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Hello,


I have a 2014 Smart For Two electric with 20,000 km which I purchased a year ago for $10,000.

The local MINI service center here in Toronto advised me yesterday the EV battery needs to be replaced. The MINI center will be able to install it for around $1,200. The cost of the OEM EV battery from them is $11,000.

I found a few used EV batteries availabe at the junk yards here in Canada and more in USA for around $1,000. The problem is the MINI refuse to deal with aftermarket part and there is no trained independent mechanic locally who would do the job. I found one British mechanic who claimed to be an expert in Smarts, but after researching the issue he refused as well.



Please advise where to find someone who would do the job! Need one ASAP!:shrug:
 

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Were these used batteries tested? It would be difficult to test them once removed from a working car. Certainly a junkyard would not have the equipment or training to do it. Even just manually checking the pack voltage (much less the individual cell voltages) would involve opening the battery case (with lots of safety precautions) - and the BMS could still be bad.
 

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At this point I would part the 2014 and go lease a new one with a full battery warranty. I got a new 2018 EV that was loaded (every option). No 'drive-off' fees, sign and drive and the payment is $169/month...


Oh, I speak from experience. My 2015 EV gave up the battery with 6 months left on the lease. MB Financial made the last 6 payments and sent me on my way in a far superior product.
 

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Unlike other EV's which have 8 or more year battery warranties, the smart battery warranty is the same as the rest of the drivetrain warranty - only 4 years or 50k miles (80k km in Canada?).

However, recall in past fora about the old BAP plan, we discussed whether MB is actually legally obligated under emissions control regulations to honor an 8 (or 10?) year warranty for the battery in at least all US CARB states. We even were looking under the rear mat to see if a California-compliance placard was present - and all of the Smarts seemed to have them.

I'm not sure about Canada, although their regulations are usually harmonized with the US.

Discussion is here:


https://www.smartcarofamerica.com/forums/f170/smart-battery-warranty-better-than-they-told-you-148737/
 

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The battery is in a internal fault shutdown. It is a safety feature since over-discharged cells can explosively catch fire if recharged. Of course, the shutdown could be erroneous, but nonetheless, MB requires all service personnel to treat the battery pack as a sealed "black box". No internal battery components (cells, relays, the BMS pc board) are available for replacement. So, the only recourse is replacing the whole battery.
 

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The Smart Center I have gone to had to replace my battery due to an error on their part. They were doing some warranty work and messed up the connection to the battery. That was in 2016. They told me the battery would have been $29,000 back then. So $11,000 at least sounds a little better.

My guess is that the cost includes surface shipping it from Germany or France or wherever it comes from. They told me at the time that they don’t even stock the batteries here they n North America. So this is going to be an eventual issue for a lot of EDs owners in the US and Canada. It would be really difficult to spend more on the battery than the car is worth for me.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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The Smart Center I have gone to had to replace my battery due to an error on their part. They were doing some warranty work and messed up the connection to the battery.
The number of ways that the Smart battery can be rendered unusable - even though there is not actually anything physically wrong with it - just vaporous software declaring it toast, or at worst, a bad pc board, is utter farce. Surely, LEAFs, Teslas Bolts, Volts, Kona's etc. don't do this?
 

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Surely, LEAFs, Teslas Bolts, Volts, Kona's etc. don't do this?
Here's a Tesla BRICK story. A quick search will show others to include Leaf...

"Here’s a fun fact: Batteries and cars require maintenance. The Tesla Roadster runs on batteries that require lots of maintenance. Out of the 2,200 Roadster owners, apparently at least five didn’t read the manual on their new toy and let the car sit off the charger for several months – or so says one regional service manager. This is a no-no according to Tesla. The result? The $40,000 battery packs completely died and needed to be replaced at the owner’s expense."

https://techcrunch.com/2012/02/22/the-tesla-bricking-story-its-nonsense/

But Elon says . . .

"Should the battery die, Tesla will replace it at no cost with a battery of equal or better energy capacity. Tesla's battery warranty currently lasts eight years. In developing the Model S, we took great care to ensure that the battery would protect itself, always retaining a few percent of energy. If something goes wrong, it is therefore our fault, not yours," reads the release."

https://www.theverge.com/2013/4/26/4270826/tesla-addresses-bricked-battery-concerns-with-nigh-unconditional

"The Leaf owners’ manual addresses this by explaining:
The Li-ion battery discharges gradually if the vehicle is parked for a long time. Nissan recommends charging the Li-ion battery every 3 months using the long life mode charging method to keep the Li-ion battery in good condition. Do not leave the Li-ion battery fully discharged or with a very low charge level for a long period of time.”

Nissan also specifies conditions under which it won’t honor its standard eight-year warranty for the Leaf’s battery. According to the manual, there are four things you must not do to the Leaf’s lithium-ion battery if you want to preserve your warranty:
Don’t expose it to temperatures over 120-degrees Fahrenheit for more than 24 hours.

Don’t leave it for more than 14 days with the battery fully, or near-fully discharged.

Don’t store it in temperatures below -13 degrees Fahrenheit for more than seven days.

And don’t top it off daily, if it already has a charge of more than 98 percent."

https://www.consumerreports.org/cro/news/2012/03/how-not-to-brick-your-ev-battery/index.htm
 

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I was just searching for the same information, In a LEAF owners forum, I could not find any reports of a LEAF discharging from 100 to zero while in storage - in fact, they recommend storing it at 60 percent of so - as I was recommending for the Smart. Also, no accounts of a pack being bricked because of service person's error. (which sounds really implausible - I wonder what really happened? The pack only has a couple connectors plus two coolant/warmant lines.

These recent accounts of pack failure in the Smart (with the possible exception of Bruce's situation) occurred in conditions far less severe than those four things that Nissan warned LEAF owners about.
 

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Though this thread doesn't say 100 to 0, it's pretty clear that it would discharge significantly in cold storage, especially over a period measured in months:

battery heater and days subzero parking - My Nissan Leaf Forum

...mentions battery depleting from 8 bars to 4 bars over 2-3 weeks parked at -18C/0F.
I parked in the driveway at 95% dash SOC at Friday noon (probably 23.75 kw-hrs capacity)...Saturday noon...If I trust LeafSpy, it lost maybe 4.95 kw-hrs (about 20% of charge). The maximum possible loss should be 300 watts for 24 hours, or 7.2kw-hrs.
 

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I’m surprised there is such a leak current inside the battery. I guess my mind is too simple to comprehend one. For a 12 V this would be considered an internal short and the battery would be considered bad....
 

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I’m surprised there is such a leak current inside the battery. I guess my mind is too simple to comprehend one. For a 12 V this would be considered an internal short and the battery would be considered bad....
In extremely cold weather, there is a battery heater that intentionally takes several hundred watts of power out of the traction pack to warm the battery. That's an engineered solution to the problem of battery freezing, not an internal short or leakage current.
 

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In the case of the Smart, per the service primer reference in the sticky above, the battery heater is run off the 12V system, so only the 12 volt battery gets run down. Unlike some other EVs (Tesla I think) the Smart ED is not set up to periodically turn on the DC-DC converter to re charge the 12V battery. That can only be done manually by turning the keyswitch on or plugging it in to an EVSE for charging.


Of course, normal healthy lithium battery cells themselves self-discharge only at an extremely slow rate. I have some old LiFePO4 cells that stay at the nominal 3.2-3.3 volts even after sitting in the garage for 2-3 years.
 

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In the case of the Smart, per the service primer reference in the sticky above, the battery heater is run off the 12V system, so only the 12 volt battery gets run down.
Wow. That seems like a strange design, as a 300W heater is about the same load as 5-6 old-school halogen headlamps. I would think that would run down the Smart 12V lead-acid battery so quickly as to be more of a nuisance than a meaningful protection system for the car's battery.

Apologies for the technical error.
 

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In the case of the Smart, per the service primer reference in the sticky above, the battery heater is run off the 12V system, so only the 12 volt battery gets run down.
The 20 Amp In-line Fluid Heater is 12V powered but not certain if it can run independently of the EVSE being plugged in or the key turned on???

smartUSA says - the battery is the lifeforce of the car, so take care of it! don’t leave it in an uncharged or almost fully uncharged state for over 14 days. you can always check battery life in the display, so it’s easy to see charge levels if you’re not going to be driving for a while. battery=life. remember that.

here are some tips which must be followed to not void the warranty.
• don’t leave the battery in an almost completely uncharged state for over 14 days.
• if the car isn’t connected to a power source, keep the temperature moderate. temperatures should
stay between -4 F and 104 F. word to the wise: if you leave the car in temperatures under -13 F,
the damage might be irreversible.
• if possible, only charge the battery when its charge is below 80%.
• of course, we’ve got all this info and much more in your service booklet.

yep, your smart has a 12 V battery that starts the high-voltage system and operates the on-board electrical system. if the 12 V battery is uncharged, you can’t drive around town, or anywhere else. please always follow the instructions and warnings in the owner’s manual.

https://www.smartusa.com/resources/downloads/manuals/electric-drive/battery_faq.pdf[/I]
 

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Presumably, the battery heater does not turn on at any low temperature unless plugged in for charging or the key switch is turned on - in which case the DC-DC converter is turned on and the 12V battery stays charged. This design arrangement prevents the heater from discharging the 12V battery if it isn't plugged in, or worse, discharging the traction pack. (This is supported by reports that there is a small wait period before the car can be put in D and driven in -20 or colder temperatures.) But, it opens the traction battery to possible damage from extreme cold weather if it cannot be plugged in. It was a design compromise.

But at any rate, cold temperature was not a factor in one, and maybe two of the recent cases of a bricked battery pack.
 

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Presumably, the battery heater does not turn on at any low temperature unless plugged in for charging or the key switch is turned on - in which case the DC-DC converter is turned on and the 12V battery stays charged.
Very sad just how much we don't know about smart ED and thus must depend on "by guess - by golly" and less than scientific case study as we do our rather feeble CSI investigations?

This as the smart dealer/service network evaporates and ED trained technicians become an endangered species.

Appears our commitment to and expectation of Daimler/smart was a rather one sided relationship and perhaps sooner rather than later our simple, low maintenance EV could fault itself into oblivion??? :shrug:
 

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Very sad just how much we don't know about smart ED and thus must depend on "by guess - by golly" and less than scientific case study as we do our rather feeble CSI investigations?
...
Appears our commitment to and expectation of Daimler/smart was a rather one sided relationship and perhaps sooner rather than later our simple, low maintenance EV could fault itself into oblivion??? :shrug:
We have come far from the days when you could find everything you needed to know about any car, including complete wiring diagrams, from Chilton, Motors, Haynes, or the factory service manual - which I would get the salesman to throw in when haggling over a new car.

Later, driven by the need for low-polluting and better performing engines, a ECU computer fuel injection and a bunch of sensors and OBD replaced carburetors and electro-mechanical ignition. This was OK and it even made the car easier to diagnose, service and even modify with OBD and even ECU reprograming computer apps. And it made IC engines incredibly reliable, long-lasting and good performing.

But now things have become totally ludicrous with copyrighted, opaque software residing in absurdly expensive (and it seems, like the infamous expensive SAM, fragile) modules running everything down to the turn signals and locks, and all service information tightly held by the manufacturers like CIA secrets in order to force the owner to rely on a factory dealer. Ordinary owner-schmucks can get in serious trouble if they are even in possession of service information.

For a while, there was a rising "Right to Repair" movement. One state, Massachusetts (home of Ray and the late Tom Magliozzi aka Click and Clack - the Tappet Brothers) passed a "right to repair" law that forbid manufacturers from refusing to provide service information to independent mechanics and DIYers.

Even when new forum members come here with an electric drivetrain problem, they always seem to drop into oblivion and we never learn how their case was resolved. They ask for our advice and never take even a few minutes of their time to return the favor. Or is MB giving them a payoff and making them sign a gag order?

What we need right now is for a brave MB engineer-mole to come forward leak the needed service information to us.
 
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