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post #1 of 66 (permalink) Old 03-24-2012, 01:17 PM Thread Starter
 
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smartcar is losing sense of what gear it's in.

I've got a 2008 451 pure, 47000 miles. The car tends to lose it's sense of what gear it's in at various times (sometimes when at a stoplight, sometimes while moving through the gears on local streets, and once while cruising on the interstate). Then it gets all confused and various warnings appear: the check engine light appears and flashes, the double wrenches appear and flash, the big D (Drive) switches from solid to flashing, and the yellow exclamation triangle appears and flashes. It also then goes to and stays in 5th gear. After slowly moving to a safe place, I turn off the engine and the 3 horiz bars show. In order to get the car to start, I then go through the sequence of waiting about 30 secs to a minute, then put foot on brake pedal, turn ignition key to position 1, then shifting from P to R, N, D and back for the electronics to figure out where it is. Once I see the D re-appear, I can go to P and start the car. The wrenches disappear, sometimes the check engine and the safety exclamation lights disappear too!

This has now happened more than 6 times in the past 2 weeks. Last Sunday (6 days ago) I removed, cleaned and adjusted the clutch actuator, using the advise found in threads on this forum. I found the insides of the actuator with powdery, dried out black lubricant, and relubed with white lithium grease. I reattached the actuator to the spec sheets recommendation of 3 gradation lines displacement from abutment towards the bell housing. I don't believe the actuator is the cause of the problem, since the shifting confusion has occurred before and since the cleaning. The worst was yesterday, it ran amok 4 times in 4 miles before I could get it home

Any ideas would be appreciated. Today I put a help request to the local smart center using their web-link in smartusa, but I have never dealt with the service center, having bought this car used.
They phoned me almost immediately, wanted to know if I wanted to set up an appointment.
Being on a very, very limited budget, I cannot blithely setup a service appt and hope for the best to a Mercedes Benz service dealership. I need some reassurances before handing over the keys. I asked to speak to a service tech, was told all were busy so my message would be passed on to them and one would get back to me.

So has anyone here had a similar problem with their car, and how did you fix it?
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post #2 of 66 (permalink) Old 03-24-2012, 01:48 PM
 
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Smarts start getting flaky if the battery is old and starting to get weak... Go get a Free test at AutoZone...
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post #3 of 66 (permalink) Old 03-24-2012, 07:56 PM
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Garage
I would check the battery also.
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post #4 of 66 (permalink) Old 03-24-2012, 08:05 PM
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...+1 on the previous post...
...I will add to check gorunds...

jetfuel...my 1c..
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post #5 of 66 (permalink) Old 03-26-2012, 03:33 AM Thread Starter
 
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I replaced the battery, cleaned up all connections there and found to my dismay the car is even worse now than before - it errors out with the 3 bars of death going from 1st to 2nd as soon as I drive it. The new battery is fine, 13.78 volts (the smart orig battery was probably fine too, at 12.6v, but I replaced it anyhow)
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post #6 of 66 (permalink) Old 03-26-2012, 06:07 AM
 
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A good battery wont make the problem worse, but a wiggled loose connection would. I'd still say bad ground since it got worse by moving the wires around down there. See if anything attaching to the chassis is loose(loosen and retighten too while youre in there, 10mm socket). If not, consider replacing the main ground lead with a generic 2 or 4 gauge 10" ground cable from autozone.
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post #7 of 66 (permalink) Old 03-26-2012, 07:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mhornfeck72205 View Post
A good battery wont make the problem worse, but a wiggled loose connection would. I'd still say bad ground since it got worse by moving the wires around down there. See if anything attaching to the chassis is loose(loosen and retighten too while youre in there, 10mm socket). If not, consider replacing the main ground lead with a generic 2 or 4 gauge 10" ground cable from autozone.
I would also go 1 step farther and pull apart all the connections you can get to and reconnect with some dielectric grease
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post #8 of 66 (permalink) Old 03-26-2012, 11:44 AM
 
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In my case

was the shifter motor oil from the transmission went inside the carbons try to pull the 2 covers of the shifter motor and clean first with gasoline and then another cleaner like break cleaner.
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post #9 of 66 (permalink) Old 03-31-2012, 09:56 AM Thread Starter
 
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I am planning to attack this possible electrical shorting issue tomorrow. Does anyone here know of any similar threads on this forum where this problem has been discovered and hopefully resolved? I HAVE noticed the headlights wavered slightly in intensity from time to time, but always seemed so slight to might be just my imagination, but now...hmmmm.
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post #10 of 66 (permalink) Old 04-01-2012, 02:28 PM Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rubyg View Post
was the shifter motor oil from the transmission went inside the carbons try to pull the 2 covers of the shifter motor and clean first with gasoline and then another cleaner like break cleaner.

Uhh, you lost me there, rubyg. Could you explain what you mean? Meanwhile I'll poke around down there.

Also I went through every ground bolt, fuse, and connections I could find around the battery. There is no sign of corrosion, every connector was tight, no resistance found by wiggling the wires all over. I doubt the issue is in the wires around the battery.
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