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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I think I have read all the posts on this subject here. But they all seem to be at least 5 years old or more.

I have a 2013 that I'm just starting to tow. If I go through the tow procedure exactly from the manual, after connecting the battery again it goes through a transmission relearn or something (sounds like a bunch of clicking). Sometimes I even get a check engine light. If I don't disconnect the battery, everything is fine.

I read an old post (2012) from "Libero" and he says, "It seems to me that the reason for the battery disconnect is to ensure the key does not inadvertently get into the "run" mode (position 1) while towing or the transmission does not move from neutral." He made a lock plate that ensures the key won't turn and it won't go into "D". I kind of think that makes sense. So, I made a lock plate too, except mine is made from plastic. I removed the "fob" from the key part. See pics.

I guess I just don't like all the trans relearning and occasional check engine light after re-connecting the battery. I've done a short test tow with just the locking plate and left the battery connected and all seemed ok.

My question is, would you be comfortable using a locking device like this to lock the key and shifter? And not use a battery disconnect switch? With the lock, the key can't turn on and the shifter can't be moved to "D".

Thanks.
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
What about reverse gear? I use the battery disconnect for safety reasons to not take the chance to destroy the transmission. I have flat towed for over 28K miles behind my MH using the battery disconnect.
The shifter won't go back into reverse or park without depressing the button at the top of the shifter. What year is your Smart? Does it always do a trans relearn after connecting the battery again, or ever get a check engine light? Thank you for the feedback.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I also disconnect when flat towing. I have a disconnect solenoid near the battery, and a switch located inside the service flap. Never had a problem, why take a chance?
Does yours always do a trans relearn after connecting the battery again, or ever get a check engine light? Thank you for the feedback.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I have never had a CEL after towing. The smart car seems to be smart enough to figure things out. Doubtless it must "relearn" some things, but it has never been a problem. I recommend taking the time to wire the taillights into the tow plug harness using the special diodes made for the purpose. BTW, the reason I have the battery solenoid remote switch under the service flap is that you can use a second key to lock the car, then turn off the power. I didn't like having to tow the car unlocked with a key in the ignition. I can provide the part numbers of everything I used for my entire towing setup, if it would help. 🤠
Thank you misfitsailor! I did wire the taillights as you mention with diodes. They work perfectly. :) I have ordered the parts to install a battery cutoff switch under the dash. I've only test towed it a couple times. I had been just removing the battery cable to try things out. But that's a pain. LOL... Thank you for your feedback, I appreciate it.
 
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