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Discussion Starter #1
Hi,
Just bought a 2013 Pure, all black with 24k miles, through an online service called Carlypso. Got a good car for a good price. Everything is clean and shiny except for the engine itself, where I could use some advice on cleaning.
Currently getting the hang of the manual automatic transmission in both modes. Just need to better understand how to time the shift from 1st into 2nd. I'm pleasantly surprised at how well this little car can move, especially uphill. Very fun to drive.
Almost forgot: is Mobil 0W-40 synthetic the oil to use? It very rarely, if ever, gets down to freezing out here in the San Francisco Bay Area. Thanks.

Tackful
 

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Welcome to SCoA from Central Valley.

Car is very capable on the hills. Only had a problem with 1 hill near Lombard street, and that was because someone just backed out without looking. Caused me to slow down just enough to loose momentum but not enough to downshift yet. It lugged but made it.

I run 5w-30 in my '13 Passion.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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Mobil 1 0W40 is the suggested oil for the smart and that is what I have used since my car was new. Some members use other brands and weights, but I have had no issues using the Mobil 1.

Good luck with your car and enjoy many miles and smiles!!
 

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Thank you both for your replies. Now I find myself looking for and finding Smartcars everywhere. In downtown Sausalito this evening Cathy and I saw five in less than an hour.
Current project is training my 55lb dog to be comfortable in the back. Made good progress on day one.
 

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The rear compartment floor is directly above the motor and can get a bit warm at times. You may want to put some sort of pad to insulate the heat on especially long trips.

as for the shifting, let the car handle it most of the time. the only time I go into manual mode is if I am in slow heavy traffic like construction. That will drive the shift computer crazy! unless of course I am playing around...

I am on my 3rd smart, and have used Mobil 1 in all of them. The 0W40 is what they call the European Blend and can be hard to find, but most Walmart will have it and that is about the best price, unless it is on sale.
 

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For cleaning the engine I just mist it with Simple Green and let it sit for a few minutes, then hose it off with a light spray from the garden hose. No high pressure and no spray on the alternator.

I use Mobil-1 0W-40 European specification oil which is approved by Mercedes. I also use Hengst or Mann oil filters. No point in trying to protect the most expensive part of the car with the cheapest oil filter you can find.
 

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If the engine is seriously dirty, you could tape off the inside of the car with plastic to keep from spraying the seats and carpets. Make sure the plastic extends into the engine compartment so it doesn't let water run down under the carpet.

Usually the simple green method will do the trick.
 

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Might just try water first, no cleaner. Of the (5) Smarts I have owned I never used any cleaner, just water, and they came out looking nice. They were just really dusty. Of course I live in Texas so that might have something to do with it. And keeping water out of the carpeting was a wish. Never could control the hose enough to stop that. It will dry. Just don't get the electronics under the carpeting wet.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks for all the replies. After Day 2 of SmartCar driving, it does seem that in automatic the car shifts itself as well or better than I can most of the time. There is a steep hill in my area where I do like use manual, however, so as to not go above 2nd gear, which the car wants to do in automatic.
Concerning insulation above the engine compartment, is the idea to add more to what is already in place under the carpet?
Sounds like it's not a good idea to go crazy with a hose in the engine compartment. Shall see what I can do with just Simple Green, rags, and a spray bottle. Curious as to why I found so much dust there, yet none up front under the hood(?).
 

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I think you need to rinse off Simple Green. I would just use the hose, just don't miss the bay much. Make sure you start the car after rinsing, run the A/C to get the belts dry and zoom around the neighborhood to eliminate the static puddles on the engine... plus it is fun and warms the engine to dry.

BTW the front can get as dirty as the back but it is easier to get to and hose off (no worries about wet carpet either). The dealer/previous owner probably did that.
 

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Thanks for all the replies. After Day 2 of SmartCar driving, it does seem that in automatic the car shifts itself as well or better than I can most of the time. There is a steep hill in my area where I do like use manual, however, so as to not go above 2nd gear, which the car wants to do in automatic.
Concerning insulation above the engine compartment, is the idea to add more to what is already in place under the carpet?
Sounds like it's not a good idea to go crazy with a hose in the engine compartment. Shall see what I can do with just Simple Green, rags, and a spray bottle. Curious as to why I found so much dust there, yet none up front under the hood(?).
Hello Tackful. I bought a couple "welcome" mats and laid those over top of the carpet to insulate from heat. You could even fold up an old blanket to make the area more comfy for your dog. I added extra mats and carpet because I found when I went to the grocery store that my long drive home melted my ice cream, and you know I couldn't allow that. DCO
 

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You get more dust and dirt in the engine compartment because it doesn't go through the radiator which will knock some of the dust down, and the wheels kick up dust which ends up on the back of the car. it is an air flow thing. Most cars are dirty on the back end, but the trunk is sealed so you don't see it inside.
 

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Current project is training my 55lb dog to be comfortable in the back. Made good progress on day one.


It's possible. I've had both of mine in the back of mine (55lbs and 48lbs) and the only thing they had to get used to was the drop off behind the seats. A foot here and there would slip.

Ive run mine all over San Francisco and Central Valley area. I drive 42 miles a day for work and still find myself hopping in the smart and taking the "long" way to the store 2 blocks away.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Making good progress with my dog. She's getting comfortable back there, but would rather make her way in through the passenger side then between the seats. She's a good jumper, though, and has gone in the normal way once or twice.
Must be quite a sight, your two big ones in back together.
 

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Welcome from the Southeast!!!! As far as manually shifting goes, here in the South where it's pretty flat, I usually follow the speedo when shifting. Like at 10 mph shift out of first, at 20, shift out of second, 30 - 3rd etc. And use the same to down shift - 40 into 4th, 30 into 3rd, etc. and it will give you some sportier than standard driving!
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Yes, from Marin, Marin City to be exact. Regarding manual shifting, does it affect the mileage very much? There are definitely times when I prefer it. I like the livelier feel of slightly higher rpm's at times.
 

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I do such a mix of manual vs automatic shifting - still averaging around 38-40 in city driving and around 46 on highway. (with about 39800 on the clock) - seems to get better with age!
 

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My 2009 topped out at 46MPG. The wife could always get better than that driving up to the cabin, never did figure out how she did it.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
That's pretty good mileage, and it sure is fun to drive. One question: is all the freeway vibration that I experience above 60 mph normal? Do you just get used to it? Thanks.
 
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