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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-27-2019, 10:35 AM Thread Starter
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About to Purchase a Smart

Good morning all!
I recently relocated from the quiet valley's of Southern Oregon, to the hustle and bustle of Los Angeles. For the last 5 years I have driven a BMW 3-Series, my first a 2007 and most recently a 2014. As I have grown into Los Angeles, I start to understand the woes of a full size sedan. Parking is more challenging, maneuvering city blocks and fuel efficiency becomes much more important! And beyond that, lets face it, the repair bill on a BMW in L.A. is significantly larger than in Oregon. So because of this, I have decided to part ways with my 3-series, in search of something more "practical."

I have driven a Smart For Two year ago, when my uncle owned one as a commuter car. I loved the car. So fun to drive, quirky, and I never even payed much attention the small size. Fast forward to now, I think that the Smart is the car for me. I drive 50 miles round trip for work 5 days a week. This is just not feasible in the 3-series for the long term, and I think that the Smart is a great alternative.

I am not too concerned about losing cargo space, as my partner has a full size Honda sedan. But I have been perusing the forums here everyday for about a week now trying to learn as much as I can before I make the decision. I am looking at a 2013 smart passion Cabriolet tomorrow with the red softop, and red interior. The car is white on the exterior with silver safety cell. It's in great condition body wise, and appears to be in good mechanical condition. The owner is an avid Smart enthusiast.

My question to the group here is, what should I be looking for when I first look at the car? What are some things that I could expect to go wrong with a 2013 smart with about 70k miles right now? As far as I am concerned, as long as I am confident the car is in good mechanical condition, I plan to buy it!

Thanks in advance for your input!
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-27-2019, 11:18 AM
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One point I would want to clarify... Does the present owner have all the service records. A lot of people bought them just because they were cheap! Those same people, may have decided not to do regular services because of the expense...
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-27-2019, 11:59 AM Thread Starter
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The current owner does have the maintenance records beginning with his purchase of the car in 2015. I do not have access to maintenance records prior to 2015, but I assume not much maintenance likely was needed in the first 2 years outside of regular oil changes, tire rotation etc.
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-29-2019, 11:09 AM
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as a person who drives in L.A. for work on a regular basis every three months (from NW WA state) I highly recommend your decision to get a smart.

little backstory; we have an '09 we bought new in Seattle with 6 miles on the "clock" which now has 142k on it. we've only did basic maint. and one A/C recharge when we did the 100k PM (local MB shop). even with the recent 'no-start' issue (resolved), it has been such an awesome car that when my Honda Civic wagon kinda died after getting rear-ended by a Dodge RAM, I found a 2014 fortwo locally with only 48k miles. it had been an MB rental in Seattle originally so I had some extra GPS & tracking 'tronics I had to remove.
had it over a year now and it's still sweet. I commute about 15 miles down the 5 with a few road trips every year. Only thing I had to do so far (yesterday) was replace the switchover valve for a P0410 error code (which it had when I bought and 'seems' to be a common problem with OEM part).

as far as what to expect, if the regular maint. was done there should be little to nothing to expect. but, obviously, YMMV. with other vehicles (mainly flat-four boxers) I've found it helpful to replace the spark plugs with (NGK) Iridiums.

congrats (pending purchase ) and welcome!
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-29-2019, 11:59 AM
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Welcome to SCoA!

Check this out: https://www.smartcarofamerica.com/fo...ight=buy+smart
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-29-2019, 07:07 PM
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Out of curiosity, SoCal... why not look into a 453 (2016+)? Is it a budge issue? I mean.... for a 50 mile round-trip commute... you'd probably appreciate the noticeable differences between the two.
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-29-2019, 09:13 PM
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Sounds like this car is near you. It is a plus that the owner appears to be a "smart car enthusiast"because he may know of shops in your area to service it if issues arise. I have a 2014 that i hope I never have to part with. I say both those things to say the radiator fan can be a tough fix. Insure that there is a shop close to you that can make that repair at a reasonable price if a radiator fan issue comes up. Find the thread on Cabriolet wind noise reduction with a rubber stripping. Exhaust Flex pipe is the only other crucial issue I have had as it was crucial because it can be very noisy when it breaks. Its a used car so be as cautious as any other used car purchase.
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-30-2019, 06:18 AM
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warrenty/stealship maintenance................

If you call any smart center/stealership,and give them your car's VIN number they can give you service history since new....
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