Project Zomboid Mechanics: How to make changes to vehicles

Project Zomboid Mechanics: How to make changes to vehicles
Images via The Indie Stone

Written by 

Tarran Stockton


15th Mar 2023 10:28

The Project Zomboid Mechanics skill can be very important after gaining access to a car, as it will allow you to keep your vehicle in good shape during your various trips across the map.

Project Zomboid is a complex survival RPG set during a zombie apocalypse, and due to the size of the map, driving to your destinations for scavenging trips is important. You'll want to make sure your vehicle is always in good shape though, so check out our explanation of the Project Zomboid Mechanics skill, along with how to use it. 

Project Zomboid Mechanics: What is the Mechanics skill?

Project Zomboid Mechanics interaction
Click to enlarge

The Project Zomboid Mechanics skill allows players to scrap, repair, and even modify various parts of vehicles, which are split between standard, heavy-duty, and sports. As you gain ranks in the skill, you can improve the success of your installations, salvage spare engine parts from other cars, and perform more effective repairs. 

To level the Mechanics skill, players need to start scrapping parts from vehicles, which procures you experience. Whether you fail or pass, you will still gather XP, and failing more will actually increase your skill further. It's also important to essentially pick a sacrificial vehicle for you to practice scrapping and removing parts, this way you don't mess up a vehicle you intend to use later. 

During character creation, you can choose the Mechanic occupation, which has a base +3 Mechanics, and makes you familiar with all the vehicles on the roads of Kentucky. You can also select the trait called Amateur Mechanic which reward you with +1 to the skill, and gives you the knowledge to perform the most common and basic repairs. 

There are also three manuals you will want to seek out that gives you the ability to mess around with certain car types if you don't have the skills from an occupation. These are the Laines Auto Manual Commerical Models, Performance Models, and Standard Models - and after collecting them all, you can work on pretty much any regular car. 

If you plan on mastering the Mechanics skill, it's critical to start with the relevant occupation for a multiplier which boosts your learning in that skill. You can also use skill books, but this may not take you to mastery. Lastly, the Life and Living TV channel, has a show which can improve your Mechanics. 

Project Zomboid Mechanics: How to use Mechanics

Project Zomboid Mechanics changing parts
Click to enlarge

Utilising the Mechanics skill in Project Zomboid works like the rest, and right-clicking a vehicle with the relevant tools will allow you to interact with them. The tools you may need when making vehicle repairs or scrapping them are a screwdriver, wrench, jack, lug wrench, and tire pump. Obviously, some of these have more specific uses, like the tire pump, but the rest are essential for many aspects of Mechanics. 

Once you have right-clicked a vehicle, you can select a specific "Vehicle Mechanics" option, and this brings up a bigger interface that highlights the vehicle and its parts, along with the condition of the parts. Things that are broken or breaking will highlight red, both on the vehicle image and text that shows the condition. If you right-click a specific part, like the radio, you can choose to uninstall it or look at the info of the part. Likewise, right-clicking an empty spot, will allow you to install a part if you have it in your inventory.

That's all for our breakdown of the Project Zomboid Mechanics skill, and now players should understand how it works, what it's used for, and how to level it.

We also have a list of the Project Zomboid VHS stores and tapes by location.

Tarran Stockton
About the author
Tarran Stockton
Tarran is a Senior Guides Writer at GGRecon. He previously wrote reviews for his college newspaper before studying Media and Communication at university. His favourite genres include role-playing games, strategy games, and boomer shooters - along with anything indie. You can also find him in the pit at local hardcore shows.
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