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My wife's 2008 Smart Car (30K miles) wouldn't start the other evening. It would turn over, but not start. Battery checked fine. Had it towed to local shop. Original thought was broken timing chain. When checked, the chain was fine. Mechanic performed cylinder leak-down test and found out the piston rings were bad. We have an extended warranty, so their inspector agreed something was wrong. They are sending a 2nd inspector to review the problem after the engine head is removed today. The mechanic says that we cannot purchase spare parts to repair, but that the engine will need to be REPLACED?!? and that he will have to order the engine from Germany. Estimated cost will be around $11K, which is more than we paid for the car. Does the 2008 model have a history of problems like this? Can spare parts be purchased in North America or Europe? Thanks in advance for the help.
 

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:welcome: to SCoA! :)

Not sure where in Texas you are but I'd check with a smart center on ordering parts; even at Mercedes prices it would be less than $11K. Worst case, you can find used smart engines by doing an online search. Is your mechanic fully up to speed on the smart?
 

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Thanks for the quick reply. I believe he's up to speed on the car, however I'll check with Smart Car in Sugarland to see if they can order parts. I'm seeing used engines for around $2500. Thanks.
 

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No problem; depending on the answer from Sugarland, you can always check Dallas, San Antonio and Ft. Worth for parts ordering. Piston rings shouldn't be that big a deal. :)
 

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I happen to have a spare engine in my shed, but that's for when my 2008 smartbiru dies from cyl#2 misfire, which hasn't happened yet for the last 35,000 miles of misfires. By now, it's clear to me that 2008 owners should all have spare engines at their disposal, esp if they have 2 of them 2008s like I do :)
 

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With the following givens:

1) That all maintenance was done on time.
2) The correct type of oil was used (Synthetic).
3) The car was driven normally (ie, no Hot Rodding)

Then, I will state that the engine should not need piston rings, not at only 30,000 miles!

Get a lawyer if need be, but smart USA needs to replace your engine free of charge, including any labor involved. This is just stupid to have major engine problems when it's not even broken in yet!
 

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How do you feel about trading up to a brand new 2014?
Check with your local smart center about what incentives they will offer?
 

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Something does not add up here. A smart should not need piston rings at 30,000 miles. Before I would agree to cracking open the engine I would make very sure the problem was not just due to the cylinder walls being washed down with fuel from trying to start the car. That will cause a loss of compression.

In any case I would be suspect of a mechanic who states the engine can not be repaired but need a new one at $11,000. If the engine does in fact require replacement a used engine would be a much better option.

Signed,
Naturally Suspicious.
 

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How do you feel about trading up to a brand new 2014?
As for "trading up" to another smart, probably not enough $ugar in the smart center snack bar to take the sour taste out of engine failure on a 2008 smart with only 30k miles. :bangwall:

cazoch, sorry for your mechanical failure. Was the extended warranty sold to you by M-B at the time of smart purchase? If so you might have better results if your smart was being "inspected" in tandem by a smart tech and the insurance adjuster?

And as the great Rusted One sez - piston rings at 30,000 miles, something not smelling too smart here . . .
 
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