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First, thanks ahead of time for any suggestions.

I am quickly running out of my own ideas on this one, hopefully someone here has seen this problem before. I will try to be as thorough as I can describing the problem, and things I have checked so far, based on what I have found searching the forums.

My 2008 Passion has been sitting for about 5 weeks now, driven home with no problems and parked where it currently sits. The car has 28k miles on it, had the original transmission upgrade done immediately, and has never had any other problems. Because I don't drive the car often and have charged or replaced the battery a few times I am familiar with the 3 bars on the dash and am not having that problem. Battery is charged, all electrical accessories function, alarm and locks function as they should.

I am currently unable to start the car. With the key in the ignition, turning it to the second position does not even engage the starter solenoid. I can hear the relay in the SAM click, wait a few seconds, then click again as if it's attempting to turn on the starter. I have verified that I do have working brakelights. My next step at this point was to suspect the starter and/or its solenoid. Upon trying to move the car to a better location to jack it up I have found that it will not move. My shifter moves freely with the brake pedal depressed and I can see the physical linkage move once when shifting out of park. The linkage does not move further for any other position (I do not know if it is supposed to) however there is no longer an audible indication that the transmission itself is shifting, and I know the transmission is not shifting as the car does not roll in neutral.

Hopefully this rings a bell with someone. Or if anyone knows how to force the car into neutral so I can at least roll it around. Thanks.
 

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It could be the clutch actuator. Clutch has to be disengaged before the computer will allow the engine to start (probably needs to be disengaged before gears can shift as well). I would think it would set a code though. You can see more about the actuator in the following maintenance thread:

http://www.smartcarofamerica.com/forums/f183/clutch-actuator-maintenance-instructions-40960/

I believe you should be able to see the actuator arm move when the key is turned.
 

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There is NO linkage for the gear selector....it's all electronic.
The cable is for the "park" prawl.

What do you see in the speedo ???? Numbers, D, key, etc.

Sounds like the immobilizer, might need a new battery in your key fob :)
 

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I'm having a bit of an issue with my 2008 now too. Worked fine as daily driver, now I was away about a week and upon return, it started up fine, but wouldn't go into Reverse or Drive, nothing happened. A turn off and one fixed it, but it has me concerned at the moment. Is there a test that can be done.

I've got to get it in for the 30K service, at 35K now, just couldn't swing it with work for the past six months.
 

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I'm having a bit of an issue with my 2008 now too. Worked fine as daily driver, now I was away about a week and upon return, it started up fine, but wouldn't go into Reverse or Drive, nothing happened. A turn off and one fixed it, but it has me concerned at the moment. Is there a test that can be done.

I've got to get it in for the 30K service, at 35K now, just couldn't swing it with work for the past six months.
I've seen that happen for me, with a low battery. If you hook up a voltmeter or Scangauge and it shows under 11.7v (key-on, headlights off, but don't crank up) after sitting overnight, you have a higher chance (still fairly random) that the computer won't get the signal it needs to clear safety checks, but if you turn the key off and on again (even without starting the engine) it may show better voltage. If your battery is more than 3 years old especially if you run mostly <20 minutes each way, you may want to try a new battery.

I started seeing these symptoms again just before my road trip last month; 4,000 miles of highway driving (12-14 hours of charging per day) seems to have given my battery new life. No shifting problems and my Scangauge reads 12.0-12.2 every morning.
 

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I'm having a bit of an issue with my 2008 now too. Worked fine as daily driver, now I was away about a week and upon return, it started up fine, but wouldn't go into Reverse or Drive, nothing happened. A turn off and one fixed it, but it has me concerned at the moment. Is there a test that can be done.

I've got to get it in for the 30K service, at 35K now, just couldn't swing it with work for the past six months.
Not going into reverse may be totally fixed by the software update. Just be sure to ask for it and that may fix it. That was one of the things the software update was designed to cure.
 

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How recent was the software update? I had one a few years back, engaged the paddles to move in and out of manual, that sort of thing.
 

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That was the first one. Then came another one to address the not going into reverse issue.
The other possibility is battery condition. I would have both checked, but you will most likely LIKE the improvement in shifting that you gain with the software update that improves driveability. There maybe another one since then. If you take it in, you will get the latest updates for your car. Do ask for any and all updates as there are a number of modules not just the engine control unit that will be updated.
 

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third parties

Anyone know if third party service centers, that do smart work can do the software updates, or is that an MBUSA controlled monopoly?
 

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Even with a STAR computer they still need the M-B software updates - don't believe M-B provides those to outside shops. :)
 

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I just ran into a new issue today. Everything was fine, parked it on the street. Came back to car, sat in car bout 15 minutes, radio on. Went to start it, and got CLICK CLICK CLICK... it was trying, but no go. Turned everything off, radio, fan, blinker (it wasn't on, I just checked it all though) and a little while later I got it to light. Everything has been fine now for a few starts and driving was okay, but is there a diagnostic way to tell if the battery is okay. MAN I hope this isn't the clutch actuator. Wonder if I should just put in a new battery to be safe? Is that hard, and where IS the darn thing?
 

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How old is the battery? It is located under passenger side floor carpet, Lift carpet and remove foam block. Batteries can be load tested but as this car is so dependent on good battery voltage and current, I replaced mine at 4 years. Noticed dimming headlights during shifting. Much better with new battery.
 

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thanks

Thanks, yeah battery is since birth about 5.5 years old. It was a good life, I'll buy a new one. Any tips for batteries, and is there an establish process for replacement?
 

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There are quite a few threads on replacement batteries. Any good battery will work just make sure it is rated high enough. smart replaced batteries in 08 due to the being undersized. Napa, Optima and many others will work.
 

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I have the Gold edition from Advanced Auto in Cheewawa, and I have noted early on that a few 2008 owners had replaced theirs with NAPA 7547.
 

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Thanks for the tips. the AA one looks nice, especially with the online discount but there aren't any in my area, so napa it may be. Should have taken it in a while ago, they might have replaced it for free.
 

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I've been most happy with the NAPA. It is oversized, but fits nicely once the clamp is flattened out where it wraps over the side of the battery. clamped tightly into place the battery doesn't shift at all so the clamp mod required is of little consequence. I liked the idea of greater cold cranking amperage.
 
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