THERE is not much that Michael Cooper does not know about the ins and outs of a Subaru.
He proved it recently when he beat the best technicians from 14 countries to win Subaru’s World Skills Tournament in Japan.
He is the first Australian and the first from outside Japan to win the award.
Mr Cooper, 33, of Carlton, works at Suttons Subaru at Rosebery.
He had 40 minutes to fix three faults in the test car.
There was a fuse problem for which he had to find the source (a wire touching the car body); a hard-to-start engine (a cam-shaft problem) and something wrong in the coolant temperature circuit.
He was the first to finish.
‘‘We went for drinks afterwards and there were lots of job offers,’’ Mr Cooper said.
He could have taken his tool kit to the US, Germany, Switzerland, Belgium or Japan but chose to come home.
‘‘I am very happy where I am but you never know,’’ he said.
To qualify for the finals — the competition is held every second year — Mr Cooper did an online entry exam, an interview and a two-day competition at the Subaru Academy in Sydney.
Leading up to the competition he spent every spare minute training, which included memorising the wiring of the MY10 Liberty and simulating every possible no-start and hard-to-start situation.
He has had a love for Subarus since he started his apprenticeship with a Subaru dealer in Bankstown in 1998.
‘‘I love what I do,’’ he said. ‘‘Subarus are great to work on, reliable and not overly complicated.
‘‘I’m proud to say I work for Subaru because they have such a great reputation.’’