Need for Speed Heat’s vehicles are pretty damn durable, to the point where you can crash through dozens of pedestrians and just keep on going like it’s not. However, they’re not quite indestructible, and after a night of playing bumper cars at two hundred miles an hour, you’ll likely have a few instances where your car breaks down or where you have to start slowing to avoid wrecking your own vehicle, making it harder to win races. Fortunately, fixing your car is both simple and easy.
How Do I Know If My Car Is Damaged?
Need for Speed provides a constant indicator of your car’s health at the bottom-right hand corner of the screen, a curved white meter marked with a crossed pair of wrenches, right besides your speedometer. As you take more and more damage, that white will slowly get replaced by red.
What Can Damage My Car?
Any physical impact your car suffers will lower its health, but some things will affect it a lot more than others. Crashing into small, destructible objects like streetlights is barely going to scratch the paint - your car is VERY tough, after all - and if these objects have any impact on your health, it’s going to be over time, as you crash into dozens of them over the course of a race and they slowly chip away at your vehicle’s integrity.
The thing that’ll really put a dent in your chassis is non-destructible objects and landscape elements like cliff faces and buildings. Hit one at full speed and you could come away with as much as a quarter of your health vanished.
What Happens If My Car is Damaged?
Nothing happens - at least until everything does. No amount of damage will impact your car’s performance, right up until the moment where you max out the damage meter. Once it fills up, your car will suddenly be totalled and you’ll get sent back to the garage, even if you’re in the middle of a race, unless you’re being chased by cops, who will then arrest you. Obviously, nobody wants this to happen.
How Do I Fix My Car?
Going back to Lucas’ garage always restores your car to full health, but in the midst of an important race this is hardly an option, especially if losing all your health would send you there anyway.
Instead, your car is automatically fixed when you drive through a gas station, even if you don’t slow down, allowing you to spring from the other side with full health. Don’t worry about exploding either; we crashed into a dozen pumps and they just fall over like cardboard boxes. No idea why, but I guess it’s safer, if a lot less exciting.
How Often Can I Use A Gas Station?
As much as you want, provided it’s in the day. Show up during working hours and stations will fix you as much as you want, no matter how many times you come crashing in.
This isn’t the case after dark. During the night you can still go for repairs, but only three times in total, meaning it’s best to go when you’re sure you need it. Come back a fourth time and they won’t even wipe the blood splatter off the hood. Luckily this counter resets at the beginning of every night, and if you drive carefully you should be able to make it through to the other side without any issues.
If this guide helped you, why not take a look at our explanation of Need for Speed's Day/Night cycle in greater detail? Alternatively, check out our guide on building your own crew, or how to come out on top in police chases.