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What we need right now is for a brave MB engineer-mole to come forward leak the needed service information to us.
If any intrepid engineer is so situated and inclined with respect to CAN-bus messaging, I know of a few coders who can make good use of the information to turn if from specs into working boxes.
:wave:
 

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LOOK at youtube.com and i have read where they teach YOU how to bring the battery that is old, back to life. as for mechanics not sure. this is one reason i dont like ev yet. someday maybe. how many miles per charge did you get? me i test d rove one for a week and averaged 57 although they advertised 100 miles per charge. sucks. i went and bot a 2009 gas, with 12000 miles for the price of your labor, a lil more, but, close. dont get robbed
 

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Jim,


The most immediate information is simply a simple description of how the cars systems were designed - i.e. the environmental and operating conditions that turn on the pack heater and the pack cooler on an off, and also all the conditions (cell voltages, temperatures and anything else) that trigger a pack fault condition so we can stop playing detective.
 

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Now I am starting to wonder how long my battery will last?
After reading the thread though:
1: My Smart is used daily so no sitting at all.
2: I charge it daily from 50% to full.
3: I live in a warm climate so it never gets cold.

But I don't know how it was treated before.

I bought it used from a 3 year lease return from San Diego CA with 30,153 miles on it for $8,000 and it is the best car I ever drove for the money!

I get 75 to 80 miles range on a full battery still. 0-60MPH in about 7 seconds.
 

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Smart Car,



Note that the foregoing discussion is about battery pack assembly failure are due to something breaking or a bad design feature - either software or hardware.

This has nothing to do with how long the battery pack will last as far as the life of the cells themselves. The standard advice cotinues to be to leave the battery pack at a less than full state of charge whenever possible (A SOC of 60 percent is ideal). This is especially beneficial for battery life in hot climates.
 

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at 60%, that would certainly cut down the range. if advertised is 100 and at 60% then it goes to 60 miles. i charged the smart ev 100% and got 57miles. several times during the week. convinced me to go find a gas ice.
 

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Smart Car,



Note that the foregoing discussion is about battery pack assembly failure are due to something breaking or a bad design feature - either software or hardware.

This has nothing to do with how long the battery pack will last as far as the life of the cells themselves. The standard advice cotinues to be to leave the battery pack at a less than full state of charge whenever possible (A SOC of 60 percent is ideal). This is especially beneficial for battery life in hot climates.
I do understand this thread started with battery problem errors and not range or life.
Do you know if the Smart has a setting to stop charging at say 80%, I know Chevy has that in their Bolt EV. I wish I had some way of stopping the charging before full because I have no Regen when I leave to work every morning.
 

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No, unlike the Bolt or LEAF, there is no way to do a "short charge" except to use a timer at the power-supply end. My Open EVSE does this - you can set a clock time to turn-on and a turn-off, or a one-time charge duration.

Also, it is fine to charge it to full, then use the car within a few hours - just don't leave the car sitting with a full battery for days, especially in hot temperatures.
 

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Now I am starting to wonder how long my battery will last?
After reading the thread though:
1: My Smart is used daily so no sitting at all.
2: I charge it daily from 50% to full.
3: I live in a warm climate so it never gets cold.

But I don't know how it was treated before.

I bought it used from a 3 year lease return from San Diego CA with 30,153 miles on it for $8,000 and it is the best car I ever drove for the money!

I get 75 to 80 miles range on a full battery still. 0-60MPH in about 7 seconds.

My entire situation is almost identical to yours. Hoping to get at least 4 years out of my car, driving it likely about 20,000 miles per year.
 

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Surely, LEAFs, Teslas Bolts, Volts, Kona's etc. don't do this?
Now and again they sometimes do. I personally know someone who's had awful problems with their electric Kia Niro battery. It'd not terribly common, but no manufacturer is immune.
 

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No, unlike the Bolt or LEAF, there is no way to do a "short charge" except to use a timer at the power-supply end.
I think the LEAF also removed this feature (to charge to 80%) in 2012 or 2013. (In any event, it's no longer present in my 2015.) I believe the cars' reported 100% is not the Lithium cells' literal 100% charge level.
 

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Smart ED dead traction battery restoration

We live in Central Oregon ... beautiful high desert country ... from which this winter, we escaped. We left our 2013 Smart car in the garage, and connected to a Siemens Level 2 charger, thinking all would be well when we returned in the spring. Unfortunately, when we returned we found the car to be completely dead, even though the external charger said it was connected properly, and that the car was fully charged ... or at least showed green lights all around.

I found the regular 12V battery in the car to be dead, and charged it with an external automotive charger. The car then looked pretty much normal ... except the traction battery indicated zero charge, and there was a flashing dashboard warning stating that the car required service.

Not all Mercedes dealerships are authorized to work on the Smart Electrics so my choices were either downtown Portland or Medford. Not wanting to fight Portland's downtown traffic with a loaded trailer, I contacted the Medford folks and arranged for a service visit at their next available opening. The following week I loaded the car onto a trailer & made the 3-hour trip (each way) south. I'd already explained the situation to the service advisor on the phone, but had to go through the whole thing again when I got there ... telling them again about the extended storage of the car, and that afterwards, the main battery wouldn't take a charge from a Level 2 charger (or the 110V charger supplied with the car). I specifically requested a thorough inspection of the battery, on-board charger, and battery management system. I authorized 3 hours of shop time for these tasks. Even though I'd scheduled this service a week in advance, I had to leave the car at the dealership as the service tech certified to do this work was surprisingly not on site for the scheduled service.

A week later I was contacted by the dealership and told, "The traction battery will not take a charge, and needs to be replaced." I asked how they had attempted to charge the battery and was told that they'd used a Level 2 charger ... the same kind I have at home ... and that their test indicated that several cells in the battery pack were well below minimums. They could not provide a list of which cells were bad. I asked if they'd tested the on-board charger and BMS, and they said no, but their service procedure indicated that the traction battery needed to be replaced, and that's all they were authorized to do. I was quoted a replacement price for the battery of $9000 ... and that price did not include installation ... and a delivery time of 6-8 weeks. I asked how they could be certain that a battery replacement would cure the issues exhibited by the car if they hadn't tested the BMS and on-board charger, and the service advisor told me that replacing the battery was the procedure they were required to follow.

I returned to the dealership, found that I'd only been charged for one hour of "service," paid the $160 charge, and trailered the car home. And by the way, loading a dead car onto a trailer by yourself is never any fun. (They were prohibited from helping me, according to their service manager, and I thanked them for the clarity of their procedures. Silently.)

In 2013, we'd been told by the Mercedes dealership where we'd purchased the car that the battery pack and drive train in this car were actually a Tesla system, and because the Tesla/Panasonic 18650 batteries and modules containing them are now available, I decided to try to repair the car myself. I removed the battery pack and opened it ... and soon determined that the batteries inside were not Tesla/Panasonic cells, but Li-tech pouch cells and that the whole assembly was manufactured by SB LiMotive, a German joint company of Bosch and Samsung SDI. I've also discovered that SB LiMotive is now defunct. These discoveries have dampened my enthusiasm for attempting a repair myself, and I still have a nagging suspicion that because the car was working perfectly when we parked it and was dead when we next tried to drive it, some other part in the car has failed, making any repair or replacement of the battery a fools errand ... especially when the Mercedes folks seem unwilling or unable to complete this work.

But still game, I measured the voltage of each of the 3 modules inside this battery pack, and all were about 13.5V ... or about 10% of what they should be. I attached a lab power supply to each of the modules in turn, and, as this power supply was only capable of delivering a controlled maximum of 35VDC, I slowly brought each module to that level, bringing the total pack voltage to 115VDC ... or about a third of what it should normally be. I saw no current spikes during this charging, and noticed no unusual smells or sounds.

With a little more disassembly, I discovered that I could measure and charge individual cells without disassembling the modules, and did so with 4 cells in one of the modules. These cells measured between .8 and 1.8 VDC before any charging, and by ramping up the charging voltage on each of the cells to 4VDC very slowly, I've managed to revive these cells. I started the charging at 100mA on one of the cells, and it took about 12 hours to get the voltage to 4VDC. On the last cell I experimented with, I held the charging current maximum to 1A, and it tapered much more rapidly as the cell voltage neared 4VDC. 24 hours after this charging procedure, all of these cells measured about the same value: 3.7VDC.

These results are encouraging, but I still had no explanation as to how the battery could have been so completely discharged while plugged in to a certified charging system. I later learned that if the key wasn't left in the ON position the 12V battery would soon run down, and that this would then interrupt the whole charging and temperature control system. Because the car was parked and connected to the charger in a garage where the ambient temperature was below freezing for more than 2 weeks, I worried that the cells in the traction battery may have been damaged by freezing. Or the Siemens charger just fried the whole battery pack. Or it could be that the BMS in each module is taking far more energy than it should ... or the maybe the phase of the moon was just wrong. I just didn't know.

Resolute, I continued charging individual groups of cells until all cells in all modules retained 3.7VDC for at least 24 hours, and each module looked pretty much like the one in the attached photo.
This brought the total unloaded voltage of the traction battery pack to 337.6VDC, which is very close to the nominal, unloaded voltage of this pack of 339VDC. I reassembled the battery pack, sealed it, and reinstalled it in the car.

When I turned the key, the results were disappointing. The dash energy displays still both read zero, and there was a red flashing notification on the dash that the traction battery had a fault, and that the car should not be towed. Subsequently, I've learned that "only the dealer" can reset a traction battery fault indication ... and this must be done before the car can be driven ... and since the dealership in Medford will certainly refuse to do this, I'm wondering if there is an alternative?

Any and all help would be appreciated.
 

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Smart ED dead traction battery restoration

Thanks for the reply! It looks like this project can only read battery voltages, and the faults, if any. I need to reset a fault ... or maybe reboot the whole system ... but I'll bet these faults are stored in an EEPROM, and as there are no schematics and no user-available procedures, the hack you suggest may be the way in ... if only I could find someone who's managed to do it.
 

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Jon - hoping for the best for you. I assume your car/battery does not have an extended warranty and you're not paying for the battery lease program. Might be time to find that lawyer we have been discussing who will take your case and push to have that eight year battery warranty made retroactive, since that's what the 453's now have. There is a very slim chance that Mercedes might even try to work with you to avoid any bad publicity. Try to kick it upstairs to Mercedes/Smart HQ.

Len
2014 EV Coupe 18,000 miles
2014 EV Cabriolet 12,000 miles
 

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Len,

Thanks for the reply. You're right, we're bare on this one ... no extended warranty, no lease.

We've put about 40K miles on this little car, and just loved it ... until it died an untimely death. What I've managed to do with it has actually made this even more frustrating for now the battery is just fine but the battery fault error seems untouchable. If I can't find someone who has managed to hack the computer on their own Smart & clear this kind of fault, I may have to try the great Mercedes in the Sky. Now that they're dealing with their own version of diesel-gate though, I suspect that they're not going to worry much about a lone owner in Nowhere, Oregon, complaining about a 6-year old battery.

Jon
 

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Jon,

The reason the car could have discharged itself even though it was plugged in to an EVSE (which, as in all these bricked HV battery cases, seems to follow by the 12V battery going dead) is that once the car is charged fully, it signals the EVSE to shut its power off (this is part of the SAE J1772 charging standard), then it opens its contractor relays in the battery case - shutting off DC-DC converter power to the 12V battery too. Everything would have been fine at this point and the car would have turned the EVSE power and its charger back on if the SOC drops to 95% or so, except that the 12 volt battery went dead over a month or two of slow drain - shutting down the systems needed to turn charging back on.

Then (and I am coming to believe that this is a deliberate feature, not a bug!) after the 12V battery goes dead, a "self-destruct" mode is activated in the BMS which discharges every cell completely flat over several days.

I think the MB engineers' idea was that if the car is junked, the first thing they remove is the lead-acid battery (becasue it is both toxic and has high recycling value). This provides the "signal" to completely discharge and brick the battery (its enormous salvage value be damned) to remove any shock or fire hazard to anyone in the junkyard disassembling the battery (like you did). Yes, this is total safety-nanny overkill - but then again, look at the safety overkill of German-style electric wall plugs (compared to even other 230V countries)...

Of course, thanks to the accounts of these Smart-suicides like yours, the fix is obvious. If you are storing the car, only worry about keeping it plugged in to an EVSE if the temperature is likely to go below -25C (-13F). But ALWAYS keep the 12V battery connected to a maintenance charger before going away!
 

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For those of you following this adventure, I've made a bit more progress, and hit another wall. I discovered that the HV battery error on the dash display could be reset using the same procedure as one might use to reset the Maintenance Required warning ... and when I did that, I found that the HV battery registered just above 20% charge remaining. Additionally, when I put the car into gear, I could spin the wheels ... and everything looked pretty much normal, well, except for the lowish battery level.

Delighted, I plugged the car into the Siemens Level 2 charger, and the Connected, and Charging lights came on. Terrific, I thought! It's going to charge with the on-board charger!

The delight lasted only a short time, as the charger soon clicked off, and the SOC indicator on the dash indicated that very little charge had been received. I turned the ignition ON and OFF, and the car began charging once again ... but again, only charged for a short time. I repeated the ON/OFF business with the ignition, and this time, timed the length of time it took to kick the charger off: 2 minutes. I tried again, with the same result. I switched to the 110VAC charger that came with the car, and repeated this sequence with exactly the same result. I also noticed that each time I switched on the ignition, the SOC indicator was just a bit lower than it had been before attempting to charge.

When I'd put the HV battery back in the car, I hadn't connected the coolant lines and I suspected that perhaps an over-temperature alarm was being generated by the attempts to charge the battery ... but because I didn't have any anti-freeze on hand, I disconnected the charger, and went to dinner. This morning I went to the auto parts store, bought some anti-freeze, and after connecting the coolant lines, I filled the system. To move the coolant into the whole system, I turned on the ignition ... and although the pump came on and started moving the coolant, the SOC indicator for the HV battery now showed only 5% remaining.

So, this means that although the battery could hold a 337V charge for almost 36 hours while disconnected from the car, it couldn't maintain a 20% charge over night while connected. And that means that there is still some mischief afoot ... and that probably has to do with the safety system mentioned by Yinzer. Yinzer suggested that once a HV battery error code is issued, the car will attempt to flatten the battery "for safety reasons." At least this theory fits with what I'm seeing. By the time I'd tried several other things this morning, the SOC indicated that the battery was now flat, and there was a new error code saying the the HV system needed attention by a repair facility.

So, again, I'm pretty much at a wall. I really don't want to scrap this car, and buying a "new" battery from Mercedes that was almost certainly manufactured in 2013/14 for $9000 is just absurd. I just have no idea what to do next ... so if anybody has any more ideas, I'm ready!
 
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