How to fix quirks with the tinker station in Pacific Drive

As your car takes damage in Pacific Drive, it might start to develop quirks, which you’ll need to fix at a tinker station. Quirks can be things like the hood popping open when you reverse, or the radio changing stations when you turn left.

Our Pacific Drive guide will walk you through diagnosing and fixing your car’s quirks, and will tell you everything you need to know about how to use the tinker station.

How to use the tinker station in Pacific Drive

Very early on in Pacific Drive, you’ll get an objective to use the tinker station to diagnose your car’s quirks, but you won’t get any explanation about how that process works.

Pacific Drive tinker station Image: Ironwood Studios/Kepler Interactive via Polygon

Right next to where you park in the auto shop, you’ll find the tinker station — it’s just to the right of the charging station. It’s a computer with a crossed wrench and screwdriver displayed on the screen. Interacting with it lets you diagnose your car’s quirks.

The tinker station has a pretty simple interface, but the game doesn’t actually explain how it works. You’ve got four columns — lists of car parts, actions, another car part, and another action. You can think of these columns as a way to explain the cause and effect of a quirk, with the cause on the left and effect on the right.

Pacific Drive tinker station interface Image: Ironwood Studios/Kepler Interactive via Polygon

Effectively, you’re filling in the blanks of a sentence that reads, “when the [car part] does [action], then the [different car part] does [quirky action].”

Using that structure, we’ve seen quirks like, “when the shifter does shifts to park, then the front left door does opens” and “when the headlights does turns on, then the radio does toggles.”

Diagnosing quirks takes some experimentation

The problem is, the line between cause and effect isn’t always clear — especially when you’re dodging hazards and fleeing the storm out in the Zone. It can be hard to decide if a quirk’s cause is the headlights, the car’s speed, going up or down a hill, or running low on gas when all of those things are (constantly) happening at the same time.

When you get a quiet moment in a stable part of the Zone, do some experimenting. Better yet, if it’s a simple cause and effect, you can test it out in the auto shop between trips.

When you’re confused, use the options listed in the columns on the tinker station to guide you. It’s a lengthy list, but the first two columns contain all of the potential causes.

Pacific Drive quirk fix Image: Ironwood Studios/Kepler Interactive via Polygon

When you work out the cause and effect of a quirk correctly, you’ll be able to fix and remove it — usually, this involves a mechanic’s or electrician’s kit.

If you get something wrong, you’ll lose a guess. Speaking of guesses…

How guesses work at the tinker station

Each time you visit the auto shop between journeys into the Zone, you have eight guesses to diagnose a quirk. If you get any of the columns wrong, you’ll lose a guess. If you guess the cause and effect of a quirk correctly, you’ll get refunded that guess.

If you run out of guesses, you’re not stuck with that quirk forever, though, just your next run. You can’t make any more guesses this time, but your count will reset the next time you open a Gateway and return to the auto shop.

Some quirks are subtle

Not every quirk your car develops is easily noticeable. The more dramatic ones will jump out at you — like when the hood pops open or when the headlights turn off. But others affect components you don’t really look at often. For example, I currently have six quirks going on with my car, and I genuinely can’t tell you what any of them are. I think one has something to do with the dome light?

There’s no real penalty to having a quirk, so the subtle ones are fine to leave for a while. You’ll get the occasional sarcastic comment from Oppy over the radio, but, if it’s not impacting your survival, it’s fine to leave it be.

For those hard-to-diagnose quirks, you might have to upgrade the tinker station.

Build the investigator module to help diagnose quirks

Pacific Drive investigator module in the fabrication station interface Image: Ironwood Studios/Kepler Interactive via Polygon

At the fabrication station, look for the investigator module on the first tab — it’s in the fourth column from the left, and one row down. This adds a couple functions to the tinker station.

First, it will tell you which columns of your guess are correct. When you submit a diagnosis, you’ll see a little smiley face emoticon under the columns you have correct.

If you’re still struggling, you can spend some stable energy (that you earn by collecting those glowing yellow stable anchors) to investigate your car’s quirks. Doing that gives you an exclamation point next to the car parts that (might) have quirks. You can even investigate multiple times to help you narrow down the quirk.

For more Pacific Drive guides, here’s how to get chemicals, how to get copper wire, and how to expand your inventory.