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2009 Smart Fortwo Passion North America (451)
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Discussion Starter #1
O-Ta~

I have been aware, for the last month and a half, that I am in-need of a timing cover gasket replacement; However, I have not had the available money, to commit, to have it fixed; As, I had spent $5,000+, in parts and labor, to have my vehicle repaired and refurbished, after purchasing it, from a Carmax location, in Dallas.

Since, purchasing the vehicle, having it repaired and refurbished, and leaving Texas; I have driven, around the outer-perimeter of the USA - The entire thing. For reference; I am, currently, at the state line of Virginia and North Carolina, as I write this; Bound to return, to Texas. After I had left Texas; I had to replace all three timing coils, plus all of my spark plugs, as-well as my valve cover gasket. That was an additional $2,000 of expenses. The coils and spark plugs were changed, in Flagstaff, AZ; While the valve cover gasket was fixed, in Medford, OR. In Seattle; I discovered, that my timing cover gasket was leaking, but was advised, not to worry, as it was a very slow leak, and would go many miles, before needing repairs.

When I reached the state line of North Dakota and Minneapolis; I was beginning to show signs of additional engine trouble -- Shaking and vibrations. No repair action was taken, as not enough money was available, to issue a work order; However, I did have referral to a mechanic, by the name of "Brady", who advised me to, again, not worry -- It was a slow leak, and would go 100K, before needing a repair -- "Just, chew-up oil, until then.". I continued-on, and pit-stopped, outside of Detroit, where I had an oil change done, and was able to inspect the gasket. Again -- A slow leak; However, it is coating the engine. A quick spray cleared the gunk.

I continued-on, through the North Atlantic and New England. No problems. I descended NYC and New Jersey. Still, good; But, shaking. Radiator fans working, as normal -- No additional activations; No signs of overheating. After dealing, with the kamikaze drivers and road rage of Baltimore, Maryland and Washington, DC; I find myself, at the state line of Virginia and North Carolina. My engine is, still, shaking -- Seemingly, as-if, I am misfiring; But, with no audible sounds, or violent shakes -- Just, minor shakes, from time to time, intermittently. I can induce some of the shaking, if I rock my vehicle, from the inside, with my body weight.

I possess a digital copy of the Smart 451 maintenance manual; And, I am able to see, that my engine contains a timing chain, and not a tooth belt -- The chain, lending credence, to a long-lasting part, that will not incur enough abuse, as to warrant changing, any time, soon -- The life of the engine? My radiator continues to operate, as normal; And, my engine continues to function. I can, however, smell the fragrance of burning oil and dirt; And, if I am mistaken; Either, the condition of virginia roads is simulating engine misfires, while I am driving; Or, I am encountering minor misfires. This concern was short-lived, and visible, around 58-61 MP/h -- It simulated a quick and hard gear shift of an automatic transmission; Despite me, having an automated manual. This may have been an effect of the roads, here.

I have 1,236 miles, until I reach Dallas -- Twelve days of travel, at my current pace. I am curious -- If any of the more-knowledgeable mechanics know -- Whether I am, still, good to go, until I reach town; Or, whether I should set-down, here. I am replacing burnt oil, as-needed -- I check oil levels, 2-3 times a day -- Every 150 miles, plus in the morning and the evening. I am not low, on oil. I am at proper levels, as-far as my dipstick indicates. My instrumentation cluster is not indicating low levels, either.

If my engine wants to fail, when I reach town, then I will not complain. I am pulling the entire drive train, in-order to convert this vehicle, into a four-wheeled trailer and portable living pod, so that I can export it, when I leave america. To clarify -- I am living, out of my vehicle, while I travel -- A Homeless Nomad.

Should there be any reason, to be concerned? I know, that a leaking timing cover gasket can incur the induction of dirt and other particulates, into the engine compartments; And, cause total failure. However -- Again; I am gutting the drive train, in time -- Replacing it, with a battery and generator combination. As of the Detroit Damage Control Check; My engine mounts were in good shape. I am suspecting worn spark plugs, though; Since, I run my engine... All of the time, to power my laptop and provide heat. There's an AutoZone, 3.1 miles, from here.

Any help is appreciated. Thanks.

Until then~
 

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2009 451 Rally Red, Pennzoil Platinum Euro 5W-40, Wix XP 51356, 185/55R15 tires, 44 psl
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Try putting half a 12 ounce bottle of Techron, the black bottle, into the gas tank.
Put the other half in next time you fill the gas tank...

AutoZone online is showing a Buy one, Get One Free deal on Techron...
 

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2009 451 Rally Red, Pennzoil Platinum Euro 5W-40, Wix XP 51356, 185/55R15 tires, 44 psl
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You can also try half a bottle of Techron Powersports And Small Engine, each time you fillup.

Smooths out the idle a lot.


3 cylinder engines run rough, because each cylinder is 120 degrees from the other,
4 cylinder engines are 90 degrees, which matches the 4 engine cycles...
 

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2009 451 Rally Red, Pennzoil Platinum Euro 5W-40, Wix XP 51356, 185/55R15 tires, 44 psl
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Not sure where in Virginia your at, but I'm in Virginia Beach Area...

Send me a PM, if your in my area, I will give you some motor oil and filters...
 

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2009 Smart Fortwo Passion North America (451)
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Discussion Starter #5
Hmm... Before I left Texas; I had my fuel injectors cleaned, by a local mechanic. As, I've been driving the highways; I've tended to stick, with Top Tier brands of gasoline - 93 octane, only. I haven't considered this, though. And, I am showing some of the signs and symptoms, listed on the checklist, of this...

Since, I had mentioned, that I tend to run my engine, at idle, for most of its activity -- In-order to power my laptop, and recharge my battery, overnight, after a long use of my amplifiers -- I was suspicious, that I may have worn my spark plugs, from excessive idling. The mechanics, in Flagstaff, had ordered Denso Iridium plugs, when they replaced my oil-soaked ones, from before I left Texas; Which, were, also Denso Iridiums.

When I, initially, replaced my spark plugs, the first time; It made starting my engine, far-easier; As-well, as a smoother and more-reliable idle. It helped, to reduce the vibrations of this engine, too. It is said, that Denso Iridium plugs are rated, for 80K-120K miles; However, again, excessive idling...

Your thoughts?
 

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2009 Smart Fortwo Passion North America (451)
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6 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Not to "jump the gun"... The local AutoZone lacks the supply of spark plugs; However, they do have a 12oz. black bottle of Techron. I can try this, in the morning; And, see, if it improves, by Raleigh, NC. If not, then I can try, replacing my spark plugs, there.
 

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2009 Smart Fortwo Passion North America (451)
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6 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Not sure where in Virginia your at, but I'm in Virginia Beach Area...

Send me a PM, if your in my area, I will give you some motor oil and filters...
Oh... I'm a good 2 1/2 hours, in the middle of nowhere -- Closer to Raleigh, NC, than I am, to Virginia Beach.
 

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2009 451 Rally Red, Pennzoil Platinum Euro 5W-40, Wix XP 51356, 185/55R15 tires, 44 psl
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1,033 Posts

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2009 Smart Fortwo Passion North America (451)
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6 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
Great! Thanks. ;)

I've topped-off my oil, and have inducted an entire 12oz. bottle of Techron, into my fuel tank. I'm not, yet, noticing a reduction of vibration; However, I'll stop, at Raleigh, and assess the condition of my motor. The detergents should have had the chance to cycle my fuel system, by then.
 

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2009 Smart Fortwo Passion North America (451)
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Discussion Starter #10
Well... I've made it, to Durham. The vibration is, still, present -- Only, not as-rough. And, now, my ABS module goes. My brake calipers are stuck, with force, applied. I've went-through the motions of hard-resetting the ECU, by removing battery power and draining the capacitors; And, I have verified, that it is not a brake light switch. My ABS amber lights are on, as are my traction "!" lights. They, only, intermittently, go-off -- For short bursts; Only, to return, above 15 MP/h.

Welp... I'm stranded. It's 00:47am, here; And, I was lucky-enough, to breakdown, at the VA hospital. It's a good thing, that I was, there, to be screened, for Coronavirus, anyways. The staff is letting me stay, overnight. I'm being towed-out, in the morning -- When the town opens-up.

Who, here, has had to replace a shot ABS module? What am I looking-at, if I have a shop do the work? It might be time, to retire the vehicle, as an automobile --- Only, to convert it, into a four-wheeled trailer; Ready, for export.

Until then~
 

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If your spark plugs are oil soaked, you have worn spark plug tube seals. I had this problem with ignition miss-firing throwing a code and replacing the spark plug tube seals did the trick. BTW, the timing chain is metal. It is visible when you remove the valve cover. Good luck on the rest of your trip.
 

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I replaced the ABS pump in my ‘08. The belly pan needs to come off, then a pair of 10mm bolts hold the bracket in. The brake line fittings are a pain to take off and put on, but DIY possible. You will probably need a trip to a dealer to bleed the air out of the pump and “mate” the new ABS pump to the car to get the yellow triangle light to turn off.
 
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