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Hi Folks,

Just saying hello to the SmartCar forums! I just bought a used 2014 SmartCar ForTwo at the Pleasanton Carmax. Knowing absolutely nothing about this car other than it being super-tiny, I did notice a few things on my initial drive that I'm hoping folks on this forum can help update me on.

Gas Mileage - Not too good I think ... basically, I drove 41 miles and the gas meter went down 2 dots. Not sure if this is bad gas mileage or the reality of having a small gas tank but I wanted to check with the forum folks for your thoughts.

Slow gear shifting (automatic) - seems like shifting from 1-2-3 has a huge delay, feels like it takes like 1 second for the gearbox to shift at the low-end. Not sure if this normal but I did read in various forums that this is "fixable" if you get a new intake and exhaust. Also, in another forum, I read that there is a "flash" upgrade that supposed to fix this, I think this upgrade is provided by SmartMadness.

Aftermarket "stuff" - as much as I bought this car to be my daily "beater", is upgrading the basics like intake (CAI), exhaust and this "flash" worth it? I'm looking for better gas mileage and, overall, a "faster moving" smartcar but nothing like a Smartuki type of fast.

Last but not least - the radio .. I'm looking at upgrading my single-din radio with the Pioneer AppRadio 4. Has anyone done this? Well, I plan on upgrading just the radio and not the speakers because, as a friend told me, sometimes its the head unit that's bad that makes the speaker "appear" bad. Does anyone have any thoughts on this?

Thank you and I hope to bump into more Bay Area/San Francisco Smart owners :)

Alex
 

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just bought a used 2014 SmartCar ForTwo at the Pleasanton Carmax. Knowing absolutely nothing about this car other than it being super-tiny, I did notice a few things on my initial drive that I'm hoping folks on this forum can help update me on.

Gas Mileage - Not too good I think ... basically, I drove 41 miles and the gas meter went down 2 dots. Not sure if this is bad gas mileage or the reality of having a small gas tank but I wanted to check with the forum folks for your thoughts.

Slow gear shifting (automatic) - seems like shifting from 1-2-3 has a huge delay, feels like it takes like 1 second for the gearbox to shift at the low-end.
The Carmax salesperson may not have shown you how to put the smartshift transmission into manual mode. In manual mode there still is a delay, but is more tolerable for some drivers. It's a different experience when you're in control of the shifting.

Your 2014 smart ForTwo car is known as a 451 model. It officially gets about 34 mpg city and 38 mpg hwy. So dropping two 'dots' (I call them bars instead of dots) within 41 miles would be right on track if you get about 30 more miles before a third bar drops off. Depending on driving conditions, traffic, etc. Be sure you put in premium unleaded (octane 91) as recommended on the gas flap.

The bars don't correspond to one gallon each. Completely Full is eight bars: 8 bars down to the 7th bar can last upwards of 50 miles (in city driving). The increments of the other bars can last much less than 50 miles (in city driving).

This forum has a wealth of knowledge about smart cars, particularly your 451 model. There are hundreds of threads of information on the 451 model. Be sure to do a search and learn from the collective ideas that have been posted by smart owners of the past & present. And feel free to bump old threads to find out if the info provided back in 2008 threads still holds true for drivers in 2016. Welcome to the smart community!
 

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Be careful with 'updating' the air intake components - doing so may cause the car to fail a visual California smog inspection.

Also if driving in 'automatic' use the gas pedal to smooth out the shifts - lift up on the throttle as the car is shifting.

There is a device - Go Pedal / Sprint Booster - it installs inline with the gas pedal and tricks the computer into sensing the pedal is further depressed than actually is - some have mentioned online that it helps with the 1st gear lag.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thank you for the responses everyone! I've already found some useful searches around radio and (Andrea) microphones already that I plan on putting into the Smart Car.

As far as the Go Pedal/Sprint Booster, I think I'll be needing that because driving around SF during the peak traffic periods, I need the car to "move a tad quicker" and so I'll probably reach out to SmartMadness for theirs (or eBay) .

Alex
 

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alexlee,

The folks at Smart Madness are definitely great people to deal with! I agree that you need to be careful as to what you put on the engine for modification because you may fail smog on the visual and that is not worth it in my book.

You'll get use to the way it shifts and you'll hardly notice it in time. What a great car for San Francisco!

This is a great forum to learn about your new ride as well!

Enjoy and show us a picture when you can.

hartmn
 

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Thank you for the responses everyone! I've already found some useful searches around radio and (Andrea) microphones already that I plan on putting into the Smart Car.

As far as the Go Pedal/Sprint Booster, I think I'll be needing that because driving around SF during the peak traffic periods, I need the car to "move a tad quicker" and so I'll probably reach out to SmartMadness for theirs (or eBay) .

Alex
You will love that Alex. That was my 1st and one of the best upgrade that I did. Welcome.
 
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