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Discussion Starter #1
Hey y'all :) I'm joining the forum after owning Charlotte for almost 4 weeks - and searching the forums high and low for answers to all of her quirks :nerd:

As I drive my Smart every day, I'm finding some issues with it that need immediate attention, but have no idea if I'm on the right track to getting them resolved. Two weeks in, after a really hard shift from 5th to 4th gear, and then delayed and jerky shifts all the way down to 1st, Charlotte went into limp mode, lost power, and wouldn't come back on for 5 min or so. When she finally started, check engine light was on, and the mechanic's electronic reading returned a P0805 code (and several others, unfortunately). They recommended I replace the clutch actuator motor and transmission shift motor at a price tag of $2,000 parts + labor. I'd like to buy the parts "gently" used to save on cost, but I have no idea which parts to get or honest vendors to purchase parts from.

Any recommendations on how to move forward are appreciated - to include recommendations on how to prevent further damage to my Smart while the faulty parts are replaced.

Thanks in advance!
 

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Dazed and Confused

I think my favorite thing about owning a Smart car is how supportive the community is and how you're all able to roll with the punches and fix things instead of complaining and moving on to a different car. I hope to be like you when I grow up, hahah.

I don't know much about cars (and I got a Smart... go figure lol), so I want to make sure I'm getting the right parts. I haven't posted enough to be able to post links, but is the clutch actuator motor the one they call "Transmission clutch slave cylinder actuator" and the transmission shift motor would be the one they call "electric gear shift motor" on eBay? Sorry this isn't the most helpful description.

And how reliable are parts from a vehicle involved in a collision? Is this one of those things its best to buy new? I have so many questions!

Thank you all for your help and for giving me such a warm welcome!
 

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The early cars (2008-2009) had trouble with the software in the transmission computer which gave the indication of a clutch fault. there was a software update for that. We have seen a few clutch actuators fail which also gives that error code.

What year is your car? that might help us out. And welcome to the insane asylum. we are all a little crazy about these cars!
 

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On my 2008. The only transmission software updates, were to improve shifting harshness. There were two of them.
smart car service bulletins. Enhancement to the paddle shifters, a new battery, owner manual, B pillars identification sticker. Big improve of the transmission shifting. I still have the updated pamphlet, and the dealership service records.
 

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On my 2009, they replaced the transmission, clutch, pressure plate and then updated the software. software fixed the problem.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
My car is a 2008 Passion. Tapping the paddle shifters switches my car to manual though, so that means I have the update, correct?

Also, I did some experimenting today. I noticed that my car starts giving me trouble when I've driven in 5th gear for an extended period of time. I commute about 35-40min each way on a good day, and it tends to shift rough from 5th to 4th gear only on my way back home and usually during the latter half of my drive. Then I experience delays when downshifting from there. Worst case, it shuts off when I come to a full stop and won't start for a few minutes. Best case I just deal with hard shifting and jerking that magically disappears the following morning. I thought maybe it was happening when the vehicle got too warm, but I barely made it home yesterday despite beating traffic. So, to test (and partly because I didn't want people to hate me when my car became inoperable on I-35 during morning rush hour), I didn't shift above 4th gear the whole way to work, driving at a top speed of 55mph. Drove to and from lunch 15 min each way and the check engine light did not come on and the vehicle drove smoothly. On my way home at the end of the day, I didn't go above 4th gear, but did begin feeling some delayed/jerky shifting as I got closer to home. Nowhere near as bad as the usual, and no check engine light.

Are these symptoms of a faulty actuator? I worry that I'm going to ruin my car by continuing to drive it before the repairs, but... the alternative is to commute with the hubbs - whom works on the opposite side of town. I mean I *can* commute. My question is, do I absolutely *have* to sooner rather than later. And is it awful that I'm driving it in that gear at those speeds?

I'm clueless, and y'all are a tremendous help.
 

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On the 2008’s, the connector to the clutch actuator is not sealed properly on a few cars.

Water gets in, and causes problems.

Take it apart, dry it, then use dielectric grease when putting together...

I would also change the oil, use a MB229.5 oil, and check the fluid level in the transaxle...
 

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Oil filter...

Smart Fortwo’s use a Fram 6607 / Purolator 14612 oil filter,

But a Fram 7317 / Purolator 14610 is an inch and a half longer, fits just fine.

Oil amount then becomes exactly 4 quarts...

Been running various manufacturers longer filters for 5+ years, no problems...

Also check your coolant, fill it to the “full” line when car is cold.

I used Zerex G-05 from NAPA...
https://www.napaonline.com/en/p/ZRXZXG051
Careful again, this is concentrated, 100% antifreeze,
It also comes in 50% antifreeze / 50% water...

I prefer the 100%, and add only 1 part water to 3 parts antifreeze...
 

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Discussion Starter #15
On the 2008’s, the connector to the clutch actuator is not sealed properly on a few cars.

Water gets in, and causes problems.

Take it apart, dry it, then use dielectric grease when putting together...

I would also change the oil, use a MB229.5 oil, and check the fluid level in the transaxle...

Ohhhh, I can see how that would cause issues. And now that you mention that, I just bought my car used. It has a sticker on the inside put in there by Jiffy Lube dated January 2017. I assumed it was just a sticker that was never removed, but maybe the car had been stationary for a long time and the oil is old now? Is that possible? It seems to have passed all of its inspections from what I saw on the carfax report, but that's all the info I have on maintenance :shrug: I was planning on getting the oil changed when I took it in for repairs. Maybe I try that *before* forking out big money on replacing parts.

Thank you!
 

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Rosa,

I have had good results with Pennzoil Euro 0w-40...

https://www.walmart.com/ip/Pennzoil-Platinum-Euro-0W-40-Motor-Oil-5-qt/163165881

Careful, there is an SRT version, looks the same, make sure it says “Euro” on the bottle.

3.7 quarts needed...

Picture on Wal-Mart’s web site is wrong, ignore it...
Smart Fortwo’s use a Fram 6607 / Purolator 14612 oil filter,

But a Fram 7317 / Purolator 14610 is an inch and a half longer, fits just fine.

Oil amount then becomes exactly 4 quarts...

Been running various manufacturers longer filters for 5+ years, no problems...

Also check your coolant, fill it to the “full” line when car is cold.

I used Zerex G-05 from NAPA...
https://www.napaonline.com/en/p/ZRXZXG051
Careful again, this is concentrated, 100% antifreeze,
It also comes in 50% antifreeze / 50% water...

I prefer the 100%, and add only 1 part water to 3 parts antifreeze...

Thank you so much for the info, Matt! I just realized as I read y'alls recommendation that the oil in the motor currently *might possibly* be hella old... almost a year and a half old... :confused: I assumed the old Jiffy Lube sticker from January 2017 was just that... an old sticker. But it looks like the vehicle was driven less than 8,000 miles in almost 2 years, and it's quite possible that previous owners thought the same as I - that the oil was being serviced between each owner.

I took my car in for an electrical reading (not sure what the technical term for that is) to figure out what caused the check engine light to come on, but shouldn't the shop have caught old oil being a problem?
 
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