Smart Car of America Forum banner
1 - 20 of 36 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
18 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 ·
[Moved from General Discussion forum]

Hi there,

My name is Gabe. I just joined this forum. I've found a 2015 Smart Fortwo Passion electric vehicle for sale, and it has less than 18,000 miles on it. My late mother-in-law had a gas-powered smart and absolutely loved it, and she'd be happy to know that I'm thinking of getting this one.

In short, my too-good-to-be-true alarm is going off, and I'm trying to decide whether that's healthful skepticism or outright paranoia. I've been reading some posts here about battery degradation. I wondered how much loss of efficiency was tied to the battery's absolute age as opposed to how much it has been used. I talked to the dealer about this, and he tells me that although any such battery will degrade, this one should be in good shape because of the low mileage. I have this possibly unfounded fear that I'll buy the car and then the battery will lose most of its power before I make it back home—maybe an effect that wouldn't be detectable in what will probably be a short test drive.

The car has had two owners and no accidents, so I'm curious why it was ever sold. My other half speculates that those earlier owners couldn't handle the limited range of the car in a large metro area and decided to go back to conventional gas-powered cars—but that's just a supposition. Maybe they both found something horribly wrong with it and got rid of it? I guess I can't ever know why previous owners made their decisions. I doubt a Carfax report would give those reasons.

I suppose that (either before or after purchase) I could take it to a Smart service center, but I live in fear that I'd be told the battery needs to be replaced (and some website I found yesterday said that it was recommended to change the batteries in smart electric cars every 4 years—yikes!), at considerable cost. But I love the idea of reducing my environmental impact by driving an electric car (my other half has a Prius).

I'd be most grateful for any insights.

Wishing everyone a great day,
Gabe
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
[Moved from General Discussion forum]

Hi there,

My name is Gabe. I just joined this forum. I've found a 2015 Smart Fortwo Passion electric vehicle for sale, and it has less than 18,000 miles on it. My late mother-in-law had a gas-powered smart and absolutely loved it, and she'd be happy to know that I'm thinking of getting this one.

.............

I purchased a Red '09 Smart w/33k original a few years ago from an original owner. Would not start. I bought it for a song. Turns out it just need a replacement clutch actuator ($1,100), and has been very reliable every since. Then last yr I purchased a white '15 Smart ED w/13k from a bank auction for $4800. We have put on around 3k miles. ZERO issues. LOVE IT.

You would think the MBZ dealer would have a "record" of any work or recalled on this Smart you have interest in. Contact the prior owners. Did you check? BUY IT! :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
315 Posts
So you plug in the charge cord that comes with the car and charge to full. What does the dash show re % charge? If you can, drive it for 50 miles or so to test performance. If it provides the range you need on a daily basis, and then some++, go for it.
--
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
18 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I'll have to check the charge percentage when I see the car tomorrow. All I have so far is online pictures (taken who knows when; the car has been for sale for over a month), and it's showing 60%. The dealer said they have been charging it (from a standard outlet) with no problem, so I don't know whether it was depleted from 100% to 60% when the photo was taken or whether that's as good as it gets. Good questions to ask. Many thanks for your reply!

So you plug in the charge cord that comes with the car and charge to full. What does the dash show re % charge? If you can, drive it for 50 miles or so to test performance. If it provides the range you need on a daily basis, and then some++, go for it.
--
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,545 Posts
Remember you're considering buying a orphan brand.
With almost no dealer support.
It's not like a buying Scion, Pontiac. Oldsmobile or Saturn.
Someone else was considered buying one and a few members including myself, offered this advice.
'Don't spend any more than you're willing to lose.'
Good luck
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,290 Posts
The large HV battery seems to be mileage dependent. We have a '12 Prius v with just under 32k mi and I feel like the NiMH battery is still new.

The 12V battery I believe the owners manual of 2015 year has a recommendation/service requirement to change every 3 yrs? Can verify if I'm correct I have high confidence I saw it before...

Dead/Bad 12 V can potentially lead to a dead HV battery which has been a mystery/puzzle on this forum....


Sent from my moto g(7) power using Tapatalk
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
18 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Right you are. Thanks very much. The car is $8000 and we have a Mercedes–Benz dealership up here that works on smarts, so I'm hopeful it wouldn't be a horribly ill-informed decision if I go through with it.

Remember you buying a orphan brand.
With almost no dealer support.
Someone else was considered buying one and a few members including myself, offered this advice.
'Don't spend any more than you're willing to lose.'
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
18 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
That's reassuring to know. Thank you for your reply! I need to do more reading on what you've mentioned here, but knowing is half the battle. I'm grateful.

The large HV battery seems to be mileage dependent. We have a '12 Prius v with just under 32k mi and I feel like the NiMH battery is still new.

The 12V battery I believe the owners manual of 2015 year has a recommendation/service requirement to change every 3 yrs? Can verify if I'm correct I have high confidence I saw it before...

Dead/Bad 12 V can potentially lead to a dead HV battery which has been a mystery/puzzle on this forum....


Sent from my moto g(7) power using Tapatalk
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,545 Posts
There really isn't much to work on. The bigger problem is if you start to run into electrical problems including battery. That's where you need the experts and their MB diagnostic Star machine.
If you decide to pull the trigger and buy it first thing I would check out is the 12-volt battery.
Make sure of it's age and if there's any question whatsoever buy a new one, cheap insurance.

Full disclosure
Just so you know Carmax will not sell or buy a smart EV/EQ because of battery issues.
That said, There have been less problems with the 453 model years than there were with the 451.
 

·
Super Moderator
MY08 cabrio MY09 Brabus MY21 Bolt
Joined
·
8,096 Posts
Full disclosure
Just so you know Carmax will not sell or buy a smart EV/EQ because of battery issues.
While their position may have changed, two months ago CarMax made me a very fair offer our MY15 ED.

Maybe it’s a regional thing, but they even called as a follow up?

It should be noted that Sokoloff won the bidding war that ensued…

😁
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,545 Posts
Strange, I just looked and can't find any ev or eq available for sale on carmax. Gas yes electric nope. I don't know how far their search extends from Las Vegas. But nothing listed.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
315 Posts
There just might be none currently available.!! Hey, my local Chevy dealer recently sent me a postcard wanting to buy buy buy my 2014 Spark_EV. These small low range EVs are perfect for this county, what with almost everything within a 20 mile radius. Also they fit easily onto small ferries.

NOTE: Why is this not in Smart_EV Forum??
--
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
1,854 Posts
I have three Smart EV's and we absolutely love them. Have had the longest owned one since 2015. No issues of any significance with any of them. Easiest cars to maintain I have ever had. Couple of comments about your questions - the 12v battery does not have to be changed every four years, but it is a very good idea to keep an eye on it. I actually just bought a battery from my local Mercedes dealer yesterday for $162 plus tax and it will be replacing the seven year old original battery. The original battery is chugging along just fine, but if it goes bad, it could also take out the HV battery. You can always test the 12v battery with a multimeter and there are a few versions of test units for the HV battery available. Full disclosure - my son builds one version that quite a few owners on the forum have.

There was a computer upgrade that came out in 2016 and many of us think it is important that your car has had it done. A call to the Mercedes dealer will tell you if it's been done. There is no charge to get it done or at least there shouldn't be if you need to get it done. Your local Mercedes dealer can also pull up a VMI (Vehicle Maintenance Inquiry) on your vehicle. That will show every bit of warranty work done on your car as well as any maintenance work done at a Mercedes/Smart dealership. You sometimes have to really sweet talk a dealer to release that info though.

You might try to find out one or both of the previous owners. Sometimes a dealer will share that with you and sometimes if you are lucky, you might find the previous owner's info on the manuals that hopefully will come with the car.

That all being said, I would have a hard time buying a used Smart EV right now if I didn't have a lot of history on the car and if I wasn't able to test the HV battery.

Good luck and let us know your thoughts after you see it and drive it.

Len
2014 EV Coupe 22,000 miles
2014 EV Cabriolet 23,000 miles
2015 EV Coupe 21,000 miles
 

·
Super Moderator
MY08 cabrio MY09 Brabus MY21 Bolt
Joined
·
8,096 Posts
Strange, I just looked and can't find any ev or eq available for sale on carmax.
Very small production with most never traveling beyond their “range.” Here’s my offer from CarMax for Sparky with multiple follow up emails/calls…

Have questions?
Contact Terry Collins at [email protected]
Your custom appraisal offer​
Vehicle​
2015 Smart Fortwo Electric​
Offer date​
3/31/21​
Valid through​
4/7/21​
Amount​
$4,500​
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,545 Posts
Carvanna doesn't seem to have a problem.
As a matter of fact it was former member Steven Villatoro always sold his cars to CarMax. He was surprised when CarMax informed him, that because of battery issues CarMax would not buy his immaculate
Smart EV.
Tire Wheel Automotive parking light Land vehicle Car
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,405 Posts
Gabe, the car was probably sold twice. Someone wanted a EV with a longer driving range. There are very few smart/MB dealership left to service them. The smart car ED just didn’t suit their needs. Doesn’t mean there was something wrong wit’s the car.

If I we’re in the market for a used EV. I’d look into a Nissan Leaf, used Chevy Bolt, Fiat 500e, etc. where at least you have a dealer network for service. There is a battery warranty too!

There is probably nothing wrong with any smart EV. If you decide on one, I’d would look at the 453 model. Battery warranty. And a dealership to perform service.

Good Luck on your decision.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
74 Posts
I know this is going to piss off some people here but I wouldn't touch an electric smart (even though I think it would be a fun car). A 2015 is already almost out of battery warranty (if you can even find a battery). How far are you from a service center? You will probably have to get a tow because of out of range. Too limited range. I love my gas Smart and if you want a Smart that is what I would recommend. If you really want an EV do whats already been suggested and look into a different brand.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
562 Posts
The fact that all of these plug-in vehicles and limited charging ability; I'd tread lightly. In light of being an orphaned platform by the Mother Being, I'd still drop the hammer. It is a sad fact that the parent entity exploited the fuel credits to get below emission standards.
Car Steering part Automotive design Motor vehicle Vehicle
 
1 - 20 of 36 Posts
Top