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Project Zomboid mechanics: how to repair cars in Project Zomboid

Learn how to repair cars in Project Zomboid

Want to know how to repair cars in Project Zomboid? Many cars are ruined in Project Zomboid, with broken components making them impossible to drive. Fortunately, the mechanics skill lets you tinker with vehicles, allowing you to repair cars and change parts to get them running again.

Below, we’ll cover everything you need to know about repairing cars in Project Zomboid, including how to replace parts and how to level up your mechanics skill.

How to repair cars in Project Zomboid

To repair cars in Project Zomboid, your character needs to be familiar with vehicle repairs. You can either do this by selecting the Mechanic occupation when making your character build, or by finding Laines Auto Manual recipe magazines. There are three vehicle types in Project Zomboid - standard, commercial, and performance - and each type has its own associated magazine that you must find. Those who select the mechanic occupation are instantly familiar with how to repair all cars.

Once you're familiar with a certain car type, either through your occupation or by finding the corresponding magazine, you’ll be able to install, remove, and repair car parts for that car type as long as you have the required tool.

Below, we’ll list which tools you need to perform certain actions and where you can find them:

  • Screwdriver - removes seats, batteries, radios, windows, and lights
  • Wrench - removes doors, engine, muffler, and hood
  • Lug Wrench - removes tires
  • Jack - removes tires
  • Tire pump - inflates tires

You can find all of these parts by searching in warehouses, storage units, and garages. You might also find them in gas stations, where you can also find gas for your car in Project Zomboid.

Some parts, like the gas tank, brakes, and suspension, require multiple tools. The gas tank requires the screwdriver and wrench, while brakes and suspension both need a jack and wrench. You'll also need a jack and lug wrench to remove tires.

Project Zomboid player interacting with a car outside a house, street around them is dark

How to install or remove car parts in Project Zomboid

When removing or installing car parts, success isn't guaranteed. If you fail, the part will take damage and you will have to try again. As you level up your mechanic skill, you’ll have a higher chance of successfully installing and removing parts without damaging them.

If you want to remove a certain part, find the required tool and then head over to your vehicle. To install a part, either take it from another vehicle or look for it in garages, storage sheds, warehouses, and gas stations.

When you’re ready to work on the car, right-click on your vehicle and select vehicle mechanics. Your character will then walk over to the hood of the car and interact with it, bringing up the mechanics menu. Here, you can see some basic information about the car, such as vehicle type, weight, and overall condition, as well as the condition of each separate part.

If you want to remove or install a part, find it in the mechanics menu and then right-click on it. This will bring up the usual interaction menu, where you can choose what you want to do and see the required parts. You will also see a recommended level, but this is not a requirement. If you are under the recommended level to remove or install a part, you can still try. As mentioned above, the odds of success will increase as you level up your mechanics skill.

If you want to repair a part, you'll need to remove it from the car before interacting with it in your inventory to repair it. This will consume certain materials, such as metal sheets and bolts, so you might need to head to a garage or storage unit to find the materials you need before you can begin repairing it.

How to level up mechanics in Project Zomboid

To level up your mechanics skill, you need to remove or install parts to gain XP. You can improve your XP gains by reading mechanics skill books, so make sure you check every bookshelf and cabinet for any mechanics books that you might not have read. If you choose the Mechanic occupation, you will get a further XP boost that you can only get by taking this occupation when building your character.

It’s worth noting that you only get XP the first time you remove and install a part. Repeating these actions with the same part will not yield any more XP, so you’ll need to strip cars down and then move on to find another vehicle. Fortunately, it shouldn’t take too long to level up if you use skill books and have all of the tools listed above, as you’ll be able to take every single part out of a car, which will net you lots of XP. If you fail when removing or installing a part, you’ll still gain XP for that action.

That's everything you need to know to repair a car in Project Zomboid. If you want some more guidance so that you can survive longer in this apocalyptic adventure, check out our Project Zomboid tips and tricks. To find out more about vehicles, take a look at our guide on how to hotwire a car in Project Zomboid.

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About the Author
Hayden Hefford avatar

Hayden Hefford

Former Guides Writer

Hayden was a guides writer for RPS between 2021-2023. They're a big fan of survival games, especially those that focus on the undead. Zombies. Walkers. Shamblers. Whatever you call them, Hayden is definitely a fan.