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post #1 of 53 (permalink) Old 05-11-2018, 07:36 PM Thread Starter
 
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Regular Maintenance and Repair Beyond the Warranty

I am very close to picking up a 15 electric drive fortwo for my wife. My only concern is regular maintenance and future repairs. For now, i'll have a year of warranty and i'll make the necessary trek to the dealer should I need it, but I pray I wont. But once the warranty is done, I likely wont be going or at least hoping to avoid. So that is why I came to ask.

Before I ask my questions. I'll say that, I have performed extensive repairs and modifications to ICE cars and restored a few bikes. So I am not a stranger to turning wrenches.

How hard are these cars to maintain, what scheduled maintenance do they need (i heard battery pack coolant), how difficult are repairs and should the battery pack go, can I ever source a replacement and swap it myself?

Thanks.
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post #2 of 53 (permalink) Old 05-11-2018, 09:01 PM
 
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Those are all very good questions. I 'm very much a DIY'er with regard to IC engine cars too and hoping to continue to do so with my ED as well.

Battery pack "coolant" (which in typical temperate climates is used more as a winter "warmant") is the same anti-freeze mixture as used in IC engine cars. It really does not ever need replacement considering that it is not exposed to anything like the temperatures of an IC engine.

The biggest impediment to maintenance is the seeming unavailability of a factory service manual. If we can get one of those, we can determine how maintainable the Smart ED will be. The most troubling issue regarding the batty pack is the potential issue of needing some kind of proprietary software access when removing or replacing the battery pack.
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post #3 of 53 (permalink) Old 05-11-2018, 09:10 PM
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Guys that I have seen with the Alldata subscription seem to show maintenance directions that look almost identical to the typical Mercedes WIS program. Also you've got the Evilution website that usually gets pretty good reviews.

As for routine maintenance, you can download the factory owners and maintenance manuals if they don't come with the car and one of us here in this forum can provide the factory maintenance sheets for routine services.

That all being said the routine maintenance on an electric is extremely simple and the fact that you are already a DIY kind of guy, you should not have a bit of trouble doing the routine jobs.

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post #4 of 53 (permalink) Old 05-11-2018, 09:47 PM
 
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We are not talking about routine maintenance, we are talking about a manual for doing all major and minor repairs - i.e. disassembly/assembly and troubleshooting instructions and diagrams for all components of the car - up to and including removal and replacement of the battery pack.

For example, for the second time.the A/C failed in my ED sometime over the winter. I'll get it repaired under warranty only one more time - then it will be up to me to fix it. I'll need a detailed manual to do that.
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post #5 of 53 (permalink) Old 05-12-2018, 09:43 AM Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yinzer View Post
Battery pack "coolant" (which in typical temperate climates is used more as a winter "warmant") is the same anti-freeze mixture as used in IC engine cars. It really does not ever need replacement considering that it is not exposed to anything like the temperatures of an IC engine.
Excellent! One less thing to concern my self with.

What about the desiccant or some kind of combination filter I read somewhere?

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Originally Posted by Yinzer View Post
The biggest impediment to maintenance is the seeming unavailability of a factory service manual. If we can get one of those, we can determine how maintainable the Smart ED will be. The most troubling issue regarding the batty pack is the potential issue of needing some kind of proprietary software access when removing or replacing the battery pack.
This is the kind of stuff that has me worried. If the car is setup like a john deer tractor and I need software along with hardware repairs then I have a problem.

Given the secrecy or nonavailability of this information, at this time I am knowingly accepting that at some point this car will be a throw away.

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Originally Posted by sokoloff View Post
Guys that I have seen with the Alldata subscription seem to show maintenance directions that look almost identical to the typical Mercedes WIS program. Also you've got the Evilution website that usually gets pretty good reviews.
What is Evilution?

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Originally Posted by Yinzer View Post
We are not talking about routine maintenance, we are talking about a manual for doing all major and minor repairs - i.e. disassembly/assembly and troubleshooting instructions and diagrams for all components of the car - up to and including removal and replacement of the battery pack.

For example, for the second time.the A/C failed in my ED sometime over the winter. I'll get it repaired under warranty only one more time - then it will be up to me to fix it. I'll need a detailed manual to do that.
Yep, this is the kind of stuff that I worry about. With all the extra uncommon electronics to manage (I assume) the battery and motor, along with electric versions of normally vacuum driven accessories, I dont want to be a slave to a single dealer in my area.

Do these cars have electric driven AC compressors or do they run off the drive motor?
How is the brake master getting its vacuum boost? Separate vacuum pump or integrated?
Does it have power steering? Electric boosted hydraulic or drive by wire?
I am assuming for heat it has a toaster in the dash?
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post #6 of 53 (permalink) Old 05-12-2018, 10:08 AM
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I am very close to picking up a 15 electric drive fortwo for my wife. My only concern is regular maintenance and future repairs.
Welcome to SCoA and the brave new world of Electric Vehicles.

Your are wise to do your due diligence but regardless of marquee, EV ownership comes with more unknowns than knowns?

If you accept your previously owned smart 451 ED as a low cost "purpose built" NICHE vehicle with a range of 68 miles you will be fine.

Into 4th year of ED ownership and loving it!
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post #7 of 53 (permalink) Old 05-12-2018, 10:21 AM
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Originally Posted by saml01 View Post

What is Evilution?
Evilution is a UK based encyclopedia of Smart info. I've heard nothing but good things about them. There is a subscription fee to use them.

https://www.evilution.co.uk/

Len
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post #8 of 53 (permalink) Old 05-12-2018, 10:38 AM
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Evilution is awesome for ICE not much yet for ED.

Obviously, the ICE/ED sleds bear some similarities but drive train is definitely apples to oranges.
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post #9 of 53 (permalink) Old 05-12-2018, 10:58 AM
 
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Evilution is awesome for ICE not much yet for ED.

Obviously, the ICE/ED sleds bear some similarities but drive train is definitely apples to oranges.
Yeah, but at least regarding my A/C problem, (probably another failed condenser/heater air temp sensor) the systems are identical save for the compressor being powered by the HV pack instead of a belt from the engine - so I was able to get the info I needed.

Note that Evilution's author does seem to have, lets just say, an attitude about the ED:

https://www.evilution.co.uk/index.ph...=info&mod=1062
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post #10 of 53 (permalink) Old 05-12-2018, 11:07 AM
 
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Len,

I was just about to put up that link to the MB service information document you put up in the sticky post above. It is a great conceptual overview of the ED's drivetrain power components, but it does not provide actual service information.

The most important information I'd like to have is how to bypass/replace the internal pyrofuse and any associated software resets needed to restore the battery pack in the event of a airbag or seat belt tensioner actuation. The idea that MB would design the car to render itself a total-loss brick from an otherwise reparable collision is a major flaw. I wonder if the 453 ED is designed similarity?
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