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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just left my Dad's house. He has a 2009 Smart Car that hasn't been started in 2-ish years. My niece had borrowed it and brought it back when she couldn't open the rear hatch. She brought it back, dropped it off and left in another of his vehicles...not really part of my post other than it has sat for 2 years. Enter me and a sudden interest in the car. We jumped it off today and moved it from under the shed. The plan is to see what it needs. Totally new to the Smart Car world. So, I am open to suggestions and "what you have is...and I suggest..." First issue is opening the rear hatch to access the engine bay.
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Judging from the single picture you posted. You have a convertible where the top is starting to delaminate from the frame. I noticed the duct tape already in place. I suspect your car was most likely towed behind an RV do to the front hookups when towed behind the RV the wind currents were not kind to that convertible top. Here is where the true meaning "Rag Top" comes to play. That top flaps some what while drive in heavy wind. My first 2008 smart and my current 09 smart tops do the same on heavy winds. I can't imagine the constant wind currents behind the RV working on that top. Because of the condition of the top, I also fear that there may be water damage inside.
I see some clear coat paint peeling on the driver door.
Just for starters you're probably going to need a new battery. Gaining access to the car will require you to pull the key hole plug in the driver's door handle. Use the key to unlock the door so that you can reach across and unlock the passenger door giving you access to the battery compartment in the passenger side foot well. Once the battery is connected there's a button on the dashboard to unlock the doors, gas filler door and the rear tailgate.

Once you un lock and lower the tailgate on the right and left side of the convertible cover they'll be latches you can lift those with your fingers and the rear portion of the convertible top will lift up. see the picture I posted yellow stick pointing out the right latch.

Lift up the carpeting over the engine cover. On the right side of the carpeting there should be a hook on the carpet that'll hook on the right side in order to keep the carpet up out of the way while you remove the engine cover.
Good Luck
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks that is the type of info I was wanting. I have the key, we were able to jump it off and move it. I just didn't want to run it long or drive it far. Looking forward to as much as I can learn as I push into this little car. My Dad is an older guy and his memory doesn't assist in much. I am hoping to get it road worthy and give him some short trips in it as we are working on it together. He did pull it behind his camper with my Mom before she took ill. She passed in 2017 and I think getting some time in it would let him relive some better times. Any info on as to what generation, model, engine type/size, etc. I am a enthusiast is some other areas and know there are various types, options, problems, marques, etc. in every make/mfg. Thanks in advance.
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Smart cars were officially imported into the U.S. in 2008. Yours is the second gen smart known as the 451. We didn’t officially receive the 1st gen smart in the U.S. but some were imported and converted to meet our specs. The 3rd gen smart 453 was imported here as a gasser in 2016, with the electric version remaining as a 451 until 2017 when the 453 electric version hit our shores. Your car has a 5 speed single clutch that’s automatically controlled by the computer for up shifts and downshifts. Be best to refresh all fluids before you seriously put it back on the road.
 

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Welcome!!! :)

Mr. Lefors made great observations! That's a good place to start your revival.

You have a smart fortwo passion cabriolet (the company loves spelling everything in all lowercase). It's a second generation, chassis code 451.

Engine is a 999cc Mitsubishi 3B21 inline triple. It's naturally aspirated and uses a timing chain. The engine makes 70 HP and is connected to a five speed automated manual transmission, driving the rear wheels.

Curb weight comes in at around 1,840 lb.

Aside from the obvious stuff like tires and fluids, I'd confirm that the alternator is still producing about 14 volts at idle. In my experience, the alternators hate sitting inactive outdoors for so long.

That model year is known for peeling paint and currently has a recall for its engine insulation mat in the engine bay. The panels are easily removable, should you choose to repaint it.

The mat can fall onto the engine, catching fire. The "emergency" fix if you don't live near a dealership is to shore up the mat or just remove it entirely.

Your 2009 most likely has a 2008 build date. Model year 2009s built in 2009 don't have automatic wipers and automatic headlights, but I see the "hockey puck" on your windshield.

If it has trouble getting into gear, which can happen due to sitting for so long, follow this guide to clean and lubricate the clutch actuator:


Evilution is a must have resource for the DIY smart owner and I recommend the ~$12/yr subscription.

One additional quirk that you will run into is the staggered wheel setup. The front wheels are narrow because the previous generation cars (450) had a knack for getting tippy when equipped with wide tires. You don't need to keep the staggered setup (that was one of my first changes) but make sure all four tires have the same diameter.

Good luck!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for the great info. Filters, plugs and general maintenance stuff...factory sources only or Autozone?
 

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I get everything from Amazon, RockAuto, or AutoZone. lol These cars aren't too picky, thankfully!

The only wear parts I get OE are ignition coils. There are aftermarket ones but some people report a lifespan far shorter than the OE part.
 
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Good luck with the car, it looks as if it has been lying around for a while. I live in mainland UK but took the North Sea ferry to rural Northern Ireland to buy a 451 on Ebay, and it was on a farm surrounded by fields of Sunflower oil plants for years. When I got it home, and this is a tip for you, the cabin pollen filter was totally blocked up, so first job was a new pollen filter. Yes, the joys of motoring :D
 

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Your poor car looks like it’s sat in a swamp. Is the right side of the vehicle damaged? Looks like at one time, it was towed behind a RV. Tow bar hook ups, in the front lower grill. Clear coat, is flaking off all around the car. Good luck, bringing it back from the dead!

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Your poor car looks like it’s sat in a swamp. Is the right side of the vehicle damaged? Looks like at one time, it was towed behind a RV. Tow bar hook ups, in the front lower grill. Clear coat, is flaking off all around the car. Good luck, bringing it back from the dead!

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Just sitting under a carport collecting dust. I don't think it has been wrecked. It has been RV'ed though. It's not dead, it fired up and moved, but until I get the fluids new and some lube order items done, it will sit where it is.
 
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