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Discussion Starter #1
My new 2018 EV has only 340 miles and it has been great until yesterday when the message "Malfunction Visit Workshop" appeared in the display with a little icon. After driving 30 or so miles in various short trips yesterday we parked the car in our garage and as usual the front fan (cooling fan I presume) was running but everything seemed fine - the fan typically runs for a while after driving. We did not connect the charger and the remaining charge was good. An hour or so later we went into the garage and the fan was still running so we looked inside and the message was on the display. Inserting the key and turning it on would not get the car into "ready" mode and the message remained. We began scheduling a pickup for repair (MB of Westminster Colorado) and after a bit we looked at the car again and the fan was off and message was gone and the car seemed fine again. We took another trip and there were no further issues. We charged the car overnight and it still seems fine today. Our dealer service person said they had never heard of this before and they are hopefully researching what may have happened.

Has anyone here seen or heard of this? Any ideas?

Also, do others with the Smart EV notice the fan running for some time after parking the car every time it is driven? The temperature has been in the 80s during the day here, with about 95 yesterday and going to 100 today so the car may have been a little hot yesterday but not really extreme and our garage was only about 80 inside.

Thanks.

Charlie
 

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My new 2018 EV has only 340 miles and it has been great until yesterday when the message "Malfunction Visit Workshop" appeared in the display with a little icon. After driving 30 or so miles in various short trips yesterday we parked the car in our garage and as usual the front fan (cooling fan I presume) was running but everything seemed fine - the fan typically runs for a while after driving. We did not connect the charger and the remaining charge was good. An hour or so later we went into the garage and the fan was still running so we looked inside and the message was on the display. Inserting the key and turning it on would not get the car into "ready" mode and the message remained. We began scheduling a pickup for repair (MB of Westminster Colorado) and after a bit we looked at the car again and the fan was off and message was gone and the car seemed fine again. We took another trip and there were no further issues. We charged the car overnight and it still seems fine today. Our dealer service person said they had never heard of this before and they are hopefully researching what may have happened.

Has anyone here seen or heard of this? Any ideas?

Also, do others with the Smart EV notice the fan running for some time after parking the car every time it is driven? The temperature has been in the 80s during the day here, with about 95 yesterday and going to 100 today so the car may have been a little hot yesterday but not really extreme and our garage was only about 80 inside.

Thanks.

Charlie

Yes. I have dealt with it a few times already. I am beginning to believe it is a hardware glitch, because patience is the remedy. I had a client with this issue yesterday. It worked fine after he waited for a while, but it is certainly something I hope the techs figure out with an update. :nerd:
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks. Is this issue already being addressed at the corporate level? I wonder if there might be a system software update that might help? I have seen software updates fix issues in several recent cars.

I have another odd issue in that occasionally when rolling up the passenger window it goes all the way up and then drops down about a third of the way and stops. This happens about one out of ten times when rolling the window up, and sometimes it happens a couple of times in a row. I had an identical issue with a new Mini Cooper Countryman a few years ago and the dealer had no ideas but they did every software update when they became available and finally one update fixed it and it never happened again.

Lastly, the cooling fan in the front always runs for a bit after driving, even on cooler (80 degree) days here in Colorado. Is that normal for the Smart EV? When the error message appeared the fan was running continuously at what be full speed as it was running faster than I had ever heard it before.

Thanks again.

Charlie
 

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Thanks. Is this issue already being addressed at the corporate level? I wonder if there might be a system software update that might help? I have seen software updates fix issues in several recent cars.
I'm confident that eyes and ears are open looking for a resolution. It hasn't happened enough to definitively and easily identify the source of an obvious fault, however it has happened *just barely enough* for me to conclude that the error message is a possibility.


I've seen it enough to now recommend the owner to leave the car alone for a solid 20-30 minutes. Just leave the car alone, walk away, go eat lunch or something. Return and try to start it. It usually works and the error message disappears and I've seen 6 months go by without issue.

I did escalate the issue internally though, so if it happens I do ultimately recommend you bring it in to the shop so it can be evaluated. A resolution cannot be discovered if it isn't evaluated during the errors.

I have another odd issue in that occasionally when rolling up the passenger window it goes all the way up and then drops down about a third of the way and stops. This happens about one out of ten times when rolling the window up, and sometimes it happens a couple of times in a row. I had an identical issue with a new Mini Cooper Countryman a few years ago and the dealer had no ideas but they did every software update when they became available and finally one update fixed it and it never happened again.

The anti-pinch feature is just trying to protect somebody's hands/fingers, a toddler's neck, your family dog, from being strangled or fingers broken from an overly aggressive window. If the window mechanism meets resistance, it will bounce back and remain open. I recommend you clean the glass surface and rubber window seal where the glass and seal meet. It will help.

You can always override the anti-pinch feature by closing the window without triggering the auto close. Push and hold the window close button lightly.


Lastly, the cooling fan in the front always runs for a bit after driving, even on cooler (80 degree) days here in Colorado. Is that normal for the Smart EV? When the error message appeared the fan was running continuously at what be full speed as it was running faster than I had ever heard it before.

It's designed to cool itself off by any means necessary, whether the car is on or off. Can't rule out the glitch might have an effect on the fan after shutdown, however a running fan alone wouldn't worry me. If it's doing it for extended periods of time, it may be worth a service visit.
 

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The radiator fan (this is what you man by "cooling fan"?) only runs when I'm using the A/C in my ED. The ED has a cooling syatem that circulates through the motor, controller/inverter, charger, and battery pack, but I've never seen the coolant get more than lukewarm - not enough for the radiator fan to ever turn on.

I heard that Smarts destined for hot climates also has a battery pack coolant chiller that uses the A/C system to keep the pack cool. This might be all US Smart ED's as most of the USA has hot summers compared to Europe.
 

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My 2017 has had the fan go on quite a bit even without my ac on and in 70-80 degree temperatures. The red icon that appears has also happened several times to me but all I had to do was turn the key on and off a couple of times and it went away. Here’s the thing though, recently I’d open my garage door to discover the cars fan on hours after I parked it. When I parked it the fan was not on. Then three days ago I went to satert my car and the starter battery was dead. It wouldn’t start. So I connected my trickle charger to the starter battery for about 5 minutes, it showed the battery as dead. Then after 5 minutes the car came to life and I was able to start the car. Once started, the main battery began charging the starter battery. Took around 5 more minutes to go from just over dead to 80%. Brought it to the dealer along with pictures and video I took of the dash. They now tell me that they can’t clear a charge controlller error and are waiting for MB to get back to them. My main battery pack was 100% at the time. So my guess is that the fan came on in the garage overnight and stayed on which killed my starter battery. I’ve discovered that the starter battery only gets Charged by the main battery while it is started. Cheers.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Wow. I haven't had the 12V battery issue on my 2018, yet anyway. And the red icon hasn't appeared again either. If/when it happens again I will try turning the key off and on a few times to see what happens. in my case it went out on it's own in 1-2 hours.

My fan does come on unexpectedly, sometimes after pulling into the garage after driving and sometimes after the car has been parked for a while. Also the fan sometimes comes on when unplugging the charger, or even when a door or the rear hatch door is opened. But so far it has not remained on long enough to drain the battery.

Thanks. Any further information will be welcomed. i haven't heard anything back from my dealer yet.

Charlie
 

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Once started, the main battery began charging the starter battery. Took around 5 more minutes to go from just over dead to 80%. Brought it to the dealer along with pictures and video I took of the dash. They now tell me that they can’t clear a charge controller error and are waiting for MB to get back to them. My main battery pack was 100% at the time. So my guess is that the fan came on in the garage overnight and stayed on which killed my starter battery. I’ve discovered that the starter battery only gets Charged by the main battery while it is started. Cheers.
Regarding the battery charging, I've been trying to point this out for a while. The smart only charges when the car is "on" - no different than an IC engine car. The DC DC converter is in power electronics unit (the big box above the motor) and does not have HV power to it when the car is switched off.

Are you saying that the SOC gauge was indicating the low voltage battery SOC while it was charging - or was that something your charger was indicating?

There is definitely something wrong with the way that fan is running all the time.
 

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No, the car had completed charging from the night before but was still connected to my level 2 charger but no longer charging. When I was able to get the car started, I noticed that the SOC was 100% and therefore knew the problem was with my starter battery. That said, the dealership said the charge controller error code could not be reset and has asked MB technical for assistance. I had a steering problem in January that took 30 days to resolve after my dealership engaged MB technical. Nothing was fixed, they just knew how to reset the codes. This time my car has been in the shop for 6 days so far and my dealership is telling me that they are waiting for MB technical to give them instructions. I have no idea how long this will take to resolve..
 

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No, the car had completed charging from the night before but was still connected to my level 2 charger but no longer charging. When I was able to get the car started, I noticed that the SOC was 100% and therefore knew the problem was with my starter battery. That said, the dealership said the charge controller error code could not be reset and has asked MB technical for assistance. I had a steering problem in January that took 30 days to resolve after my dealership engaged MB technical. Nothing was fixed, they just knew how to reset the codes. This time my car has been in the shop for 6 days so far and my dealership is telling me that they are waiting for MB technical to give them instructions. I have no idea how long this will take to resolve..
Spentit, in the US, I think if a new car is in the dealership for more than 30 cumulative days during your first year of ownership for unresolved problems, you can pursue a lemon law reimbursement. Don't know if that applies to Canada, and even if you don't want smart to buy the car back, it can be added pressure/incentive for them to escalate the problem.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I started this thread and now three weeks later the error has not happened again. I also haven't heard anything from my dealer about a possible cause or fix, and I am concerned that sooner or later this will occur again at some really inconvenient time. Any other comments or observations of this issue would be appreciated.

Does anyone know how to identify the software version in the car, and whether or not any upgrades are available? Perhaps an upgrade to the system software might be worth trying if one is available.

Charlie
 

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Hate to say it but your dealer "should" be able to answer those questions. Have you tried elevating this to smart USA or getting your Field Operations Manager (the dealer should have them on speed dial) involved? :)
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Agreed that I should be getting better dealer support. Hopefully they are working on a solution, unknown to me. This morning I emailed SmartUSA to see if they will respond and if they have any suggestions.

I really do wonder about a possible software update?
 

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So I received my car back from the dealership. They said that MB issued a bulletin about a problem with the battery the day we brought the car in but nobody noticed it. Then after 8 days with the car, they said that MB is aware of the problem but has no current fix for it but that they feel it won't happen again. They said if it does, toggle the ignition twice, then lock and unlock the doors once. That will get things going again. I told them that my starter battery was dead according to my car charger and only after connecting my car charger did life return to the car. They said the starter battery never died that the problem is with the charge controller. Either way, they said it usually happens once but never twice which I find hard to understand. They told me that they updated other software for me while I was at the dealership and that when a fix for this arrives from MB, they will notify me.

So here's what I did - I don't like these soft things that could happen at any time, so I installed a bluetooth battery monitor on my starter battery just to see what happens over time. I've attached some screen shots. My car is connected to my chargepoint level 2 charger all the time in the garage. It turns on at 7 pm and off at 7 am which is off peak. The first image (1) shows up and down charging continuously from midnight to 7 am (It was also the same from 7 pm to midnight), then it starts to drop off to 12.28v. The second image (2) shows that by noon it dropped off to 11.81v. The third image (3) shows me driving my car and the battery is at 14.63v. The fourth image (4) is after parking my car in the driveway after lunch. It's now at 13.16v and the battery monitoring app is indicating that it's 'charging'. There are definite drop offs, very confusing consumption and recharge patterns, don't know how healthy this is in the long term for the battery but when I brought my car in to my dealership , it was because the car would not start and all the interior lights wouldn't even shine, my remote could not lock and unlock the car - the battery was dead.

They ought to include a starter battery monitor of some type in these cars. This bluetooth device tells me if the car's battery is draining or is in any danger of not starting - not expensive and at least keeps me informed. Any thoughts?

Cheers,

Terry.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Interesting data. Something odd surely is going on there that needs to be addressed. I haven't had any battery issues that I have noticed, but I do notice other odd behavior with the Smart EV. The cooling fan often runs for a bit after driving, but then goes off as would be expected. But then later, within the next few hours, if we open a door or the rear hatch the cooling fan often comes on and runs for a while? Sometimes it even comes on without anyone touching the car! Maybe this is as intended but it does seem odd.
Charlie
 

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Yes, my smarts cooling fan comes on, day or night outside the garage or in where it’s cooler. I still believe that’s what caused my battery to drain and I might have that proof in my screen shots as the deep dive to 11.81v shows large consumption while parked. I also note that despite my car being charged up over night, the car sometimes shows 99% or 98% SOC. I again think the fan is on during the night or just after my charger stops working at 7 am during weekdays. These days like most places, we’re setting local heat records with high humidity.

It’s been so hot that even with the car in a cooler garage, my estimated distance to travel is now around 140 klms instead if June’s 170 klms and if I use the AC then that drops to a real world 120 klms so the main battery definitely doesn’t like warm temps..

Cheers.
 

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I got this error message about two weeks ago; it didn't occur to me at the time to check the forums. When I got the error, the battery was at 100% of charge. I had just recharged at a station connected to a solar array. The temperature was in the 90's. I drove home without any issues, but the error message was still displayed. By then, the battery was at about 90%. When I plugged in the car at home, it started charging and the error message went away. Since then, I've been on a 200-mile trip and have had no problems recharging.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I finally took my 2018 to the dealer, even though the "malfunction-visit-workshop" message never appeared again. They kept it for three weeks, and eventually told me that SmartUSA recommended replacing the 12V battery. That is all they did as far as I know and I have the car back now. If this happens again I will report it here.
Charlie
Denver CO
 

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Hi Charlie,

From all my experiences bringing my 2017 into the shop, the dealerships have limited knowledge about the Smart ED. With no exception, any issue that I've had results in the car being in the shop for between 1 and 4 weeks just to be told that MB is aware of the problem but no solution has been found or 'we can't recreate the problem'.

Most recently my 12v battery died overnight - from what I can tell, the fan kept coming on all night long and eventually killed the 12v. The 12v only recharges when the car is turned on or when the car is being charged. So what I ended up doing is installing a bluetooth battery monitor that has a built in warning system. I can open the app and see what the battery condition is and also it's history such as when the fan is on for extended periods. At a minimum, this gives me peace of mind in that I won't be caught with a dead battery again unless I ignore the warnings from the app.

Cheers,

Terry.
 
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