- Is Gearhead Garage available internationally?
YES! Click here for details.
- Where can I buy the game?
Gearhead Garage is available in many retail stores,
and you can also get it by mail-order from The
CD-ROM Shop. They accept orders by telephone
and fax, as well as through their web site. If you
want to use a payment method other than credit card,
you will need to contact them directly. The phone
number and e-mail address are available here.
- How do I get the Dune Buggy and Indy Car?
The Dune Buggy and Indy Car become available when
you reach the "Mekada" skill level.
- What are the skill levels?
You will progress through the following sequence
of skill levels as you play the game:
Learning, Novice, Handy, Expert,
The highest skill level is Mekada, and
you reach it when you accumulate $120,000 in cash.
(Note: The Mekada skill level is
renamed to "God-Like" if you haven't installed the
- How do I get more jobs?
We have added a "Random Job Generator" on the
updates page, which provides
virtually unlimited jobs.
- Why are there no cars made by such-and-such
By law, Mekada must obtain permission from the
vehicle manufacturers before we can use their cars
in Gearhead Garage, even if we don't use the
names of the cars. "Trade dress licensing",
as this is called, is a time consuming and often
expensive process. Additionally, some companies
have exclusive contracts with other game developers
making it impossible to use their cars.
Our marketing people are working hard to bring
you as many cool cars as possible, and we appreciate
- Where is the VW bug or van?
There were VW vehicles in early screenshots of
the game, but they were removed because Mekada was
unable to obtain permission from Volkswagen to use
these cars. Update: There are also some 3rd
party VW models circulating which were contributed
by the community, but which are neither supported
nor endorsed by Mekada.
- Are you planning to make a sequel or add-on?
Gearhead Garage has already been tremendously
successful, and the Mekada development team would
very much like to create a sequel. A design was
drafted for "Gearhead Garage 2"; however,
the project has been postponed due to problems raising
funding. It will be resumed as soon as a publisher
is found. In the meantime, you can check out other
great Mekada products at www.mekada.com.
- When will you release more updates?
Mekada is no longer releasing feature updates
for Gearhead Garage. However, we do release maintenance
updates from time to time, to address various compatibility
issues and other problems. We are busy people, and
releasing a reliable update requires more effort
than you might think. Repeatedly hounding us about
the updates will not make them come out any sooner.
- Can I create my own car models?
Probably not. Creating car models for Gearhead
Garage is a very difficult and tedious process.
The game was never designed for people to be able
to create their own models.
However, IF you have a copy of "3D
Studio Max", and IF you know how to use it,
and IF you have a lot of time and patience, then
maybe you can. You will also need an unsupported
tool called "SpecEd" to define the part dependencies
and create the .CAR file. This is NOT for the timid
or faint of heart!
The only documentation is what comes in the ZIP
file. There is a forum
called "SpecEd" where you can get help from other
users, but DO NOT e-mail Mekada with questions or
bug reports about SpecEd. We do not have time to
support this... sorry!
If you REALLY want to try, here are the download
- How do I use a 3rd party car model?
1. If the file ends in ".zip", you need
to get a program called WinZip
to unzip it and extract the ".car" file.
2. Open Windows Explorer, and copy the ".car"
file to your cars folder (where the other ".car"
files are). Most likely this will be "C:\Program
3. Start the game and go to the Auction. Click
"Skip" a few times and you should eventually see
the new car.
If you can't figure out how to do this, find someone
who is experienced with computers and show them
these directions. They will know what to do.
If all else fails, try asking in the message forum.
Do not e-mail Mekada about 3rd party models.
We didn't make them, so we won't know what's wrong!
- I have a great idea for a video game! Where
do I send it?
Unfortunately, for legal reasons Mekada cannot
accept game ideas from the public. (Almost all game
developers have this policy.)
- Why don't the cheats work?
There are several web sites out there that list
erroneous cheats for Gearhead Garage ("big dog",
","small cat", ","money", etc.). These cheats are
BOGUS. They were probably submitted as a joke. If
you see these cheats listed on a web site, e-mail
the webmaster and let them know the cheats are fake.
- Okay, well, where can I find working cheats?
Some 3rd party car designers in the community have
created "cheat cars" that can be used to increase
your money. For more information, look on the sites
- Why did my forum posting get deleted?
The Gearhead Garage message forums are moderated.
This means that actual humans sit down every week
and read the new postings to answer questions, listen
to people's suggestions, and weed out obnoxious
or offensive postings. This is a very tedious job,
and the moderators therefore have very little patience
for abuse of the system.
Any of the following may be considered abuse:
- Profanity, name-calling, or other offensive
- Posting the same message more than once
- Advertisements or other off-topic postings
- Writing lots of really short messages
- Posting more than 5 messages in a single
- Extremely long messages, or extremely
- Illegal activities such as trading pirated
- Repeating "more updates" like a broken
These activities detract from the usefulness of
the forums and create extra work for the moderators.
- What does "Address Blocked" mean?
If a person repeatedly posts obnoxious messages
on the forum, their computer's address will be temporarily
blocked. This prevents them from continuing to abuse
the system. The address will be unblocked later
when things have settled down.
If your computer is being blocked, it might not
be your fault. This is because sometimes many computers
will share the same address (e.g. if you are using
a modem). Thus if someone else got blocked it could
result in you being blocked, too. If you think this
happened to you, send an e-mail to email@example.com.
- The game bumps me back to Windows when I try
to load a particular mechanic. Others work fine. Why?
Some people have reported problems with the saved
game files becoming corrupted. This seems be caused
by changes to the game data files, e.g. by the downloadable
updates. However, the most frequent cause
is installing 3rd party models (which are NOT supported
The first thing to try is deleting your saved game
files from this folder:
If that fails, try uninstalling the game, deleting
the entire "Gearhead Garage" folder, and
then reinstalling without 3rd party models.
If you are concerned about losing your
saved games, we strongly recommend that you periodically
make backup copies of your "Mechanics" folder (see
- I can't seem to download the updates. What's
Recently people have reported problems when downloading
the Gearhead Garage updates. The downloading will
be very slow and eventually time out, even with
the manual download
method. The problems seem to come mainly from America
Online subscribers who access the internet via a
modem. Most other people have no problems downloading
If you are experiencing this problem, the most
likely cause is that your internet connection is
too slow. This could be because you have an older
modem, or because the phone lines are poor quality
in your area, or because of issues with your internet
service provider. If you have access to a computer
with a fast internet connection, we suggest that
you try downloading the updates from there. Also,
some people have solved this problem using the Stand-Alone
- Why do I have problems painting some 3rd party
This question has been investigated by kc7wzl.
He has written up some instructions for solving
this problem on his web site: (Thanks!)
- Which versions of Windows
does Gearhead Garage support?
The retail version of Gearhead Garage supports
only Windows 95 and Windows 98. It
is not compatible with Windows NT, because
Windows NT does not support Direct X.
A special update
was recently released by Mekada that may allow the
game to work with Windows 2000 or Windows
XP. Although this update corrects many incompatibities,
there may still be problems caused by the video
card drivers on these systems. There is also a helpful
topic concerning the Windows XP compatibility.
NOTE: This update does not work with the
- What is a "honcho"?
"Honchos" are volunteers who have been
selected by Mekada to help moderate the message
forum. They are not official representatives of
Mekada, but simply people from the community who
have graciously offered to contribute.
They sometimes make mistakes. If you believe one
of the honchos has acted inappropriately, please
e-mail them rather than airing your grievances publicly.
If the problem is not resolved, contact the forum
administrator directly for assistance.
- Can I be a honcho?
Nope. Please don't ask. :-)
- What can I do about the message "Error spawning
The retail version of Gearhead Garage displays
this message when run on a Windows 2000 or XP computer:
Error spawning Gearhead Garage
In many cases this can be fixed by installing the
Windows XP update described in FAQ
#20 above. (Note: There are
no updates for the free demo at this time.)