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I’ve had my car for six months and it has 7,400 miles on it. When I drive it around town in stop-and-go traffic or coast through parking lots, my car sometimes seems to get stuck in between first and second gear. It gets very jerky. It’s like riding in a manual transmission car with someone who doesn’t know how to drive it. It’s been having this problem since I bought the car, but I thought it was just a part of having an automated-manual transmission... now I’m not sure. Is this normal? Should I contact my smart dealership and ask about a replacement clutch?
 

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If you are driving at slow speed in automatic ("D") the transmission may be hunting for the gear it wants. If you put it manual ("+/-") you can hold the gear unless you come to a stop, then it will go to 1st. You can change between the two modes at any time and stay in the same gear.
 

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Does your car have the 2.0 transmission software upgrade applied? If you can shift gears with the paddles while in D (auto) mode, then you have the new software. That might be one thing to check. Other than that, it can get a little jumpy at low speeds and you get better at modulating the throttle/brake and use manual mode for better control.
 

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The old clutch on the 08's may stick on occasion to give you the jerky motion. Otherwise if you get the 09 spec clutch, it will improve and more than likely go away about 75% of the time.
 

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I'm surprised that someone suggests the new clutch would change the situation at all.

A little "bucking" is experienced at just the wrong speed under just the wrong conditions by many owners. Some of the bucking, I believe, is because of how we hold the gas pedal. If you buck forward, your foot comes off the gas causing the car to buck back so your foot presses on the gas causing the car to buck forward so your foot comes off the gas causing the car to buck back so your foot presses on the gas causing the car to buck forward so your foot comes off the gas causing the car to buck back so your foot presses on the gas causing the car to buck forward so your foot comes off the gas causing the car to buck back so your foot presses on the gas causing the car to buck forward so your foot comes off the gas causing the car to buck back so your foot presses on the gas causing the car to buck forward so your foot comes off the gas causing the car to buck back so your foot presses on the gas causing the car to buck forward so your foot comes off the gas causing the car to buck back so your foot presses on the gas causing the car to buck forward...

Sound like your experience?
 

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I'm surprised that someone suggests the new clutch would change the situation at all.

A little "bucking" is experienced at just the wrong speed under just the wrong conditions by many owners. Some of the bucking, I believe, is because of how we hold the gas pedal. If you buck forward, your foot comes off the gas causing the car to buck back so your foot presses on the gas causing the car to buck forward so your foot comes off the gas causing the car to buck back so your foot presses on the gas causing the car to buck forward so your foot comes off the gas causing the car to buck back so your foot presses on the gas causing the car to buck forward so your foot comes off the gas causing the car to buck back so your foot presses on the gas causing the car to buck forward so your foot comes off the gas causing the car to buck back so your foot presses on the gas causing the car to buck forward so your foot comes off the gas causing the car to buck back so your foot presses on the gas causing the car to buck forward so your foot comes off the gas causing the car to buck back so your foot presses on the gas causing the car to buck forward...

Sound like your experience?
Yes, but now my eyes are failing in the same way!:D
 

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I'm surprised that someone suggests the new clutch would change the situation at all.

A little "bucking" is experienced at just the wrong speed under just the wrong conditions by many owners. Some of the bucking, I believe, is because of how we hold the gas pedal. If you buck forward, your foot comes off the gas causing the car to buck back so your foot presses on the gas causing the car to buck forward so your foot comes off the gas causing the car to buck back so your foot presses on the gas causing the car to buck forward so your foot comes off the gas causing the car to buck back so your foot presses on the gas causing the car to buck forward so your foot comes off the gas causing the car to buck back so your foot presses on the gas causing the car to buck forward so your foot comes off the gas causing the car to buck back so your foot presses on the gas causing the car to buck forward so your foot comes off the gas causing the car to buck back so your foot presses on the gas causing the car to buck forward so your foot comes off the gas causing the car to buck back so your foot presses on the gas causing the car to buck forward...

Sound like your experience?
I did not know I needed to change ink in my monitor too:)
 

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I've found that the Sprint Booster eliminates most of that bucking effect, especially on low-speed cornering. I'm just saying...

Michael
 

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OK, here it is: normal, with a 2009 Passion, and assuming the below.

If you just keep your foot on the gas pedal for the acceleration you want, (relative to the car's load, present speed and incline), just let the CPU decide which gear is appropriate of the circumstance; it will be pretty stable, assuming you are not going up and down too many hills. This is a 1L engine, low-weight car that uses gearing for optimal performance.

If you tend to press the gas pedal as you would in most true linked dry clutch, non-CPU cars (as in the past), the CPU will constantly search for the sweet spot in a jerky, confused manner.

So: assuming you have a recent or flashed Rev 2. machine, (you did not describe), just keep your foot/gas pedal constant. Don't vary. If you want to go slowly, keep it there. If you want to go FAST, keep it there, (until you reach your rate, then decrease). Just keep your gas pedal at the speed you desire and the gears will shift dependant on the circumstance. Try it just for thrills: get on a varied incline drive and just keep you gas pedal depression constant, (keeping up with traffic, of course) and watch how the CPU will respond to the variance.

Oh, some "jerking" is normal. This is, after all, an automated manual transmission.
 

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In parking garages, drive thrus, etc., I leave it in 1st in manual mode and use a light, steady pressure as TMACK describes. When driving in stop and go traffic, try to leave space enough ahead so that you can maintain a steady gas pedal pressure and speed for the longest time possible. If you can keep it at 6-8 mph in first with steady pressure, it can maintain that pace with no jerkiness. It's the same kinds of techniques you use with any manual transmission car...
 

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Oh, I just ignore most of what JohnH posts; he's mostly interested in the electronics of the machine.

Oh, that's right: this DOES involve the electronics.

You do know, of course, I'm just engaging in sarcasm. IIn fat, I can't even read this post.
What's good for the goose...............................
 

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I tend to drive with a very light foot and I've come to realize that at low speeds, the transmission is much smoother if I mash down on the pedal when I accelerate and then back off after the shift.
 

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I have had the clutch changed and it will do it with both. If I slow down almost to a stop and give it a but of gas it looks for the correct gear
 

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I just bought my Smart Car (2010 Pure) and I'm also having the same low-gear bucking problem. I'll try switching it to manual for parking lots and controlling when to shift up or down. Good idea.
Leaving it in Auto definitely feels like the car just doesn't know which gear to be in at 10mph.
 
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