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I've had my car for over a year and oddly enough the hot weather really messes with my transmission. It gets stuck in nuetral, and dont even mention the summer traffic. The jerking is killing me! Anyone else have this problem or do I need a new transmission??

HELP!!!
 

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I have had my car since 2008. Yesterday it was up to 95 degrees fahrenheit. I have not really experienced any jerking of the transmission. I drive it in 'auto' mode. Do you use the manual mode?
 

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You'll need to learn how to prevent the jerking! Just takes some time!
I'm supposed to show potential buyers the difference and how to smooth out the shifting, but after 20,000 miles, I can't even GET the car to jerk anymore! Not even if I try. The trick is to VERY GENTLY FEATHER BACK on the accelerator... don't raise your foot too much, but just a TEEEEEEEEEEENY bit when you hear it's about to shift.. OR, use manual... MUCH less jerking.
 

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THANKS FOR THE RESPONSES.... i only use the car in automatic, i dont even know how to use the hand gears... and after almost two years ive tried everything i can to smooth out the jerks, everyone complains about it, and people point at me when im in traffic because thats where its at its worst. ive learned to deal because i understand its not a racecar, but recently i had a lot of trouble going up a hill, it just wouldnt go. maybe i should have mentioned the hill from the get go, anyone have hill issues??? sorry for the typos and bad grammer im on my iphone...
 

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We speak typonese here!

I personally have never had any serious hill problems, but so far the largest hill has been perhaps the freeway overpass or a steep driveway.

I hate to hear that you are having problems! Sure hope you can get them smoothed out so you can go back to enjoying your car!
 

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THANKS FOR THE RESPONSES.... i only use the car in automatic, i dont even know how to use the hand gears... and after almost two years ive tried everything i can to smooth out the jerks, everyone complains about it, and people point at me when im in traffic because thats where its at its worst. ive learned to deal because i understand its not a racecar, but recently i had a lot of trouble going up a hill, it just wouldnt go. maybe i should have mentioned the hill from the get go, anyone have hill issues??? sorry for the typos and bad grammer im on my iphone...
Leaning to paddle shift will solve your problem. It's the easiest solution... The automode has a creep feature that is the jerking your talking about... there isn't a fix other than using the paddles.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I always found the hand paddles adorable. I guess I need to learn how to use them. the getting stuck in nuetral thing happened last summer, and my center said they just needed to upgrade it... is there another upgrade i dont know about?? One time I was an hour late for work, because the darn thing wouldnt go into reverse.

But when I say I love my car I mean I LOVE It... I drove it from NY to Florida then back, just me, my fiance, our dog and the open road, we had a GREAT time!!!!

Thanks so much for all your answers, it means alot you guys care enough to help me figure this stuff out!!!!!
 

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What year is your car? (I wonder if you could have an '08 that doesn't have the 2.0 upgrade. That could contribute. If using one of your paddles puts you into manual mode - you'll see the gear number appear in the dash display where "D" used to be- then you have the upgrade. If not, it's free and might help a good bit.) Likewise, if it's an '08, you could be experiencing the clutch problem many have had that is getting you stuck in neutral.
 

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I immediately wondered if the OP is familiar with operating manual transmissions in vehicles other than the smart. The jerking described could be that which can be experienced with any manual transmission in stop & go traffic. At least, with an inexperienced manual driver (Like myself). Anyone correct me if I'm wrong ... I've found that not making abrupt changes to the accelerator, like suddenly lifting, helps reduce that kind of jerkiness, or bucking. Right?

I've migrated from 100% automated manual two years ago, to nearly 100 paddles today. They're just a lot more fun! :)
 

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hate the jerking
So which SCOA Forum member are your referring too?? :D

Oh, THE TRANSMISSION - if you haven't done the 2.0 upgrade that is a must or maybe you need to reteach the tranny? Most of us have allowed the smart to reteach us and by feathering the gas you can make the shifts far more tolerable!

If it is the bucking, Vince is spot on - upgrade your suspension.
 

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Leaning to paddle shift will solve your problem. It's the easiest solution... The automode has a creep feature that is the jerking your talking about... there isn't a fix other than using the paddles.

Spot on. There is absolutely no way to stop the jerking in auto mode when your crawling in traffic. The creep mode, the trans shifting gears, re engaging after stopping. There is no cure.
 

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You better get it back to the dealer and soon. I had that very same problem with the car not going into reverse. My Passion is a 2008. I had the upgrade and the problem got worst. The jerking got pretty violent and the engine light came on. So I called for a tow to the dealer. Some one from Smart Corp. called me back to talk me through a re-boot of the system. And the engine light went out and they told me to drive it to the dealer. I waited till I had someone to follow me and drove it to the dealer and the clutch went out right in front of the dealership. They said the clutch sensor was bad and replaced it. On our trip to KC it started up again. So I need to go back. I will tell you this, I'm glad it didn't got out on me on the highway and I couldn't coast to the shoulder. The clutch going bad seems to be common. Get it fixed while its still under warranty.
 

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I also want to say, that it doesn't matter which way your driving the car if it's jerking in reverse. Stick or Auto, the reverse should be smooth. Next time you put it into revers watch the console. Mine went blank and wouldn't show the letter when the jerking got really violent and I noticed I couldn't even get it to drive forward. I had to turn it off and re-start it 3 times before it let me do anything. I vote "New Clutch".
 

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Hi OP:

I have a 09'. I live in high speed PHX metro. It's not the getrag transmission that learns. I have learned to floor it in auto mode in 1st and 2nd, then knock the shift lever left over to manual to keep 3rd gear to 50 MPH (speed limit). Please try this, as I too have people trying to kiss the rear bumper. This may also help with the jerkiness. I am not a fan of the paddle shifter because they are too high on the steering wheel.

The auto mode tends to shift too early to 4th and 5th because of the fuel economy shift sensors. Then you deal with the computer hunting for the correct gear.

The shifting nuetral problem must be because the 2008 451 model 2.0 upgrade dealer fix along with the smart dealer resolution of clutch plate and/or shift gear lubrication which has been discussed several times on other threads. The search link may help (third from the left tab). After this has been done, it seems that people are just as happy when comparing a '08 to a '09.

As a sidnote, I wondered the same thing as you and learned everthing from this site.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
my car is indeed a 2008, the jerking is mainly when i take my foot off the brake while in traffic, allowing the car to move on its own.... and if ive been on the brake waiting at a red light and apply pressure to the gas it doesnt move then it jumps forward then it slows down again, the best way to describe the feeling is STUCK... the center by me has been very helpful, so im going to bring it in and show them...

as for not shifting into nuetral im sad/relieved im not the only one having the problem, i did get an upgrade last summer, but its something i will also ask my dealer

now i hope no one thinks im being nitpicky, i dony have too many smart car owners near me... and i just want to take care of my car the way it deserves... but does anyone elses engine get SUPER hot?
 

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Mine is usually in the 190 range according to the scangauge. Sitting in traffic on a hot day will get up to around 210.
 

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my car is indeed a 2008, the jerking is mainly when i take my foot off the brake while in traffic, allowing the car to move on its own.... and if ive been on the brake waiting at a red light and apply pressure to the gas it doesnt move then it jumps forward then it slows down again, the best way to describe the feeling is STUCK... the center by me has been very helpful, so im going to bring it in and show them...

?
I guess we never got the important answer, Have you ever received the 2.0 upgrade with the less aggressive creep function?

Quick way to tell, can you go in and out of manual without moving the shifter to the left, but just by using your paddle shifters.

 

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Engine heat

does anyone elses engine get SUPER hot?
Not sure if your concern is about the engine or about the heat it gives off in the cargo area. When I first got my 2009 cabrio, the cargo floor got really hot - enough to get me concerned for the well-being of my Haagen-Daas when I stocked up on groceries. I was ordering all-weather floor mats from Lloyd Mats anyway, so I got the matching mat for the cargo area, and haven't had a problem since. I drove for several hours in 95 degree weather last weekend. Even with the AC off (had the top down), the cargo floor was still cool to the touch afterwards. I'm sure the engine itself was as hot as ever, but I know nothing about engines, so I can't tell you whether that's a problem or not.
 
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