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i was heading home in my daily driver of the last 10+ years, my '08 Passion. The air conditioning was on high and the recirculating button was engaged. In my peripheral vision I saw them both start to blink. Strange, thought I and I turned down the blower speed. The blinking rate didn't change and shortly thereafter the air started pulsing out of the vents in time with the blinking lights. I stopped for gas and thought that the gremlins would probably disappear when I restarted. Nope. It wouldn't start. Instead, I got the three bars of death. No codes on the scan gauge. Did a transmission reteach and, on the second try, got a "P" and it restarted. This time the ABS triangle was lit and, as I headed the last few miles towards home, the alternator light started coming on intermittently. Being slow on the uptake, that's when I noticed that the voltage on the scan gauge was 11.4. I made it home and called the local shop and told them I thought I needed a new alternator but wasn't certain and could they look at it. When my wife arrived home about 20 minutes later, I was lucky and it started right up. No more ABS light but the alternator light did come on at idle and the max voltage on the scan gauge was 11.7 when running. We made it to the shop and it was indeed the alternator. If things go as planned, I'll have a new one (and new belts) tomorrow. This is my first repair in 10+ years of daily use and 86K miles. Not too shabby, smart and MB.:D
 

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It is good to know the symptoms of low voltage on the Fortwo. Thank goodness your battery was up to snuff or you might not have made it that far. Smarts are picky on voltage. I think I read somewhere that the amperage output on our alternators was 90 amps. I know it has a fairly high output at idle. It seems an alternator that large would take alot of our 70 horsepower just to charge the battery. I remember when a standard size alternator was around 37 amps. If you needed a 100 amp alternator you opted for a Leece Neville alternator like they used on ambulances etc,... DCO
 

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Can attest to smart's being picky on voltage. When the battery goes completely dead your car will stop running, stop shifting, and power steering assist will also stop.

When you get the car back keep an eye on the new belt to make sure it stays on, I made the fatal mistake of assuming everything was good when in fact the belt tensioner had failed. I had the alternator light come on and just assumed my new alternator had somehow failed. As a result I kept driving and as I pulled into the driveway the car over heated and blew it's head gasket. Luckily it was only the head gasket but in order to replace it the motor has to be dropped. So while I was at it we did the water pump, thermostat and a few other things that you pretty much can only get at easily with the motor out.
 

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I had an alternator failure on my 2006 about 4 months ago. Similar symptoms but it's always on the Scangauge so I could monitor it. The car started going bonkers when V got down to about 11.2. Random headlight flashing etc as the electrical systems were not getting what they needed. This car only had 75,000 miles on it. The one I scrapped when it was rear-ended 6 years ago had 150,000 miles and the original alternator.

Funny story, everyone on Clubsmartcar was saying "do it yourself, save money on labour". I have the smart lowering bolts but it was wet out and even with a garage I didn't want to mess with what is my sometimes daily driver. Paid the Nanaimo Benz dealer to do it. Picked up car and on the drive home, the replacement would intermittently charge properly and then go to battery V of 12.2. Faulty unit! So they had to do it again. For free. Meanwhile I had them change the chafed intercooler at the same time.

Had I bought one off the shelf, it would have been the one that failed, because that's my closest dealer! I certainly would not have wanted to do it twice....and even with the dealer, they were incredulous that a replacement part was faulty, so they checked out all other systems on the car before authorizing the replacement.
 
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