Flat tow 453 and bungee? - Smart Car Forums
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 08-03-2019, 10:08 PM Thread Starter
 
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Flat tow 453 and bungee?

I've read over the years about needing to hook a bungee cord between the steering wheel and the driver's seat rail to keep the steering from oscillating lock-to-lock while being towed behind a motorhome. I wonder if this applies to the 2016 and later cars. Anyone with experience? I think the newer cars have front wheels that track directly in front of the rears, and the wheelbase is wider, which might affect how the car tows behind a motorhome. I also wonder if the steering oscillation occurred behind both class A and class C motorhomes. When one turns in a class C, the tail of the motorhome swings in the opposite direction at slow speeds (watch out for gas pumps). There is a minimal opposite swing in the class A, so there may be less of a side load on the front wheels of the 453. I'm asking because I am having my 453 modified to allow flat towing, and I will be doing this in the next few days. I suppose it couldn't hurt to attach a bungee to the steering wheel, but again, is it needed?
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 08-04-2019, 06:44 AM
 
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 08-05-2019, 12:34 AM
 
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We all recommend you read the manual before towing...


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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 08-05-2019, 05:13 AM Thread Starter
 
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I did read the manual. It addresses towing if the car is otherwise disabled (p 152-154). Violent, lock-to-lock, steering oscillations resulted in owners addressing this problems in forums over the years. The advice given was to secure the steering wheel with a bungee cord attached to the driver's seat frame. I have not seen this issue addressed in the past couple years, and wondered if the change in the wheelbase, which occurred in the 2016 model, solved this problem. Smart released additional towing instructions earlier this year. The instructions specified carrying out a specific procedure involving the transmission and battery, and the last step was to leave the key in the ignition, which implies the steering wheel should not be locked. I am asking whether there are 2016 and later Smart drivers who flat tow their cars behind a motorhome who find they must stabilize the steering wheel with a bungee cord to prevent steering oscillation.
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 08-05-2019, 05:53 AM
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Do you have the manual transmission or the DCT? The manual transmission cannot be flat towed.

https://www.smartcarofamerica.com/fo...-towed-115242/

The owners manual has distance and speed limits for towing:
Quote:
The vehicle can be towed a maximum of
30 miles (50km). The towing speed of 30 mph
(50 km/h) must not be exceeded.
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 08-05-2019, 10:31 AM Thread Starter
 
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I have the DCT. I would refer everyone to Smart Car Forums > Technical >453 >smart Towing > 453 Official Flat-Tow instructions. There is also a link to these towing instructions from Smart. Now, if you read this link, you'll find instructions for flat towing a car with DCT. I followed these instructions, and they work. There is also a YouTube video showing how to follow these instructions. The instructions don't address the known problem with steering that appear to pertain to earlier Smarts.
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 08-21-2019, 07:42 AM
 
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Benn towing my 453 for 3000 miles no bungee cord needed, it tracks fine. You do have to follow the flat tow instructions EXACTLY. A couple of times when taking it out of flat tow mode moved the gear shift before turning the ignition on and the gearshift wouldn’t go into park and I couldn’t turn the ignition on or get the key out. Fortunately disconnecting the battery and starting all over reset everything.
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