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Discussion Starter #1
My wife's smart car was running normally, she came home from work, parked it and the next morning all she got was a click. I have done extensive research trying to find out what it might be.

Both key fobs are working and unlock the doors etc
The battery is fairly new and reads over 12v
The car will shift through the positions but with a very odd condition that I cannot find anywhere on line. When you turn the key to position 1 the front windshield wiper will cycle once and then continue to cycle about every 25 seconds. (The wipers are in the off position) When you place the shifter into reverse the rear wiper will cycle once. You can move the shifter into all positions and the dash will indicate the proper position of P,R,N,D but the vehicle itself will not go into neutral and cannot be moved. I was hoping to be able to bump start it to do some further diagnostics. All you get when trying to start it is one click coming from the rear of the car and nothing else. I am now in a bit of a pickle because I can't get the car backed out of its spot to even have it towed. Wheels appear to be locked.

It's seems very odd that this would occur out of nowhere when the car was running fine. Based on the weird things happening I am leaning more to a computer problem then anything else. I have tried a few reset routines, nothing.
 

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I'm not sure that a crankshaft sensor will prevent the starter from engaging (cranking). It will definitely prevent it from starting.
A multitude of computer glitches may be resolved by disconnecting the battery for 10-15 minutes. A total reboot can fix a lot of weird stuff.
 

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I recall reading somewhere that a bad crankshaft sensor can cause the smart to not engage the starter. Easiest way to test that theory is to disconnect the crankshaft sensor and see if it turns over when disconnected.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
The no start condition turned out to be a rotted starter cable. Along with that the springs needed replacing, struts rotted out, front and back brakes rusted out beyond repair. About $1200 in repairs. Not much else can go wrong with it it now unless the engine falls out of it.
 

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Wow, lots of rust damage. Another reason for all of us snow belt owners to keep after rust issues. Thanks for the update. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #7
My mechanic asked me if the car sat all winter..... he was shocked at the rust on all the brakes. My wife drives it every day but she only travels about half a km each way. Mechanic said make sure to drive it more and use the brakes. The car gets the odd run around town but it is mainly used for her to get back and forth to work. So clearly it needs to be driven more.
 

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I put 86 miles a day min on my smart and the rotors will develop rust overnight if it rains, or I don't drive it for a few days.
 

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My mechanic asked me if the car sat all winter..... he was shocked at the rust on all the brakes. My wife drives it every day but she only travels about half a km each way. Mechanic said make sure to drive it more and use the brakes. The car gets the odd run around town but it is mainly used for her to get back and forth to work. So clearly it needs to be driven more.
Yup yup! I have a Honda Rebel that maybe gets ridden two miles a day to/from work (I can see my office from my condo parking lot). I make sure that one day every week or two I take it for a cruise instead of my Buell. If you're storing a car or bike outside, you have to ride/drive it some significant distance and time to keep it in shape.

If stored indoors, just keep it clean and let it idle to running temp every now and then. That's how I keep my collection alive during the winter months. :)
 
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