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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Tldr: couldn't understand mechanic because of his mask. Car lights and dash turn on but engine won't go into any gears. The Part I'm looking for is under passenger seat called a transmission cylinder (I think)that puts the car into gear? If anyone has a picture or name of the part I'm looking for that would help my search so much and any other Info thank you.

Hello, I recently bought a 2013 smart pure in July... used 48,000 miles. This is my first time seeing this forum/website. Well.... I bought a lemon. The owner erased the check engine light drove like normal didn't feel anything was wrong. 150 miles later (2 days later) the check engine light turned on. Got the evap canister changed $400 later put on another 150 miles light back on. My car has been gone for a week already and my mechanic called today. I was informed my car would not shift into any gears or turn on. Lights and dash on but not the engine. The mechanic told me the problem is under the driver seat and the part. I couldn't understand the part name because of his mask he said something like Transmission cylinder. It's too late too call and they're closed tomorrow. So my long awaited question is does anyone know what he is talking about? I'm trying to look up the piece if I can find it. Or pictures of what it looks like and more of it's function.

This car has been stressing me out since that first check engine light.
Thanks again for reading.
 

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Hi. How did you know the prev owner had erased the CEL? He told you? CEL can be due to a loose cap. or overfilling the gas tank. CEL can go away after a few drive cycles. What were the codes? I wouldn't call the TCM (the thing under the seat) at fault yet. I'd fault the mechanic, actually; he might have never seen the inside of the smart before. And I don't think you got a lemon.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
The codes were showing a leak and possible loose gas cap. So I bought a new gas cap (previous owner said he changed it) and once I purchased a new one and changed it, the cap I ordered was much bigger. So I thought he might have gotten the wrong one. So the shop cleared the codes check engine light off. Said to come back after a certain amount of miles and they'd check it again. Light turned on after the car was driven over 120 miles. So when I took it back to the mechanic (family has been using them for over 20 years) they did a smoke test. I watched them while they did it and there was a HUGE leak coming from the evap canister. Once it was changed the car drove so much smoother for a little bit. Previous owner didn't get the title under his name at all and said he just didn't have time or funds due to covid. Now looking back it was a red flag. Since he had it only 2 months. But I had no idea about cars. I didn't even know you could clear codes at home. The place I take my car to checked again and couldn't find a leak from what I was told and got a second opinion from a specialist today (the mechanic who did my work left the same day I took my car in). They got a new guy he checked couldn't find any other leaks. So the The specialist checked everything for 5 hours and said that's what he found. The transmission cylinder was the problem.
 

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The way you check a smart is somewhat tricky. To go under the driver's seat to check the TCM (Transmission Control Module; not a cylinder), you NEED to disconnect the battery before taking off the seat. Same thing if you are taking off the tranny shifter (because I think that's what the problem is), pls disconnect the battery. Or else bad things happen. Somehow, 20 years of being your mechanic might not have prepared him for smart's little surprises...

It's a must for me to hook up my Scangauge ll to the OBD outlet all the times, esp on long trips. Our smarties lack a temp gauge, and having the scangauge helps me monitor the engine running temp, among other things. The best part of having the scangauge is of course its ability to clear some codes. Clearing codes on a smart is probably a "smart" thing with some smart drivers (me included). But also, the scangauge reads most codes. Knowing the codes heps me spar ideas and counter ideas with the smart mechanic. I do this due to worries about the non-smart mechanics out there and the awful service by the MB dealers...

Question: When the mechanic says the car won't start, what does the dash show upon trying to crank? Three bars? Or P?

-wahi
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
The original mechanic that was there has worked on smart cars before.... But again he resigned and left the shop that same day I left my car. So hearing someone else was going to do the work threw me. You could tell the owners were panicked and unprepared for all the work ahead of them. Wow thank you for the info about the temperature. I'm not sure when I get in contact with them tomorrow I will ask about the dash signs. Also throw out the possibility of what you suggested might be the problem.
 

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Sorry for your problems.
These smarts can be a can of worms when problems arise (I'm on my second one) and finding a qualified mechanic who knows smarts and is affordable can also be a problem.
Unless it is your goal, no one should buy a car expecting to know how to work on it, unfortunately it seem to be a common refrain here on the smart forum. I'm not saying it doesn't help but, it should not be expected.
Good Luck
 
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