Which States Are The Best And Worst For Working On Cars?

Illustration for article titled Which States Are The Best And Worst For Working On Cars?

When it comes to car repair and modification, there’s just nothing better than grabbing some tools and making a weekend of it. However, there are certain parts of the country that are more accommodating to the shadetree mechanic than others.


That’s why I’m polling the audience for the states that ain’t afraid, or are completely mortified of wrenching. Y’know, for science.

In my experience, the more rural a state or region is, the better your chance of running into a gearhead, but that’s not necessarily the case. Texas and Arizona stand out to me as havens for old cars just waiting to have their carbs adjusted, and the relatively laid back public that resides within those borders, more often than not, have a craftsman socket set hidden away somewhere.

On the flip side, I can see an area like New York City being notoriously hard to do any of your own automotive work. Square footage is extraordinarily expensive, you’re prohibited to do roadside repairs, and a startling amount of people living in the city don’t own an automobile and wouldn’t know a 10 millimeter socket if they found it floating in their Jamba Juice.

This, of course, is simply anecdote, but as the plural of anecdote is clearly data, what are your experiences with states and working on cars? Was it easy or hard to find parts where you live or lived? Did your jackhole neighbors ever make a fuss out of you putting in a new air filter? Have you ever gotten a summons for doing a coolant flush?

Let me know in the comments because I have a Zillow tab open right now and need things to plug into the search bar.

(Photo Credit: Alex Korovin)

Tavarish is the founder of APiDA Online and writes and makes videos about buying and selling cool cars on the internet. You can also follow him on Twitterand Facebook. He won’t mind.




Michigan (MI) is the best.

- We have very lax laws when it comes to what you can build/drive (i.e. no state inspections).

- Most people around southeast MI work for the industry as suppliers, engineers, etc. and have access to pretty much anything you would ever need. It’s not hard to find friends that have what you need help with and for you to help them in return.

- We also have a pretty open and understanding state police force that will only pull you over if you’re truly being an asshole (municipal forces vary). State cops in MI are the most reasonable of any state police force I have ever encountered. Others could take lessons from them, Missouri and Ohio!

- Freeway speed limits of 70 and possibly 80 in some places very soon, along with open an not very congested freeways just a short drive outside of major metro areas make for great test areas.

- Unless you live in a subdivision with an HOA, nobody will bother you. I live in a fairly upscale city and I still manage to do grinding, welding and other noise-making when I work on my projects. I have never been hassled by “the man” for working on my cars or even having a parts car in my driveway for a weekend tear-down.