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Is this normal for Smart Cars service?

  • 18K miles headlight goes out and dealer charges $40 acknowledging no extended warranty,
  • 30K miles tune up, no problem, but that evening break problem, upon return the next day, dealer said bad front break. What happened? Why not this checked at 30K?
  • buy new key: dealer said $209. Give one key with head and one key without head. Upon pick up dealer acknowledge should have brought all keys for rekeying and charged another $100 to reprogram new key and one brought with me.
  • 35K miles, car won’t start. Dealer said fuel pump needed replaced. Will take 5 days for part to arrive. And extended warranty will cover the price except $100 deductable. Upon part, dealer called and said needed me to authorize ~$20 dollar for gas to test fuel pump.

If this is normal, then it’s time go move away from this car and all it’s service surprises.
If this is not normal, any suggestions of what I should do?
 

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It's about normal... but I do have a couple of questions...

1. Why would you take it to the dealer for a blown bulb? Get a replacement at Walmart and it's fixed in 2 minutes for half what you paid them...

2. Was the break check listed on the paperwork that you signed when you had the service done? If not, why would they check it? The front pads have been lasting well over 40k and to date I haven't see or heard of more than one or two bad calipers... sounds like an isolated issue.

3. This is normal... it's about $100 per key to get it reprogrammed.

4. That's normal... what were you looking for? Did you not want them to test it? Nothing is free in today's economy.

What you listed is typical of any car dealership... what does the car have to do with it?
 

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1) Headlight bulbs are not usually covered under any car's warranty. They are fairly easy to replaceon a smart. You have come to the right place for stuff like that.

2) Depending on what failed on the brake, and what they checked as part of their 30K inspection.Say a line started leaking, or if a caliper stuck, they may or may not have found it.

3) Any time a key is made, duplicated, or replaced, you need to have all the current keys to program the computer. Same with most cars that use this type of key. The dealer should have told you this when you made the appointment.

4) Just about all the newer cars have the fuel pump located inside the gas tank. $20 sounds a bit much unless they filled the tank. Usually they put in 3 or 4 gallons. You wouldn't want them to put the gas they removed back in, depending on what they put it in when they drained it.. 5 Days is not uncommon as most dealerships are not stocking many parts. The $100 deductable is a standard charge and should be outlined in your extended warranty.

Does not sound too far from the norm for any car repair at any dealership. I think you'd have the same experience at a Ford, GM or Toyota dealer.
 

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Does not sound too far from the norm for any car repair at any dealership. I think you'd have the same experience at a Ford, GM or Toyota dealer.
Agreed. Bulbs, oil changes, brake pads, and most fluids are all non-warranty items on any car unless it's basically brand new and defective at delivery. Your manual shows user-replaceable parts... if it includes instructions, generally it's not warrantied and you'll save money knowing how to do the work.

New keys need programming done together. If you didn't know that, the dealer should have made it clear. If they charged you more for a second reprogramming, you might be able to convince them to refund you that much due to noncommunication.

First time I've heard of a fuel pump going bad.

Any car will have a similar experience. Except maybe a car that costs 3-4x as much... then when the fuel pump goes out, they charge you $100 for the gas and $150 for the bulb.
 

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The only solution is to buy a 60's or earlier car... Any shade tree mechanic can fix it, and keep it running for Cheap...

~Smart Car Truism~
Drive a Smart for Fun... When its not Fun any more, find something else that's Fun to drive and Buy It...
 

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Take them a gal of gas lol As for the rest I do not know I do most of my own matenance.

Prices sound about right for dealer work
 

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From
smart USA Owners Portal - 30,000 Miles/Three Year

Reset maintenance counter in cluster
activated charcoal filter for A/C
engine oil and filter
spark plugs
body, underside of vehicle and paint for damage
brake system/brake hoses for tightness
disk brake pads for lining thickness

engine coolant level and strength
engine, gearbox, tubes and hoses for tightness
exhaust system for tightness and correct fixation
horn, interior and exterior lights, warning lights, A/C system, seat heating for proper operation
parking brake function
tires and wheels for damage, condition and single-sided wear
tire pressure, correct if necessary;
LF____ RF____ LR____ RR____
tire tread depth, enter in mm;
LF____ RF____ LR____ RR____
windshield washer system fluid level, correct if necessary
windshield wiper blade condition and wiper/washer system function
These are all the things that should have been done at the 30K service. Yes they should have noted the condition of the brakes.
 

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The only solution is to buy a 60's or earlier car... Any shade tree mechanic can fix it, and keep it running for Cheap...

~Smart Car Truism~
Drive a Smart for Fun... When its not Fun any more, find something else that's Fun to drive and Buy It...

this^
 

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My dealer charged me just for the bulbs to replace both headlights <$25. But, I think Portland would be too far for you to drive!!

PsC, the best Dealer in Oregon!!











The only dealer in Oregon!! :D
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thank you all for the follow-up posts regarding my questions: very helpful in understanding the business.
 

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~Smart Car Truism~
Drive a Smart for Fun... When its not Fun any more, find something else that's Fun to drive and Buy It...
Omg, that's priceless - Larry, are you looking at this? Aren't there one or two other folks that need to read this over and over until it finally sinks in? LOVE it.
 

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It can depend on your dealer. My VW dealer 180K miles and 10 years later still replaces headlamps free of charge, does $35 synthetic oil changes including parts, and treats all customers as if they walked through their Mercedes service door.

They obviously are the exception in this highly volatile profession...
 
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