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3 Bars of Death - Need help!

3256 Views 5 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  mattdunn
I have a 2014 Smart fortwo (31k miles) that I picked up recently and I'm trying to get it running. This is my first Smart car so please excuse my ignorance.

When I attempt to start the car, I get 3 bars on the dash. Won't even turn over. It doesn't throw any codes on my (basic) OBD2 reader. I've been reading here about different things to try.

I pulled the clutch actuator off and it appears mechanically sound. I lubricated inside and cleaned the electrical contacts. Two questions regarding this:
1) Is there any way to test the function of the clutch actuator with it off the car?
2) When I opened it up and was messing with it, I accidentally actuated it and it pushed into the "out" position, as if it were pushing in the clutch. I can't put it back on the car in that position. How do I get it to go back inward?

My next step this weekend is to look at the shift motors. Any help with this would be so much appreciated!

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Emm. One of my first problems with the smart was the troublesome actuator. One big caution exacted to anyone trying to lube the actuator was to first DISCONNECT the battery or else "bad things can happen.." I never try to find out what might, as I'd always disconnect my battery for things like actuator, seat removal, and starter work...
Too bad you pulled the clutch actuator off. Not easy to get it to retract. I would have first tried to do the transmission re-teach. Key in #1 position, foot on brake, slowly move gear selector through the gears and back to park. Should hear some clicking coming from the rear of the car letting you know the transmission is relearning. Also look at the stop light switch. They have been known to fail and you will get the same symptoms you are experiencing. You might also want to get a subscription to as well as check out the tutorials on U-tube.
I tried the transmission re-teach several times, wasn’t making any progress. Not sure how I’m going to get this actuator to retract.
Check this out. Post #4

Check this out. Post #4

Thank you, this is exactly what I needed. I’ll try this tonight.
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