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My 2008 company cabrio has 107K. Oil changed every 3500 miles on Mobil 1 full synthetic and use a K&N air filter.
Wow. I can't believe you've changed the oil every 3500 miles. (A) That's a lot of visits to the shop. (B) That's a tremendous waste of resources. Unless you drive in weird conditions -- like the Sahara -- I can't imagine you've done yourself or the environment any favors.
 

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as for DIY maintenance relating to longevity, the trend (to me it seems clear) is for cars to become black boxes, much the same way that computers have become or are becoming black boxes and electrifying the power train on a smart will accelerate that. so in the here and now perhaps it helps, at least economically (which, unfortunately Americans seem to agree is the only criteria) but that will probably mean less and less in the future.
how often will you change the oil on your electric car?
 

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109.5K and counting. Most of it commuting on the MassPike.


1. engine failure due to leaking head gasket - NEVER A LEAK
2. engine failure due to coolant loss - NEVER A LEAK
3. engine failure due to valve problems - NO ISSUES
4. failed clutch actuator - NO ISSUES
5. failed fuel pump - NO ISSUES
6. failed transmission - Touchy about shifting into Reverse at 1427 miles. Warwick RI Smart Center too 33 days to fix (had to wait till MB bought out SmartUSA. Engine/Transmission "stack height determined to be short for sensor, MB brought new "long" tranny from Austria and helped install. NO ISSUES since.
7. failed front wheel bearings - 1, front passenger side, gave plenty of warning and replaced at about 40K.


Oil change in the driveway every 10K. No major replacements yet, still running all original belts. First tires (Kuhmo) only lasted 27K, two sets of Contis rear/ one front sset since and will need another complete set this year around 120K. AC is still cold, never recharged. Has a locked in Check Engine Light for random cylinder misfires that fails to be diagnosed. Stumbles badly for first mile or so in colder weather, feels like a cylinder drops out and Check Engine light starts blinking. Turn engine off then on while coasting in Neutral and it recovers. Used to only be in COLD weather, below freezing, but now in anything other than HOT weather (65+). I would love to figure this one out. I have several 20-something kids that always want to borrow it - ABSOLUTELY NOT. I keep it running and still get compliments all the time, I will not let them trash it in just a couple days. Still get 40mpg average in the winter, 44mpg average in the summer. I HATE reading reviews where folks mack on the transmission. Treat it like a normal manual and feather the gas as you "shift", I can drive it around with no herky-jerky motions all day long. It may not have the "learning" transmission that was used as a sales gimic, but if you learn how to drive it it's fine. I have NO intention of getting rid of it anytime soon.
 

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Discussion Starter #26
:welcome: to SCoA! :)

Has a locked in Check Engine Light for random cylinder misfires that fails to be diagnosed. Stumbles badly for first mile or so in colder weather, feels like a cylinder drops out and Check Engine light starts blinking.
Exactly the same symptoms mine had - burned valve seats on one cylinder. A leak down test of each cylinder will tell you one way or the other. Could also be bad coil packs...
 

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Early 08 passion. 131,000 miles. Very few problems. Evap solenoid replaced under warrantee. Service by self, by the book except for valve check. (which I will do very soon now, after reading some of the valve burning stories today. I haven't checked the forums for several years, and knew I was taking a chance, but was unaware of others problems with valves. Meant to do it at 90k, but life and miles seem to fly by. My wife is the primary driver, and I only get to drive it on vacation or if she detects a problem. ) Valvoline synthetic 5w40 every 10k. Filters from Hengst by the book. (Purolator US filters are no longer safe, according to BITOG) ND Plugs every 30k. (that guy who has 190k and says he hasn't changed his plugs is either lieing, or very lucky not to have coils fail, or even a fried ECU.) Very questionable thing to do, but it his car! I'm a pro, euro only , 30yrs exp. this yr, and commonly see both from plugs that never get changed. Usually dead coils.
One tranny oil change. I bought the oem oil from IMC for $31 per. The local smart dealer uses the mobil 1 gear oil. (in 2012, when I was allowed in the back shop for a short visit) I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw the pail. I learned that lesson in 1990! Sheesh!
I currently need a lower motor mount. The flex pipe broke at 125k. I welded in a new one. The shifter is starting to get very reluctant to register "R" the first few times it is asked to go there. It first became a problem at -10deg F in the middle of Yellowstone park in late Feburary. Eek. But the wolf watching was magical.
3 weeks ago, might have had a SC issue while wife was driving down a straight road. Car jerked right for a fraction of a second with no input from her. Scared her silly. She turned around and came straight home, and refused to drive it since. So I at last get to enjoy my Smart car. Shes driving the 300e. I did find a small dia. branch about 3 ft long stuck under the right side. But how that figures in, I don't know. I'd love to get into the abs/stability control modules, but I don't have a star scanner. My $15k Baum I-scan won't get there....
Barely detectable and not common miss when cold. I think it's valve clearances.
Ever since 40k 4th has a whine. Now 5th too. Very slowly getting worse, but no metal when the tranny oil change was done, so I'm gonna run it till...
Still gets 43-46 mpg like clockwork.
 

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I am almost at 100K... I have rebuilt and lubed the clutch actuator, and cleaned/repaired the heater fan motor. I have a sound coming from the front drivers side that is making me think it will need a bearing soon. Other than that the Sleigh has done well by me.
 

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at 142,000 miles,

trans,clutch.bearing, pressure plate at 20K miles,
wiring connection at 50K miles
Muffler/exhaust at 120K miles,
Heater fan at 70K plus, cleaned a number of times, replaced at 135K miles
Headlight bulbs at various times, last about a year,

except for the trans, etc which was done under warranty, I am satisfied with the few repairs I have had done or did myself.
 

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I have a 2008 with 113xxx miles on it, about to trade it in this week. It's been a great car, but it's time to move on. Was briefly considering the new 453, but going with a used Prius Plug-In Advanced, for, ironically, the same price I paid for the smart almost 8 years ago. It will be sad to see it go. It's been my vehicular identity, more than my motorcycle, for the entire time I've had it. Everyone loves it. But... I'm starting to get nervous about its longevity, and I'm hoping to start needing to road trip more, and want something a little more spacious and comfy to do that in. Don't get me wrong, I've driven from Minneapolis to Boston, Dallas, Denver, Phoenix, Vegas, and San Diego with it... but no more.
 

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Wow ... For mileage like that, and especially for someone living in Ontario, surely that will be mostly highway mileage, although if it's anywhere near Toronto it will probably have some traffic-jam mileage in there. If it is a 2008 that will be a little over 40,000 km per year, which is about what I put on - but I bought mine used, so I'm not near that total.
 

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It's mostly highway ,around 250 per day. oil changes every 5000. The high octane fuel, nothing lower than 91. Almost forgot I'm at 350,000 now.
 

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Looking at unicycle's latest update it appears there are about 15 cars with over 100K miles on them. For those that have 451 smarts in that category, how many of you have had:

engine failure due to leaking head gasket
engine failure due to coolant loss
engine failure due to valve problems
failed clutch actuator
failed fuel pump
failed transmission
failed front wheel bearings

Not an all inclusive list but these appear to be the items that currently invoke the "sky is falling" response from a few folks. Would like to hear from the owners of these high mileage 451s about their real world experiences. Thanks! :)
Well, since this thread was bumped, I figured I'd post an update.

My smart is at 179,510 miles as of last night. Still have had none of the above issues except a possible bad front wheel bearing. I'm waiting on the new ones to arrive, and will post what I find then. I do have a growling noise from the front end. For $45 each, it's not worth it to me to dig that far into it and not change them... While it's apart, it's getting new shocks, struts, ball joints, front rotors & pads, and the aformentioned wheel bearings. My oldest son gets it this summer once he gets his license, so I want to make sure it's good to go for him for a good long time. Also on the list is the new clutch that's been sitting in the garage waiting for a year.... Not really having any serious clutch issues, but they don't last forever. Since my son is the total opposite of me regarding mechanical ability, I just won't take the risk... But, he is going to help install all the new parts to get an idea what it takes to maintain a vehicle...:D
 
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