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The engineering bay consists of a variety of systems. As the engineer it is your job to maintain and manage all of these systems. All systems within the engineering bay have a few common behaviours shared between them.
All systems have a durability. If this durability is reduced to 0% the system will cease functioning. The only exception to this is the battery, as explained here. Durability damage occurs in two ways, through normal wear and tear, and through fire. All damage to systems can be repaired and made functional again with the wrench.
Wear and Tear
Durability damage is dealt to a system constantly while it is powered. The amount of damage is constant so long as the power is within normal operating limits. If excess power is sent to the system, extra durability damage is caused.
There are many causes of fire within the engineering bay, as detailed here. When a fire spreads onto a system it causes durability damage to that system until all fire on the system is extinguished.
Do not try to fix a system while it is on fire. You will not win the race. The fire always wins.
Durability damage to systems can be repaired at any time with the wrench. If the durability of a system is reduced to 0% and has ceased functioning, the system will not function again until it is repaired to at least 25%.