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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
are there any tips to keep the smart running past 100k miles? i know having yearly service per manual is the baseline. Just want to see if there are additional jobs suggested to be done in order to make the smart last longer? changing fluids more frequently?
 

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Maintenance and taking good care of it. A good, proactive driver and a good proactive mechanic (might be the same person) can keep a car in good shape for many, many miles.
The recommended intervals are likely fine, it is usually neglect or a random failure that takes a car out before 100k.

For example, my parts car seems to have been taken out by a failed belt, which took out the water pump, which led to overheating, which warped the cylinder head. All that damage from the failure of a routine maintenance item (I don't know the history of previous repairs/maintenance, I bought it post-failure).
 

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I'll probably get panned for this, like i did years ago, but my smart now has over 208K miles on it, so i must be doing something right. I change the oil every 5000 miles, do all my own servicing, and drive it like i stole it.

IMHO, the WORST thing you can do is baby it. The factory transmission programming lugs the engine something terrible. Don't be afraid to rev it up, and blow it out regularly. Even at 208k miles, i regularly run mine up to redline. Never had to break open a seal on the engine. You lug it, and you will burn exhaust valves.

Sent from my moto g(7) power using Tapatalk
 

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I'll probably get panned for this, like i did years ago, but my smart now has over 208K miles on it, so i must be doing something right. I change the oil every 5000 miles, do all my own servicing, and drive it like i stole it.
I'll get panned even worse than you, ha. :) My 2012 with 170k miles? It's more than once gone 15,000 miles between oil changes (more than the interval for the new folks here). Heck, there was a whole 3 years it didn't even see a car wash. Mind you, it tows trailers and goes places some Jeeps don't even go. The most major part I've had to replace was the alternator after it got caked up with mud. Compression remains excellent, transmission is as sharp as ever, and it still drives almost as good as the day I rolled it out of the showroom.

I owe my smart's continued existence to doing what you do with regularly running the sucker to redline. Seems to me these cars love getting a workout. Anecdotally, it seems most of the burned valves crowd have been folks too afraid to let that engine sing. :unsure:

My recommendation: Maybe don't go over the interval like I sometimes have, but keep up with regular maintenance and don't be afraid to flirt with the redline and I bet your car will be happy for years to come.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
impressive and happy to see several smarts last more than 100k. Thanks for sharing the tips.
One more thing I worry is the transmission. I have seen so many posts saying the transmissions had issues, for example: not being able to reverse, getting stuck at first gear, the lever was shifted to D but the dashboard still showed P... etc
Is there a way to prevent it? Change the transmission fluid more frequently helps?
 

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Yeah, a lot of the transmission problems aren't actually problems with the transmission itself, but stuff like a dying clutch actuator, bad brake switches, weak batteries, etc etc
 
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Just do regular schedule maintenance. The smart is no different then any other modern vehicle on the road. If you take care of it. It will take car of you.
 

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impressive and happy to see several smarts last more than 100k. Thanks for sharing the tips.
One more thing I worry is the transmission. I have seen so many posts saying the transmissions had issues, for example: not being able to reverse, getting stuck at first gear, the lever was shifted to D but the dashboard still showed P... etc
Is there a way to prevent it? Change the transmission fluid more frequently helps?
As others have touched on, the most common transmission failures are the shift motors and clutch actuator. I am unaware of any reports of a mechanical failure of the transmission that didn't involve extreme abuse, so mechanically it's very reliable. Being a manual (even if it's automated) the clutch will eventually wear out, but they seem to last a reasonable amount of time. Both of my cars have in excess of 100k miles and while the clutch is getting thin on the parts car, it still works(1). As I haven't owned either from the start, it's entirely possible that they have both had replacement clutches installed, but I think both are on their original clutches.

1) The condition of the clutch in my daily driver is unknown, I haven't needed to tear into it yet.
 
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