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post #1 of 26 (permalink) Old 03-19-2019, 07:39 PM Thread Starter
 
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SmartCar Problems Mercedes Can't Fix

Hello,



I bought a Smart Passion 2009 last May. First car I've ever bought. Great deal. I LOVE it. I believe it is a model 451?



Last Summer, my dad wanted to check the anti freeze for me, he didn't drain the line. He let the car run for a good hour or so to pump out the air bubbles - he knows it wasn't the best idea, but thought it was okay, didn't know a whole lot than about the technology in a smart...



The car over heated on my way home, and shut off. All of the lights went on. I don't recall the temp light coming on first - he says it had to of, and that I missed it. Never the less, Mercedes told us than that the pistons were warped, due to all the parts being so close together that the anti freeze got into the engine, warping the pistons when it over heated. Car Done.



Mercedes said $10k CDN, for a new long block. The car cost me, $4200.00 CDN. That was in mid August 2018. The car is in really decent physical condition. My dad is a bit of a mechanic and felt really bad, and wanted to fix it for me. He has rebuilt engines all of his own vehicles, boats, motorcycles, before... but a smart is different.



By the time he got back to my car, it'd been 5.5 months - the idea was to find another engine to place in, or rebuild and fix the pistons, but I guess he forgot, and rebuilt the head gasket.



***The car turned back on, and seemingly worked for him. He could start it and drove it around. I picked it up, and it took longer and longer for it to turn on when trying to run the motor (sorry I'm not technical/mechanical at all) but dad didn't see anything wrong with it, and I took it. Back home, it wouldn't start, needed a boost, we thought it was the cold, but you know running it all over town for a good hour, shutting it off, and than restarting - it wouldn't restart even with a warm engine.



Dad took it back to Mercedes, apparently they said something about the head gasket, so - hence he fixed that... but than they're still saying it's the head gasket, it is leaking out the top, I guess due to the pistons being warped.. They also mention, that once the pistons get warped there is really no coming back from it. Mercedes mentions low compression hence the pistons.




Dad tinkered and told me, it's fine, it works, he puts the key in, it turns on, he runs around in it. I took it again, and used it 6 times in a row. With every time it took longer and longer to turn on.



Dad feels that if it were the low compression, the car wouldn't start at all. He feels it is something else. Thoughts?



Over all, I really am thankful for my dad, but at the same time, I wanted a newer version, and I wish I'd waited just a little bit longer, to buy it. I've put nearly $2k CDN into it, as it had another issue, and dad didn't have time to figure it out - thus far all the knowledge dad has about the mechanics of vehicles haven't really helped here with this smart car. He's spoken to other mechanics, and he may be dropping it with a friend that is a studied mechanic - hot rodder - mercedes


Also, I'd love to bring it to the mechanic that fixed another issue on the car, but cost me an arm and leg, seeing as I paid practically nothing for this car. I can't afford to. I haven't been able to get steady work since the car died last August.


My dad is going to check the fuel pressure on the car, he thinks maybe it is the fuel injector??


This last time that I left the car with dad, he couldn't always start it, but than after he'd left it for a day or two, he put the key in, and it started...





Might anyone have any other idea's about what we could check?



Thanks in advance!
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post #2 of 26 (permalink) Old 03-19-2019, 07:57 PM
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Honestly it sounds like the dealership is correct.

The temperature light not coming on when the engine overheats is unfortunately common. I believe it has to do with how it functions. If it's reading air from a bubble, you won't get an accurate reading.

You can try running Marvel Mystery Oil through the engine and it may work, but it does sound like the engine is warped.
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post #3 of 26 (permalink) Old 03-19-2019, 10:19 PM
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If you drain the cooling system, you MUST remove the air bubble stuck in the engine head, by removing the upper hose and let the air out. Running the motor will not get rid of it. The coolant lines to the radiator are lower than the motor so any air trapped in the motor will not feed into the radiator. Chances are this is what messed up the first motor, and may have taken out the second one (??)

If you have low compression on one cylinder, the computer will sense it and shut down that cylinder to try and keep it from being damaged. Shutting of the motor and restarting it will let it run for a bit until it figures compression is low, and it will shut it off again. Could be low compression from a valve, or rings, or head gasket, or warped head. OR it could be a bad spark plug, or coil. Sometimes a treatment of Marvel Mystery Oil will do the trick and make it run, sometimes not. It is fairly inexpensive and worth a try.


a 2009 is probably due for a new battery (if it is original) and probably coils. What does the oil look like? if it looks like it has glitter in it, then it is toast.
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post #4 of 26 (permalink) Old 03-20-2019, 05:15 AM
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Before throwing any more parts at this, test out what the dealership is saying. Rent a compression tester from an auto parts store and give it a go.
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post #5 of 26 (permalink) Old 03-20-2019, 10:12 AM
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And you most likely won't have to "rent" the tester. Most of the McParts stores loan out such stuff for free.

Len
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post #6 of 26 (permalink) Old 03-20-2019, 01:45 PM Thread Starter
 
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Hello, thanks for the answers, I will have to get him to have a look at the answers here and answer more thoroughly.



He tested the compression in his shop at home, and says the Mercedes dealership, and his gave different answers.


I'll pass that information by him about the Marvel Mystery Oil.



I believe he checked the spark plugs, and coils, and said those checked out fine.



I don't think the oil looked as if it has glitter in it, but I will ask him.



We are in Alberta, Canada.
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post #7 of 26 (permalink) Old 03-20-2019, 04:58 PM
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What was the compression at his shop? Bad compression on just one cylinder is enough to make the engine have a very bad day. Mine would only reliably run on a single cylinder for a while. I'd start the car on three but the car would very quickly drop one or two cylinders. Oof. Running that Marvel Mystery Oil for a while seemed to be part of the solution (I also ran spark plugs of a slightly higher heat range, no idea if it had any impact).
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post #8 of 26 (permalink) Old 03-20-2019, 05:18 PM
 
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Originally Posted by jimvw57 View Post
If you drain the cooling system, you MUST remove the air bubble stuck in the engine head, by removing the upper hose and let the air out. Running the motor will not get rid of it. The coolant lines to the radiator are lower than the motor so any air trapped in the motor will not feed into the radiator. Chances are this is what messed up the first motor, and may have taken out the second one (??)

If you have low compression on one cylinder, the computer will sense it and shut down that cylinder to try and keep it from being damaged. Shutting of the motor and restarting it will let it run for a bit until it figures compression is low, and it will shut it off again. Could be low compression from a valve, or rings, or head gasket, or warped head. OR it could be a bad spark plug, or coil. Sometimes a treatment of Marvel Mystery Oil will do the trick and make it run, sometimes not. It is fairly inexpensive and worth a try.


a 2009 is probably due for a new battery (if it is original) and probably coils. What does the oil look like? if it looks like it has glitter in it, then it is toast.





I got very lucky after a coolant change at the Oklahoma City dealer. Left right after they were closing for the 1 hour trip home. Scanguage showed temp rising and kept an eye on it. Hit 210 and I pulled over and of course they now were closed. Let it cool, next exit found a very steep hill. Nose up, reved the engine and it then started to cool. Drove it home and all was normal. Not a happy camper with the dealers work. I think they just wanted to leave and did not do the service correctly.
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post #9 of 26 (permalink) Old 03-20-2019, 11:09 PM
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Parking on a hill, it would have to be an awfully steep hill to get the lowest part of the motor above the head for an air bubble to be forced out. Coolant hoses are under the floor of the car to get to the radiator up front.
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post #10 of 26 (permalink) Old 03-21-2019, 05:17 AM
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210 also isn't overheating just yet. My 2012's fan doesn't even kick in until 212 and the absolute highest reading I've seen was maybe 214...then it immediately went down to 188.
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