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If my car needs to be flatbedded, what procedures/precautions should I observe? The manual indicates that only wheel straps should be used to hold it down, but what about getting it on/off the flatbed? Do I tell the driver to use the tow hook? I don't want to piss the driver off by telling him how to do his job. but I also don't want him to do any damage to the steering or suspension parts. I'm sure that towing an EV is not that difficult compared to an ICE, but I'm also sure that drivers have little experience dealing with them.

Len
2014 EV
 

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Rule no 1.... make sure the towing company is a reputable company, that has certified trained drivers. There is a towing company here in town that towed my old Expedition with a broken front axle CV joint that said they could tow it, I asked t to be done on a flatbed as the axle was broken. They showed up with a standard tow truck and assured me they used it all the time. He got 200 yards down the road and snapped the axle off completely. He then called a flatbed and they had to tow it onto the flatbed. More drama to get it off once it got to the repair shop (about 2 miles away). Then they wanted to charge me for 2 tows.. I complained to the repair place as they recommended the towing company and they said that they have had trouble with them before... I ended up paying for 1 tow truck, and additional repairs because of the damage they did.

I now use the 'other' tow company that has certified drivers and the correct equipment to do the job right. You might pay a bit more but it is well worth it.

first hint about the cheap place was 1/2 of their sign on the front of the building was blown off in a windstorm 9 years ago and still has not been fixed...
 

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MY08 cabrio MY09 cabrio Brabus MY15 ED
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Call your nearest (Myrtle Beach or Wilmington?) M-B/exotic car dealer and ask who they use . . .
 

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Is the car operable?

If not operable, as long as it is in neutral, in can be rolled on the flatbed any way that works. The tow hook should be attached to the towing eye that screws into the bumper after removing the plugs. there is no other suitable point to do this. Check the manual.

I see no reason why the car could not also be towed on a dolly by the back wheels as long as the steering wheel is secured in a straight-ahead position.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Car is mobile.

Len
2014 EV
 

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I see no reason why the car could not also be towed on a dolly by the back wheels as long as the steering wheel is secured in a straight-ahead position.
I see a reason: The "neutral" setting on the "gear shift" doesn't actually disengage any gears. So the motor is always connected to the rear wheels driveshaft, and thus generates voltage when towed. I would follow the instructions in the manual to prevent damage to the drive electronics: all wheels off the ground.
 

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I was told when they towed my 2008 that the towing bolts are a bad place to hook on to. The tow company driver said he has seen them pull out as they are not that firmly attached to the front bumper, and even then they are on aluminum and could pop out. I have no way of verifying or proving this right or wrong. He did hook on underneath in what he said was the hold down point under the car. Like I said, I wasn't knowledgeable enough to argue with him and the car was pretty much toast at that point. I would use the tow bolt with a bit of caution , Just my 2 cents worth.

I would assume that they designed it to be able to handle the weight of the car....
 

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I was told when they towed my 2008 that the towing bolts are a bad place to hook on to. The tow company driver said he has seen them pull out as they are not that firmly attached to the front bumper, and even then they are on aluminum and could pop out. I have no way of verifying or proving this right or wrong. He did hook on underneath in what he said was the hold down point under the car. Like I said, I wasn't knowledgeable enough to argue with him and the car was pretty much toast at that point. I would use the tow bolt with a bit of caution , Just my 2 cents worth.

I would assume that they designed it to be able to handle the weight of the car....
The tow hook hole on the front goes into a steel beam. I know this how? I rebuilt the front end bits on my son's car after he tango-ed with a deer.
 

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and the exact weight capacity of the weld holding the nut onto the steel reinforcement is...??? I would think it would have been stronger if it was on the back side instead of welded to the front....

Had a friend with a sidecar on his Harley that hit a speed bump in a parking lot at about 2 mph and the weld holding the sidecar axle in place broke off... The weld looked great, but no penetration into the base metal. It happens!
 

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and the exact weight capacity of the weld holding the nut onto the steel reinforcement is...??? I would think it would have been stronger if it was on the back side instead of welded to the front....

Had a friend with a sidecar on his Harley that hit a speed bump in a parking lot at about 2 mph and the weld holding the sidecar axle in place broke off... The weld looked great, but no penetration into the base metal. It happens!
Only smart themselves would know....AND they'd NEVER tell anyone.:)

I do know that my front tow hook worked the one time I need to get the car flat bedded. I hope to not ever have to have happen again.
 

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I see a reason: The "neutral" setting on the "gear shift" doesn't actually disengage any gears. So the motor is always connected to the rear wheels driveshaft, and thus generates voltage when towed. I would follow the instructions in the manual to prevent damage to the drive electronics: all wheels off the ground.
What neutral setting? For dolly towing, you would put it in Park and turn the key switch off. The car is RWD, so the the front wheels (with the steering wheel secured) would just freewheel in a reverse direction, and the dolly pivots about the center of the rear axle when the towing vehicle turns. The ABS will be off when the key switch is off, so the car is not going to do anything funny with the ABS. There is no way I can conceive of damage being done. This is how I plan to tow my Smart back to the distant dealer when the lease is up.
 

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This is how I plan to tow my Smart back to the distant dealer when the lease is up.
As your lease is with M-B Financial Services you may able to return it to the nearest dealer, not necessarily a smart Center?
 

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When I bought the ED, it was delivered to me by the dealer on a flatbed. They employed the large tow hook that comes in the toolkit to pull the car up and roll it onto the flatbed with the steel tow line, and later to roll it down the flatbed. Once on the flatbed, the towing company removed the key from the ignition, disconnected the tow line from the tow hook, and locked the car down with steel wheel chucks until it was time for the car to disembark. I think this is also the procedure in the owners manual. Nice and gentle, and it all worked out smoothly.
 

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Mine was delivered on a small - fifth-wheel type, pickup-truck pulled, 2-3 car carrier-trailer. They simply drove the Smart off of it.

And yes, I hope I can just return it to the local dealer - then I'll probably go right out and look for a used one with fewer miles which go for half the price of the $12K residual they want for the lease car.
 
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