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How long do you think the carpet and the foam in the foot well will last if you keep pulling it up to futz with the battery? This stuff does not go in and out with any sort of ease: you have to fold up the carpet and force the foam holding the tire pump out and then back in. I have already had the carpet replaced once due to fit and puckering issues, don't want to do that again.
 

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I have an 09 and have parked it for at least 3-4 days at a time with the auto headlights switch on the 'on' position and have not experienced a battery drain. But I got this email today from SMART USA


Dear smart fortwo Owner,
We have had reports of batteries being drained within an 8 to 12 hour period in Model Year 2009 smart fortwos which are equipped with the comfort package option. This appears to happen when both the rain sensing windshield wipers and auto-headlamps are left in automatic mode when the car is not running.
To help avoid a dead battery, please always turn your wipers and headlamps to the full off position when parking your car for any period of time. The safety of your vehicle will not be affected and your headlamps and wipers will operate normally in any position when driving. Note -- For full off positions, the headlamp switch should be rotated fully clockwise to the off (O) position – the wiper stalk should be one click up from the bottom position.
Your smart center dealership will advise you as soon as possible of the availability of the upgrade which they will install at your convenience.
We apologize for the inconvenience in needing to return your car to the dealership for this work.
Sincerely,
The smart USA Team
 

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Discussion Starter #24
So it has been 9 days since the smart was last started. Kept the "auto" headlight setting in the full off position, but the "auto" wiper position was still on. She fired right up! I think the letter referred to by NJREDZ06 above applies to late build MY2008 vehicles (ours was built in August 2008). We will keep the headlight and wiper settings in the full off positions until we have a chance to visit a dealer (sometime in May 2009).
 

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I have had my smart for about 4 months now. I take it out only about once a week and drive it for about 40 or 50 miles. It always starts up with no problem, but this last week it was very cold here in N.Y. I tried to start her and nothing. had roadside come and give me a boost. Did the cold wheather have that much to do with killing the battery? I drove the car for about an hour at high way speeds after the jump. Will my battery be ok now or was damage already done and I need a new one? On most cars getting a jump is not such a big deal. Just pop the hood, but the smart is a little bit of a pain. The roadside man who had jumped smarts many times even had a hard time. Not the greatest place to put a battery.
 

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I have had my smart for about 4 months now. I take it out only about once a week and drive it for about 40 or 50 miles. It always starts up with no problem, but this last week it was very cold here in N.Y. I tried to start her and nothing. had roadside come and give me a boost. Did the cold wheather have that much to do with killing the battery? I drove the car for about an hour at high way speeds after the jump. Will my battery be ok now or was damage already done and I need a new one? On most cars getting a jump is not such a big deal. Just pop the hood, but the smart is a little bit of a pain. The roadside man who had jumped smarts many times even had a hard time. Not the greatest place to put a battery.
Takes a lot more to start a cold car and battery has to work harder. Battery could be fine but I would get it load tested to be sure of its status.
 

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another dead battery

Hi - I had my car in the garage for two weeks during the bad weather here in NYC. I went to use it Christmas Day and it was completely dead. What a hassle - had to take a bus with all the presents ;). Help with the following questions is much appreciated:
1. Had to use the key manually to enter the car. The car won't lock manually - correct? If so, bad design.

2. I ordered a good battery maintainer - can I just hook it up to the battery without disconnecting it first?

3. I read that 2009 cars have a problem with keeping the headlights and wipers in auto mode. Is this true for 2008?

I have a service appointment later in the week so Mercedes can check out the battery and make sure everything's ok. First I have to get the battery charged so I can drive it in. I would be interested in upgrading the battery if anyone has a replacement model / number for me.

Thanks!
 

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I had exactly the same problem mutiple times : I couldn't start the car...dead battery...called roadside service (Penske - very responsive)... they jump-start and it's OK for a few hours...a day at most...then same thing all over again. Finally, after the snow storms were done in Seattle I got them to tow the car into the service center. They did diagnostics and confirmed the auto-headlight setting draws too much from the battery and basically the battery was done. They've replaced it with a larger battery (apparently approved by the automaker) to handle the problem so we'll see... No mention of the fix via software updagrade 'tho - I'll ask when I collect the car this weekend. That's 1 thing I'm not happy about - Smartcar Seattle would not drop off the car citing "short of staff due to holidays". I live 25 miles away from the service center so it'll cost me time & $$.
I bought this car for my wife & we're both starting to get buyer's remorse... Hopefully the new battery fixes things!
 

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I would be interested in upgrading the battery if anyone has a replacement model / number for me. Thanks!
"Optima 34/78". same size - double the power of what comes with the car.
Search for: "Optima 34/78", complete writeups

Donald LaFavor
 

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my battery story

Thanks for the Optima tip. I'd like to recount my experience in the hope of possibly helping others:
When I first realized my battery was dead, I ordered a Deltran plus battery charger / maintainer. It comes with a terminal adaptor that can be attached to the battery, making it easy to just plug it into the charger when needed. I then plugged the charger in figuring it would be fine in the morning.
WRONG. Next day, the battery was still dead. What I learned after reading the charger instructions (Duh), was that the charger will not work if the battery voltage is too low. Thinking that the battery was toast and wouldn't take a charge, I set about getting it replaced. Smart told me to call roadside and have the car towed in. I didn't like this idea much, as I was parked in an underground garage, and getting towed or even jumped would not be that easy due to space restrictions. Also, towing leaves the possibility of damaging the car, however small.
Smart would not give me a battery and let me switch it out myself, and buying one for $130 was foolish when the car is under warranty, so my next step was to get a battery somewhere else, if only to get the car into the shop. I didn't realize that a jump start would probably do the same. So, on New Years Day, I bought a Group 26R battery from Strauss Auto, which was nearby, and open. Cost, $50. I switched batteries and voila - the car sprang to life. Then I hooked up the removed dead battery to the charger and lo and behold - the charger indicated it was working (red light went steady, whereas it was flashing before).
I used the car that day with no problems. I had an appointment the next day for service, so I switched back to the original battery and drove it in to Smart. Smart agreed the battery was bad (voltage was still low, even after being on the charger overnight) and replaced it for free. Now I have an emergency battery that cost me $50 and a charger.
I learned a few things from this experience. One, if using a trickle charger you may need to disconnect the battery to get it to charge. Two, a 26R battery fits ok, but this one was a little loose under the bracket. Three, I am now an expert at removing and installing smart batteries :D.
I'm going to make sure my lights and wipers are on OFF when not using the car. I hadn't used it for over two weeks when this trouble started. If I run into trouble again, I may invest in an Optima battery. I called Optima and spoke to a technician who wouldn't recommend an Optima for a Smart, but hinted that it might be possible. I'm sure now that it is, thanks to 24-42. Thanks for reading this and I hope it is helpful.
 

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nemo, did Smart say anything about what the measured voltage was for them to declare it failed?

I ask because mine shows 11.6V after sitting 2 hours or 72 hours. I could swear it started out showing 12.1-12.4 when new.
 

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Wouldn't the Optima 34R fit better? It has the posts reversed.
34R wouldn't fit any better, just a little quicker. With the alternative ground being exactly the same, neither method is 'Better'.

The 34/78 is more readily available. I bought mine at Sam's Club for $ 139.00.

"Six one.... Half a dozen the other.

Donald LaFavor
 

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nemo, did Smart say anything about what the measured voltage was for them to declare it failed?

I ask because mine shows 11.6V after sitting 2 hours or 72 hours. I could swear it started out showing 12.1-12.4 when new.
No, I didn't get any details other than that the battery voltage was low so they replaced it.
 

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Discussion Starter #35
No, I didn't get any details other than that the battery voltage was low so they replaced it.
Brought our smart to the dealer last week (January 20) after the 3rd jump for a dead battery. SA mentioned the factory had not released a "fix" for the battery failure. I had the dealer keep the smart over the weekend, outside in the cold. SA called Monday morning - "the battery is being replaced with a larger/stronger one and it should arrive Tuesday (January 27) morning". Battery arrived yesterday, but without a "hold down" strap - on backorder. Now I have a smart with a weak battery.

Sorry for the long rant - but it looks like the factory has not found an answer for this bug other than to install stronger batteries. As soon as I get a receipt for the warranty replacement, I will post the "op code" to use with your dealer.

Love the smart - hate the downtime.
 

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Westfield, the cool thing about the Battery Tender is it come with a "pigtail" - leads that are permanently connected to the terminals of your battery. The other end is a 2 pin SAE plug. I bought an extension, so I run my pigtail under the carpet to just past the back of the passenger seat. I have a 25 foot extension on my battery tender, which I run through the back window of the Smart when it is parked. It's really convenient - my cars sit connected to a BT every night.

How long do you think the carpet and the foam in the foot well will last if you keep pulling it up to futz with the battery? This stuff does not go in and out with any sort of ease: you have to fold up the carpet and force the foam holding the tire pump out and then back in. I have already had the carpet replaced once due to fit and puckering issues, don't want to do that again.
 

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Brought our smart to the dealer last week (January 20) after the 3rd jump for a dead battery. SA mentioned the factory had not released a "fix" for the battery failure. I had the dealer keep the smart over the weekend, outside in the cold. SA called Monday morning - "the battery is being replaced with a larger/stronger one and it should arrive Tuesday (January 27) morning". Battery arrived yesterday, but without a "hold down" strap - on backorder. Now I have a smart with a weak battery.

Sorry for the long rant - but it looks like the factory has not found an answer for this bug other than to install stronger batteries. As soon as I get a receipt for the warranty replacement, I will post the "op code" to use with your dealer.

Love the smart - hate the downtime.
I have this post in another area but this seems to be the place to rant about the Smart Battery issue. Here is my story......

Smart Battery BLOWS
I left my Smart overnight ( say 30 hours total) at the airport. It was a cold NYC January. And umm perhaps I had left the Dome light on - I'm not sure. The battery was super dead. The airport folks TRIED to jump start me. No luck. I have 6,500 miles on my Smart. I left the dome light on (allegedly). All the kings horses and all the kings men could not start that smart.

Had to tow it! At midnight ugh!!! Then had to tow it again to the SMART NYC when it opened. To make matters WORSE they said that it wouldn't be covered by the warranty because I have a SIRIUS RADIO (hard wired and only goes on when the radio is on)and that causes a constant drain to the battery!

Is that right! I have been driving for over 30 years And have had who knows how many boosts. I have never come accross anything like this.

ALSO - TO ADD INSULT TO INJURY I was charged $250! Now that I heard your story I don't think SMART NYC handled this very well. The flaw is obviously with the inferior OEM battery creating BIG hassels for owners. They should be recalled! NYC didn't even give me an option for a stronger battery (I assume) they just replaced it with another OEM.
 

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What was the build date of your smart?

It sometimes seems that smart gets feedback on faulty components and quietly rectifies them at the factory level at some point (like the auxiliary air valves). Batteries and battery connections made for commentary early-on.
 

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Saga Continues......
So after an unsuccessful try at boosting AND then getting a brand new battery the radio doesn't work right. It seems like this incident would have to be related to the battery since it happened at the same time. It's a radio 9 and I checked out the CD player which works fine. Just the radio sounds very fuzzy, like the antenna went out. So for those SMART detectives out there. Extra bonus points if you can figure this one out. When it gets a bit warmer I'll check out the back of the radio to if the antenna popped out. Perhaps when it was towed. That's all I can come up with.
 

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Don't know if this is relevant to your problem. Folks have reported poor am reception due to a bad AM amp fro the factory. But, I assume that would have been there from day 1. Anyway, those posts say that having the AM amplifier, part # 81623800, replaced (under warranty) helped the AM reception.
 
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