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Discussion Starter #1
So I recently purchased a 2012 Smart ForTwo to be my new commuter about 2 weeks ago. I absolutely love the car...until about 3 days ago. I hopped into my SmartCar to take off for work and she fired right up. Ran for about 5-10seconds and died. So I thought, huh, weird. So I started it back up and this time it ran for about 3-5 seconds and died again. Then when I tried to start it a 3rd time, nothing. No interior lights. Not cranking of the engine. Nothing. Dead.

I removed the battery and had it tested and the battery was bad. So I replaced that with high hopes it would start up again. Still nothing. So now I think I’m forced to take it to my local smart car center. Here’s the problem I am currently having... how do I get my vehicle into neutral with no power to the car? My gear shift won’t release from Park. Is there some sort of release lever?

Also, any ideas as to what my problem might be?! HELP!
 

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King of Smart Gadgetry
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There are fuses inside the battery compartment. When you tried to start your Fortwo with the battery voltage low you might have blown a fuse. The SAM (computer) controls everything on the vehicle electrically, so if it has no power nothing is going to work. I would check the fuse listed in the picture listed as F91. If you have lights but just no cranking of the engine it could be F58. Check both of them to be on the safe side. If you have a 12 volt test light ground one of the leads of the light. The other test light lead touch it to both sides of the fuse you are testing one side at a time. If you have no power to either side of the fuse, there is no power getting to the fuse, in that case double check your battery terminal connections and also the ground connection where the negative lead of the battery contacts the frame of the car. If your fuse had power on one side and not the other then the fuse is blown and needs to be replaced. As another check I would turn on the ignition switch and take a short piece of wire and touch it on both sides of the fuse at the same time to bypass the fuse and see if you get dash lights or any lights back on. It may give you a little spark but it is nothing to be concerned about. It might save you a trip to the repair center. DCO

 

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Fborba5
Welcome to the Forum.
I don't have access to my smart at this moment. But I recall a small square pop out cover about the size of a postage stamp on the shift console. I do believe that underneath that cover is a emergency gear shift release mechanism. I also had seen a post with pictures about it. Sorry, I just don't have the time right now to research it.
If I'm mistaken about the access panel, here is a video that may help get your car out of Park.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Tested the fuse and it appears that there is power to either side so that’s not it. Go fish. Any other suggestions? Literally open to anything and everything. I’m actually kinda enjoying this cuz I’m not much of a car guy but I’m learning quite a bit!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Also, since I have no power to anything in the vehicle, how do I get the back latch open to check the engine and 2nd fuse box?!
 

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Hi there, I have a 2012 Smart as well. Though I never had your situation, I did have my engine die at 7500 miles, and ended up getting a new engine from Smart. However, the car had to be towed from where it conked out. That's my suggestion to you, cause my shifter was locked too. Towing to get it fixed will save you a whole lot of hassle and/or the opening of another can of worms. Good luck and report back what you find that ended up being wrong with the ability to start it.

Diane
 

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Fborba5, there isn't a 2nd fuse box at the rear of the vehicle. Since you tested both sides of the fuses and they had power on both sides I would next look to the ground terminal. You say you replaced the battery so we know those connections are good. Loosen the nut on the opposite end of the ground cable where it bolts on the floor of the car there next to your battery. It's the brown wire on the pic I posted earlier. Wiggle those wire around a bit and see if you can get any lights. A very light coating of corrosion can cause no contact. If that doesn't cure the problem I would move to the fuse box under the dash (the SAM) all the electrical controls are in there. Unplug each of the connector plugs and plug them back one at a time to see if there may have been a loss of contact there. The SAM is hard to get at to drop it down. Even with the drivers seat clear back there isn't a lot of wiggle room. I usually try to kneel beside the car and lean it to work under the dash because I can no longer lay on my back on the drivers floorboard. Below is a picture of what it looks like from the bottom. The pic I believe is from a 450, but it will work for our purpose. Most of the connections are in the upper side of it, so you have to drop it down to get at them. DCO

 
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