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I was searching marketplace and ran across a 2013 passion. My wife has been wanting one of these cars since forever!!!! So the guys said it only needed a alternator and crankshaft sensor and a front fender. Now I’ve worked on cars for many years. But I’ve never worked on a smart. I know they are Mercedes in the beginning but now Mitsubishi does the motors on them. That I knew. The guy had a new starter already, he had replaced battery also. Said crane no start. The original owners he got it from the female was driving and it just died on her. In my mind I’m wondering what’s more to the story??? So I know it’s not something I will run into for the price the guy had it listed 1800 obo in his yard he had 25 “projects” it was a house of horrors for myself he was selling puppies even. Nothing ran. So he tried to hype me up on the car but I knew if it wasn’t too bad I could fix it. So I had it towed to my house told my wife it’s a car I’m fixing for someone else. She literally cried seeing it in person she hugged this dirty nasty car that wasn’t hers but she said she’d never get to see one again probably.
So, diagnostic time! I plugged my foxwell in and .....at first old codes for transmission. So I cleared them, first part is getting a clear slate to get it running. So cleared the codes. Cranked and cranked and nothing. When put key on on position I have three dashes I hear what I thought was the fuel pump possibly but it was a grinding noise not the whining whirl I am used to. So, I looked further into it. It was 9 hours of internet research it was the electronic transmission doing it thing. I had a service light on -999 miles over due for oil change....I reset that. I will do oil change next. But I got it cranking til the battery went dead. It cranks just no fire, so I tried the relearn trick to turn key to the on position go through the gears and it worked .....so I thought took key out turned it back on and three dashes now after ten seconds the park shows and it cranks no issue. So I wondered if it has fuel bc I wasn’t hearing the pump. I sprayed starting fluid into the throttle bc the air cleaner was already off. Still no go. I noticed the belts weren’t on the alternator. I went to spin it and it was seized!!! Now I know why the belt broke on the girl it was caked with dirt. Horrible spot for a alternator. So I’m hunting eBay. I will order 3 new coil packs for 22.01 each, I found a fender 3 1/2 hours away for $50 at a junk yard . Other wise I will hunt the forum but I can’t find parts anywhere. eBay cheapest is $176. I will get another alternator on eBay lkq has one for $40. I bought three plugs already. Now the question...... the fuel pump is ridiculously high. I have replaced many pumps. They have two that are $25 that are high flow pump only not complete assembly. Can I disassemble the assembly and replace the pump or do I HAVE to get the complete assembly? Used one is $100 lkq but I will go brand new probably for $300 if I can’t find an answer on the $25 option. From reading these things have pump issues.
I’ll be ordering belts and a crankshaft position sensor also and a air filter.So far I’ll be spending just as much as I did for the car it seems just to get it started. Then it has to be painted and everything else needs checked, suspension cleaning the interior can we install a touchscreen in these things? And why do you need paddle shifters on a smart car???? I do like the glass roof though.
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If you get this Smart up and running running with total buy in of $2,500, a bunch of sweat equity, and a wife who adores it... it would not be a mistake.

Looking at the pic of the rear it looks like it either has now or at least has had a broken flex pipe mostly caused buy degraded front motor mount. As handy as you appear to be, weld the flex pipe in back in place. Until you decide to replace the muffler unit treat it as NO BIG Deal, or you will frustrate yourself with ridiculous and unnecessary Smart exhaust prices.

Back to the up side.
Why a Smart has Paddle Shifters is because they are nice to shift with. Understand from the beginning that Your Smart is a 5 speed sequential shift manual transmission car. It has a computer controlled clutch. Treat and Drive your car as a 5 speed sequential shift manual transmission car using the gear shifter on the floor to do your shifting * note car will down shift itself when coming to a stop light as so forth* . The reason for this is the as a 5 speed sequential shift manual transmission car using the gear shifter on the floor to do your shifting will make the car and the driver the happiest. Just put that in your mind for later when you get it running. You can put any radio in it you want. High end units came with touch screens and navigation. Last point that must not be discounted the Smart software logic is Mercedes Benz based so any software and sensor logic see what Mercedes says it should do and act like.

You are doing some annoying and difficult work chasing an unknown issue. You should find a used car lot with a Smart, running in top shape and test drive it as well as visually look it over to know what really goes where. to compare it to your wife's red one.
and then.........

You could stop right now and part that car out and Make a profit.
You can move on with the fix knowing that...You could stop and part that car out and Make a profit.
As the members begin to share there knowledge and ideas of what might be the issue press them for clear answers.

Love it....... Wife already does.
Fix it........... You are working on that.
Drive it ....... The goal.

My Before and After shots

64617



64630


64634



64628




64629


4 years in and still in progress. Its a Car worth having ... do your thing.
 

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Welcome!!! A couple notes:

- The "-999" on the dash doesn't actually mean it's 999 miles overdue for an oil change, but that it's 999 days overdue for an oil change. If you're lucky, someone has changed the oil sooner than that and just didn't know how to reset the counter.

The counter works in days and miles. It counts days in single numbers and miles by hundreds. 10,000 miles or 365 days, whatever happens first. So if the negative number is a multiple of 1, it's definitely counting in days.

- The fuel pumps in these should last the life of the car, provided the car isn't sitting for very long times (allowing fuel to varnish) and the tank isn't run dry. While the tank has a reserve, the fuel pump needs that fuel to stay cool and lubricated. So running it deep into the reserve runs the risk of damaging the pump. Some people do it anyway and get rewarded with a dead pump.

- The three lines on the display is the Three Bars of Death. That grinding noise you heard was probably the clutch actuator trying to move. It's not uncommon for a smart that has been sitting for a while to get this error. Put the shifter through each gear and the error should clear. If not, you may need to remove the clutch actuator, clean it, lube it, then reinstall. If the car was indeed just sitting in someone's yard, it'll probably need to be cleaned and lubed.

- These cars have paddle shifters for the reason twcom states. The transmission is a single clutch manual transmission with the clutch controlled by the computer. These are often called a "Formula 1 gearbox" by some in automotive media. The paddles allow you to take control of when each shift happens!

If you weren't a DIYer I'd say you got screwed on price. Any one of your issues would bring the cost to more than a running one if you had a mechanic fix them. But as you're doing the work yourself the total cost should still be pretty low. And once it's fixed it should serve you well for years to come!
 

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I bought a junker earlier this year and have been enjoying the proces of getting it back into running order (not there yet).

The grinding/whirring noise could be the secondary air pump. It kicks in when starting the car and runs for about 30 seconds afterwards. It's on the passenger's side, just inside the wheel well and it making a bit of noise is normal (assuming that's the source).

Do not, under any circumstance, start it without the belts as that belt powers the water pump and the heads on the Mitsubishi can warp easily, that's how I got my junker. If you have a leak down tester, it might be worth testing it now before you get too far in. Replacement motors can be had, but they aren't cheap like many of the more common ones.

Getting to the alternator and working on it is a piece of cake, there's tons of room.... Sounds strange, no? Get or fabricate a set of engine lowering bolts / record release botls. They allow you to separate the drive subassembly from the unibody by about 9 inches. They install easily in minutes and will make what looks to be a complete pain become a trivial task. They pay for themselves in saved bloodshed. :p If you need info on fabricating a set, ask and I'll provide all the info you need, but I found the cost to fabricate not too much cheaper than the price to buy if you shop around.

Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter #5
If you get this Smart up and running running with total buy in of $2,500, a bunch of sweat equity, and a wife who adores it... it would not be a mistake.

Looking at the pic of the rear it looks like it either has now or at least has had a broken flex pipe mostly caused buy degraded front motor mount. As handy as you appear to be, weld the flex pipe in back in place. Until you decide to replace the muffler unit treat it as NO BIG Deal, or you will frustrate yourself with ridiculous and unnecessary Smart exhaust prices.

Back to the up side.
Why a Smart has Paddle Shifters is because they are nice to shift with. Understand from the beginning that Your Smart is a 5 speed sequential shift manual transmission car. It has a computer controlled clutch. Treat and Drive your car as a 5 speed sequential shift manual transmission car using the gear shifter on the floor to do your shifting * note car will down shift itself when coming to a stop light as so forth* . The reason for this is the as a 5 speed sequential shift manual transmission car using the gear shifter on the floor to do your shifting will make the car and the driver the happiest. Just put that in your mind for later when you get it running. You can put any radio in it you want. High end units came with touch screens and navigation. Last point that must not be discounted the Smart software logic is Mercedes Benz based so any software and sensor logic see what Mercedes says it should do and act like.

You are doing some annoying and difficult work chasing an unknown issue. You should find a used car lot with a Smart, running in top shape and test drive it as well as visually look it over to know what really goes where. to compare it to your wife's red one.
and then.........

You could stop right now and part that car out and Make a profit.
You can move on with the fix knowing that...You could stop and part that car out and Make a profit.
As the members begin to share there knowledge and ideas of what might be the issue press them for clear answers.

Love it....... Wife already does.
Fix it........... You are working on that.
Drive it ....... The goal.

My Before and After shots

View attachment 64617


View attachment 64630

View attachment 64634


View attachment 64628



View attachment 64629

4 years in and still in progress. Its a Car worth having ... do your thing.
I love the wheels on yours. Today took the interior out the car has heated leather seats. Im going to charge the battery it’s only 4 months old. I was going to find a new a way to get the coil packs out rusted stripped bolts. The design of this car is so weird. Everything is open to elements that shouldn’t be. I get paid next week so I’ll spend the $700 for new parts. I will have to look at videos for the clutch motors to remove and clean them. Going to try the shifter fix also. I already got plugs. I’m going to order the belt also
 

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Do not power up the car with the seats out and SRS connectors unplugged or you'll set a code that will need a STAR machine to reset...😀
 

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You can start the car without belts if your goal is just confirming that it can start. Just shut it off as soon as you get that confirmation though. :)

I'm not sure that sound is the secondary air injection pump. I've never heard the pump come on after simply turning the key? Usually it's after a successful engine start.
 
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I love the wheels on yours. Today took the interior out the car has heated leather seats. Im going to charge the battery it’s only 4 months old. I was going to find a new a way to get the coil packs out rusted stripped bolts. The design of this car is so weird. Everything is open to elements that shouldn’t be. I get paid next week so I’ll spend the $700 for new parts. I will have to look at videos for the clutch motors to remove and clean them. Going to try the shifter fix also. I already got plugs. I’m going to order the belt also
Wheels and styling is something to look forward to after you are up and running, Everyone remember initial report is car shut off while being driven normal. Anyone have that happen.?
 

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You can start the car without belts if your goal is just confirming that it can start. Just shut it off as soon as you get that confirmation though. :)

I'm not sure that sound is the secondary air injection pump. I've never heard the pump come on after simply turning the key? Usually it's after a successful engine start.
Yeah I think it’s a shifter sounds it’s a grinding noise when I turn the key and the three lights are blinking then after about 15 secs it stops and the park symbol shows up, now I don’t hear the fuel pump. I went to the evilution site and they suggested a secondary fuse box for the fuel pump under the seat so I pulled both seats.... and center console. And my fuse box isnt there instead it’s a box by Mitsubishi there.
 

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Do not power up the car with the seats out and SRS connectors unplugged or you'll set a code that will need a STAR machine to reset...😀
Yeah not starting the car with seats out I was going to hunt for the fuse box under the seat from the evilution site for the fuel pump fuse, but I don’t have the one they show. I have a Mitsubishi box under mine and a little box next to it. So while interior is out I will just clean the inside really good make it smell better at least and detail it get all the trash out before I put seats back in. I did however find out that the 10mm bolts are rusted to wear the heads are not able to be a 10mm anymore. So I’ll have to figure that out to put new bolts so I can remove the coil packs and install new ones and spark plugs
 
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