The harsh Idaho winter weather is hard on cars in Rexburg. Most of the cars that students drive are not the newest cars to hit the streets, so it wouldn’t be a surprise if a student faces troubles with their car. To take a car into an automotive shop can be a pricey trip, but students have the chance to skip the expensive automotive shops while still getting the necessary repairs cars need.
The automotive department is looking for repair projects for the classes and is asking students to bring their cars in. This semester, the automotive department is looking for cars that have electrical, engine, steering, suspension, brake and transmission problems to work on.
The main purpose of these projects is to help students gain valuable experience that will boost confidence and knowledge for the workforce.
Spencer Dutson, a junior studying automotive engineering technology, said, “We have a lot of students that need experience. (The projects) are giving me a lot of experience. There’s a lot of different problems that we’ve come across and just the different variety has really given me experience in different fields.”
Not only do these projects help students gain valuable experience, but it also saves money for anyone who loans cars to the automotive department instead of an auto shop.
Justin Miller, a professor in the automotive shop, said, “The benefit of coming here is we can usually save (students) a lot of money. We don’t charge labor, we just have a small service fee and then charge for the parts that take to fix it. In the right scenario, it can save anywhere to a little bit of money to hundreds to even thousands of dollars.”
Miller doesn’t want anyone to think that the automotive department is just made up of “guys who fix cars.”
“For the most part, they are going to be engineers,” said Miller. “They are going to be helping test and develop the future vehicles, and this gives them the hands on problem-solving experience that’s really relevant to working on and developing the future cars.”