Smart Car of America Forum banner

1 - 15 of 15 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Owner of imported 2005 Smart CDI in NE Ohio, near Akron canton airport. Smart recently started 3 bars of death and now will no longer go into gear/move. where is the closest shop that can work on these cars? I called the closest dealer (Bedford) and they won't even look at my car. Said I can't get parts either! Can anyone help me? This is my only car and I had to get it towed home today.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
28,240 Posts
:welcome: to SCoA! :)

There may be some local foreign car shops that have the Mercedes STAR computer and might be able to help you out - check around and see if they are willing to work on smarts. If you can get it running a trip to a Canadian smart center might be the way to go as they have experience with 2005/6 smarts (albeit the cdi version.)

Moving this to the 450 forums for better exposure.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,536 Posts
If there is no issue with the battery or charging system ... I would disconnect the battery and clean the connector to the transmission, then reconnect the battery.

If the problem is still there, go over to club smart car and do some reading. Parts can be bought out of Europe.

If you are unable to work on the car yourself and can not find a shop to work on it, you have a potential boat anchor.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,505 Posts
If the symptom came up in a moist period (rain), the likely culprit is chafed wiring near the intercooler scoop assembly on the lower rear driver's side of the car. Even if you can't turn a wrench, you could probably identify stripped wring insulation and possibly even fix it yourself. If a wire is severed, it might need soldering but that too should not be expensive.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
The problem was intermittent. Every time it happened, restarting the car always fixed it. But today, in the 85*F plus temperatures, on/off didn't make a lick of difference.

The car vibrates in pulses (maybe 5-8 times) when you try to put it into either 1st or R. Engine turns over fine in neutral and revs without a problem. At first I suspected I needed a new clutch (I'm at 230,000km)...but apparently these cars rarely ever need new clutches. Even though the bloody trans rides the clutch like no other. After it sat for a good while, it finally went into first and I got it around the neighborhood. But after several minutes of driving, I got 3 bars again.

Any of this sound familiar? I am every handy with a wrench. If we can narrow down or deduce what's possibly wrong - at least it's a start. I haven't tried a battery reset. I didn't expect that to change anything. Will do that tomorrow early.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
449 Posts
Yeah, try cleaning a few electrical connectors (Connecting to the clutch actuator, and the one connecting to that transmission sensor, don't remember what it's called), and looking for the chafing by the intercooler scoop. It's probably chafed wires.

If you're desperate for someone who has actual experience with the 450 CDI's, your best bet is to come up to Canada and take it to an independent like Glenn in London, rather than a Canadian dealer. US Dealers generally don't want anything to do with the 450 CDIs (Or gassers for that matter), since they were never officially brought over by smart.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
449 Posts
And since you posted at the same time as me, and you said it was intermittant, and goes away with a power cycle, I've got another question: Do the three bars only come up when you actually go to shift, or is it just as you drive along it kicks you out of gear and gives you the 3 bars?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
I'd say maybe 50/50? Today it was just not having it at all. Normally, it runs okay. But; in the past it has (while driving) suddenly acted like the engine had no power and would stop responding to me trying to change gears. I'd simply coast to a stop,restart without delay (was in traffic sonetimes) and it normally worked fine again. Didn't happen again for several days and quite a variety of km's/day...then it would do it every day for 2-3 days (maybe once per) regardless of distance. Today though, constantly wouldn't go into gear. Went maybe 5km in total. When engine off, the display would show 1-N-R (as i moved through the gear positions). With engine cranked, it would just vibrate and fault out when trying to go out of neutral.

Also note, car has always been weird starting off in first. Like a kid learning to drive standard... Would really lug the engine until about to stall, and ride the clutch until it got to like 3-5km/h. This is why I guesstimated i needed clutchwork.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
449 Posts
Maybe a punched through clutch fork? Could have been on the hairy edge before, and just punched through or got stuck in the fork today.

Your best bet would be to post over on Club Smart Car. We've got a much larger community of CDI drivers than there are over here.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
I did recently create an account on that site. I will post over there too. Maybe I can link this post over there? Either that or much copy pasting. What sub forum should I post in?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
449 Posts
yeah, I'd say just post a link to here and give a brief description of the situation.

Operation and Maintenance: 450 Model

Would be the right spot to post.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
Okay! Mission accomplished... Though it wasn't a *brief* description. Some people don't feel safe clicking links - so I outlined our entire conversation Flossy!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
493 Posts
my 05 S.MANN cabrio did exactly the same thing...MIDDLE OF WINTER OUT IN NOWHERE-LAND..

here is the fix... remove the battery ground cable off the negative post FIRST... buy a 2 ft long ground cable attach this from the body frame stud (rear left side ) remove the old clean the base with sandpaper or wire brush, place the new on the stud and the OLD on top, tighten the nut, the other end attach to the bolt next to the DIPSTICK . clean and tighten that one...replace the battery ground cable..
try it... if it goes away its fixed..(thank me)
if not do this next.. jack and secure the rear drivers side off the ground, remove the rear wheel, pull the 9 pin connector off the gear box, spray contact cleaner in it and let dry.
replace and clean the harness and surrounding area .. make sure agian the battery is disconnected.. smear dielectric grease on the inside of the connector, put it back on..
attach the battery back...
TRY IT... if it works .. (thank me)
if this does it then smear silicone sealant around the connector while connected sealing it completely... your good to go!..
if none of the above work, disconnect the battery for 24 hours, replace CLEAN...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
Wow, quite an extensive list. Pouring down rain today and car still won't go into gear (every time). First time I tried today, it went into both reverse and first. But would fault out every time after that. Still shudders something aweful when it does. How would I know if there was an internal physical problem (aka clutch forks)?

It's sitting outside right now, so I'll try all of this over the next few days as the weather returns to the sunny 90's. So you basically need 2 ground cables on this car? I'll go to a parts store and get me one of the aforementioned ground cables. I will also replace battery just to negate it being crappy.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13 Posts
Sure enough. The jagged edge of the air scoop sawed right through the insulation of the 9 wire harness. A green wire was intermittent. Thus, loss of gears at any time. I re-wired and am going to test. Thanks to the forum, especially Mike T and FlossyThe Smart.


Bryan
 
1 - 15 of 15 Posts
Top