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My recent purchase is a 2014 Smart Electric with 15,000 miles and I love it. Yesterday I had a problem, after parking for about 30 minutes when I tried to start, I got a "Brake Failure" warning "take to service." All electric systems shut down, no radio, no window open. I am 30 miles from the nearest dealer and it is two days from Christmas so I guessed I would not get rapid service. I opted to call for a tow to my home, 2 miles away. I specified I need a flat bed tow truck because of the short wheel base, insurance company agreed. An hour or so later tow driver arrives with a stubby truck (not a flatbed) he is convinced he can give me a jumper start to get me on my way. His first question to me was, "where is the battery?" To which I answered, "which one? You are not going to attach your jumper cables to either." After more bickering he agreed to get me a flatbed driver. An hour later a driver with a flatbed truck arrives and I spoof you not, his first question was, "where is the battery?" By now I was a little on edge so I decided to show him, opened the back, raised the carpet and said, "see, no user access." OK fine, I convinced him I didn't need a jump start. To get to his truck we needed to push the car back about 10 feet turn and forward about 10 feet. As he was pushing, the dash display came on, radio came on and I was able to move the windows! With that I sent the tow driver on his way and drove home. My guess is that it was some sort of computer glitch and I will cautiously drive my Smart locally for a while keeping in mind that when I park I may need to push it back and forth from the spot.

My question is: has anyone else experienced this sort of shut down with your electric vehicle? Is this a common failure?
 

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Wow, glad you got it working. One time occurrence Or ?????
I'll bet now you're glad you live "Only" 30 miles from the dealership.
Are you still planning on taking it into the dealership, to have them check it out?
 

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The mechanic was correct. There IS user access to the 12-volt accessory/system battery - an ordinary lead-acid battery. It is under the passenger side forward (footrest part) of the floor - same place the emergency tire inflator/sealer kit and screw-in bumper tow hook is. It can and sometimes (if you leave lights on overnight like I did once) must be be jumped in order for the car to be turned on.

Read the manual!

My best guess is that your problem is a loose connection at the accessory battery - or maybe the battery itself.

And while a flatbed or trailer is ideal, a Smart ED can also be towed by the rear wheels with the steering wheel secured so the front wheels don't move. Alternatively, if you can get in neutral (which requires system power), towing it by the front wheels is ok if you are only going a couple miles at low speed.
 

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Also, you need to move this discussion over to the Smart Electric Drive forum - you will find much more help there!
 

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Discussion Starter #9
The mechanic was correct. There IS user access to the 12-volt accessory/system battery - an ordinary lead-acid battery. It is under the passenger side forward (footrest part) of the floor - same place the emergency tire inflator/sealer kit and screw-in bumper tow hook is. It can and sometimes (if you leave lights on overnight like I did once) must be be jumped in order for the car to be turned on.

Read the manual!

My best guess is that your problem is a loose connection at the accessory battery - or maybe the battery itself.

And while a flatbed or trailer is ideal, a Smart ED can also be towed by the rear wheels with the steering wheel secured so the front wheels don't move. Alternatively, if you can get in neutral (which requires system power), towing it by the front wheels is ok if you are only going a couple miles at low speed.
The shut down problem continues to happen probably once in ten starts. I have checked the 12V battery, all connections are tight, granted the car is 4 yrs old now. In my opinion batteries last longer these days, my 2009 Passion is still on it's first battery. I am wondering where the generator is that charges the 12V battery. Many of my trips are under 3 miles. I have had "charge 12V battery NOW" message on a couple non-start occasions. After connecting a charger, it indicated "Full Charge" almost instantly I am ruling out 12V battery and am convinced it is some sort of computer glitch. I did hit a really large pothole that destroyed two wheels and probably shook up the electronics. Until I can drive to the dealer my fix for when this non-start happens is to push the car slightly forward (4 ft) and so far it reverts to a normal start.

On a different note; I replaced all four wheels with 16 inchers and high performance low profile tires. Then I read a MotorTrend article telling me cool sporty wheel/tire combinations will decrease the range of an electric vehicle, not significantly with my driving so far. The tires have a 40Z rating (drive flat at 40mph) which I like.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Eating some "crow" here. RECAP: Dec 2017 my 2014 ED would not start and a tow truck driver wanted to attach his jumper cables to my 12V battery. I refused to show him where it was located and insisted on a flatbed tow truck. Hand pushing the car about 10 feet toward the flatbed tow truck allowed the car to start. Jo e Lefors suggested that maybe the first tow trucker was right and maybe it was the 12V battery. After a couple of months of denial, occasionally having to push the car for a start I caved and replaced the 12V battery and yes, that solved my problem. The replaced battery tested as "BAD" low capacity, so it would not hold a charge. That said, I love my electric Smart.
 

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Eating some "crow" here. RECAP: Dec 2017 my 2014 ED would not start and a tow truck driver wanted to attach his jumper cables to my 12V battery. I refused to show him where it was located and insisted on a flatbed tow truck. Hand pushing the car about 10 feet toward the flatbed tow truck allowed the car to start. Jo e Lefors suggested that maybe the first tow trucker was right and maybe it was the 12V battery. After a couple of months of denial, occasionally having to push the car for a start I caved and replaced the 12V battery and yes, that solved my problem. The replaced battery tested as "BAD" low capacity, so it would not hold a charge. That said, I love my electric Smart.


I just had a funky no start on my 2014 smart ed as well. It turned out just to be the 12v on mine as well. Funny it never gave any indication of being on its way out. Just one day no dash display (very dim you couldn’t read it) then a bunch of HV system failure warnings and nothing. We were able to drive wherever we wanted once it was started, but if it sat for more than an hour was dead again (another jump and off we go) so I trailered mine to dealership. I’ll pick it up tomorrow (too late now for the 3 hr drive)



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So what replacement batteries did you guys use? I'd be interested to hear what battery the dealer is using these days.

Len
2014 EV Coupe 15,000 miles
2014 EV Cabriolet 5,000 miles
 

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So what replacement batteries did you guys use? I'd be interested to hear what battery the dealer is using these days.



Len

2014 EV Coupe 15,000 miles

2014 EV Cabriolet 5,000 miles


I can tell you some time tomorrow. I still haven’t driven the 2.5 hours each way to pick up my smart.


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So what replacement batteries did you guys use? I'd be interested to hear what battery the dealer is using these days.



Len

2014 EV Coupe 15,000 miles

2014 EV Cabriolet 5,000 miles


Dealer charges MB $150.30 for battery. My cost at pick up was $0.00. Nice. Seems battery is under warranty too.


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Discussion Starter #16
So what replacement batteries did you guys use? I'd be interested to hear what battery the dealer is using these days.

Len
2014 EV Coupe 15,000 miles
2014 EV Cabriolet 5,000 miles
My replacement was from a local auto parts store. Super Start Platinum CCA: 600, CA: 690, Minutes Reserve Capacity: 100. Cost before tax: $174.59 installed. It was not an "exact replacement" physical dimensions were very close and it fits in the cradle, we had to slightly modify the hold down bracket due to the vent cap placement. Nationwide warranty, 3 year free replacement.

George
2014 EV Coupe 16,000 miles
2009 ICE Passion 20,000 miles
 

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Johannesl - what battery did the dealership install? The Varta was the battery that Mercedes used for years. Wondering what they are using these days for the Smarts? Did they indicate a part number on your invoice?

Thanks for the replies guys. Good info to have.

Len
2014 EV Coupe 15,000 miles
2014 EV Cabriolet 5,000 miles
 

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no start issue

The shut down problem continues to happen probably once in ten starts. I have checked the 12V battery, all connections are tight, granted the car is 4 yrs old now. In my opinion batteries last longer these days, my 2009 Passion is still on it's first battery. I am wondering where the generator is that charges the 12V battery. Many of my trips are under 3 miles. I have had "charge 12V battery NOW" message on a couple non-start occasions. After connecting a charger, it indicated "Full Charge" almost instantly I am ruling out 12V battery and am convinced it is some sort of computer glitch. I did hit a really large pothole that destroyed two wheels and probably shook up the electronics. Until I can drive to the dealer my fix for when this non-start happens is to push the car slightly forward (4 ft) and so far it reverts to a normal start.

On a different note; I replaced all four wheels with 16 inchers and high performance low profile tires. Then I read a MotorTrend article telling me cool sporty wheel/tire combinations will decrease the range of an electric vehicle, not significantly with my driving so far. The tires have a 40Z rating (drive flat at 40mph) which I like.
I had this error many times, if ac was on almost every time.
After 3 dealers just cleared codes, 3 one researched and replaced HV battery for free.
Now no errors for more than 9 months.
 

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It's possible your knee hit the keyfob. Happened to me once on a bumpy road and car turned off. Really surprised me. I restarted and went on my way. I removed the keyfob when I got home and no further problem. I also learned to avoid the really bad potholes on that street. I zig/zag it a lot more. Just more fun!
 
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