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post #1 of 32 (permalink) Old 08-12-2018, 07:55 AM Thread Starter
 
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Brake Wiring harness chafing?

My brake control board, wiring harness, and vacuum pump failed about 4 months ago and were replaced under warranty. Some of the postings about the failure and repair hinted at a known issue with chafing on the wiring harness eventually leading to a short in the wiring that cause the whole subsystem to fail.

I was never able to get more info about the location of the wiring and what we might do to prevent the short from happening. Is anyone on this excellent sub-forum aware of this issue and can suggest where on the car I might be able to apply some preventative measures?

Thanks in advance, RG
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post #2 of 32 (permalink) Old 08-12-2018, 08:04 AM
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Unless the ED brakes are markedly different than the ICE version (don't think they are) this would potentially apply to all smarts of your model year.....

Did you report the issue to the NHTSA as a safety problem? I don't recall seeing the whole brake system failure mentioned before.
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post #3 of 32 (permalink) Old 08-12-2018, 08:16 AM
 
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Unless the ED brakes are markedly different than the ICE version (don't think they are) this would potentially apply to all smarts of your model year.....

Did you report the issue to the NHTSA as a safety problem? I don't recall seeing the whole brake system failure mentioned before.
The ED brakes are the same except that they use an electric vacuum pump instead of engine manifold vacuum to provide the power assist. While a failure of power assist (brakes or steering) should not be considered something dangerous, it seem that in these days of a low-skill driving populace it is - such as those Chevy keyswitch defects causing fatal accidents simply from power steering or braking going of when the engine shut off.

I suspect in the case of a 2000 pound Smart ED, braking is still easy without power assist but I haven't tried it yet.

But yes, I think that NHTSA should definitely be investigating this. Rob should contact NHTSA. Presumably they have a consumer complaint site...

Last edited by Yinzer; 08-12-2018 at 08:36 AM.
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post #4 of 32 (permalink) Old 08-12-2018, 08:19 AM
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post #5 of 32 (permalink) Old 08-12-2018, 08:33 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Rob22304 View Post
My brake control board, wiring harness, and vacuum pump failed about 4 months ago and were replaced under warranty. Some of the postings about the failure and repair hinted at a known issue with chafing on the wiring harness eventually leading to a short in the wiring that cause the whole subsystem to fail.
Yes. My A/C failed due to wire harness chafing. While they replaced the compressor, I'm not sure it actually failed or it was a wrong initial diagnosis. They did not replace the harness, but only found the chafing point and spliced the worn-through wire. I hope they did something about the harness chafing too.

They also replaced the charging receptacle and its harness - claiming in a follow up inspection that it was wearing through somewhere. They weren't able to provide me with the old harness though - claiming that it was already thrown out. I tied the new charging harness clear of any possible rub points myself when I got home.

Presumably, what car syatem fails is entirely dependent on the particular wire in the harness that gets worn through.

I will call my dealer and ask if I can talk to the actual service technician who did the repair to find out where this chafing point is - hopefully he will remember.

Chafing wiring is something I's expect in a Chinese or Russian car, not a German one.
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post #6 of 32 (permalink) Old 08-12-2018, 04:58 PM Thread Starter
 
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Unless the ED brakes are markedly different than the ICE version (don't think they are) this would potentially apply to all smarts of your model year.....

Did you report the issue to the NHTSA as a safety problem? I don't recall seeing the whole brake system failure mentioned before. <img src="https://smartcarofamerica.com/forums/images/SmartCarOfAmerica/smilies/tango_face_smile.png" border="0" alt="" title="Smile" class="inlineimg" />
The ED brakes are the same except that they use an electric vacuum pump instead of engine manifold vacuum to provide the power assist. While a failure of power assist (brakes or steering) should not be considered something dangerous, it seem that in these days of a low-skill driving populace it is - such as those Chevy keyswitch defects causing fatal accidents simply from power steering or braking going of when the engine shut off.

I suspect in the case of a 2000 pound Smart ED, braking is still easy without power assist but I haven't tried it yet.

But yes, I think that NHTSA should definitely be investigating this. Rob should contact NHTSA. Presumably they have a consumer complaint site...
No, braking without the assist wasnÂ’t easy. I waited until late at night to drive the vehicle to the dealer so I could minimize the chance of an accident by driving when there was no traffic.
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post #7 of 32 (permalink) Old 08-12-2018, 05:00 PM Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by jwight View Post
Unless the ED brakes are markedly different than the ICE version (don't think they are) this would potentially apply to all smarts of your model year.....

Did you report the issue to the NHTSA as a safety problem? I don't recall seeing the whole brake system failure mentioned before. <img src="https://smartcarofamerica.com/forums/images/SmartCarOfAmerica/smilies/tango_face_smile.png" border="0" alt="" title="Smile" class="inlineimg" />
The parts that failed only apply to the ED - the electric vacuum pump, the associated computer control board, and the wiring harness.
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post #8 of 32 (permalink) Old 08-12-2018, 06:07 PM
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Chafing wiring is something I's expect in a Chinese or Russian car, not a German one.
And what chafing expectations do you have of The French?
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post #9 of 32 (permalink) Old 08-14-2018, 01:59 PM
 
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Nice snark. Did my point about quality-control reputations of various countries really go over your head? Making a wiring harness that does not destroy itself from vibrations is not exactly rocket science...
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post #10 of 32 (permalink) Old 08-14-2018, 02:28 PM
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All in jest my friend, sometimes that French Connection chaffed some in the auto industry.
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