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Discussion Starter #1
My 2014 Smart Electric says malfunction when I plug it in. Well, it switches between a cord symbol and malfunction. The second light on the cord goes red. Have tried leaf 110 charger also and 40a juicebox 220 charger. All a no go. I am at 40% state of charge. I can pick up an onboard charger for $500 plus shipping, but hate shooting in the dark. I don’t know if code resets or programming are required with new(used/salvage) charger. I can’t find any repair information about this. 1200 miles to tow it out of state and return for it at a later date-the nearest MB service center with a tech. I would also be renting a trailer, time off, etc... I’m starting to think thermite on the top and a sparkler might be the best fix for it. I just don’t see this car making it to 500,000 miles. It is at 30,000 miles now. I got it at 28,000 miles-hopefully not the worst regret of my life. I would like a scan tool, a repair manual, and confidence that electric car future isn’t going to suck. My question is what causes malfunction message and can it be cleared or diagnosed at home? I haven’t tried charging 12v battery, but it should be fine. I also haven’t tried disconnecting 12v battery to reset. I also have the double wrench -135 days maintence message that can’t be cleared like the single wrench one. I can’t trailer this bumblebee car 1200 miles everytime I need to put another 1000 miles on it or get the washer fluid topped off. I’m thinking a 6.0L dually 1 ton pickup might be cheaper to drive and less headache at this point. Oh and won’t be charged the extra $75 a year to register it in Nebraska like the EV. I’m glad they stopped selling these disasters here in the USA because of dependability, but I hate to throw in the towel without giving it my best shot to repair. I was able to replace a couple cells in my prius for $60 and give that car some more life. I just haven’t found any info about this cars mysterious ways.
 

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I can't help with your main problem, but I do have a couple of comments. The double wrench maintenance due symbol should be able to be reset just like the single wrench one. I'd sure check the 12v battery if it is original. Very few code readers work on our Smart electrics. Hopefully someone will chime in with a reader that works for you/us.

Is your car still mobile with your 40% charge?

Len
2014 EV Coupe 20,500 miles
2014 EV Cabriolet 19,500 miles
 

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I'd go so far as to replace the 12 V before doing anything drastic like pull it 1000+ miles.

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2017 453 Passion ED/EQ
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Also maybe check for & clean out connector socket for debris? But yeah, if the 12v batt is not at a high enough voltage, it could do all sorts of errors. Get a volt meter reading on it, it should climb from ~ 12.3 v. to 13+ volts when you turn the car on. Then drive it a bit to see if any other messages are displayed. If the car seems ok, park and try the charger again.
 

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Also see p 116 of the owners manual, not sure which indicator lamp is red, solid or flashing. Thirdly do you have the 451 intro service manual? I don't know where I got it, pm me an email I will send it to you.
 

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MY08 cabrio MY09 cabrio Brabus MY15 ED
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My 2014 Smart Electric says malfunction when I plug it in. Well, it switches between a cord symbol and malfunction. The second light on the cord goes red. Have tried leaf 110 charger also and 40a juicebox 220 charger. All a no go.

I haven’t tried charging 12v battery, but it should be fine.

I’m glad they stopped selling these disasters here in the USA because of dependability, but I hate to throw in the towel without giving it my best shot to repair.
What was the source of your MY14 ED, auction?

Double wrench is simply the Mileage Minder which is miles/months driven - no worry, easily reset and will not stop ED from charging.

Got a picture of the dash and EVSE showing the error indicators?

Test your 12V, our ED shows 14.5V and the battery required replacement a year ago.

As an early adopter, still only an EV Beta Tester but I’d suspect of the onboard charger???

“Dependability” is NOT why smart is no longer sold outside of Europe - URBAN LEGEND!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
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The double wrench service interval reset without issue. Thanks for that info. I must have read wrong somewhere online.

The voltage on the 12v battery seems fine.

I get fault on EVSE when it is plugged in and malfunction on car dash. On board charger.

I bought it on ebay from a private owner a year ago I think was one question. Says desert southwest region auto auction in the paperwork 6/5/2017. All I know about that.

Indicator lamp 2 red page 116, but it flashes red which is not in manual for indicator 2. The minimum and maximum setting display flashes 1-3-3-1-3-3-1-3-3-1-3-3 repeating pattern.
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The electrical j1772 female socket in car looks clean.
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The vehicle drives fine but 38% charge will not last forever. It should be plenty to get on and off a trailer multiple times. Just can’t charge it after I get back and park it. I could probably roll it downhill for charging.

If the vehicle is plugged in while the key is on does it damage the on board charger?
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This plug symbol in the book is the same one that comes on with “malfunction” when plugged in.

I sent pm Jeb.
Thanks everyone for posts
 

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Discussion Starter #8
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Page 164 says to contact authorized electric drive smart center because there is a malfunction in the on-board charger. They said to bring it in for diagnostic. Too far. No thanks.

Can it be replaced without programming new one to the car?

This wouldn’t be just a code that needs reset or something simple?

All the fuses under the dash tested ok.
 

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I'm no expert but I'd really look hard at those connector pins in the socket on the car. If one of them was corroded or something, you could fix that. Like someone else said, there is no consumer diagnostic tool that helps. You can buy the complete Mercedes-Benz technical manuals ("WIS-ASRA") on eBay for about $20, they do include our Smarts but the manual system is very difficult to navigate. M-B dealers have their own "Star Diagnostics" tool. Are you saying there is no Mercedes dealer within 1200 miles? Yikes! Maybe you can call one of the bigger dealerships that has sold some smarts and beg for a phone consultation. Benzel-Busch in Englewood, NJ always seems to have some in their on-line inventory. These are just my random thoughts... I have never experienced this issue.
 

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First thing to try is definitely clean those contracts - looks like there's a lot of dust/dirt in there. Use as high % of alcohol as you can find (91% as opposed to the 70% of rubbing alcohol) and some Q-Tips. Also can buy some contact enhancer liquid (it does work) to improve the connections after you've cleaned the metal posts and the inside of the charging cable sockets. A bad connection may be causing the message.

If cleaning doesn't work, it's probably the on-board charger (the thing that actually converts the 110 or 220v AC to DC to charge the battery pack) which either will have to be fixed or replaced. You won't necessarily have to take it to MB, but you do need a shop that knows how to handle electric cars or high voltage electronics.

If you can find a working one, it should be just pull the old one out, put the new one in. Unlike the pack itself it should not require any special reprogramming to clear the codes.

Page 164 says to contact authorized electric drive smart center because there is a malfunction in the on-board charger. They said to bring it in for diagnostic. Too far. No thanks.

Can it be replaced without programming new one to the car?

This wouldn’t be just a code that needs reset or something simple?

All the fuses under the dash tested ok.
 

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MY08 cabrio MY09 cabrio Brabus MY15 ED
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12V battery looks good but while you are in "diagnostic mode" may want to put it on a trickle charger to protect the HV?

Are you using an extension cord? Suspect items - plug contacts (M/F), wire chafing or onboard charger?

 

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If you have a Prius you may already know to test the battery in those Toyota advises just after charging or driving and shutting off, to turn on high beams for 30s before measuring 12 V voltage, "to remove surface charge". Please check that before anything further.

Not knowing 12 V history it's roughly a 6 year old car, with possibly a 6 year old battery. Some would say that's a pretty long service life...

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Not knowing 12 V history it's roughly a 6 year old car, with possibly a 6 year old battery. Some would say that's a pretty long service life...
True and coming out of UT & the SW, if this is the original battery it has likely seen some temperature extremes?

Sometimes the top of the battery post may show the date of manufacture?
 

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My Lear charger has no red lights so what evse is the OP using? My other charger ( 'I' logo) has 4 lights but arranged longitudinally. Also has there been a perfect history of charging this car since day one, or has there been the usual time-outs, disconnects etc that we all suffer. Outright failure of onboard charger is a bit of a long shot given all the usual nonsense re the chargeport.

Look for broken-off pieces deep inside the handle that might have come from public charge plugs. Is something keeping your plug from going all the way in?
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My Lear charger has no red lights so what evse is the OP using?
You may want to look at the Lear (as supplied w/451) User Manual referenced above?

The OEM Level 1 Lear EVSE will show a red light on the right side of the top panel if it detects a malfunction.

Such malfunctions are often caused by wall plug circuitry issues or the use of an extension cord.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Not using an extension cord. Couple of EV’s(2011 Nissan Leaf and 2014 Smart) and no problem charging either off 110v for the last year plus. The green lights on the Charging cord turn red if there is a problem. Staying solid or flashing. I ordered the technical manuals. The guy selling the car internal charger confirmed that it would have to be programmed at a dealer. Dang it-but hurray for anyone stealing parts getting a useless hunk of obsolete tech waste without a trip to dealer.

Looks like a road trip with a smart car in tow.

Now I have to decide between that and lighting it on fire.

I guess I’ll call them up and talk through some hypotheticals and prices before I start driving.

The battery is $12,600 for the Leaf at the Nissan dealer(half the range out of warranty didn’t seem so bad after hearing that)
I will trickle charge 12v battery and clean charge ports and inspect wires some more but it all looks like new albeit a little dusty.

Smartcar 12v battery is going to get replaced before I take it to the dealer-if I end up doing that just to rule it out and new hutts to have a new one of those in any vehicle periodically.
Not sure if the trailer lights connections work on my suburban(never used for towing) so that will be the next thing to get running 100% before I start thinking about towing trip.
Might it be easier to start up a Mercedes-Benz dealership here in town with an electric service center?
Time to deep dive in that technical manual.
 

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Install the salvage charger first and then worry about any codes. Could be soft codes possibly that allow it to work and prove itself.
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Discussion Starter #18
I pulled the trigger and ordered 12v battery(even though the old one was perfect but aging) and the on board charger(even though I have no idea how I’m going to get it programmed to car). I’ll put them in and see if it accomplishes anything. $201.96 for the battery from online MB dealer. $456.88 for the used onboard charger. I think the wrecked car had around 6k miles that it came out of. $8.40 for MB Smart WIS ASRA service repair workshop manual-which covers every one of their vehicles 1986-2019. I realize how important it is to have a shop nearby that can work on these. I might sell it after I get it (if I get it) going. Looking back the only two things that could have caused this externally would be: the kid plugging in J1772 with the car key on and the main battery around 95% SOC or getting plugged into a Juicebox Pro 40a 220v evse at someone else’s house with around 60% SOC. Those are the only two out of the ordinary events that happened leading up to the Malfunction message and inability to charge.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I’ve called everywhere around town to all the mechanics and no one has a c4 or better MB Star diagnostic(which I think is what I need). I think I’ll order one off ebay for around $800ish from what I’ve seen. I replaced the cab air filter that was fairly dirty. It is 2 plastic tabs on a plastic cover beside the accel. pedal to change. A little work to get in and out, but not terrible. I have the 12v battery on a Noco Genius trickle charger until I get the new 12v battery delivery and get it installed. Will the main battery still experience phantom drain? I hope not. Could take me a month to get this figured out and done.
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It looks like there might have been a screw in the corner by that top cab air filter tab originally.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Just noticed “usual timeouts, disconnects we all suffer” in earlier post.
I’ve never had a problem charging an EV before this. I just plug and forget and always full charge when I get back. Love EV, so simple. Wish I had cruise on this one only complaint. Heated steering and seats would be nice but never had before on any vehicle so I’ll never miss what I’ve never had.
 
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