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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
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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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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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
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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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
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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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
So, I posted in the new members area about how I got this smart passion for my wife as a surprise for Christmas and her birthday, now though her Pacifica is leaking oil onto the alternator and serpentine belt, so she will need a new car sooner than I wanted. The guy told me this was just a alternator issue, when I first got it I saw the alternator belt was broken, the right rear tire was flat and fender was damaged, upon getting it home I put key in the ignition and heard grinding noise and had the three dashes of death.
So I researched and took the shifter motor off, I removed the two ends and cleaned the motors parts with CFC mass air flow sensor cleaner, drenched it and got it all the way clean, I reassembled it and reinstalled it. I noticed the po broke the black piece the socket goes onto, he also crack and broke a piece of the housing where a bottom bolt went. I put the three bolts back in it. Tightened it, reinstalled the interior cleaned up underneath the carpet and all by hand, now the car no longer has the three lights of death, I am going to put fluid in the radiator up front , then the 10mm bolts to the coil packs are rusted and crumbling, so to figure how to remove those,? Then I’ll order new coil packs, alternator and belt. Then try to see where some of these hoses go. Of anyone has pictures of the engines assembled I’d appreciate it. Starter is new, I don’t hear fuel pump though....so will replace that also. Besides the fluids, what else would you all recommend I do before trying to crank it?
 

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Check all the fluids, serpentine belt, check the battery and you should be good for a test. They can be very particular about voltages; when there's a problem what seems like it should work for any other car just won't cut it with the Smart sometimes. Once you get used to the quirks and unique bits of the car like the automated manual trans, it really starts to feel like a normal car.

I can attest that problems with the shift motors can disrupt the whole system.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I got the shift motor cleaned and now I noticed it doesn’t have any fluid in the radiator reservoir, battery is charged the serpentine belt and the ac belt are shredded so I have to replace those and fill that first, then I will see about somehow getting the coil pack nuts off
 

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If the vehicle was operated without the alternator/water-pump belt there is a good possibility that it was overheated. The lack of coolant in the radiator fill/expansion tank also points toward this possibility. It does not take much to warp the head on this engine. :(

Before you dump a lot of money into it, I'd recommend doing a compression or leak-down test to determine the engine's condition.

~toaster
 

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Welcome to SCoA, how many miles on this MY13?

May have been some early clues BEFORE you reduced the sellers inventory of 25 DEAD “projects?”

Toaster (and Forrest Gump?) have some sage advice...

USED smarts can be “like a box of chocolates. You never know what you're gonna get!”

With that in mind, may not want to buy random parts to throw at it until you identify The Why of what caused it to seize.

Overheating has been known to kill a smart and low coolant/shredded belt can be telltale clues?

Good luck, we support your efforts to bring another smart back to life!
 

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I got the shift motor cleaned and now I noticed it doesn’t have any fluid in the radiator reservoir, battery is charged the serpentine belt and the ac belt are shredded so I have to replace those and fill that first, then I will see about somehow getting the coil pack nuts off
If the radiator reservoir was dry, you might want to burp the system. There' a small hose that connects to a pipe on the head, between it and the trans, a little below and to the rear of the throttle body you can disconnect to let the air out (if any).

I also think you're best off doing a compression test before sinking any money into it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
So I got this passion with a crank no start, that’s what I was told at least..... it’s going to be a gift for my wife. I am mechanically inclined so working on the smart isn’t a scary thing for me. I was told crankshaft sensor and the car stopped on the previous owner originally. So I checked and saw alternator saw seized solid, I replaced the alternator, I cleaned the shift motor and got it going, no more three dashes of death. I cleaned the interior completely. I had issues with rusted bolts that were no longer 10mm. With bolt extractor got the three bolts out, I replaced the plugs all three, replaced all three coil packs, only have to get the three bolts to keep it down, I thought the coolant was bone dry but it was just low took half a gallon to fill it back to max. Now....... the issue.
When I pulled the second plug I saw what I am pretty sure is antifreeze on the plug. So possibly a blown head gasket. ..... would love to do it myself but time restraints I only have a month to have this thing on the road riding. I have a drivers fender to find and either paint it myself in a pinch or maaco or earl sheib. I am taking the battery to be recharged tomorrow at Autozone my go to place since it’s only 10 mins away. Changed the serpentine belt $14 belt. I hate this setup but for those of you who don’t have the $40 tool I used a single lug tire iron, and stuck it in the hole and pryed up using the subframe. Once you get it to touch the balancer pulley I placed a golf tee that was in the car as trash in the pin and it held the tensioner In place. Once the belt was mostly one simply grab a 22mm bolt and turn the crank and let the belt go into place. The belt will be on.
I was wondering how hard is it to find the engine rebuild for this motor or even the head gasket?
 

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I’m pretty sure most others would likely agree with me on this but if you ever need the head gasket or head your better off just swapping the engine as it’s aluminum block and head and if they overheat they can likely warp.
Most of the time a warped head or block isn’t worth messing with.
 
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