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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I have a 2010 Smart Fortwo and love it.

When I bought it used 3 years ago, it had only 45K miles on it, looked mint, everything worked. I took it for a test drive down a few streets and on the interstate. It drove perfectly. The ESP light came on but the dealer told me that the brakes had been replaced and that was when the light came on and the dealership didn't have the proper tool to reset it. Since the car drove fine, I decided to purchase it.

Here is my issue:

I start my car and as soon as I start driving, the ESP light comes on. It has never had any impact on the performance so I've gotten used to seeing it on all the time. It never blinks.

However, if I start the car but sit while tuning the radio, doing a phone call, etc, then go to drive, the car will suddenly lurch hard with a grinding noise and the light comes on after about 30 seconds as I'm accelerating. While all this is happening, the car seems as though it is pulling to the right. Then everything lets up and the car drives fine.

It is embarrassing when this happens as I'm usually pulling into traffic and the people behind me have to slow down while my car lurches before smoothing out and merging. It feels like the bad old days when I was grinding the clutch in my older cars.

I did take it to a mom & pop shop that had the tool to "talk" to the car. I know that the seatbelt light being on all the time caught the mechanics attention and he focused on that. He told me that the seatbelt module needed to be replaced. He admitted that he didn't have the proper tool to reset the module after it was installed. He was honest and I didn't remember to ask about the ESP light at the time.

There are so many different answers I've found from searching here and I don't know what exactly to look for that would winnow down what I should be focusing on to fix the lurching/grinding plus the ESP light in the rare times it happens?

I'd normally take it to the nearest Smart dealership, but the nearest two are about four hours away from me. I called them both and described my situation. Naturally they couldn't tell me anything other than to schedule an app't. What put me off is that they both informed me that if there was a really serious safety issue that they'd be obligated to keep my car till I had it fixed. I'm not really big on having my only vehicle taken away from me till I shell out what I assume would be big bucks as I keep reading Smart dealerships are infamous for overcharging and not always fixing problems anyway.
 

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I would guess that you need to get the error codes from the different computers to find the problem. Sounds like a trip to the dealer for a session with the STARR computer, or find a shop with a high end diagnostics setup. It would need to be able to read the codes from the various computers on the Can Bus
 

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Maybe you can sweet talk the dealer into giving you a loaner. Then you won't have to worry about how long they keep it.

Len
2014 EV Coupe 15,500 miles
2014 EV Cabriolet 6,000 miles
 
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