Feb 23, 2014

GHS Auto Tech shoots for Gold again

BY BOB ROBINSON
ASSOC. EDITOR

GREENVILLE – Most people know what 4-wheel drive means, but do they know what all-wheel drive means? They aren’t the same. While 4-wheel drive is manually locked in and released, “all-wheel drive does the thinking for you.” It will lock and release tire traction automatically as conditions require it.

Using the complex system that is a vehicle’s power train, Greenville’s award-winning Auto Tech program made its first presentation for 2014 at Kiwanis of Greenville Feb. 12. The concentration was on the differential and tire requirements for all-wheel drive SUV’s and pickup trucks.

“Tires have to match,” said senior Joey Wappelhorst, senior Rachael Mann and junior Kelsey McClure. If one tire gets damaged on an all-wheel-drive, it’s necessary to replace it with a matching tire, they said. Wear and tear is taken into account as well. “The maximum difference allowable without damaging the differential is a tread depth of a quarter of an inch.” Depending on circumstances an owner might have to purchase four tires if only one has been damaged.

The students also pointed out the importance of tire pressure in the life of the tires and handling of the vehicle.

Each year Greenville’s Automobile Technology team builds a display and prepares its presentation around it. According to instructor Travis Nicholas, this year’s “working” display cost the District $50. Several community businesses and individuals started working on it last spring and continued through the summer at no cost to Auto Tech. Jim Anderson also teaches part time for the 27 students currently enrolled in the program.

The Auto Tech program was won eight national gold awards, plus one bronze award. In 2012 the team won at the state competition and finished fourth at the national. In 2013 the team took second place at state so no trip was made to national. This year they’ll be aiming for the gold at Sinclair on April 8, and at state on April 15-16.

Greenville Auto Tech students display the difference in tire sizes at Kiwanis of Greenville for their 2014 competition. Left to right: Joey Wappelhorst, Rachael Mann and Kelsey McClure.

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