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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
UPDATE: Problem fixed.
See post number 9 below. :)

Hi everyone,

I've had my 2008 Sancho sitting on the drive way for almost a year. About a month ago I went to start it and sure enough it was completely dead. Upon trying to boost the battery everything would light up with the three bars on the dash and the engine would sound as if it wanted to start but it wouldn't.

I went and put in a new battery. And now everything lights as normal without the three bars on the dash and the engine sounds the same way as it did when I tried to boost the battery, but still it won't start.

Help?

I read in another forum that it could be rust on the alternator but the car in question was a CDI. My boy is gasoline powered.

Thanks in advance.
 

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Was your last tank of gas premium or regular? If regular or gas with ethanol it's possible that this has clogged your fuel pump or injectors. Though guess the first step is to determine if you have spark, then fuel etc.
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Premium I always put 93 and Top Tier gas.

Was your last tank of gas premium or regular? If regular or gas with ethanol it's possible that this has clogged your fuel pump or injectors. Though guess the first step is to determine if you have spark, then fuel etc.
 

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check for error codes, always a good place to start. then go for the big 3... spark compression and fuel. just basics...
 

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Fuses? kind of a long shot but sometimes they blow when you jump a car, even with a jump battery. worth a check anyhow. I have fought with cars for a long time just to find out it was a stupid fuse.
 

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There are lots of things things that can cause this. You might want to pull the spark plugs and put a drop or two of oil in each cylinder and see if you can turn the engine by hand to lubricate the cylinders. It’s not uncommon the rust to form in the cylinders after sitting so long. You should probably drain and refill the oil and fuel with fresh. If it doesn’t crank, it could be a rusted starter. You can pop the starter off and take it to an AutoZone to be tested. Check to make sure the heavy cable to the starter is not corroded too - this will definitely cause a no-start. Watch out for seized brakes too - this happened to my Smart after sitting for 6 weeks while I was in Europe. Adding some dry gas (isopropyl) to the tank wouldn’t hurt either.
 

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Is it possible since the OP said the battery was dead that the smart simply doesn't know what gear it is now. What about a simple transmission reteach and then see if the motor turns over.
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
My boy Sancho started!

Thank you everyone for the help.Wohoo!
After seeing there no codes and the fuses were still intact I figured I should try
the alternator rust fix I mentioned in the OP. It worked!

At first I was skeptical because that was in reference to a cdi smart but it was simple and straightforward so I figured it wouldn't hurt to try. The challenge like anything was having the right tools and some elbow grease.

I got those instructions from another forum which I found after a Google search. I don't know if the rules here allow to post a link to another forum so I won't until someone tells me is okay. The instructions are quoted below.

Alternator rust. Common on smarts which sit awhile. Easy to fix. Jack up right rear tire, put stand under car. Remove wheel, remove plastic inner fender liner, remove plastic belt guard.You can try rotating the alternator with the belts on, if you can't turn it you will have to take the belts off. Put the tranny in Nuetral, put a socket on the alternator pulley nut and using a breaker bar, turn the pulley clockwise until the pulley rotates. If you can't turn it you will have to take the belts off. After you break the rust loose you can spray some WD40 in the alternators vents and reassemble. Canman
The one thing I would add to those instructions is to not be afraid to give it a little gas while the engine cranks if you followed all those steps and the engine still wasn't starting. That was my case. A friend who was with me suggested giving it a little gas when it didn't start after following all those steps. Worked like a charm.


So for anyone who comes across this with the same situation and your smart isn't throwing any codes, your fuses are intact and you have always put good gas in your car, this might be your solution.
 

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Good that you got it running!

First I have heard of the rusted alternator problem but something I will keep in mind! Good information!
 
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