Smart Car of America Forum banner
1 - 9 of 9 Posts

· Registered
931 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello! Checking in here for the first time in a long while. We just crossed the 25k mile threshold.

We got our ED on the road at the beginning of June, 2017, with ten miles on the odometer. This last 12 months, we've been driving it more than ever, and especially since finally getting a level 2 charger installed last November. We lived with the level 1 charging for over two years and it worked fine but the faster charging has really freed us up to drive it almost all the time.

I've noticed that the range is better with level 2 charging. Previously, I've seen that the battery seems to be able to store more energy when it is more fully discharged on a regular basis and then charged up to full. Now, I also notice a slight increase in energy content with the faster charging speeds. I've been able to exceed 100 miles on a charge four or five times, with a max of 106 miles with a couple of percent SOC remaining.

I've also noticed over the past year that if we drive very sedately for a charge or two, that the first time we floor the throttle the acceleration is not as strong as subsequent times. Along with this is that if we rapidly discharge the battery by flooring it a couple of times before charging it up from a low level, the battery also seems to store a bit more energy.

I haven't done any modifications in the past year. All that has been done is the addition of 20 mm spacers behind the OEM front wheels, and a correct wheel alignment with 0.05 degrees toe-in at each front wheel, along with loosening and retightening of all bolts on the front to gain maximum negative camber, about -0.5 degrees. We are still on our original Kumho Solus tires despite driving it very hard on occasion (once on an autocross track for six runs). The fronts still have another 5000 miles on them and the rears are just about down to the wear bars, with the primary wear being on the outer shoulders up front and the inner shoulders on the rear.

I've resisted making any handling changes, and have learned to manage the understeer better. I did buy two rear wheels and tried them both with and without the spacers. While total front end grip went up, the understeer was actually a bit worse, and transitional handling and range suffered. So, I have two rear wheels for sale!

I just ran a battery report. From past experience, the cold temperatures we now have reduce capacity by about five percent over what I will see in the summer, when the "AS/10" values are all approaching or over 19000. Even now, capacity is calculated to be 50.4 Ah, and I'd expect right between 52.5 and 53 Ah around July. So we basically have zero degradation despite the car sitting for two years, and then having run 25k miles.

Hope everyone is well and surviving the Covid-19 pandemic. I'll be sure to check back in occasionally. Following is the battery report.

--- ED Battery Management Diagnostics ---
--- v1.0.4 ---

Connect to OBD port - Waiting for CAN-Bus
........Reading data....................OK
Battery VIN: WMEEJ9AAXFK834189
Time [hh:mm]: 15:25, ODO : 40634 km
Battery Status : OK

Battery Production [Y/M/D]: 2014/10/27
Battery-FAT date [Y/M/D]: 2014/10/27
Rev.[Y/WK/PL] HW:2014/7/0, SW:2014/18/0
SOC : 100.0 %, realSOC: 98.6 %
HV : 389.0 V, -1.00 A, -0.39 kW
LV : 13.3 V
CV mean : 4171 mV, dV = 25 mV
CV min : 4148 mV
CV max : 4173 mV
OCVtimer: 4109 s
Last measurement : 0 day(s)
Measurement estimation: 0.833
Actual estimation : 0.825
CAP mean: 18575 As/10, 51.6 Ah
CAP min : 18034 As/10, 50.1 Ah
CAP max : 18390 As/10, 51.1 Ah
HV contactor state ON, low current: 3 s
Cycles left : 293019
of max. cycles: 300000
DC isolation : 65534 kOhm, OK
Temperatures Battery-Unit /degC:
module 1: 16.9, 17.2, 17.1
module 2: 16.9, 17.9, 17.1
module 3: 16.4, 17.0, 16.1
mean : 17.0, min : 16.1, max : 17.9
coolant : 15.1
# ;mV ;As/10
Individual Cell Statistics:
CV mean : 4171 mV, dV= 27 mV, s= 2.77 mV
CV min : 4147 mV, # 10
CV max : 4174 mV, # 86
CAP mean: 18366 As/10, 51.0 Ah
CAP min : 18153 As/10, 50.4 Ah, # 26
CAP max : 18489 As/10, 51.4 Ah, # 48
Voltage Distribution (dV= 27 mV):
4147 00 > [4171; 4172; 4173] < 00 4174
min [p25; median; p75] max
Reading data....OK
Status OBL Charger-Unit:
User selected : 16 A
Cable maximum : 204 A
AC L1: 244.1 V, 0.6 A
DC HV: 386.5 V, 0.0 A
DC LV: 14.5 V
Temperatures Charger-Unit /degC:
Reported : 12
Cooling plate : 12
Inlet socket : NA
Reading data.OK
Status Cooling- and Subsystems:
Temperature : 12.4 degC
Cooling fan : 0.0 %
Cooling pump : 49.0 %, 13 degC
: 14.2 V, 0.6 A
Cooling fan : 12 h
Cooling pump : 5200 h
Battery heater: 0 h, OFF
Vaccum pump : 28.930 h
Pressure 1, 2 : -720 mbar, -727 mbar

Battery VIN: WMEEJ9AAXFK834189
Time [hh:mm]: 15:25, ODO : 40634 km
SOC : 100.0 %, realSOC: 98.6 %
HV : 389.0 V, -1.00 A, -0.39 kW
LV : 13.3 V
ENTER command... (? for help)
CMD >>

· Registered
2014 Cabriolet bought in Sept 2016 with 6,470 mi
182 Posts
Worn tires yield longer range as they are less "sticky". When you put new tires on, your range will decrease slightly overall.

Personally I'd like to see what a low rolling resistance tire would do for range improvement - not using them loses 5 - 10 mpg on a Gen 1 Honda Insight.

· Registered
931 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Tires also lose up to about 2% of their rolling circumference from brand new to worn and that affects the odometer, and hysteresis losses are much greater when new as well. So I am expecting probably a 5-7% decrease in range with new tires, which will probably be the Quatrac5's in OEM sizes. As the tires have age hardened, I've gradually decreased the tire pressures I run to keep the same level of impact harshness. I was running 33.5/35 at one time and am now down to 32/34 PSI so the ability to run higher pressures may get me some of that 5-7% back.

I forgot to mention that I once had to brake hard in the wet to avoid an accident in front of me and was pretty appalled at the general lack of grip. There's way too much front brake bias when you jam on the brakes. That sudden lurch causes the regen to shut off, and then the rear brakes are basically doing nothing. I think the system was designed to lock the fronts before the rears with the regen running at full capacity. I also previously changed the front brake pads to a ceramic compound which should have lessened the front brake bias but it still wasn't enough.

After that event, I went and did a number of 70-0 stops and found that if I gradually applied braking over about the first half second to keep regen going at full capability, the stops were shorter than just jamming on the brakes and losing regen. As far as I can see, braking performance is the primary compelling reason to run larger tires on the front.

By the way, the ceramic pads are wonderful. No noise at any time, and basically zero dust. The front wheels are no dirtier than the rears, and after two months of no washing, still look pretty clean. The ED can't generate enough speed to exceed the temperature capability of the ceramic pads, so in my mind it's a win-win.

· Registered
931 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Hello and happy holidays to everyone. Checking in again, as the car is now right at 30k miles.

We haven't been driving that much so it took about nine months to do the last 5k miles, but in that time we've driven our other two gas cars less than 1500 miles each.

At about 27500 miles, the OEM Kumho Solus tires wore to the point where we didn't trust wet weather driving at freeway speeds so we replaced them with a set of Vredestein Quatrac 5 tires in the OEM sizes. Grip levels have gone up sustantially in the wet and cornering speeds indicate about 0.1G more grip on wet surfaces. I went from running 32/34PSI to 34/36 PSI with the softer, full-tread-depth Quatrac's. Range seems unchanged - we just went over 100 miles once on a single charge with a few percent left after getting the new tires. The ability to run a bit more pressure up front has helped. With the Kumho, I was limited to how much front tire impact harshness my wife and I were comfortable with. The Vredestein have less impact harshness and the higher pressure has helped take some of the wallowing the narrow front tires exhibit. As a result, understeer is reduced and builds up more linearly to the tire's traction limits. This better handling balance also comes with better transitional behavior so quick left/right/left swerves unsettle the smart less and settle faster. The tires are also very quiet. We haven't had any chance to drive on snow or ice. I'd highly recommend these tires as OEM size replacements.

We are still on the OEM battery. A report from the Sokoloff-sourced tester shows voltage remaining in the high 12 volt range after sitting for a couple of days off the EVSE. Because it's pretty rare to go even those couple of days without our ED being driven, I'll just keep the OEM battery for a while longer.

We still have nine months to go on our factory warranty but nothing has broken or needed fixing. The HV battery was tested over the summer and the "CAP min" value was 51.5 Ah, which would be just slightly more than a 1% degradation from factory specs.

We're still hoping to drive our ED until the wheels literally fall off. I've given up the idea of doing anything to modify it from a suspension viewpoint. The only thing I'd probably do to it would be to throw the Brabus battery management calibration on it but that's not that big of a deal. The Steinbauer setup seems too pricy for what it offers, and I just put a new cam, among other things, into my other car so the missus has kept a closer eye on my car modding expenses.

Hoping everyone has a good holiday season and looking forward to getting back to normal in 2021.

· Registered
530 Posts
LOL, you caught the odo before it ticked over to 30,001. In the old days one could jack up a rear wheel and run in reverse for a bit. Also you managed to achieve a 26% ECO score. Kudos to you, I don't think I've ever broken 50% and certainly not over any distance. I just aim for 40 lbs on the 12v pump gauge which is easier to see and does add to efficiency a bit.

Normalcy by 2023, yeah!!

· Registered
931 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Quickly checking in to relate a story of serious, serious range anxiety, to well beyond the clenching, puckering point!

My wife and I are not quite old enough to qualify for the current group of vaccinations, but we signed up to receive leftover vaccines and were notified that we were scheduled for Saturday (my wife) and Sunday (me). The place that had the extra vaccine is about 17 miles away, more than half of it by freeway. We also had a birthday party to attend, about 27 miles away from the vaccination clinic, most of the way on freeways. We had been trying for months to get access to extra vaccinations that would otherwise go to waste - we don't want to get in anyone's way who is in the current phase.

I convinced my wife to take the smart car. I mapped out our driving for the day and it would up being just short of 60 miles, probably 40 miles of it on the freeway. I said we could make it with about ten miles to spare if we drive conservatively. She grudingly agrees and we set out. It was a nice 60 degree day and with the secondary roads to get to the clinic, we arrived there using about 20% of the battery. As she was registering, she asked if my appointment could be moved from Sunday but was told they had the exact number of shots allocated and so it couldn't be done. She got her shot and we headed towards the birthday party. I'm driving relatively carefully to maximize range and we get there with about 40% left after having driven 45 miles with at least 35 of that on the freeway. Some traffic which slowed speeds, and judicious drafting, really helped but I wasn't being all that careful. 40% is more than enough to get us home.

The clinic closes at 4 p.m. and at 3:30 p.m., I get a call asking if I was going to come in that day to get my shot. I said I had a text message saying my appointment was tomorrow. Nope, it's today, and they close in 30 minutes. No guarantee of a shot tomorrow. They said they would stay around to wait for me because they don't want to waste a shot. There's no time to head home to switch cars, and I desperately want the shot. We decide to try to make it there and find a charger, or if we can't make it there, to go as far as we could and take an uber or taxi. I consult Google maps - reversing our route takes us through heavy traffic and the faster way is almost freeway all the way there and 34 miles. On 40% charge.

We go for it. Almost within a half mile of hitting the freeway, I find a travel trailer going exactly the speed limit (60 MPH) in the right lane. I get on its tail and try to drive as smoothly and carefully as possible. My wife and I are sweating bullets. We have to do just more than 8 miles every 10% while driving on the freeway, and into a slight headwind and with some hills. We manage just under 8 miles that first 10% and we get ready to see where we can bail and if it were possible to pre-order a taxi or uber to pick us up. We are watching the SOC meter like a hawk and it looks like we're just going to run short. I snuggle up closer to the travel trailer and we hit the exit ramp with 3% SOC and 2.5 miles to the clinic. We get there and the SOC is on 1% and I'm down to 1 bar. I go in and get my shot, and we look around for a charger. Only one is at a Nissan dealer, a mile away. We get there with the needle hovering at 0%. There are pay Blink stations but they only have Chademo, and the dealership doesn't want us to plug in at the bank of free dealer-provided J1772 stations in front where they have a row of Leafs, but eventually relent and say there's a station around the back where we can charge enough to get to another station. The needle is right on 0% when we find that back charger. We've gone just over 80 miles, with at least 60 of those on the freeway, on one charge. We breath a huge sigh of relief and charge up to about 10%, which lets us get to another charger. We find another free charger at the city hall where the vaccination clinic was, and charge it up while we try to unclench.

Definitely a day we will never forget! Fun in retrospect, but I'm sure I'll never convince my wife to take a risk and run it that close again.

· Super Moderator
MY08 cabrio MY09 Brabus MY23 Bolt
8,204 Posts
Only one is at a Nissan dealer, a mile away. We get there with the needle hovering at 0%. There are pay Blink stations but they only have Chademo, and the dealership doesn't want us to plug in at the bank of free dealer-provided J1772 stations in front where they have a row of Leafs, but eventually relent and say there's a station around the back where we can charge enough to get to another station. The needle is right on 0% when we find that back charger. We've gone just over 80 miles, with at least 60 of those on the freeway, on one charge. We breath a huge sigh of relief and charge up to about 10%, which lets us get to another charger. We find another free charger at the city hall where the vaccination clinic was, and charge it up while we try to “unclench.”
Thanks for sharing, that is quite a “not normal” experience for these challenging times!

Great that it worked out “as planned” and you both got your shots.

Sad that the Nissan dealer is so narrow minded. What an opportunity MISSED on the part of “sales/service” to do the right thing? But then I have yet to find a Nissan shop to can even talk EV!

Oh and when you say “unclenched” didn’t you mean unpucker? That’s some serious wear & tear on the old sphincter muscle!

And is your WIFE ready for another weekend RANGE ANXIETY thrill ride?

· Registered
931 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Hello, everyone. Checking in again after about 18 months. We passed 40k a little while ago and am currently at 41,500 miles or so on our 2015 that we got new with 10 miles on the odometer in June, 2017. We've had zero problems with our smart - it just continues to roll along as if it were new. Prices in our area, I guess considering the supply chain issues and the high price of gas, are way high for used smart ED's. I got an offer for $10k and after looking around, found that we could probably get about $12k for it right now. Pretty amazing since we only paid $13.2k minus the $7500 federal tax credit, so we're essentially able to sell it for almost twice what we effectively paid for it.

I ran the Sokoloff battery tester on it at the 40k mark and it shows a CAP min of 51.2 aH. This was on a relatively warm battery with ambient temps in the 70's, and after having run it down to 20% a couple of times and then fully charging it. We're still able to consistently get more than 60 miles from full to around 20% if we're not on the freeway, and we've run it close to 100 miles a couple of times. As our smart has aged, the SOC meter seems to be most pessimistic from 80% down to 65%, and most optimistic under 20%. Going from 100% to 80% usually nets us close to 20 miles, and then the 80 -> 65% gets us roughly 10 miles. Below that, it goes back to just slightly less than 1 mile per 1% SOC. We had one charge last us 104 miles, driving back and forth on a smooth and flat lake frontage road several times that had a speed limit of 35 MPH.

I put on Vredestein Quatrac 5 tires at 31k when our OEMs wore out, and after 10k they look still nearly new. They're quiet and have excellent performance in rain. We had some snow this past winter and they did better than I would have thought. Still nothing like a winter tire but good enough to get around most streets safely. I'm running 32.5 PSI up front and 34.5 PSI in back. I haven't done anything to the suspension but did bring it back in for an alignment check. Everything was still spot on - front toe is 1/16 in at both tires, and negative camber seems to have increased a bit to -0.7 and -0.8 degrees up front. I think the extra bit of negative camber has helped front end grip - that and that I'm just more and more used to

We lost our beloved Rav4 to a rear end accident last Christmas and have been with left with two, two-seat, RWD vehicles. We've been trying to get a replacement Rav4 hybrid for several months but they are hard to come by. We've kind of gotten used to only having these two limited vehicles but there have been a few times where we had to find a way to get more carrying capacity. That's usually been by borrowing our kids' cars. We realize we can't do without a larger vehicle but since 80% of all of our driving is in the smart car, it feels a bit senseless to pay $45k for a new car that's going to only get driven a couple of thousand miles a year. We've already planned a long road trip for next August so we'll have to have figured out something by then.

I've toyed with looking for four steel front rims to mount winter tires for what is expected to be a heavier snow forecast but am having problems finding them locally. Since both my kids have vehicles that are pretty capable in the snow, if I can't easily source the rims, we may just rely on them to get us around.

Otherwise, our smart pretty much still drives and mostly looks like new. There are some rock dings up front and a couple of light scrapes from others hitting us in parking lots. The roof is still clear and there's no crazing. There's basically non-existent surface rust underneath. The only area that is noticeably worn is on the black carpet right next to the throttle pedal - both my wife and I rest our foot against the carpet and it's worn through to the light colored backing. I'll stick some sort of dark patch on there one of these days. We're still on our OEM battery which is probably getting a bit long in the tooth. The Sokoloff tester said the voltage was still nearly 12.8 volts so it seems to still be holding a decent charge.

Hope everyone is doing well. I'll pop on here as much as I can and hopefully I'll have more time in the future to catch up.
1 - 9 of 9 Posts