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Well I got to experience my first problem with my 09 Smart. Pulled out of the garage and went to pull out into traffic and no power, quickly pulled it over and looked down at the cluster and saw the wrench with a smaller one behind it flashing and D was flashing. Pulled out the manual and read my transmission was in "limp-mode". call my dealer, wasn't really sure what flashing wrench was. I asked if I should drive it down or have it towed, he said if it drives go ahead and drive it, and went around the block and it shifts 2-3-4-5.

Got it down there and its pulling a generic shift code and he is going to contact smart about it. Claims its happened twice in the car's history (but this is the 1st time its effected the car). He said he wouldn't be able to get anything today on the car because at noon Central time there was going to be a conference call about 2008 cars (Sounds like the talk about upgrading the transmissions).

Anywho car is back on the road and shifting fine but he said we'll be in touch and the car could act up again.

Anyone encounter an issue like this were you are locked out a gear in the transmission?
 

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I've seen this before. I'll bet that they'll do a forced re-train on the transmission. The way to force it is by leaving it in neutral and disconnecting the battery for about 30 mins. When it comes back up it will show 3-bars on the display. From there you shift from park, down to drive, and back again, slowly. The transmission will grind a bit, and eventually you'll get a park indicator.

I had this happen to me once when I shifted too quickly from drive to reverse. In my case since the car was stopped, it just went to 3-bars and beeped at me. A quick re-train, and it was right as rain. I've learned not to shift as quickly (or when the car is moving, for that matter), and I've not had the problem since.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I didn't get the 3 bars indicator and if I recall with the 3 bars you can't drive the car, this was drive able, both in manual mode and in auto, but it was taking off in 2nd gear and couldn't get into 1st.
 

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Interesting, well Joe or Raj the tech should be able to help you out fairly quick, those guys are pretty cool if you get to hang around them enough.
 

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Mine did this when it was about a month old.

I was making a left hand turn and had to slow abruptly in the middle of it for a bus, but then had to floor it to get out of the way of an oncoming car. It was trying to upshift when I floored it, and it sort of got confused.

I was about 2 blocks from home, so I limped it to my garage in case it wouldn't re-train. I was able to re-train it though with no problems. It hasn't happened since, either.
 

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Woody... I experienced the very same thing

I've seen this before. I'll bet that they'll do a forced re-train on the transmission. The way to force it is by leaving it in neutral and disconnecting the battery for about 30 mins. When it comes back up it will show 3-bars on the display. From there you shift from park, down to drive, and back again, slowly. The transmission will grind a bit, and eventually you'll get a park indicator.

I had this happen to me once when I shifted too quickly from drive to reverse. In my case since the car was stopped, it just went to 3-bars and beeped at me. A quick re-train, and it was right as rain. I've learned not to shift as quickly (or when the car is moving, for that matter), and I've not had the problem since.
And when it happened, I had recollection of the dreaded 3 lines thru P and simply did the trans reteaching exercise and all was fixed.
I learned not to shift too quickly from drive to reverse OR to shift while moving either forward or in reverse. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Joe (Tech at Smart of Bloomington) was a little stumped at it, he is going to be following up with me soon about it though.
 

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Well just got a call back from Joe at my local dealer and he is submitting all of the info that was taken from my car and it gets sent to Smart of Germany to figure out what caused it and if there is a fix.

According to smartusa I was the first person to submit a problem with the transmission going into Limp Mode!
 

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Oh no...well hopefully they can figure this out fairly soon. Congrats...I guess on being the first going into limp mode. :eek:
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Well like Joe said... There is a first for everything!

BTW: The car has been driving just fine with no issues since.
 

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Well all the info got sent to Germany and they came back with it was a pure fluke, and the reason that this happened was the car was rolling and when I shifted from R to D the transmission went a head and tried to shift it and the gears didn't mesh correctly so it threw it self into limp mode.

I'm the first in the US to have reported the issue, but it has happened in Europe before I guess... I was told everything is well documented and if it happens again, than chances are they will order me a new transmission.
 

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I've done just this before, but for me it didn't limp.. it went to neutral and started beeping at me. I had to put in it park and power down before it would work again, but once it came back up it was fine. I didn't report it though... seemed a normal thing to me that it couldn't shift that way. :p
 

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Pulled out of the garage and went to pull out into traffic and no power, quickly pulled it over and looked down at the cluster and saw the wrench with a smaller one behind it flashing and D was flashing. Pulled out the manual and read my transmission was in "limp-mode". call my dealer, wasn't really sure what flashing wrench was. I asked if I should drive it down or have it towed, he said if it drives go ahead and drive it, and went around the block and it shifts 2-3-4-5.
Glad I found this old thread. I just had a similar problem occur this morning to me. I will see about pulling the code this evening and resetting it, as I suspect the cause was user error... I drive with my hand on the shifter almost all the time, regardless of manual or automatic (am I weird, or is this fairly common) and I think I bumped it slightly into neutral as I was hitting the gas to go around a corner.

Initially the car went into pure neutral and wouldn't change gears, but when I restarted it, it seemed fine though. I threw it into manual a couple times and it wouldn't drop to first when stopped, but otherwise shifted normally.
 

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You saved my behind! THANKS!

I did this, and it worked.
I had to do it twice. I missed the part that said: "leave it in neutral."
And, it didn't work when I left it in "park."
But, worked like a charm the second time.
Thanks, Woody!


I've seen this before. I'll bet that they'll do a forced re-train on the transmission. The way to force it is by leaving it in neutral and disconnecting the battery for about 30 mins. When it comes back up it will show 3-bars on the display. From there you shift from park, down to drive, and back again, slowly. The transmission will grind a bit, and eventually you'll get a park indicator.

I had this happen to me once when I shifted too quickly from drive to reverse. In my case since the car was stopped, it just went to 3-bars and beeped at me. A quick re-train, and it was right as rain. I've learned not to shift as quickly (or when the car is moving, for that matter), and I've not had the problem since.
 

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Hope you can help? Transmission fail!

Hi everybody, i had the same issue, but can't follow the guide because i have a pure without D (Automatic transmission) ect.

Did you know what is the fix for me?
 

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Thanks for sharing the flashing wrench reset!

I had recently purchased my 3rd Smart Car and knew that something wasn't right about the two wrenches flashing and the PRND flashing as well. The car has actually ran fine going through all the gear changes it was just the flashing that was annoying. I put the car in neutral and disconnected the battery for 30 minutes. I re-connected the battery and ran the gear shifter through the gears while in neutral and when I had completed that and turned off and then started the car as normal all the flashing and the wrenches disappeared. Thumbs up for those sharing these secrets that kept me from driving 120 miles each way to my nearest SMART service center.

-Smartony
 

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Bumping this thread since I just dealt with this recently on my wife's 2011 Pure with 38xxx miles on the clock.

I had the double wrenches and flashing D/shifter randomly one day when I started the car on my way home. Nothing seemed out of the ordinary, car shifted fine in both auto and manual mode. I tried most of the things listed here as well, like the transmission relearn/reprogram thing, cleaning the connections on the shifter motor (this was mentioned in another thread that I can't find now) and a couple other things with no luck. When I finally took the car into my local Smart dealer, this was about 2-3 weeks after the flashing had started, they told me that the wrenches were just the 40k servicing and that the car needed a software update for the transmission. I didn't do any of the servicing since I do most of my own work and the update costed me $120 USD. I know that for some there isn't a local dealer to just make an appointment but from what I can tell if your tranny doesn't go into limp mode then you might just need the update to clear the flashing if none of the other options clear it out for you.

-Vile
 

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Bumping this thread since I just dealt with this recently on my wife's 2011 Pure with 38xxx miles on the clock.

I had the double wrenches and flashing D/shifter randomly one day when I started the car on my way home. Nothing seemed out of the ordinary, car shifted fine in both auto and manual mode. I tried most of the things listed here as well, like the transmission relearn/reprogram thing, cleaning the connections on the shifter motor (this was mentioned in another thread that I can't find now) and a couple other things with no luck. When I finally took the car into my local Smart dealer, this was about 2-3 weeks after the flashing had started, they told me that the wrenches were just the 40k servicing and that the car needed a software update for the transmission. I didn't do any of the servicing since I do most of my own work and the update costed me $120 USD. I know that for some there isn't a local dealer to just make an appointment but from what I can tell if your tranny doesn't go into limp mode then you might just need the update to clear the flashing if none of the other options clear it out for you.

-Vile
That is what roasts my chestnuts. If the manufacturer KNOWS that there is an update for software and it's something they recognize as having to be done..Why the heck should the customer be charged for it? Make the darned software updates a recall of some sort.....
Imagine Microsoft or Apple charging their users for updates...It's just wrong in my opinion.
 

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Because car people don't think like tech people; BTW, the Microsoft free upgrade to Windows 10 ends July 29th....:D
 

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I am so happy that Woody14619 was here to help! I did exactly what he said, and my car was perfect! I was amazed to see those 3 bars after I replugged my battery. It works perfectly now, and it doesn't feel like my engine is going to fall out of the car.

Now, I have to worry about my Air Conditioning... It stopped working thereafter. I am not sure if I am out of fluid (odd, because I just got an oil change at the Mercedes where I bought the car), or it is actually broken.

I bought this car in 2017 and it has been hell for me. Things are always going wrong with it. I wish that there was a group that people could just talk about their problems with their cars. Ach, what can I say... I am happy that I found this article!!!

I typed up a page that could be posted/ re-worked for those who have the same problem.

Here's the sheet I typed Up:


Flashing “D” and Maintenance Light(s)/ Wrench(es)
A Forced Re-Train on the Transmission

Here’s what to do in the following order, when you have the flashing “D” in your instrument cluster and the maintenance light(s)/ wrench(es) also flashing, in your instrument cluster, on your U.S. vehicle.
  1. Leave the car in neutral (N) on the gear shifter.
  2. Then disconnect the battery, while the car is in N (neutral), for 30 minutes.
  3. Reconnect the battery.
  4. When all is reconnected, there will be three bars on the display (within your instrument cluster).
  5. From N (neutral), you shift the car into P (park) and then down to D (drive) slowly and the back again. You will hear grinding within the transmission.
  6. Eventually, you will get the P (park) indicator on your instrument cluster.
  7. Your Transmission should be re-trained.
  8. If this is not the problem, I would check with the retailer of the smartCar or the smartCar/ Mercedes Company in the U.S.A. or Canada. Numbers will be listed below for the U.S.A. and the Canadian smartCar/ Mercedes Companies.
  9. So, now that everything is re-trained, you are ready to go. Remember, ALWAYS wait until your car is STOPPED, to shift the gears! Thank you and have a great day.
smartCar/ Mercedes Company Numbers:
USA: +1-800-762-7887 (remember to select English or Spanish)
Canada: +1-877-627-8004 (remember to select English or French)
 
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