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I'm thinking about picking up a W451 electric drive to sit around in LA traffic. I want to make sure I don't buy a dud of a traction battery, and I'm trying to figure out the best ways to avoid it.

There seems to be a way to test the battery pack, but it seems to involve a regiment of driving that would take hours to perform. I doubt that I can trust the average Craigslist seller or used car dealership to agree to do the test, much less perform it correctly. I don't really like buying from dealerships anyway...

What are my options here? Run the test as the car sits and hope for the best? Just wait for a seller that knows what's up and provides the test results for me?

Also, without going too deep into BAP discussions, how do I find out if the battery in a particular car is "clear"?

I assume everything else is just regular used-car buying stuff...
 

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Good luck and welcome. You probably have already done a lot of reading about the battery test preparation as well as the test units my son builds. if not, check out this link:

https://www.smartcarofamerica.com/forums/f170/more-451-battery-test-units-ready-go-150814/

I have found that going through the recommended test preparation doesn't seem to make a whole lot of difference in the test results. If you don't go through the recommended preparation, then the test unit will provide you with the results from the last time the car's battery went through the steps. That could be yesterday or it could be months ago. It all depends on the owner's charging practices.

I can get you a battery test unit within a week, but that may be too late for you if you are looking at a particular car right now. Maybe someone here can step up and loan you theirs for you to run your test. There are several dozen of our units floating around out there, several in CA.

Len
2014 EV Coupe 15,500 miles
2014 EV Cabriolet 5,500 miles
 

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"Also, without going too deep into BAP discussions, how do I find out if the battery in a particular car is "clear"?"



The BAP has been quietly dropped except as a kind of extended warranty at the owners option. I just bought a used Smart which was a lease with the BAP. There was nothing either in writing or verbally from the salesman about continuing the BAP except as an optional "extended warranty". You can just buy the car, the existing owner can discontinue payments, and that will be that. No repo man will come to take the battery.
 

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I'm thinking about picking up a W451 electric drive to sit around in LA traffic. I want to make sure I don't buy a dud of a traction battery, and I'm trying to figure out the best ways to avoid it.

There seems to be a way to test the battery pack, but it seems to involve a regiment of driving that would take hours to perform. I doubt that I can trust the average Craigslist seller or used car dealership to agree to do the test, much less perform it correctly. I don't really like buying from dealerships anyway...

What are my options here? Run the test as the car sits and hope for the best? Just wait for a seller that knows what's up and provides the test results for me?

Also, without going too deep into BAP discussions, how do I find out if the battery in a particular car is "clear"?

I assume everything else is just regular used-car buying stuff...
Greetings from a fellow SoCal-er, and totally agreed re: the smart being great for sitting in traffic. The slower traffic is and the narrower the road/parking space gets, the better the Smart gets.

I don't think we've had many non-catastrophic failures of the battery and I don't think we've had a single case of a battery suffering premature wear. The differences between one or another aren't going to make much of a practical difference in your purchase decision, IMHO. These batteries are warrantied for 10 years (if it was sold in CA), and will likely last 15-20 before degrading below a reasonable range.
 
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