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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi, my brother has a 2012 Smart Fortwo Passion.
We dropped the engine-module in order to work on a stripped spark plug. In the process Of dropping engine, I tried to disconnect the shifter cable at the coupling which is under the air cleaner enclosure. I tried unscrewing it by turning the interior piece counter clockwise, but stopped when the cable connection didn’t seem to be getting any looser. Finally we just disconnected cable (lever) at the transmission.

We fixed the sparkplug hole and the motor is running smoothly, but the car won’t move.
I guess the coupling is an adjustment so the cable will put transmission in exactly the right position. (Kinda like adjusting the derailer on a bicycle).

Can anyone tell me, or send me a link to, the procedure to adjust this coupling?

Thanks!
 

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There is no shifter cable - the car shifts electronically. You are probably looking at the parking pawl cable which mechanically locks the transmission in Park. 🙂
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
There is no shifter cable - the car shifts electronically. You are probably looking at the parking pawl cable which mechanically locks the transmission in Park. 🙂
Thanks for the quick reply! It's good to know the right name of the parts. Still the car won't go into gear and seems to be "confused" about what gear it's in (based on my brother's observation of some indicator I have not seen). Do you know the correct name for the cable-coupling I described? This thing is a light-colored, yellowish plastic cylinder, about 2" in diameter.
 

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It was throwing P0805 and, less frequently, P0900. Both related to ”clutch position”

The problem turned out to be a slightly loose electrical connector on the clutch actuator!
The connector on my 2008 partially disintegrated, but a carefully placed ziptie seems to work when the retaining ears are gone.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Yep, that's the one - the one with "ears".
I'd seen a picture (in an excellent video) with one ear missing, otherwise I'd have jammed a screwdriver up in there and broken one myself. ;-)
During reassembly I didn't push connector on hard enough, and I almost missed the problem when re-checking because connector seemed to be tight (by feel) but with an effort it moved further on, and that cured the stuck-in-neutral problem.

For the record, it's the outside of the plastic-coupling that rotates on park-pawl cable. I finally left it adjusted so the lever/arm applied no torque on the shaft at transmission, with "stick-shift" full forward in Park position. In that position (no torque on shaft) , there was also continuity through the park-position sensor (which sits a few inches under where cable attaches). We actually removed the Park-sensor; its one retaining bolt was so tight I thought the thread was stripped, but it turned out to have had a thread-locker applied.

This is the first time I've worked on this car. I wanted the service manual but didn't even think to search this site for it. I did find it here. It helped a bit.
 
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