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2013 Smart Passion Cabrio
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Ugh.... One thing about these cars; they really do mostly seem to have the exact same set of problems and flaws.

Clutch actuator is starting to go in my 2013 too. Have about 67,000 miles on this one, but the problem has been around since something like 58-60K miles, really. Nothing snapped or totally failed (yet) in mine, but it's randomly sticking and causing the car to get confused occasionally about what gear it's in after it signals a shift. That results in it going into "limp" mode in a low gear and the 3 horizontal bars on the dash in place of displaying the gear I'm in, until I go through that whole "relearn" procedure with holding the brake down for 30 seconds after turning the ignition to the first position.

I found out brand new replacements are available on eBay for about $410 after shipping, but they come from foreign countries and take weeks to arrive. Looks like I can buy one of those, though, and just pay some mobile mechanic to swap my existing one for the new one for $100-200 or so and come out ahead of taking it to a dealership. (I'd attempt it myself because it's really a pretty simple procedure, except I don't own any ramps to put the car on -- and you have to work on this from underneath. Don't own a creeper either. Just prefer to let someone else do the work on my vehicles that involved jacking it up or putting it on ramps and working from the bottom of it.)


Hey Churpee, I feel your pain. I just had to have the clutch actuator replaced on my '09 and it only had 52,000 miles on it. It cost me about the same as yours did, but since I got it back, it's been driving like a champ.

My car is peeling too and I have the Rally Red color that seems to be cursed with the pox. :cry:
 

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Swapping the clutch actuator is a sub 10 minute job. For the sake of saving cash I'd happily lay on my back on an old blanket for less than 10 minutes. You don't need a crawler board or to jack the car up to do it.
 

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Anybody have problems with the clearcoat peeling on their smart? I've got a 2009 red smart, solid color, and a 2008 red smart, painted, and the '09's clearcoat is peeling. I use the same soap & wax on each but only the '09 is peeling. The '09 has the red plastic, the '08 is red painted over a black plastic panel. Could the fact that the clearcoat was applied to the plastic, not paint be the cause?
My 09 Smart, bought new, peeled badly and I finally had to repaint just recently.
 

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I didn't know these could be repainted. Did you do it yourself? Go to a professional auto painter? What was the rough ballpark cost?

Thanks!
I have a very good friend who is an experienced painter and we painted the car. Removed the panels from the car to paint. The surface of the panels were deteriorated and required bodywork but I am pleased with the result. Removing the panels is easy but there is a formula to putting it back together.
 
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