind of took care of the trouble codes and he took care of lighting mostly at first," said Parker Thomas. "We couldn't get the car to start. We checked all the electrical parts and couldn't find anything up with that so it took us about an hour to figure that out"

Teams have 90 minutes to identify the problems, but it wasn't a race.

"Perfection is the most important thing. If they find all the problems and identify them correctly they could come in at 89 minutes and 59 seconds and still win the competition over someone who finished in 20 minutes," Baird said.

Thomas and his partner Jimmy Hicken from Provo High School won the state competition. They'll head to Dearborn, Mich., in June for the national competition, vying for ten million dollars in prizes and scholarships.