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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited by Moderator)
2008 Smart ForTwo Cabrio.
38k miles.
Fresh battery (6 weeks old).

Sitting at a light today in NYC, she started to "surge" while in "drive" gear at a light (at idle) while my foot was on the brake. I instinctively clicked it from drive to neutral once or twice to see if that stopped the (slightly more than) mild surging.

It didn't. The light changes to green and I press the gas. The car act exactly as if it was in neutral and just revs. I click it into neutral...revved a bit...but it back in Drive...revved a bit...click down to manual 1st and 2nd...still acting the same. I restarted the car twice. Hoping that will "reset" something. It starts back up quickly both times but was still doing the false neutral thing.

I turned it off, removed key, reinserted the key...and turned it to start: nothing. Dash lights are strong as ever, headlights are on, the works...but it doesn't even try to turn over. I try this about 20 times. It is ALMOST like the battery is completely dead, except all the interior lights are strong, no unusual indicators light are lit (just the typical ones before your car starts) and there isn't that click click click sound. Just one modest click when I first turn the key.

Had had the key replaced/reset...about a year ago. But it was worked seamlessly since.

What is going on?

Side fun note: in my suit, I pushed it across Park Avenue about 120 feet directly into a "Smart car spot" that is good until Tuesday before it gets ticketed (for alternate side rules).

Help!

-Eff

FINAL CAUSE (See post #65): clutch actuator
 

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Discussion Starter #2
A few more details:

Code -307 is displayed after mileage count disappears.
Ran the brake PRND+1DNP reset a half dozen times, and it did nothing.
The "click" actual occurs when I turn the key to start and then again when I release the key. It also appears to come from under the dash/driverside foot well. Maybe from the fuse box there?

Again, battery appears to be real strong. It just doesn't even try to turn over and it all "feels" electronic (not mechanical) in nature to me.

-Eff
 

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The OP is seeing the number of miles or days he is past the service interval. We need output from a code reader connected to the OBD2 port.

But, it's sounding like a clutch actuator issue - bad connection, bad actuator, etc.
 

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Why don't you disconnect the battery for a while, most everything electronically is reset when the plug is pulled.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
The OP is seeing the number of miles or days he is past the service interval. We need output from a code reader connected to the OBD2 port.

But, it's sounding like a clutch actuator issue - bad connection, bad actuator, etc.
Ah...will try and get that done today or tomorrow. Thanks. Know the clutch actuator code?
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Won't start if transmission stuck in some gear. Needs to be in park. Off to MB service.
I should have posted that I attempted to start it in "everything" as in P, N, and in R, D (just to...you know...try anything". And still nothing.
 

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There is a sensor low on the back side of the transmission that gets wet and causes grief as found out by a certain Minnesotan moderator who swears by contact cleaning and a little dielectric grease in the electrical connection to make it water tight. That might solve the lack of detecting the transmission state, but won't solve the engine surging.
I wonder if this could be our old friend, the issue of the fuel pump wiring harness against the frame over the gas tank? Another vibration wear issue on the wiring harness of 08's and 09's, involves the position of the O2 sensor's wiring harness rubbing against the right end of the engine. Several of us found a spot wearing or worn through the outer jacket of insulaton and then through the wiring insulation. A simple repositioning of the O2 sensor wiring away from the rocking engine solves that problem, unless the wiring has shorted through the insulation and needs to be re-insulated, or repaired.
The O2 harness is easy to check from the engine bay, and the transmission sensor is easily reached from underneath the rear of the vehicle just in front of the left rear fender skin on the transmission.

These issues may not be your problem Effervescent, but are possibilities worth eliminating cheaply before towing to the dealer'$ $hop.
CRC-2-26 is excellent for cleaning connections within a plastic connector and then apply the dielectric grease. The big box home improvement store where I work carries CRC 2-26 in the electrical department.
 

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Effer. Sounds like battery or ground . Did you yourself replace that Battery or did someone else ?

Did you clean the posts and terminals before installing that new Batt ?

If you hook it up again on clean posts and it doesn't solve your problem, take the Batt back where you bought it and demand a replacement. If they baulk, have them show you a load test. At least then you eliminate the Battery as a cause and can go on to trouble shoot further.

Good luck. A2Jack
 

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Do the brake lights work ??

Could be a bad switch :(
Absolutely... Bad brake light switch will disable the starter as well as other symptoms. Went through that last week. :eek:

Take a look to see if all stop lights are working. Key full on. A2Jack.
 

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If it's been raining lately, water might be the culprit, so drying connectors esp the ones around the actuator and engine side/bottom makes sense.

Also, I discovered that if the actuator is 'broken' (needs cleaning or parts needed replaced/popped back in), the car would not start. It's something about the positioning of the pushrod and gears right before the key is turned past the first point during ignition, I think.

Once the planets and the stars are aligned, we cshould (could and should lol) have lift-off :)
 

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Discussion Starter #19
This is great, Fellas.

Will check brake lights and battery tonight. Everything else (fan, interior lights, head lights, dash) power up great so I suspect the battery is fine.

Regarding the sensor(s), anyone have images of that or a link to how those are accessed? What tools would I need? I'll be doing this while street parked in Manhattan so not too many home comforts (ie. good lighting, heat source, tool boxes, Belgium ale).

-Eff
 

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I agree with HGB......try disconnecting the battery for a bit. Sometimes the computer just needs to be rebooted. I tow my car behind my motorhome, and I have a battery disconnect switch that I use. Even still, sometimes when I get where I'm going, and I turn the power back on, the car decides to be finicky and doesn't want to go into gear and lose the bars on the indicator. So......I just shut it off at the battery for a bit, and start over. That has always resolved the issue for me. :)
 
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