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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm going on my 3rd (longer) road trip with my Smart Car today.
Chicago to Mt Rushmore. (via Sioux Falls, Badlands National Park, and Rapid City)
Can't wait to see how my baby will handle the not-so-plain roads.
 

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DrKillerBee
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Make sure to stop to see the "Corn Palace" in Mitchell SD, and Wall Drug in Wall SD next to the Badlands. Make sure to drive all of the roads in the Black Hills as they are beautiful and made for cars like the smart.
Staying at the "Game Lodge" is fun and historic as it was the summer white house for 2 presidents.
 

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I just completed my UMPTEENTH , 800 mile trip to VA without any problems (I DO carry a spare on these long trips only as a hedge against breaking a rim).

With my new 185/60s all the way around....I only had to fuel 2 instead of my normal 3 times :) (I haven't fueled up yet on this end but, I WAS able to roll in the 800 miles and still have a full bar left on the gauge !!)

LOVE the higher profile tires....makes for a GREAT ride :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
Hi guys. So i just did my roadtrip from Chicagoland to Mt Rushmore area and back.
Visited Sioux City, Badlands, Wall, Rapid City, Mt Rushomore, Crazy Horse, and drove around the Black Hills. Didnt hit any pot holes along the way. So, that was a good thing.

It was fun to drive my little car around. The smiles and look of awe from the other drivers in the highway were funny.
I was averaging 39 to 40 mpg from Chicago to SD.
But it dropped to 31 to 34 mpg driving the uphills of SD.

a few problems i've ran into was:
1. My driver's side door's lock suddenly stopped working on day 2.
2. My poor car could not handle the inclines very well while keeping up the 75mph speed limit in SD.
3. and on the way back to Chicago we got hit with the VERY heavy winds. It was a good arm workout trying to keep my car steady as the wind blew us from right to left. My gas mileage dropped to 28 to 33 mpg.
4. and even more bad news: the wind blew out body panel on the driver's side.

I cant embed pic in this forum. But here's my instagram pic of the damage: http://instagram.com/p/nLSKnmFC_y/
 

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DrKillerBee
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I haven't heard of a body panel being blown away. It may have been replaced at some time and the clips were not replaced properly. With the door lock being on the same side as the valence falling off...I wonder if the car had damage to that side? The part is not expensive. The wind will eat your mileage on the highway but your smart's stability and ability to decrease the effect of the wind improves greatly when you put same sized wheels and tires (putting rear sized wheels and tires on the front as well as the back.) The car tracks straighter so the wind and semis don't blow you around...amazing difference. I wouldn't drive on the highway without doing that but the car was designed for the city using the smaller wheels and tires. I use 195-50-15 tires on all 4 wheels (Genius wheels.)
Use the paddles and downshift on the inclines when the engine struggles with the hill. Did you use the paddles in the Black Hills? I certainly would have and my mileage would have suffered but my smiles would have increased dramatically.
 

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Hi guys. So i just did my roadtrip from Chicagoland to Mt Rushmore area and back.
Visited Sioux City, Badlands, Wall, Rapid City, Mt Rushomore, Crazy Horse, and drove around the Black Hills. Didnt hit any pot holes along the way. So, that was a good thing.

It was fun to drive my little car around. The smiles and look of awe from the other drivers in the highway were funny.
I was averaging 39 to 40 mpg from Chicago to SD.
But it dropped to 31 to 34 mpg driving the uphills of SD.

a few problems i've ran into was:
1. My driver's side door's lock suddenly stopped working on day 2.
2. My poor car could not handle the inclines very well while keeping up the 75mph speed limit in SD.
3. and on the way back to Chicago we got hit with the VERY heavy winds. It was a good arm workout trying to keep my car steady as the wind blew us from right to left. My gas mileage dropped to 28 to 33 mpg.
4. and even more bad news: the wind blew out body panel on the driver's side.

I cant embed pic in this forum. But here's my instagram pic of the damage: Instagram
In 6 years, we've gone on couple trips to Colorado, once to Santa Fe. A couple trips to St. Louis, and Arkansas and Oklahoma. The little car does run out of steam, on up grades. Nature of the beast with only 71hp. One trip across 80 to Chicago, it was so windy, we really got a work out for a couple hours, keeping it on the road. Never had a plastic panels blow off. Out in western Kansas, there is nothing for many 2 lane miles. Scary, if w ever broke down, and no spare tire. 12 hours straight to Santa Fe, all at once was a killer. Never again. Car wasn't design for that.
 

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. . . and even more bad news: the wind blew out body panel on the driver's side.
You should be able to replace (DIY) the left side sill almost as easily as it blew off. OEM side sill (rocker panel), clips and expansion rivet should be less than $100. Part numbers . . .

A 451 690 13 25 - Paneling, Side molding left

A 000 991 20 98 - Clip, Side sill
A 000 990 54 92 - Spreader rivet

A 451 690 14 25 - Paneling, Side molding right
 
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