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I was roaming around Craigslist and I saw a 2014 Smart Fortwo being sold with 61K miles, but the owner states it needs an engine rebuild. Is this common among smarts or this year in particular? I'm in the market for a smart, but if they die this early then I'm not getting one.
 

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Burned exhaust valves and the resulting loss of compression and misfire trouble codes are not unheard of, but I wouldn't say it's "common". If you search this forum, you'll find mention of it.

It usually shows up at a lower mileage than that (sometimes 30,000 miles!) and it seems that if the car makes it past 50,000 - 60,000 mi, it is a good one and will probably go the distance. But it's certainly not impossible for it to happen around 60,000 mi or at ANY mileage.

I bought mine with 89,000 km on it and sold it more than a year ago at 237,000 km, and I know it's still on the road.

I don't think the root cause of this was ever established.
 

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I don't believe that is common. Our 2009 has 92000 miles and the 2008 has 76000 miles on it. They have needed very little work done on them other than the yearly maintenance.
 

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My second smart(2009 Pure) had around 165,000 when it lost a valve. I had no complaints and a few issues but nothing major up until then. My current (2008 passion) has just over 125,000 miles and still going strong, even after taking out a deer last year.
 

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Burned valves are more common in 2008s and 2009s, but can happen to any smart. We’ve never learned what causes them, but thankfully burned valves aren’t common at all and some of them were definitely from poor maintenance.

My 2012 has 137,000 miles. It’s been through the wringer with a number of issues yet still runs strong. It even regularly tows at least half its weight. I’ve become convinced this car will only actually die through crashing or something.
 
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No no, I meant ringer! Like a phone ringer! ;)
 
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