Bus Mechanic Simulator: Basic Guide & Tips

Here are some basic guides and tips for you to play Bus Mechanic Simulator.

 

User Interface

In this section I will briefly cover keybinds (controls) and explain the meaning of icons on the screen. These are not very well explained, even in the tutorial. Note, there is a separate manual for the game which you might want to review.

Controls

WASD: Movement, as usual. Mouse controls your main camera view.
Spacebar: Jump

Left mouse click: Activate / use / open / close
Right mouse click: Open menu (see below)

CTRL or C: Crouch down. There is only one level of crouch. To stand up, press ctrl again. Onscreen you will see an icon appear when crouched. Crouch in order to get closer to wheel nuts and to duck under obstacles such as the wheel axle lift.

Q & R: Index through repair modes. See the icons at lower right? These indicate which mode you are currently in, and there are 4:
– Inspection mode
– Disassemble mode
– Assemble mode
– Fluids checking and refilling mode

Q changes the mode to the next one on the left, and R changes the mode to the next one on the right.

F5 & F6: Free Camera On / Off. When you need to view an object from a different angle that you just can’t get by crouching or moving to the side, press F5. By moving in and out, side to side, you can maneuver the camera to just where it is needed to work on a part. To turn this off, hit F6.

Door Controls: As mentioned in the Intro, the door controls allow you to sign off on an order when done. Also, the door control allows you to drive the bus over to a test stand, for adjusting lights, testing the exhaust emissions, etc.

Menu

Bring up the menu at anytime by a right mouse click, or by pressing M. To close the menu or menu items, click the exit icon, or press the ESC key. From the left, the selectable menu items are:

(1 – 4) Set Repair Mode. Icons and functions: these are the same as the mode descriptions above, also accessible through the usual interface via pressing Q and R.

(5) Inventory (Personal). Icon: Shelf with cases. Keybind: I. Open this to review what you are currently carrying. If you want to add an item, go to the appropriate shelf in the shop and click on a part to add it. To remove an item, visit and click on any waste bin, which will open your inventory and allow you to click parts to remove.

While in Inventory view, a graphical display of the bus you are currently working on will appear, along with its specifications. (Strange place to put this info, but OK.) The job order will also list the bus type and specs but not include the bus image.

(6) Spare Parts List. Icon: page of notes. When you are in inspection mode, which is useful once the more advanced orders start to occur, you will want to check items needing replacement, and add them to this list by clicking the part after inspection. A pencil icon will indicate that you are writing in the condition % for the part into this list, so you can go fetch those parts from shop inventory later on.

(7) Review Job Order. Icon: job order. Review for three reasons. One, be sure you are doing exactly what is ordered. Two, if you click on the eye icon next to the job task description, it will show you a cutaway view of the bus, highlighting the part needing repair. Three, you can click a checkbox next to each task to indicate to yourself that you completed it.

Regarding job orders, be very careful of the language. If the tasks says “check oil level and refill if necessary,” it will always require you to top off the fluid mentioned in the job. However, “change oil” means the old oil must be drained first then fresh oil added until the 100% level. See “Using tools” section for details.

(8) View Test Report. After you have unlocked various diagnostic tests e.g. for exhaust emissions, you may want to review the report later on. To do so, click this menu item.

(9) Purchase Unlocks. Icon: Padlock. This is your upgrades store, allowing you access to more tools, more testing equipment, and more job variety.

Using Tools

Introduction to Tools

There are various toolboxes and fluid containers arranged around the shop. To use a tool, go to its location and left-click. It will appear in your tool slot. You have up to 3, but at the start of the game you have just one.

To activate a tool slot, press 1, 2 or 3 on your keyboard. If you have only one tool slot (as you do when starting the game), you need not make this selection, the game will assume you always mean tool 1.

To use a different tool, click on the different tool, and it will replace your previous slotted tool. Or, alternatively, you can set your tool down by clicking on the spot on the table where the tool came from. This will remove the tool from your tool slot.

You can hold up to 3 slotted tools, such as ratchet, screwdriver, spanner, square key spanner, etc. Additionally you can hold one fluid container.

To adjust fluid levels, go pick up the appropriate fluid container, and your repair mode will automatically switch to “fluids” and you will see the appropriate icon near your circular mouse cursor. Note, the tire air pressure fill and gauge is a fluid-type tool.

To see what can be accessed by your currently selected tool (including fluids), press the TAB key. For example, when crouched in front of a wheel, with the tire air pressure fill tool & gauge, press TAB and the tire valve stems will be highlighted.

Using the Tools
To open a panel, you need the square spanner (sp?) in your active tool slot. Then, click on a panel (such as the engine bay cover) and it will swing open. Click on it again to close the panel.

To unbolt / unscrew hardware, you need to be holding a spanner, ratchet or screwdriver and be in disassemble mode. Depending on the hardware you may need a different tool, including a hex wrench. To fasten hardware, use the same tool, but change the mode to assemble.

Changing Fluids
To add and remove air from a tire (tyre), use the air pressure fill tool, and be sure you are in fluids mode. Crouch in front of the tire in question. Click the TAB key if you can’t find the valve stem. Once you find it, point the circular cursor at the valve stem and left click. Now you see the pressure of this tire. If the pressure is in the center of the green zone, all is well. If too low, left click and hold until the pressure rises to the center of the green zone. If too high, RIGHT click and hold until pressure falls to the center of the green zone.
Note, to lower tire pressure you must first left click to bring up the pressure gauge, then right click to lower the pressure. If you right-click the valve stem, you just bring up the menu.

To add a fluid to the appropriate tank, first find the fluid container. There are several types: engine oil. gear oil, urea (diesel exhaust fluid), coolant (water) and windscreen cleaning fluid (again, water). There is also heating oil, in a large barrel. I believe this is the working fluid for the onboard radiator system to keep the bus warm in winter.

With the appropriate fluid container in hand, and with the appropriate icon displaying, you might right click to bring up the order, so you can click on the eye icon to find the tank in question. In your tool slot 1 you will want the square key spanner (looks like a handle) for opening the panel covering the tank. Stand there, still in fluid mode, and click TAB. This will show you where the filler cap is. Point the cursor at this cap and left click. You will see the current fluid level, same as if you used the dipstick (making the dipstick an unnecessary step). While you hold the left click, the fluid will fill. Keep holding the mouse button until you reach 100%, then you are done. Close up the panel by clicking it–no need to swich modes. Then, don’t forget to review the job order once again (right click -> menu -> select the job order) and check off the fluid task when done.

To remove a fluid from a tank, you will have to drain the old fluid first. For coolant draining, go to the large, yellow garbage can, which as you mouse over it, will say coolant drain. Click it to bring up the menu of where to put it. For coolant, you will have only one choice, the coolant drain plug. After you click this, the coolant drain tub will be down below the bus. Go down there with water container in hand (the water container looks like a watering can from a garden), in fluids mode, and when you near the yellow tub, clci TAB while looking up. You will see the various drain and fill points. Left click on the coolant drain plug and it will drain via spray of water down into the tub. When done, click on the tub to return it to its “parked” location, back upstairs.

For engine and gearbox oil. this time move the oil collection tank (a red thingy that has a catch tray for oil) to either the gearbox drain or engine oil drain location, selectable by clicking on the oil collection tank. Remove the engine or gearbox oil using the same procedure described above for coolant, but holding either an engine oil or gearbox oil container in your hand. When done draining (you will see a needle moving toward 0% as you drain), move the collection tank back where it belongs.

After a fluid is drained, simply visit the filler cap area with the same fluid container in hand, then left-click on it to refill the fluid, holding left mouse button until 100% filled.

Replacing Parts
You will have learned this if you use the tutorial, which I recommend. Generally, you go into one of the warehouse rooms and visit the appropriate shelf, then left click. Index through the stored parts, and click, once per instance, on the part you want put into your personal inventory. It’s a bit like most games, in that you can carry huge numbers of heavy items without actually having bulging pockets or a sore back.

After a damaged or worn part is removed while in disassembly mode, switch to assembly mode then click on the area where the replacement part is to go. You will be asked to choose the part to install from your inventory, where you will see both the old, worn part and the new replacement. Be careful, they look identical, you have to use the one with the 100 (percent) number superimposed on it.

Changing Wheels / Tires (Tyres)
Next to each wheel, you will see a dedicated lifter. You can move all 4 or 6 of these into position then lift one of them…and the entire bus will be lifted into the air by its wheels. BUT…you don’t want to do this if replacing wheels or tires.

Instead (again this is in the tutorial), visit the stairs at the front of the bus, go down one level to the trench under the bus. Find the axle lifter. Typically, the bus will be stopped such that its rear-most axle is over the lifter. Move the lifter into position under the required axle by ducking under the lifter (use ctrl for crouch) then pushing on the horizontal handle (left click and hold) on the back of the lifter to move it forward. Similarly, move it rearwards by pushing on the horizontal handle on the front of the lifter. When in position, go to the front of the lifter, look down for the handle at the very bottom, and click it to raise or lower the lift. It will take 5-10 seconds, then you will see the tires lifted off the floor a few cm. This is enough to remove the wheels.

Go back upstairs, crouch down while using a spanner or ratchet in your active toolslot, and put yourself into disassembly mode. One by one, remove the large lug nuts (wheel nuts) on the wheel that needs to be changed. The nuts might be hard to see, so point the cursor around, to where the nut has to be, and wait until you find a blue highlight appear. Then you can left-click and hold to remove the nut. When all nuts are removed, you will see the entire wheel light up with a blue highlight, and you can click to remove it. Also click to remove the wheel behind the first one (same axle and nuts) if one is there.

Progression / Unlocks

A major reason behind my writing this guide is that it took me a LONG time* to figure out how progression works in this game. Unlike with many other games I’ve played, your progression is an entirely active affair. You need to go and buy your character and shop upgrades using “points” you receive for jobs completed well.

To purchase capability upgrades / shop unlocks, right click at any time to bring up the menu. The right-most menu item looks like a padlock. If I were the UI designer, I would have used a storefront / market stall icon, because this is the “upgrades store.” When I saw the padlock every time I visited the menu, I assumed, incorrectly, that I could not access this feature. No, you can visit it at anytime. It is just a case of unfortunate graphic design / iconography.

With the unlocks store open, you can select “cheap” unlocks, such as being able to use the ratchet, for a small number of points. For more points you can unlock the second tool slot. For a modest number of points you can unlock the testing tools in the testing bay. And so on.

*I had fully 3000+ points accumulated before I figured out how to open the store and start spending them. It is a great idea to start spending these points as soon as you get tired of the slow removal of nuts from wheels, or want a greater variety of jobs. You will start getting appropriate jobs for the new capabilities after you unlock them. That makes this game more interesting the more you play it.

So, there is no need to accumulate vast numbers of points before using them. They’re pretty useless if unspent. Of course, you’ll want to save up points for higher-level unlocks. Just don’t wait too long to make your life easier with, say, a pneumatic unbolting tool.

Tips / Quality of Life Improvements

A few suggestions.

1. Front axles have just two wheels. Every other axle has 4 wheels! So, when you are asked to just check air pressure levels and add air if necessary, don’t forget to also service the interior wheels. How to do this?
– You could go down into the trench, air tool in hand, and click the valve stems in the dark. This is difficult to see. Or,
– Simply crouch by the (outer) tire and reach both outer and inner tires by clicking on the valve stems from where you are standing. That’s right, you can reach through one wheel to access the other. It is much easier to reach and easier to read the gauge up here. To find where the valve stems are, don’t forget to click TAB.

2. Replacing wheel nuts. When I was a newbie, I would service each set of tires individually, holding at most 10 nuts in my personal inventory. Fine. But it turns out, when replacing nuts you have to individually click each nut to select which one should be placed where. This is because wheel nut condition is tracked, unlike most other hardware. It is much easier, when selecting a nut, to just click without having to move the mouse around. If you’ve done this, you will know what I mean.

Thus I offer this suggestion:
1. First, go to the wheel spare part area (in the main bay to the left of where the buses park) and be sure you have at least 8 new bolts in inventory. These are extras and make the bolting process easier.
2. Next, grab as many new wheels as you will need.
3. From the bus, after lifting each axle in turn, remove all wheels and nuts from that axle first, then visit the scrap container to throw away all “bad” wheels.
4. Replace all wheels and nuts on a given axle at once.

Why have 8 extra nuts in inventory? That is so you won’t have to move the mouse, just click and it will select a nut under your mouse cursor, which will be there without having to move the mouse to select a nut. The cursor always appears above nut 8, so having this number means you won’t have to move the mouse. This makes wheel nut installation MUCH faster and easier.

3. To speed up the “pause” between jobs, go to Options and “disable bus animations.” With animations active, you see the door open, then the bus start up and drive out, then the next one drive in once you accept the order. This is nice, but the animation is a bit slow and laborious, and if you are just not in the mood to sit through these, then turn them off.

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