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Our smart stays at a vacation home of ours, about 2.5 hours from the closest dealer (in Pittsburgh). Yesterday, I found our smart's battery was dead - the last time she was out was November 23. smartusa had roadside service out within 35 minutes and gave our smart a jump. I ran it around the block (about a mile), and then let it run in the driveway for about 20-30 minutes to charge the battery. This morning, the smart started without a problem. This afternoon - could not start it up. Little power in the battery (wipers moved slowly, clock continued to work, door locks would not operate, emergency blinkers dead as well as headlights). Called smartusa road service 2nd time - arrived within an hour - same guy. Jumped again. Drove around for 20 minutes and included a brief stop at Home Depot.

Road service suggested I take the car into the dealer - easier said than done. Elsewhere on this board it seems there may be an issue with leaving the headlights in the "auto" position resulting in an 18-20ma draw on the battery. This symptom has appeared in late 2008 & 2009 builds. Apparently the factory has (or will) corrected this problem which requires a software update. No dealer nearby, so I guess smartusa will be jumping my battery until Memorial Day when I take the smart to the NJ shore.

Sorry for the long thread. Moral to the story - keep the headlights in the manual off position until you can bring your smart into the dealer for a flash update.

Has anyone experienced a dead battery problem? Cause? Solution? Please let everyone know.
 

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I'm on vacation from retirement for two months and the smart is in the garage. To offset the problem you describe, I bought a battery minder and hard wired the pigtail to the battery. When I leave on a sanity break, I just fish out the pigtail and plug it in.
 

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If your battery drains too far it may cause permanent damage to the cells and wont hold a charge worth a darn anymore. Get Autozone or someone to do a load test on the battery itself and you may be better off just buying a 40 dollar battery until you get to the dealer because a damaged battery can in fact damage an alternator by making it work overtime. Then get them to replace it under warranty and you have a spare just in case it happens again. If you suspect a low battery, you can use a digital multimeter and test the voltage at the power port when the key is on and engine off. Under 11 volts is cause for concern. 12 to 13 is normal and 14 while engine is on.
 

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You battery may be ruined. Starting batteries (the kind in your Smart) do not handle being discharged completely very well, unlike a deep cycle battery that is designed for repeated discharge/recharge cycles. If it were me, I'd replace the battery since it no longer holds a full charge. Then be sure to not let the new battery fully discharge.
 

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This time last year I owned 5 motorcycles and a car. I had four vehicles always on a Battery Tender Plus - that way, the batteries were charged up and ready to go. I am down to just one bike, and two cars now. Whatever vehicle is not being driven sits with the BT. The greatest thing since sliced bread !!
 

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The wonderful thing about the battery tender or battery minder (same type of technology) is that they charge at a very low (maintenance) rate that does not boil the electrolyte, there is minimal gassing, and little or no sulfation. Your battery actually improves with one of these connected.
 

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If the 2009 smart requires a Battery Tender to be used to prevent permanent damage to the alternator, shouldn't it be supplied as standard equipment? Or at least as a factory option with all the wiring factory installed....
 

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I'm away from my Smart for 3 weeks so I hooked up the gizmo to mine, too. It's not marketed as a battery charger - just a maintainer - but it got my discharged battery back up the first time (left the parking lights on) and will keep the Smart fresh and ready for when I return.
 

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If the 2009 smart requires a Battery Tender to be used to prevent permanent damage to the alternator, shouldn't it be supplied as standard equipment? Or at least as a factory option with all the wiring factory installed....
I see your point, but batteries are not able to maintain a charge over time without renewal of some sort - either driving the car or hooking up to charger. This is the price of all those computer driven doo-dads that basically keep the car in "sleep mode" even with the key off. So, we either drive them or put them on a charger (or battery tender.) :)

PS - battery issue on smartusainsider.com: http://www.smartusainsider.com/profiles/blog/show?id=2029424:BlogPost:255225
 

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09 - Comfort Package - dead battery/engine light

I just got back from the dealer with my brand new smart. I had 200 miles on the car and discovered that engine light popped on for no evident reason...:mad:

I went to the dealer and they have a new technical notice out for the 2009 w/comfort package experiencing a dead battery and/or engine light:rolleyes:

There is a bypass that has to be put in that overrides the fix smart did on the heated mirrors. They removed the relay and installed this bypass fuse.

Evidently the change they made to the heated mirrors on the 2009s somehow causes the auto wipers and auto lights to drain the battery, and cause the engine light to pop on...

It was an easy fix. I was in and out in less than 30 minutes. Everything is working great now.

I just wanted to pass this along. If you are experiencing any of these issues you may want to take it in. Check with the dealer first to make sure they have the part, mine just received the bypass today from smart so call before you go...

The down side - the mirrors stay on now just like the 2008 models...:p

Anyone more car-technical may want to take a stab at cleaning up my broken technical jargon...:D
 

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So, for the 09s the mirrors are not on all the time? Wonder what triggers them now? It's been great with the cold weather to start the car up and watch the mirrors deice automatically. :)
 

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So, for the 09s the mirrors are not on all the time? Wonder what triggers them now? It's been great with the cold weather to start the car up and watch the mirrors deice automatically. :)
They connected them to the rear defroster - BUT that created this new issue which this new tech notice basically reverses... LOL Gotta love those engineers... :eek:
 

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I have a question about the CAB BUS system. Does using a non-CAN BUS charger/maintainer cause any problems with the electrical system? On my 2007 BMW motorcycle (which has a CAN BUS system) if you do not disconnect the battery from the bike and using a charger it will cause problems with the ECU. Any input? Reason i ask is because i would like to put a charging outlet in the glove box so i could just plug in the charger when the car sit for a couple days.
 

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I'm on vacation from retirement for two months and the smart is in the garage. To offset the problem you describe, I bought a battery minder and hard wired the pigtail to the battery. When I leave on a sanity break, I just fish out the pigtail and plug it in.
Yeah, a battery minder's the best fifty bucks I ever spent on my Sol. You have to remember, the battery's being drained by alarms, clocks, etc, (at least on my Sol); let it sit a few weeks and your battery WILL be dead.
 

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that's all fine 'n dandy for those with electrical access to the car when it's not being used. mine's garaged and I have no access to such amenities...

my workaround? find an excuse to drive it more often. ;-)

so far ~1 month between drives is the longest; no issues yet. I guess I'll need to try to drive it more often in the winter. on the other hand, a pure w/o extras (maybe) draws less on the battery when "resting"?
 

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I would install a battery switch that would allow you to disconnect the battery when the car is going to be stored for an extended period of time.
 
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