Which parts can be repaired? Which garage upgrades to go for first? Which skills to unlock? Which cars are good for profits?
Tactics for Repairs
Repairs are a key element to making money in CMS21. The more you improve the condition of a part, the bigger the profit, so the primary hunting ground for spare parts should be the junkyard. The parts found in barns are generally in better condition, so the potential for profit is smaller-on the other hand, it’s less risky to try to repair a part in 52% condition than one in 15%.
Repairing takes quick reactions as you need to stop the cursor at the right moment in the mini-game. If fast reactions are not your strongest side, you may want to create an extra profile in sandbox mode and use it for repair practice. Even if you do very poorly at first, do not give up: it can be learned and if you try not to take too big risks, you’ll soon start to see good results.
The cursor moves from left to right and back again, and for parts in minimum repairable condition (15%), you’ll only get two green slots (success) surrounded by a lot of red (failure), but since the cursor moves back and forth, you can effectively increase the number of neighboring green slots from 2 to 3 if you make sure to only attempt repairs when the green slots are on the extreme edges, either left or right. For many, it will also be easier to hit the mark on either the left or right side. You will soon find out if this is the case for you.
Once you initiate a repair, check the position of the green slots-if they are not in a good position, DO NOT START THE REPAIR, instead hit “Escape” and move the cursor on to the next part of the list. If you try again later, the slots will be in a new and hopefully better position.
Sometimes it’s tempting to give it a shot even if conditions are not 100% favorable (like if the green slots are surrounded or neighboured by blank ones (these won’t break the part, but you’ll waste money by landing on them)). Whether or not you want to take this risk is your decision-the faster your reactions, the more daring you can afford to be. Keep in mind, though, that some parts are very expensive-stuff like engine blocks, gearboxes, engine heads, and body parts in special materials like gold or carbon fiber. Some of the gold parts for the DeLorean (mod) cost up to 20.000 credits-you do absolutely NOT want to reduce such a part to worthless junk by taking unnecessary risk on the repair bench.
Each repair attempt costs you money. The amount depends upon the value of the part in question, from 1 credit up to several hundred. This is another reason not to take risks on expensive parts-even if you land on a blank slot (and do no damage), you may still have wasted 500 credits on the attempt.
Which Parts can be Repaired?
Not all parts can be repaired. Knowing which items to buy from the junkyard and which to leave behind is important. Below is a basic list to help you decide.
No part with a condition BELOW 15% can ever be repaired, with one exception: standard car batteries can be “repaired” in the charging station (if you have one) no matter how low their condition is. All other parts below 15% (marked red) are simply junk and can only be used in the scrapping container (if you have it), but ideally you’d only want to scrap really inexpensive parts like spark plugs, bushings, pushrods, etc., since these give you the same number of scrap points as more expensive parts, so if you have a junk engine block or gearbox, you’re better off selling it instead of scrapping it.
All metal body parts can be repaired (this also includes mirrors).
Windows can never be repaired.
Lights on vanilla and DLC cars can NOT be repaired.
Lights on mod cars CAN be repaired (at least on the cars I’ve tested so far, like the Ferrari 458, BMW M3, Land Rover, DeLorean, and Holden)
Extras like police lights, taxi signs, pizza signs, etc., CAN be repaired.
The only exhaust parts that can be repaired are the intake manifolds. So you can safely leave all the mufflers and pipes behind when hunting for parts.
Repairable: engine block, engine header, oil pan, engine header cover, starter, carburetor, camshaft cover, camshaft, rod cap, oil pump, timing cover
Non-repairable: spark plug, any filter, ignition wire, pushrod, piston, piston ring, rocker arm, brackets and arms, idle roller, belt tensioner, serpentine belt, timing chain, fuses, and circuits of any kind.
Repairable: cross member, suspension arm, a brake disc (on the brake lathe), rim, leaf spring, drive axle, brake caliber, u-bolt, u-bolt plate
Non-repairable: bushing (both sizes), spring, spring cap, spring base, hub bearing, hub cap, tire, tie rod (inner and outer), brake pad, gas tank, fuel pump
Unlocks and Workshop Purchases
When you start the game, all you can do is take customer orders and replace any faulty parts on their cars. At this stage, you can’t repair anything, so initial profits will be very low.
Try to do at least the first few story missions early on, as these will give you reasonable profits as well as XP. Also, keep an eye on any job offering a bonus in either cash or XP.
You may consider unlocking the 5% parts discount early on since at this point, you’ll be buying every single part for every job and the discount will also be useful later on.
You can get free XP from every job by examining the cars of the customers, both manually and by using the tools you can buy. Most of these testing tools are relatively cheap.
The early goal should be to reach the stage where you can start visiting the junkyard, but you need to be prepared for that by investing your XP points in skills that will allow you to improve the value of anything you buy at the junkyard…
In my opinion, the single most important item to buy for your workshop is the welder. Once you have it, you’ll be able to make instant profits from almost any wreck you buy at the junkyard. Each use of the welder costs 500 credits, but it’s almost guaranteed to vastly improve the value of any used car. The welder instantly repairs the main body shell of the car from any condition up to 100%-there’s no risk of failure, it only takes 5 seconds and you don’t need to unlock any skills to perform this miraculous instant restoration. The profit will depend upon the percentual improvement of the body shell condition as well as the overall mass of the body. An open-top car or a four-door sedan will generally be less profitable than a 2-door, van, or a pickup.
Another good investment is the car wash. Unfortunately, the value of the cars tends to not improve with a wash, but you get an interior detailing station included with the car wash. There’s such a station inside the garage as well, but unlike the one you get with the car wash, you pay a small fee for using it. Because interior detailing also improves the value of the cars, you’ll be using it a lot and, like the welder, it doesn’t need any skills to complete.
Other machinery worth considering is the brake lathe (repairs any brake disc with a condition of 15% or higher to 100%) and also the battery charger (fully restores a standard battery from ANY condition to 100%).
Unlocking the ability to do body part repairs takes a LOT of XP, so you might as well start investing those points early on. The first few unlocks on this route allow you to do basic repairs, but the good profits only come at the end, with the penultimate stage unlocking the repair of rims, and the last one finally allowing you to fix body parts. Rims, by the way, can be a very good source of income: while some only cost around 100 credits, others can be extremely expensive, so if you manage to repair one of these luxury rims from 15% to 100%, you could be looking at a profit of several hundred credits from just that rim alone!