Smart Car of America Forum banner
1 - 16 of 16 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok so I have been using this car (2008 smart fortwo)for 2 years now with no problems (except for my headlights bulb always burning within a few months)

IN the last week my car is not acting too well. Basically one cold morning I started the car, put it in reverse, ....it indicated it was in reverse, but the engine just revved up with no motion. Put it in Drive, it indicated Drive, and no motion forward, ....the engine just revved up again. As I am in quebec (-20 sometimes) I thought ok...its cold I'll wait till it warms up. TO no avail. I shut it off and retried. didnt work.
Shut it off, put it in Park, and a couple hours later,(in the afternoon, as it was in the sun) it operated normally. It worked as if nothing had happened in the morning.:shrug:
Then it worked yesterday (wasnt too cold) BUT I saw the motor light was on in the dash...
TODAY its -30., and it happened again.
Tried a trick I saw on internet (brake on, going through teh speeds slowly up and down to resinc I think they call it) but it didnt work. Now this afternoon as it is sunny I thought ok, it will work...
NOOOO it wont even start now.:crying: NO click no starting sounds. I turn the switch on and it wont start but radio, heater they work....


HELP me, cant afford an expensive repair( I bet you know if I drivea 2008 car!). Willing to try to do things to fix it as I know mercedes in my area will come up with $$$ bills (they are well known for this!). I am no mechanic but with pictures I cant see why I cant try it.

I heard on youtube of a brake fuse/swithc that might do that???But I dont know where it is.
THen I heard of clutch actuator...at -30 I dont think I can try to do that (and maybe not as first solution)... Could it be just low on oil? (as there is no dipstick I didnt check...was going to try to do transmission oil change on my own this spring...)
PLEase help me, I work part time and am a student I need my car there is no bus system in this town(and I study 30 minutes away from here)so I need it to work asap
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
29,352 Posts
Welcome to SCoA! :)

If your brake lights work then the brake light switch is OK; that would keep the car from starting if it fails.
Is your battery fully charged? These cars are very sensitive to low battery voltage.
Clutch actuator could be the issue, as could the crankshaft sensor. Too cold to mess with those outdoors.
There is absolutely an oil dipstick....

The top of it is the round yellow thing to the right side of the photo :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
oil dipstick yes I know I added oil once a few months back.(does not burn oil) but transmission oil?
there is no voltmeter in dash for battery, but the car always started (ok it was -30 but it still started up to today)
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
17,697 Posts
Per the manual it is supposed to be a lifetime oil, but here is a video on changing it.

https://youtu.be/JIQYjrYYRGU

It sounds like your clutch actuator isn't working (probably the cause of the check engine light). Aside from servicing the clutch actuator you can try disconnecting the battery. Wait 30 minutes then hook it back up. Sometimes that's enough to resolve the issue, sometimes it's just a band-aid.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
29,352 Posts
Yes, no transmission dipstick because there's no need to check it - it's a lifetime fill. If the battery turns it over at -30 it's in good shape.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
28 Posts
I get it why you might not want to head out to a Mercedes dealership... Might be some hefty $$$ involved and in your situation, well, ya...
That being said, I also live in Quebec and my local Mr. Muffler has always been able to deal with the "not so usual" cars I've brought in. Be it an older BMW, a Saab or a 2013 Smart Pure.
And they've always done a super job.
So if you can't get it figured out on your own, you should call around... You might be surprised by how many indies are willing to tackle stuff like that.
PM me which area you're in if you want. I may be able to help you find someone... Been around the province a few times and I know some peeps :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Today the car started as if nothing had happened but it is -9...but the motor light is still on.
The car never started or look like it would start (no starting noise at all)yesterday.(-30)

It has something to do if the car maybe is too cold? I dont have a garage so it does stay outside. Brake works so then I assume it is not that brake relay I heard of?
I was going to check some fuses today...but car started and ran as usual(meaning before the last week problems).

I am now scared to get in the car in the morning, would you say I need to grease lithium that clutch actuator (by moving the rubber I was told(youtube) it can be done. OR even though started always well even at -20 could it be just the battery? but if so would the motor light come on? How can I check if the battery is still good enough? To me my dad (when alive) always used a battery till wouldnt start or charge...so I dont see why the battery would be right now the culprit....
ANY HELP?
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
17,697 Posts
The check engine light came on because you requested the car to shift into a gear and the car failed to do it. If you were to pull the code you'd likely get some code relating to the transmission. Once the issue is resolved it will take a few run cycles for the light to turn off. Some scanners can turn the light off immediately.

Before I replaced my 2012's battery it had gotten weak enough to where it wouldn't start the car when the temps were like -20 F or below and the car was sitting for more than a day. The starter ran, but it just didn't have enough power to start the car. From how you're describing things your starter doesn't even run, so it would seem the starting process is being blocked be it by a bad brake switch or transmission fault. Brake switch faults can be intermittent as can actuator faults, so I can't say with certainty whether temps had anything to do with it. The car should be able to start at -20 (Celsius or Fahrenheit).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Well, the first time this week and yesterday morning it did start the engine it just wouldnt go into moving(gears changed on screen and were not flashing...just as if it would move) then yesterday afternoon when I tried again thats when it wouldnt even start anymore.

But this morning Aok as if nothing ever happened.

Brake switch...if my brake lights work (had my mom check today...but today the car is running!) then it means it works? but it is possible it is intermittent you say...how much is thta and where is it located (can I change it myself? cause if cheap I can try that)
so the actuator then....would temperature affect it... I never did much to the car except oil change and I know I will have to change transmission oil. Now I think the next day that we get above zero I will change it(could it be taht?)
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
29,352 Posts
Just my .02 but changing the gear oil is not going to solve anything. Without getting the car evaluated by a mechanic and checking for OBD codes it's just pure guesswork as to what's wrong. I'd take mnsamson up on the offer to help you find a local mechanic and go from there. :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1 Posts
sounds like your clutch actuator broke, theres a little spindle,( no bigger than a 1/4 inch drill bit in width), that runs from the clutch actuator motor to the clutch actuator... do you have any bars horizontally on your dash display, ( normally where the drive, revers nueteral is?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
ok so the past 5 days we had near-30 today was the first day I tried the car as it was -20 (yeah still too cold probably). car starts no problem so I would say its not the battery.

tried 1-2 tricks I found on youtube with no luck. car now stays stuck on park with (after I release the brake) then abs light goes on.

I found on internet it might be brake light switch BUT I dont know where it is located and how to remove. The garage in my town that is the only one that is affordable (he is about 25$ per hour) doesnt even want to play with it (he said mercedes smart needs special tools he doesnt have) and the other garage would make me go bankrupt.

So if not too cold. it drives ok, with no light on. And for past 2 weeks where we had mostly -20 to -30 temp. then it developped all these problem.

I dont think the actuator is broken....as like I just said the day it was warmer it shifted no problem and the light disappeared after a few times. But 2 days later it was back to -20ish and then wont even move from park anymore.


First my brake lights are on...can it still be the brake light switch. Second the car started no problem after 5 days not even trying so probably not the battery?

if the car had not move on the warmth day then maybe the actuator might have been broken... but as it drove nicely I guess that is out?

So what this car cant be driven anymore in winter? or theres something to be done?

My mom was kind enough to let me borrow her car...but today I am stuck at home (catn go to school!) because she needed it. Help please willing to try all I can. Links on youtube appreciated...
Tomorrow is warm(-10) so maybe I can try a few things?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
(no luck with msamson) they are all $$$ in this area... BTW when it was warm 4 days ago it started ran like a charm, and the codes lights disappeared. But the day after it was -20-30 and would nt get out of park (starts no problem)

to CHRIS: no bars. when it ran 4-5 days ago all was well (but it was like I said warmer) after just park shows now as I cant move the stick anymore.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
333 Posts
Something to check when it is having these issues...

Watch the clutch actuator from under the rear of the car while someone turns the key on (just on, don't start it) and then off.

You should see the clutch actuator piston quickly extend when the key is turned on, and retract when it is turned off. It is possible that the extreme cold you are having may be thickening the grease inside the actuator preventing normal operation.

~toaster
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
131 Posts
That would be a good way to test it is to get under there with a heat gun warm up the actuator a little and then try. But then again I’m sitting in 70 degree day on the gulf coast so I don’t know anything about a temp with - in font of it lol
 
1 - 16 of 16 Posts
Top