Overhaul to Mechanics

It seems a bit unrealistic to me that a player can look at a vehicle with level 0 mechanics and know exactly what’s wrong with it down to the smallest detail, there should be some skill check implemented that one must meet before knowing that the engine is faulty or that the battery is dead, level 0 mechanics should only know if wheels or other major parts are missing. The more you know about mechanics the better you become at troubleshooting and figuring out what could be wrong with the vehicle. In addition, a Car Scanner could be added to the mechanic shop’s loot tables to tell a player exactly what is wrong with their vehicle with minimal skill required on their part. Higher intelligence could act as an alternative to certain checks, much like how high strength can be a substitute to using a jack.

They are futuristic vehicles, maybe they have a panel or something?

I could see that, newer cars are starting to have more intuitive interfaces that tells the driver what’s going on, that is if the battery isn’t dead. Every other car you could see that the check engine light is on, however, that doesn’t exactly tell you what the issue is.

And then the ECM is missing or destroyed.

Spoiler: an OBD2 scanner is not going to tell you the exact problem, also, and with ZERO mechanics skill those parameters are going to tell you nothing.
You look at the scanner and see no errors. But your air filter is three years old and crunchy as a dorito. The scanner won’t help you here.
Usually when troubleshooting the issue, the car scanner is a nice thing to start with, but it is not supposed to tell you what to do, even if the exact error is diagnosed. And with mechanics zero you don’t even know what an air filter is, so… good luck with fixing your black sedan, friendly stranger.

P.S.: just not to be unsubstantiated, here’s an error from a manual I have.

Possible cause:
Improper spark plug
Insufficient compression
Incorrect fuel pressure
The injector circuit is open or shorted
Fuel injectors
Intake air leak
The ignition signal circuit is open or shorted
Lack of fuel
Drive plate or flywheel
Heated oxygen sensor 1
Incorrect PCV hose connection

That’s the real thing you’re going to see on your scanner screen, not the “Change the car’s spark plug in cylinder one, dear mister”.
Unless you have high mechanics level, and are familiar with vehicle mechanics, these are not going to help you.

Thing is, even a futuristic vehicle is not going to tell you what to do, because you are not supposed to do anything besides taking you car to the dealer’s for troubleshooting.
The logics of the manufacturing companies is simple: the user sees the warning light (check engine) or the sing on the display and takes the car to the service depot.
There simply is no need to tell the driver exactly what’s wrong, because 90% of the world drivers are not going to repair their cars with their own hands, therefore telling a housewife that her fuel pump has failed is completely pointless.

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So the scanner would still be a useful tool for someone with a higher mechanics skill, if not completely necessary unless you’re some mechanical wizard. Cars could come with an owners manual as well to help diagnose or replace specific parts. I would love to see vehicles eventually becoming as complex as that scanner’s diagnostic.

Well future tech with AIs could logically have a car scanner like a tricorder to read it out. They do have AIs and scanning like that isn’t too unrealistic I mean Star Trek is based almost entirely on science theory and actual science very very very little is fiction in it(look up warp theory if you don’t believe me it takes like 10 billion volts to use though).

Watt-hours, maybe?

fiddle diddle 20 char limit

It takes an massive amount of energy to warp space but it is possible. To be honest I don’t really remember the actual power requirements only that it’s more than the sun will produce in its life time or something like that.

I think it was something like Jupiter’s mass-energy to get a warp bubble by the initial calcs, though later calculations greatly reduced the value (still pretty large though). The larger problem was needing negative mass to create the bubble, and as there’s no known way to make negative energy, significant space-warping remains in science fiction.

Well either way it’s not impossible most of it. So a car scanner is easily logical.

You would basically need the car to be able to independantly test every part of itself and notice differences. If you had some sort of scanner it would need some way of looking at the inner workings like xray or something, and that’s too much effort to do something a decent mechanic could manage in a day.

Also, I’m not going to look into it but i sincerely doubt much of Star Trek is rational.

I am dead serious all the tech they have is based on scientific theory.

But a scanner really isn’t that hard to believe or even produce. Develop maybe make not so much. And it would make it easier which is the job of technology reduce labour times.

Yeah I still doubt it.

A hand-wave scanner isn’t hard to conceive in game terms, it’s not that bad of an idea. In real terms there’s no real way a thing could scan in such a way to penetrate the inner workings of a car without some spectacularly complicated engineering and lots of expensive equipment. Like, millions if not billions of dollars worth. It would be far easier to implement sensors all through a car that can detect when a part is faulty.

Machines are to make things easier, sure, but manpower has a cost. If your machinery costs more than the equivalent manpower, there’s no reason to use the machinery.

Have you ever tried solving problems by sending a crash report to microsoft?
Have you ever solved a problem by clicking ‘search the internet for a solution?’
Have you ever recieved some help from your OS when it starts to misbehave?

Man, technology does not work like this. The scanner is unrealistic not because the idea of scanning for errors or faults is stupid, but because there can be dozens of different issues leading to similar problems. Problems you might have not even noticed. Problems that may appear under different conditions.
The car CVT can not tell you if the oil is old. It can not tell you whether the oil is burnt or filled with metal particles. It can only tell you when the belt starts slipping, and there is a whole load of faults that can lead to this problem. Determining what the oil condition is is possible by different sensors, but those sensors are going to cost money and take space and power, they can get faulty themselves, and for what??? A simple mechanic can just unscrew an oil drain cap and tell you all about the oil condition right there at a moment’s notice. Nobody is going to bother setting up an array of sensors if there’s a much more convinient solution already in your hands.
A mass airflow sensor does not need any self diagnostic features, because checking whether it’s faulty or not is as simple as poking two goddamn wires into the socket and measuring the voltage under certain engine speeds.
A camshaft/crankshaft sensor does not need any self diagnostic features, because determining whether it’s faulty or not is as simple as poking two wires into it’s winding and checking whether it’s open or shorted.
Nobody is going to make a weird diagnostic device to inform a driver about a situation when the engine oil and the coolant liquid start mixing together, because it’s very easy to detect without any devices and the reasons for this problem are well known, the most common being a ruptured cylinder head gasket.

These are simple tasks and require just some basic knowledge and literally zero investments from a car manufacturing company, which is very interested in saving its money, generally.
Tell me, who’s going to buy a car that costs a gajillion bucks only because it’s filled with diagnostic features? Who needs a car where every piece of metal costs ten times more because it has a fault scanner attached to it for no good reason?

I think he’s making the assumption that the scanner could check all the parts on its own, without any input from the car. An xray or MRI scan type thing.

Well, an X-Ray and MRI are technologies requiring an emitter and a detector. It is possible to X-Ray a car, but you’re going to need a car-sized X-Ray platform and the photo is going to show you nothing in particular, because the engine block is going to be completely opaque and other things are going to be dull because of metal shielding.
I’m not even speaking about X-Raying individual parts like the aforementioned mass airflow sensor, since the X-Ray photo is going to give you no info whatsoever.

I didn’t specifically mean xray, I just meant a literal scanner as opposed to something that attaches to the car and reads things.

And yes, it’s practically impossible, that’s the point.

The idea is the use of a standard, every mechanic shop equipped, modern car scanner that gets plugged into the ECM and displays some info on the car.

This scanner you guys are mentioning would be a good addition as well, a CBM perhaps, with more applications than just scanning a car. It could also serve as an alternative to the Self Aware trait, read enhanced nutrition info off of food, chemical elements and materials of everything, damage and status of items and creatures. Really, how the game is right now, it’s like we have a scanner installed in us already. I’d like to have all the info we have on everything removed and leave all but the bare bones info, until we get this Scanner CBM.

Hiding static information behind skill checks or equipment requirements will do more damage than good by HEAVILY promoting meta-gaming.
(By “static” I mean information that is always effectively the same: weapon damage for a given weapon, food nutrition for a given food item, etc.)
Now, hiding how faulty is an engine before you try it out — that’s a much better idea.

The information will still be there, even for an underequipped survivor, it would just be vague or minimalistic in it’s description. Think of aiming, you get the option to change between bars and percents. The bars give a general idea, where as the percents tell an absolute value. As for your concern - weapons and damage, instead of saying this revolver does 30 damage, it would say something like “you think with a caliber of this size, it could leave a fist size hole in something”. This gives the character a sense of humanity rather than a static value freely given to you like a robot calculating it’s sense of damage, the idea is to become that robot calculating the damage via CBMs.