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My wife and I just finished a 7,778 mile cross-country trip in my 2008 smart from upstate NY to San Diego for our honeymoon. Our path was Mammoth Cave (KY), New Orleans, San Antonio, Tucson, San Diego, Grand Canyon, Bryce Canyon, Arches NP, St Louis, Charleston (SC), Rochester (NY).

For those considering Smartball or a similar trek, here are the lessons I learned:

1. The winds in the west are TREACHEROUS on our smarts. Keep both hands on the wheel at all times. There were times I was driving with 15° of wind correction, and was passed by an 18-wheeler at 90mph making enough wind imbalance to almost yank the wheel out of my hands. Please please please be careful

2. Depending on the path you take, the Rockies will tax your engine. Make sure your coolant is filled with no air gaps. If you have problems, you will overheat. We got stuck in a 2-hour traffic jam and we saw several cars with overheating issues.

3. If you have ever experienced a problem with your shift actuator, consider replacing it before you go. On two occasions, my smart shifted into neutral while in heavy traffic, forcing a coast to a stop in a nasty, dangerous location with a flashing “N” or nothing on the display. After 15 minutes of tying to get it recalibrated, I was able to get the car into gear again. I took my spare actuator with me, changed it out in Tucson, and had no problems afterwards. Being trapped in a little car on a bend with very little shoulder on the road while cars whiz by at 70 is not fun.

4. Bring spare bulbs if you can. The Walmart we stopped at to replace a burned-out headlight was short on bulb stock. A set was about $50. Check them daily or you might find yourself getting flashed by well-meaning motorists.

5. Each region we drove through has characteristic driving styles and personalities. Be prepared for behaviors that aren’t typical where you are familiar driving. There are a LOT of jerks and highway bullies.

6. If you don’t have one, consider a spare tire, scissor jack, and wrench to take off the smart’s lug nuts. Not every AAA truck will have the correct wrench and instead of changing a tire, you may be getting a tow. Also, COVID rules in some states will not allow drivers to have passengers in their tow trucks, meaning you may also need to get a taxi or Uber to reunite you with your smart.

7. Don’t drive tired. It’s just not worth it.

8. I used the opportunity to really check to see if premium fuel matters. There is no question in my mind it does! It was easy to see from tank-to-tank that 93 octane produced 42-43 mpg, while lower 89-91 octane gave about 37-38. I bought octane booster and used it at almost every fill up and I’m happy I did.

9. It’s clear that some stations are either charging for higher octane and providing lower level fuels, or are just getting crappy quality from their suppliers. It go to the point where it was painfully obvious that the fuel I bought was lower quality within 30 miles or so after departing. If you care, stick with fuel stations with names you know and trust.

10. Be prepared to answer a lot of questions about your smart. So fun!
 

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My wife and I just finished a 7,778 mile trip.....
For those considering Smartball or a similar trek, here are the lessons I learned:
1. The winds in the west are TREACHEROUS on our smarts. Keep both hands on the wheel...
7. Don’t drive tired. It’s just not worth it.
Your life or others sharing the road with you.
Someone is trying Solo 40 HOURS straight through NY to LA.
Pray to God no innocent people are killed by an overtired driver.
 

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2009 451 Rally Red, Pennzoil Platinum Euro 5W-40, Wix XP 51356, 185/55R15 tires, 44 psl
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Small amounts of Techron, and even smaller amounts of 2 cycle oil help.

Adding 3-5 PSI of air to the tires helps mileage and tire wear....

I have found the original coolant was really weak,
I topped off the first 8 ounces with full strength, then 50/50.
A jug of concentrate and a jug of distilled water was cheaper than two jugs 50/50...
I got a metal water bottle from Goodwill to carry in my car, marked clearly "Antifreeze Poison!"

One Bars Leak Tablet keep leaks at bay...
 

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I prefer G-48 personally, just saying.

Who's driving SOLO? 40 hrs for that is nuts.

It's probably too late but for 2013 up the Brabus front spoiler did wonders for highway stability, (added on top of the rear spoiler at least). Got mine at Beverly Hills Smart Center for a decent price considering the Brabus name...

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  • You can buy light bulbs for a smart, at any auto supply store.
  • 91 octane fuel is pretty common across the country. In a pinch 89 will do
  • Get yourself a tire patch kit. ( no need, for carrying around a heavy spare, limited space)
  • Tow trucks, can handle any kind of vehicle emergency.
  • A cell phone is you best friend, in your car.
  • Buy a lithium battery jumpstart charger. For Dead car battery, charging your cell phone, emergency flash light/flashers.
  • If your scared of being wind blowing your smart car around. Don’t drive cross Kansas. Especially the middle potion.
  • We‘ve driven to Rocky Mountain National Park Colorado, many times in the smart. No issues of over heating.
  • Save your brakes coming down the mountains. Use engine braking.

Some other advice. If you plan a over 7K mile trip, In a smart car. make sure you have gonads, that are are made of stone. Get yourself a Blow up hemorrhoid cushion.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I prefer G-48 personally, just saying.

Who's driving SOLO? 40 hrs for that is nuts.

It's probably too late but for 2013 up the Brabus front spoiler did wonders for highway stability, (added on top of the rear spoiler at least). Got mine at Beverly Hills Smart Center for a decent price considering the Brabus name...

Sent from my moto g(7) power using Tapatalk
JZ,

Can you post or send photos of the spoilers, please? I’m interested!

Philly,

I have the same size tires with new treads on all 4 corners of my smart.
 

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I'm not even sure I took pictures, before I lost her to an accident. Too busy enjoying... But I did find a video on how she looked. I did the front lip and rear top spoiler. Couldn't see a significant difference I did not change the side skirts. I'll get you the part #s when I get home. Just finished dinner at the McDonald's on the corner of PCH and Diamond St.

EDIT- Mine was a coupe this on is a Cabrio so no top spoiler.


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Can the top spoiler be used on the cabrio?
I’m thinking of adding them to mine.
I don't think so. When I first got the smart I tried to source the front spoiler. I couldn't find someone to sell it to me. Smart Madness has/had a carbon fiber one but I ordered a cheap one from AliExpress. I did not like how it looked, so tried again with the Brabus one. Sure enough got it. There was a big difference in price between West Covina and Beverly Hills so I just drove there and ordered it. Spent the hours in traffic I ended up getting a Nav update for a '12 E-Class from them as well. Just to clarify you have a '13-up 451? That's with the different front valance as you can see in the pics, life cycle refresh aka life cycle impulse.

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I did find the part numbers:

BRABUS Roof Spoiler- A45178900588 I got this from smartonlineparts.com before they closed down their online shopping/discount, I believe Benzel-Busch (sp)? I wrote in pencil $331.

BRABUS Front Spoiler- S451-880-04-08 Per my receipt this was $280 at BH Smart Center.

(notice the 451, that is usually the chassis designation FYI)

You can usually leave out the "A" or "S" when searching online. Also the "-".

There's another user here who got the front spoiler after me. He seemed happy as well. Will go try to find his username as I don't think he's been here in a while. He actually installed it himself. I should still have the instructions somewhere. (EDIT- @Johannesl)

People who know Mercedes Benz know about BRABUS. They are an independent tuner/company in Bottrop, Germany. The major tuners are AMG, BRABUS, Carlsson, Lorinser, and RENNtech (in FL). I actually got to visit two of them, AMG (fully owned by MB now, only outside as they were closed by the time we got there, and RENNtech in there old location/building. Why did I mention this? Because you get what you pay for. The attachment is much more secure to the front lip.

 

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Ok thanks.
Mine is a 09 if it helps.
I definitely want the front one to help keep the car from being pushed by crosswinds(noticed one day it is and wow it can be a bit uneasy when your not expecting it)
 

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Ok thanks.
Mine is a 09 if it helps.
I definitely want the front one to help keep the car from being pushed by crosswinds(noticed one day it is and wow it can be a bit uneasy when your not expecting it)
Brabus had a different design for this the pre-'13 model year. I'm going to check if I can find the part number....

Here it seems:
A4518800008
I believe it had fog AND DRL lights, or was it fog and driving lights?

 

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Len, @sokoloff shared this free Electronic Parts Catalog (EPC) a long time ago. It's still a treasure @ free. Hats off to Len, (thank you)....


I'm afraid seems like some parts mixing between new and old happened. I was looking for the parts for the quad lights. I can try to look further if you decide you're serious....

EDIT-. Found an article on the BRABUS Ultimate 112:


That's the front.
 

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One more trick up my sleeve to share. Try to find a VIN to a BRABUS Ultimate and you now have access to the parts for it.

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When you go to parts store/smart dealer with VIN check part number for front spoiler, if it's that one with lots of zeros you know it's real.

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[QUOTE="smark, post: 1697910, member: 19486"

Some other advice. If you plan a over 7K mile trip, In a smart car. make sure you have gonads, that are are made of stone. Get yourself a Blow up hemorrhoid cushion.
[/QUOTE]

While the Smart suspension surely is harsh when taking pot hole hits. Lubing the chassis is necessary to keep it working properly. Silicone spray lube every suspension point that should move, twist, or pivot. Makes a huge huge ride difference
 
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