Smart Car of America Forum banner

21 - 40 of 47 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
585 Posts
I’ve addressed this issue with our 453 with psi settings and being cautious pushing the car in turns (although faster than I ever felt comfortable when the car was completely a stock Passion ) its a give and take situation . I realize that all it takes is some dirt or grit on the road on a familiar turn , and all hell could break loose .
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
7,616 Posts
I realize that all it takes is some dirt or grit on the road on a familiar turn, and all hell could break loose.
AND all the mandated Electronic Nannies in the world can't save us from ourselves in that nanosecond, especially with such a short wheelbase . . .

In 1972, the F-8 DFBW system was the forerunner of current fly-by-wire systems used in the space shuttles, submarines with a “swim-by-wire” system and on today’s military & civilian aircraft.

Fast forward to the automobile of today (and autonomous vehicles) and it's a drive-by-wire CANBUS world!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,978 Posts
The only time our 451 scared me. Extremely windy days. It would get blowned all over the place. High profile shape. Wind busts. The other, were heavy snow days, on the highway. Changing lane with snow ice ruts, between lanes. Skinny front tire, didn’t like that like. The car would be all over the place. Braking in heavy snow slush was scary too. The smart tracked its best, in light powdered snow, and rain. Not a issue.
 

·
King of Smart Gadgetry
Joined
·
1,050 Posts
I realize you are driving a 453 but I believe there are similarities to the 451 in principle when it comes to traction control. I guess the biggest difference in the 453 from the 451 is that the 453 has crosswind stability control added and the 451 never had that.

They set up the 451 to engage when "needed" for stock size tires like 155 front and 175 rear. As I have told here many times I took my stock tires off and replaced them with 205/60R15's with a slightly wider offset rim. Traction is much better and way more stable, but my stability control still thinks I have 155 and 175 stock tires on it. So in situations that I have great traction the stability control and ABS can kick in and rattle my cage. It almost always happen in a turn or a curve when a light applied brake pedal causes the ABS to kick in and try to pull the car back into a straight line when I am needing to round the curve.

I was driving interstate the other day in a downpour and was driving along at 75(too fast) when at the bottom of a hill I hydroplaned and felt the car start to squirm. In a millisecond the ABS and Stability control kicked in and straighten me out. The car feels so stable larger tires that I guess I tend to trust it too much. It's easy to forget you are driving a car just over 8 feet long.

The other day while driving home in a few inches of snow the clockspring failed and it shut down the stability control. Driving in the snow the car had a totally different persona. So I guess the moral of my story is I would much rather have stability control kick in premature and keep me safe than to not have it work at all. It's not 100% perfect. The steering angle sensor in the clockspring determines how aggressive the stability system is depending on how your front wheel are pointed.

An application of the system results in a soft code (a code that doesn't light the check engine light. I have a fairly good engine scanner that delves down deep into the individual modules and I have never found a stored soft code for stability control on mine. Maybe the Star system can access other data that is otherwise hidden to my Autel mk808. But if it happens again it might be worth your peace of mind to get it checked.

It could be a faulty wheel sensor or a cracked reluctor ring. If you had a scanner that will give you live data you could connect it and drive the vehicle and it will give you a readout of the speed of each wheel and you con compare them to the speedometer. If one wheel is off by a mile or two that could be a problem also. DCO
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
71 Posts
Discussion Starter #27
The first year i had my 2016 ForTwo, I experienced the same thing. But in my case, it seemed to only be when i had snow tires on the rear. Now.... i know you're probably thinking "well DUH, there's going to be traction differences if you're using different tires, and stability control is bound to kick in." But it hasn't done it in the past 2 years, whether i have the pair of snows on or all 4 all-seasons. But i'll agree with the OP... it can be a bit terrifying if it catches you by surprise. When it was about to happen, you could hear that it was priming to do something to correct what it felt was... well... INcorrect. It would only give you a second or two of warning before seemingly slamming on the brakes of one of the wheels.

It seems like the stability control just sometimes has a bit of a hiccup every now and then. I've taken my car around tighter corners at higher speeds than when it used to do that to me, and it hasn't happened since.
Yeah, I've taken that same road multiple times and often drove it much harder.

After thinking about it for a while, a few things occurred to me...I recently had the rear tires replaced with some $35 cheapos from Americas/Discount Tire. Yes , thirty five dollar tires. I figured, what the hell, let's check these out, haw bad can they be?

Immediately on my drive home, it felt like the car wasn't tracking as normal. Kind of wandered and felt like I had to work harder to keep a straight track. Thing is, I wasn't sure if it was my imagination or not.

Kind of felt like they were super over inflated like they sometimes do at big tire stores, but when checking them, they were a little under.

Add to this, I left the front tires on because they still have some good tread -- although getting near the end of their life. So mismatched sets

Also, it feels like my car is pulling a little to the right. Only 20k on it an never hit a curb or anything.

Maybe all of this in combination is serving to undo the ESP.

I think I'll start with setting the tires to exact pressure, reset the TPM system and maybe get a free alignment check...although I'm not sure who would be good with these cars. I'll ask my local euro indy.

Worst case, I'll take them back to Americas Tire since they take returns (although I've never gone through the process) and get some better rubber
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,297 Posts
Yeah, I've taken that same road multiple times and often drove it much harder.

After thinking about it for a while, a few things occurred to me...I recently had the rear tires replaced with some $35 cheapos from Americas/Discount Tire. Yes , thirty five dollar tires. I figured, what the hell, let's check these out, haw bad can they be?

Immediately on my drive home, it felt like the car wasn't tracking as normal. Kind of wandered and felt like I had to work harder to keep a straight track. Thing is, I wasn't sure if it was my imagination or not.

Kind of felt like they were super over inflated like they sometimes do at big tire stores, but when checking them, they were a little under.

Add to this, I left the front tires on because they still have some good tread -- although getting near the end of their life. So mismatched sets

Also, it feels like my car is pulling a little to the right. Only 20k on it an never hit a curb or anything.

Maybe all of this in combination is serving to undo the ESP.

I think I'll start with setting the tires to exact pressure, reset the TPM system and maybe get a free alignment check...although I'm not sure who would be good with these cars. I'll ask my local euro indy.

Worst case, I'll take them back to Americas Tire since they take returns (although I've never gone through the process) and get some better rubber

I knew it wasn't the car. :nerd:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,157 Posts
So, what are we saying here? The combo of all of the above, or something in specific that I listed? What is the red flag?
Good chance it's the mismatched rubber. I mean, maybe as with my snow tires, your situation could improve as the El Cheapo's wear a little... But who knows a) how long that take, or b) if it'll even work.

Sent from my Pixel 3 XL using Tapatalk
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,297 Posts
So, what are we saying here? The combo of all of the above, or something in specific that I listed? What is the red flag?

Mismatch tires and deliberately low cost tires are a red flag. Do your tire specifications match exactly what smart recommended? Or did you just have tires installed just because they fit the rim on the car? Speed, treadwear rating, etc, matters here...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
71 Posts
Discussion Starter #32
So, what are we saying here? The combo of all of the above, or something in specific that I listed? What is the red flag?

Mismatch tires and deliberately low cost tires are a red flag. Do your tire specifications match exactly what smart recommended? Or did you just have tires installed just because they fit the rim on the car? Speed, treadwear rating, etc, matters here...
These are the tires
https://www.discounttire.com/buy-tires/sentury-touring/p/29236
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
129 Posts
So, what are we saying here? The combo of all of the above, or something in specific that I listed? What is the red flag?

I hit a curb in my truck and blew out the front tire.
When I went to the tire store they didn't have that particular tire, but they did have a similar tread pattern tire.


Now to me, cost was not a factor but this tire store made sure I got two tires and the important thing to them was that the tread depth was within 3/32s (front pair to rear pair) and exactly the same on each axle.


*Reason being otherwise you will have problems with ABS and traction control systems!


So Diameter > Traction (manufacturer's spec - T/H/V etc) > $$ Cost


I didn't read anything in your post about tread wear / tread depth or traction rating, only that they were $35 a tire :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
815 Posts
After reading reviews I doubt it was the the new tires.
Consumer Reports have rated these tires, they aren't bad tires, but you should have bought a full matching set. Especially at that price and with a return guaranteed.
I don't play into the whole "Brand name" business. Brand names are bought and sold like the product they produce. Good example, the Craftsman name is now owned by Lowes.

Good luck
JL
 

·
King of Smart Gadgetry
Joined
·
1,050 Posts
A non Brabus Fortwo I think comes with 155/60R15 on the front and 175/55R15 on the rear. There may be other sizes but I believe this is pretty much a standard setup. The diameter of the 155's is 22.32 in. The diameter of the 175's is 22.58 in. So that is a ratio difference of about 1.1%. Some people opt to use rear rims on the front and have all 4 tires the same size so they can be rotated, so that would be 0% ratio difference. So front and rear axles have to be pretty close in diameter. But if they ratio is too high it would tell you pretty much with the traction control light blinking and an error code. The ABS still works without the traction control being on. You might pull fuse #11 (if I remember right) to turn off the traction control and crank it around in a empty parking lot to see if it still behaves the same way consistently. But I think the stability control just limits power output from the engine and instructs the ABS pump to activate the brake on one of the 4 corners. DCO
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,824 Posts
My Smart Car scared the crap out of me a couple days ago!

DCO, you got two of the 3 possible front sizes, depending on what smart option wheels. Mine came with 165/60R15 front. The 175/55R15 and aforementioned 165/60R15 were matched with 195/50R15 on the rear.

Ms Mercedes in particular has been happy with the 185/60R15, but all reports on that size have been with the same on all 4 corners. I would not dare match that with 155/60R15 on the front....
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
71 Posts
Discussion Starter #38
DCO, you got two of the 3 possible front sizes, depending on what smart option wheels. Mine came with 165/60R15 front. The 175/55R15 and aforementioned 165/60R15 were matched with 195/50R15 on the rear.

Ms Mercedes in particular has been happy with the 185/60R15, but all reports on that size have been with the same on all 4 corners. I would not dare match that with 155/60R15 on the front....
I matched size with what was on the car from the dealer brand new 185 60 r15
 
21 - 40 of 47 Posts
Top