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The Mercedes operating system in our Smarts can be somewhat temperamental. Generic OBD2 code readers should be able to diagnose common problems, but issues specific to the Smart require a reader with the specific code set. There are a few code readers that some users have used with greater success, but for complete diagnosis, a Mercedes Star Diagnostic machine is the way to go.
 

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Sounds like your shift actuator might be getting flaky. You can try adjusting it by movie it in 1/4” or so, then doing a transmission relearn. If that doesn’t work, it might be time for a new actuator. It’s on the bottom of the engine and relatively easy to access.

To adjust, loosen the three reverse-Torx bolts, push in a little (it’s spring loaded so you will need to hold it in place) and retighten.
 
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