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Discussion Starter #1
:confused:

My battery died for the 3rd time today. I do not drive my smart very much (about 1,500 miles since 02/2008) but I still use it often enough for short errands (like twice or thrice a week).

This summer, I was out of the country for two weeks and the battery was really flat.

Any of you experienced a dead battery?

Do you know the "group size" of the smart battery?
 

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I've had a similar problem, was gone on a two week vacation and returned and the dash lights would light but the engine would only turn over once and the battery was dead. I jump started it and have had no problems in the 10 days since but was dissapointed to have had the problem at all.
 

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Dave777 has a bead on the fix. At one time there was a batch of defective batteries. Talk to the dealer and they may replace it at no charge. If not, the phone call was free!! The parts manager should be able to give you all the specifications of the battery.
 

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... Do you know the "group size" of the smart battery?
Without pulling it out to get precise measurements, I make it to be BCI Group 26R. At any rate, it sounds like it needs a load test.

26 & 26R – 8-3/16”L x 6-13/16”W x 7-3/4”H

More research indicates that it is likely 26R (the difference between 26 and 26R is the location of the terminal posts). Also out are 57 and 70.
 

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Lights started to dim, had to jump it after sitting 2 days.
The dealer wasn't sure it was the fault of the car.
(I have extra stuff - non-smart)
The battery fixed it.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thank you all for your input.

I have a couple of non smart stuff in my car, such as a KENWOOD in-dash GPS and a localization device (help find the smart in big parking lots! :) ) but they draw minimal current.

Dealer was very helpful, has heard of some similar stories from other smart dealers (two weeks: your battery is dead) and will test the system tomorrow.

I shall keep the community posted.
 

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The dealer replaced mine when it died it was larger and required a new hold down. I would contact the dealer and let them correct the problem.
karl
 

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I was away for a couple of weeks as well and I had left my key in the ignition and the battery was dead. Used a starter pack to get it going again and no problems since then. I am thinking that leaving the key in the ignition over time has some strange effect on the battery. Now that I take it out each night, I have had no problems.
 

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The dealer replaced mine when it died it was larger and required a new hold down. I would contact the dealer and let them correct the problem.
karl
This strikes me as evidence, combined with some of the other reports above, that the dealers know there is a problem with the original batteries, or at least some of them.
 

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As part of my personal PDI (POST Delivery Inspection) I load tested my battery. It was OK (though the ground strap wasn't particularly tight). June '08 build.
 

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This strikes me as evidence, combined with some of the other reports above, that the dealers know there is a problem with the original batteries, or at least some of them.
Yes there is and the original is not available in the US. The warranty is short enough, let them fix it now.
karl
 

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IF the OEM battery is 8-3/16”L x 6-13/16”W x 7-3/4”H (overall measurements), Googling "Group 26R battery" will produce U.S. sources. Note, it is 26R not 26 (when you look at the long dimension with the posts closest to you, the positive post will be on the right end - the 26 is opposite).
 

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Discussion Starter #14
IF the OEM battery is 8-3/16”L x 6-13/16”W x 7-3/4”H (overall measurements), Googling "Group 26R battery" will produce U.S. sources. Note, it is 26R not 26 (when you look at the long dimension with the posts closest to you, the positive post will be on the right end - the 26 is opposite).
Thank you. The smart is still at the shop where they reported that everything (battery, alternator, current draw from the smart) is within specification, and that they have another smart in the shop for the same problem: battery will not last two weeks w/o being plugged into a trickle charger...

I guess, shall they return the smart "as is" to me, I shall invite the smart community to protest loudly :angrymouth: and start looking for a better battery.
 

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The smart is still at the shop where they reported that everything (battery, alternator, current draw from the smart) is within specification, and that they have another smart in the shop for the same problem: battery will not last two weeks w/o being plugged into a trickle charger...

I guess, shall they return the smart "as is" to me, I shall invite the smart community to protest loudly :angrymouth: and start looking for a better battery.
Don't be too quick to blame the battery. Did the shop measure current with the car off, key out, doors closed -- like it would be when parked overnight? If not, you might want to give that a try.

What about hooking a portable scope to the battery and seeing if you get voltage dropouts when driving over road irregularities? If there's a loose connection, they might get a fine reading with the car sitting still whereas an in-use measurement might tell you a lot more -- like the alternator and/or voltage regulator glitching out.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Update: No abnormal draw from the car, good alternator, good battery. SA is still attempting to get Penske HQs to confirm if it shall be considered normal for a smart's battery to die after a week or two...

SA's advice so far:

1) Drive more often,
2) Buy a battery tender (or in my case, remember to hook it up).

I am just curioous: is there a way to push start a smart?
 

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This strikes me as evidence, combined with some of the other reports above, that the dealers know there is a problem with the original batteries, or at least some of them.
This isn't the first problem that I've had a dealer acknowledge that didn't result in a recall. When I had to have my car towed in to the dealer for lubrication of the shift lever they said "yeah we've had a lot of them with this problem."

Other common problems:
* The back glass latch tends to break.
* The front glass gets chipped and/or cracked by rocks astoundingly often to the point that many people don't bother fixing it.
* The gear shift levers were not lubricated in a large batch of cars (mine included) so the gear shift lever in those cars will eventually fail and stick in place.
* There were many cars (mine included) that had defective batteries that won't hold a charge over a few days so the car has to be jump started.
 

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Update: No abnormal draw from the car, good alternator, good battery. SA is still attempting to get Penske HQs to confirm if it shall be considered normal for a smart's battery to die after a week or two...

SA's advice so far:

1) Drive more often,
2) Buy a battery tender (or in my case, remember to hook it up).

I am just curioous: is there a way to push start a smart?
Technically, yes, but it's a very bad idea. It could damage or destroy your gearbox or drivetrain linkage.

You're better off carrying one of those portable battery juicers or just calling roadside assistance.

If you didn't elect the Smart One Roadside Assistance (which I hope you did, it's saved my butt at least five times) you can get roadside assistance through Costco membership and most insurance companies at a small and extremely worthy extra charge.

However even if you do get Smart One Roadside Assistance don't count on them knowing anything about your car. Every time I have someone out to jump the car I have to show them how to remove the carpet and the passenger foot well filler module so they can get to the battery.

On the positive side, if there's anything wrong with your car other than needing a jump start and you have Smart One they'll load it up on the truck, take it to the dealership, fix it and then haul it back to you for free as long as the car's under warranty.
 

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I would load test the battery and see if it has a weak cell.
that could draw it down.
if so, then replace and then use it often enough to keep it charged or augment with auxiliary charging.

I have had great result with a small solar charger when I leave it outside.

it keeps it fully charged.

if I am leaving it inside I use an automatic battery tender to keep it topped off.

Batteries like to stay at the state that they are in, if you leave them dead they will work their way dead pretty quick. If you leave them charged they like to stay charged.

I keep a few boat batteries fully topped off with an automatic tender and in the spring they fire right off.
 

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a battery tender works great for things that spend a lot of time in the garage.
The replacement Battery that smart gave me for my car was slightly larger than what was in the car originally. It required a new hold down bracket that they installed with the replacement.

This is what it looks like
karl
The upside was the "factory" fix was free
The downside the car shifted like crap again for a while
HiHo
BTW a failed load test is what prompted replacement
 
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