This is an initial report of the information needed to use the underground Impound Garages at the Police Department Headquarters of Los Santos, San Fierro, and Las Venturas. The impound garage zones are small save garage like zones deep within the underground impound lot. The lot activity such as gates, guards, garage door, and police inside are all controlled by a script. This is a separate function in the same area; the impound script in the impound lot is decoration for the impound garage.
• Getting busted or wasted is not a factor.
Cars are normally entered into the impound garage during missions. If the player’s two most recent vehicles are within zones of various Clear Area commands issued by the mission then they will be moved to the nearest impound garage. So basically: if the game eats your car at the start of a mission, you can go get it back from the impound garage.
I’ve only identified a few missions that provide easy access to Clear Area commands. I’m sure there are many more, this is just what I had available during my initial tests.
- Triathlons: Clears the entire map
- Bike School and Boat School: Large area around the school
- Pimping: Small area around the Idlewood Broadway spawn (I think)
- Quarry: Very large area around the Thomas the Tank Engine Quarry
- Car Park: Independent levels of the Emerald Isle Parking Garage
- Pimping - radius 30.0 around Idlewood Broadway spawn
- Lowrider Game - radius 200.0 around Unity? (untested)
- Export Ship - radius 9.0 imp, 20.0 exp, not the exported vehicle
- Trucking - radius 30.0/50/100 (different subroutines) at the RS Haul Asset (untested)
- Driving School - radius 300.0
- Quarry - radius 1000.0 around quarry asset
- Boat School - radius 1000.0 around Boat School (does not work on PS2)
- Bike School - radius 300.0 around school
- Flight School - radius 300/500 (untested)
- Triathlons - radius 1000001.0 around... doesn't matter
- Emerald Isle Car Park (change floors or leave building)
If CJ enters and parks an Admiral and then a Cabbie next to the Broadway in Idlewood and triggers the Pimping mission, the Cabbie will be sent to the Impound as CJ’s 2nd most recent car; the Broadway is most recent. If CJ destroys a special vehicle, and then jacks a bike and races to the triathlon before the wreck can disappear, then the bike and favorite vehicle will be placed in the nearest impound garage.
Vehicles can also be placed directly into the impound garage zone at the impound lot. There is no need to enter the vehicle to identify it with the player. When the impound garage “door” closes the garage contents will be saved and repositioned randomly when the “door” opens again. The “garage door” seen blocking the entrance to the impound lot is a different object. The impound garage zone’s “door” would behave in a similar fashion to a save garage door if the impound garage zone was placed around a small garage with an active door. Controlling this unseen door is critical for proper recovery of vehicles.
Vehicles or destroyed wrecks entered into the impound garage will be repaired and will retain any special properties or installed modifications – just like any other save garage. An impound garage can hold 3 vehicles. Additional vehicles added to the garage will replace the current contents. Replacement seems to be somewhat random – more testing is required.
Getting vehicles out of the impound garages without losing the contents of the garage is problematic. There are some unusual properties to the impound garages that must be controlled.
The impound garage doors have a very large X, Y radius trigger. In each impound lot, CJ pretty much needs to be at the far end of the room in order to be out of range of the door so it can close. The range appears to be the same when on foot or in a vehicle. However, the impound garages also have a very narrow Z radius trigger. CJ can drive all over the streets around the impound garages and the doors will never open until he begins the descent into the impound lot.
Impound Garages desperately want to eat your vehicles. Allowing the invisible door to open or close when CJ is not looking at the garage zone will very likely cause some or all of the vehicles to disappear. This action is fairly reliable. I’m fairly certain the garages are intended to operate this way – sort of. The main problem is that the impounded vehicles get discarded as CJ approaches the garage zone instead of only as he leaves. My current hypothesis is that there is an inner discard radius. If the door is open, CJ is outside of the discard radius, and he looks away from the vehicles for more than a few seconds, then they will vanish. Retrieving an impounded vehicle requires keeping the vehicle in view whenever CJ is inside of this discard ring (area between door circumference and discard circumference, and uh… I doubt the ring is round).
This is fairly easy in Las Venturas. This garage has an extra deep level and a recessed corner for the impound zone. It is possible to drive down the far wall into the lower area and never open the door. Turn and face the recessed area as you approach and the contents should be intact. Move any junk cars out of the zone, and if there is anything you want to keep be sure to watch it as you retrace your steps out of the lower level.
Los Santos is a little more problematic. There is a random car spawn inside the garage zone, so if you let the door open and close you’ll lose something. I have had fairly good success hugging the inside wall and maintain a view in the direction of the vehicles.
San Fierro has a particularly difficult impound lot to manage. The impound zone is behind the vehicle as CJ descends into the impound lot. The door opens during the descent and closes again at the bottom – I can’t seem to enter and keep it open or closed. There are two random spawns inside of the garage zone that will replace some of the contents of the garage if they spawn. Also, bikes entered into the SF impound garage will be spawned between the ceiling of the impound lot and the parking lot above.
Despite a voracious appetite for cars and bikes, the impound garages apparently don’t have a taste for some vehicles. The Vortex will consistently maintain its position even when other vehicles vanish. The Seasparrow doesn’t usually disappear unless I start cramming even larger vehicles into the garage. My guess is that the unusual vehicles frequently sited in forums are the vehicles least likely to be eaten if not watched. What did you find in your impound garage?
This concludes my initial report on Impound Garage operation. It is my hope that other players can use this information to access their impound garages to confirm or deny my observations and this will lead to a more complete understanding of the Impound Garages of San Andreas.
A few numbers to go with the generalizations above.
- The impound zone XY radius opens at about 58 units from the zone.
- The impound zone closes when CJ is about 64 units from the zone.
- The discard radius appears to begin about 32 units away from the impound spawned vehicles - not the zone.
- The discard timer appears to be exactly 2 seconds. Look away longer and they will vanish.
Vehicles resistant to being discarded:
- Firetruck SA