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Discussion Starter #1
My Smart is shaking noticeably whenever I accelerate ... new Genius wheels and tires went on about 6 weeks ago, so the first thing I did was check balance, and a few $$ later they were re-balanced (they were off a bit).

BUT - the shake remains. So I bring it to the closest garage to have them put it on the lift and make sure there's nothing dangerous, and you can clearly see that the rear passenger-side inside CV boot is leaking oil (badly). You can actually grab the shaft and jiggle it, so I'm not going to bother repacking the joint but just want it replaced.

1. My Smart is still under warranty, BUT ... I have an aftermarket intake. Do you think they'll still honor the warranty for a CV joint? This is my first interaction with a Smart dealer (I bought it used from a NISSAN dealer) so I don't know what to expect. I have an appointment, but like most of you I live hours away. I don't want to drive all the way there to find out its not actually covered.

2. Anyone know where I can get a new joint? It can't be that hard to replace on my own (or at my local mechanic's). I live far enough from a dealer that I might be willing to pay rather than drive there and back (unless its crazy expensive)
 

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You could call the dealer's service department and walk them through it and see if it would be covered. I wouldn't think they would make a fuss over an intake since it's unrelated. I would be more concerned with them taking issue with the aftermarket wheels (putting more strain on the components or damage during installation, etc.). Can you tell if the boot was damaged by debris or something else? If so, then they would deny coverage, of course. I live hours away and talked through any warranty work in advance so I'd know what to expect and they would have parts on hand.

If you want to go the route of fixing it yourself (can't blame you), you might want to check with the Smart Online Parts folks (supporting vendor) on the left, bottom of the screen.

Good luck whichever way you go with it...
 

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Did you install the wheels yourself or have a tire store do it ? If the shake started sometime after the wheels were installed , the boot may have been damaged going on the lift or jacking . ...assuming you took it someplace . You will have to really inspect it to see. But it's another possibility in addition to debris or just a defect .
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for the feedback and quick responses. Doesn't look like Smart Online Parts has one :-(

I'm going to make the drive 'assuming' they'll cover it, because the more I think of it they really should. What's that law about covering warranty repairs and after-market parts?

About the wheels: I was there when they went on and the car was jacked properly. I took a closer look at the boot and the clamp is actually missing on that side (which explains the leaking grease). I bought it in the summer and its cold now. My guess is that it's been missing for a while, and some water got in, but it never caused an issue (or at least I never noticed) until now because it's recently fallen below freezing ... ice in a CV joint can't be good.
 

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TinyVadar, you will most likely have to buy a new CV shaft assembly from MB or buy a used from wrecking yard and take your chances...
If you have tools and so inclined its not that bad of a job..Otherwise let the service dept. handle it and push for warranty...:wink:
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Here it is:

The Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act (15 U.S.C. 2302(C))

Among other protections it states that warrantors cannot require that only branded parts be used with the product in order to retain the warranty.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I'm going to argue warranty, and if they refuse, I'm going to start adding things to my car like a crazy person ... because at that point what will I have to lose?

Maybe wings. Or truck balls.
 

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Sounds like something they should have noticed on the 10K check-up. Especially if it is throwing grease around. They will run for quite a while even after they start making noise (out of grease) but they should be replaced as soon as possible.
 

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The problem is that you could have hit something and tore the boot, so it's kind of hard to pin it on the shop, and frankly they may not have done it anyway. The dealer shouldn't bust your chops for the after-market wheels, unless they got some crazy offset (and these don't), it really shouldn't affect the CVs. And, What Jim said. It should be covered by warranty.
 

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You've probably already thought about this, but if you still have the OEM wheels, consider putting them on before you visit the dealer. Or borrow someone else's. No point giving the dealer an excuse to blame the aftermarket wheels.
 

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I don't see how changing the wheels will affect the CV joints, thats like saying adding a radio will make the tail light lenses leak.

They might try to say the tire shop damaged it but even that is unlikely if the clamp is missing. Still worth a shot.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Update: Smart of Boston confirmed that its was indeed a CV joint failure. They covered the repair under warranty. They didn't have the parts in stock but were so nice -- they gave me a loaner smart and are even delivering the car back to me today, and I work over an hour away! No charge!

Before this incident, I would never have bought from a dealer that far away (I live even further away as I commute from the opposite direction). Now, I've been so impressed that they'll get my business when its time to trade up to a new Smart. Of course, for me that won't be until my current car has a few more years on it, and/or Smart makes some compelling changes (or offers a sport model:)
 

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Update: Smart of Boston confirmed that its was indeed a CV joint failure. They covered the repair under warranty. They didn't have the parts in stock but were so nice -- they gave me a loaner smart and are even delivering the car back to me today, and I work over an hour away! No charge!

Before this incident, I would never have bought from a dealer that far away (I live even further away as I commute from the opposite direction). Now, I've been so impressed that they'll get my business when its time to trade up to a new Smart. Of course, for me that won't be until my current car has a few more years on it, and/or Smart makes some compelling changes (or offers a sport model:)
Nice they understand the concept of customer service. The best salesman is a satisfied customer!:)
 

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Discussion Starter #20
By the way, I mentioned that the loaner car (a 2012) felt smoother and zippier, and was told that Mercedes 'tweaked' the engine and transmission a bit in the 2012 models. From my butt-dyno experience I would say that whatever they did worked. Hopefully this is a trend that will continue, and we'll see a sportier model in the near future (+5 to 10 hp would make me a happy camper, as would a better 1/2 shift and a sixth gear for the highway)
 
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