Ford and AAA Student Auto Skills

The competition is co-sponsored by AAA and Ford Motor Company. Its objective is to encourage talented young people to pursue careers as automotive service technicians. AAA and Ford wholeheartedly support this objective and are committed to this program as an investment in the future of our young people and improved automotive service for AAA members, Ford Motor Company customers and all motorists.

More Info

  • How the Competition Works
  • Prizes and Awards
  • Many Participants Get Jobs
  • Calendar of Events


Ford and AAA Student Auto Skills - 2011 Team Florida Winners 
2011 First Place Florida Winners

How the Competition Works

This is a nationwide competition for 11th and 12th grade students in secondary schools and colleges (serving local high schools) that offer courses in automotive technology and have at least one full-time or part-time automotive instructor. Schools may enter one team per instructor (minimum 2 students) of 11th and 12th grade students. Each instructor must apply individually.

Each participating instructor selects his/her best 11th or 12th grade auto technology students to take the state qualifying exam which is taken on line and administered by a test administrator at the school.

In most states the ten teams scoring highest on the state qualifying exam then move on to the "hands-on" state finals scheduled each year between mid-April and mid- May.

In the "hands-on" competition, new Ford Motor Company vehicles are uniformly "bugged" so that each team has identical malfunctions to diagnose and repair. The competition requires repairs to be made with the highest quality workmanship in the lowest total time.

The winning two-person team from each state and their instructor are provided expense-paid trips to the national finals in June.

At the national competition, each member of the 50 state teams will take a written exam. Errors on the written exams are converted into time demerits that are added to the team's time on the "hands-on" mechanical competition in both the state and national competition.

Each vehicle in the competition is supervised by a team judge who supplies new parts upon request. When a team believes it has returned its vehicle to normal working order the hood is closed, signaling the timer to stop the team's clock. The team and its judge then take the vehicle on a short road test.

The team may then return the vehicle to its work area for further diagnosis and repair, or proceed to final judging.

The team with the fewest quality-of-workmanship demerits and the best combined total score of repair time and written exam will be declared the winner.

Prizes and Awards

Students win scholarships, savings bonds, trophies, jackets, certificates, shop manuals, trips and automotive equipment. Instructors are eligible to win equipment, service publications, trophies and prestige for their schools. Awards start at the State Qualifying Exam level. Opportunities with the Ford ASSET program will be available to many of the competition finalists. Awards and recognition start with local competitions.

Many Participants Get Jobs

The names of each contestant are submitted to AAA affiliated service facilities, Ford Motor Company dealers, and many other sponsoring organizations that have a need for automotive technicians and other service specialists.

The competition complements other Ford and AAA efforts to promote the training and certification of qualified auto service technicians. These activities enlarge the pool of trained auto repair personnel available to serve the public.