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My smart idles at about 900 rpm once it is warmed up ( around 1100 cold) whether in neutral or in drive. I assume this is normal calibration unless someone chimes in that it is not.

So this is a lot faster than typical 4 cyl 1.8 liter engine, which will be around 5-600RPM. I am guessing our higher engine idle speed is needed to properly engage automatic clutch from a standstill without stalling. Can anyone confirm?

My real point however is I am thinking this could be contributing significantly to the lower mileage ratings than folks perceive a car engineered like this should get, and also may explain why the Micro Hybrid version gets around 15% better mileage simply by shutting off at stops. Any thoughts about this?
 

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How many power pulses are there on a 3 cyl. with a higher cyl count the push on the crank goes up, smooths things out, and you pick up more drag from all these parts. yours idles right around where mine does in neutral.
karl
 

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My smart idles at about 900 rpm once it is warmed up ( around 1100 cold) whether in neutral or in drive. I assume this is normal calibration unless someone chimes in that it is not.

500 to 600 would be typical (or a little low) for an automatic transmission idling in the drive position. 800 to 900 would be in line with a manual transmission with the clutch disengaged. I don’t have my car yet, but I would say that this is the RPM that would be expected under those conditions. Remember, it is a manual transmission.
 

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Fast Idle, at least it feels like it

I have a smart passion without a tach (so I don't know the RPM). It feels to me like the idle is too fast but I don't know what's normal for the car. I just took posession of it on Wednesday of last week and have 31 miles on it so far.

Here's what's going on: at a stop I have to really press down on the brake because it really wants to pull away. When I release my foot from the brake it jumps forward and quickly picks up speed ** this is without giving it any gas. I have no comparison. Is this the way they are? I would call the dealer but it seems like their standard answer to any subtle problem is always "They're all like that" and it makes you feel like an idiot. So I'd like to hear from everybody else. Should I take it in for repair?

P.S. I've been all over the site and I can't figure out how to get an Avatar. Tips?
 

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WickedMessenger:
Should I take it in for repair?
No, no need to. All is fine.
It lurches a bit when you release the brake slightly, normal.
Idle sounds different, you're running on 3 cylinders. :)
 

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You really wouldn't want it to idle any slower.

As Karl noted - the power pulses would be too widely spaced to keep it from shuddering. I've been in a 3 cylinder Metro that wasn't idling high enough (stuck IAC pintle), and it would shake your teeth loose.
 

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I have a smart passion without a tach (so I don't know the RPM). It feels to me like the idle is too fast but I don't know what's normal for the car. I just took posession of it on Wednesday of last week and have 31 miles on it so far.

Here's what's going on: at a stop I have to really press down on the gas because it really wants to pull away. When I release my foot from the brake it jumps forward and quickly picks up speed ** this is without giving it any gas. I have no comparison. Is this the way they are? I would call the dealer but it seems like their standard answer to any subtle problem is always "They're all like that" and it makes you feel like an idiot. So I'd like to hear from everybody else. Should I take it in for repair?
At a bit over 4500 miles now the idle has stayed about the same but the clutch gabbyness (wants to take off) has gone away and thing have calmed down considerably.
most of what you describe will go away but it is still a rev happy motor that makes more HP than torque. Your car will keep getting better and driving around getting 40 + mpg will make you feel at least clever...
karl
:D
 

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Same here, so this appears to be the norm. Per my ScanGauge, my car, with 1000 miles, idles cold at 1050-1100 RPMs, down to 930 when warmed up (10 mins driving or so). Gallons per hour: 0.58 idle cold, 0.23 idle warm, 0.35 idle warm with A/C on.

On clutch grabbing / starting from a light: When I stop, if I inch forward, it'll idle up to about 10mph, and if I stop again within a couple seconds I'll get the feeling it's sitting down with a "Hmmf. And I thought I was gonna play." Sorry, the car just has a personality to me. The settling/sitting is less pronounced now than on day one when it kind of worried me. New owners will be confused by this, but it was amusing as hell when I thought of it as a kid that wanted to go play. The idle feels to me like it's saying "Wanna go, wanna go, wanna go..." so the "hmmf" just seemed to fit.

Also on the idle stop, remember there's a hill start assist that I believe applies the brakes when the car believes you don't want to roll backwards. So it doesn't always idle forward; sometimes you have to give it gas for it to realize you want to move. On a 10 year old car that would count as sticking brakes, on this one I think it's by design... at least I hope so.

Starting from a light, it takes a second to get RPMs up, but when I hit 3,000 RPMs in gear 1, I get a massive surge of power, shift into 2nd, and 3,000 RPMs in gear 2 isn't as big a surge. It'll go 0 to 30 pretty darn quick. It surprises a lot of people that get into the other lane to pass me and find that they can't anymore because I'm not driving a golf cart after all.
 

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SuperGeek, thank you for a very good description.
About starting from a stop, in some ways, it reminds me of my NSU Ro80 with its viscous clutch. Like a bungee sling: it starts slowly, then it's a surge.
Except that the Ro80 was smooth throughout the acceleration, since it stayed in the same gear. Whereas the smart "marks" it's changing gear.
 

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Still has bags of character

The Hummf you describe (squat to me) goes away the creep becoes just that somthing useful for parking rather than launch control. Car runs much harder than most people think and keeps getting better (smoother and quicker) as it breaks in :D.
karl
 

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Thanks for the feedback on the idle issue. I find it tiresome in bumper-to-bumper traffic. Outbound from Boston last night was nasty! Hopefully princess will settle down after a few thousand miles. Just broke 700 miles. It is a kick to drive though and I will get on it more once it is broken in. I like the sound of the exhaust when I go around corners sort of fast!

I actually turned off the AC this morning and had my window open and had two people talk to me about it. The Boston weather has been muggy uggy for too long so I have been running the AC constantly.
 

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super geek is FUNNY!

On clutch grabbing / starting from a light: When I stop, if I inch forward, it'll idle up to about 10mph, and if I stop again within a couple seconds I'll get the feeling it's sitting down with a "Hmmf. And I thought I was gonna play." Sorry, the car just has a personality to me. The settling/sitting is less pronounced now than on day one when it kind of worried me. New owners will be confused by this, but it was amusing as hell when I thought of it as a kid that wanted to go play. The idle feels to me like it's saying "Wanna go, wanna go, wanna go..." so the "hmmf" just seemed to fit.
I LOVE this! Too funny- but so true. :p
 

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Thanks, and it is very true. And as a followup... after 1730 miles (700 highway, 1000 city in 3 months), I can't even make it do the stop-n-squat intentionally. If I lift off the brake, it'll engage forward drive, then I hit the brake again and it stops in its tracks. I can feel it disengage, but the rear doesn't actually sit down anymore. I dunno why, but I actually thought that 'feature' was entertaining and kind of miss it.
 
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