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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
After towing our 2011 convertible behind our motorhome this week, we've had an unusual issue.

I've only had one other problem getting our Smart reset after towing. Usually it comes back to life with no problems. This time it took a couple of tries. Today my wife tries to start it and nothing. Shows P when in park, but no turnover. After some effort, she gets it started. Drives to work. Gets out at lunch to get gas with no trouble. Then when she's trying to get home (at 11pm!) she gets the no start again. After several tries of the reset ritual and removing negative again, she gets it going and drives home. Now its in a no start situation again.

What's up?
 

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2009 451 Rally Red, Pennzoil Platinum Euro 5W-40, Wix XP 51356, 185/55R15 tires, 44 psl
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Check battery voltage, should be 12.5 or higher
Check clutch actuator connector for moisture, clean, and dry...
 

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Maybe the starter, if battery checks out. I had to replace the starter on Cheewawa last summer. P lighted up but nothing else.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Starts fine when it starts. Even moves sometimes when it starts. Most of the time won't. Not the "3 lines of death" I hear about (or see when we bring it back up after towing) just a P in park, nothing showing trying to get into reverse, N when finding neutral, then nothing again when in D. Using the rebooting method to get the transmission to work usually gets it to a no start situation. And then again it works fine. Just scared to drive it anywhere.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I checked the battery voltage just now and it's showing about 12.5. Over 14 when its cranked, so my thinking is it's not an electrical problem. I tried the white lithium grease in the port on top of the shift motor to see it that works. For now it seems to be working. My wife has had it out a few times since our problems and it worked fine for her. It's still a car I want to get rid of.
 

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Had a similar problem, sometimes it would drive fine at other times it wouldn't engage into Drive or reverse only Park and neutral,

After rebuilding the transmission, problem was back after 2 days, came to find out it was a bad actuator, it was an easy swap, unplug and remove 3 bolts and in went the new one, no problems ever since


Got it from Sachs parts for around $325
 

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Had a similar problem, sometimes it would drive fine at other times it wouldn't engage into Drive or reverse only Park and neutral,

After rebuilding the transmission, problem was back after 2 days, came to find out it was a bad actuator, it was an easy swap, unplug and remove 3 bolts and in went the new one, no problems ever since


Got it from Sachs parts for around $325
I'm having a similar problem. Where did you get the clutch actuator for around $325? Thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
So far it seems the grease in the port on top of the engine bay has worked. It seems to shift fine now.
 

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I checked the battery voltage just now and it's showing about 12.5. Over 14 when its cranked, so my thinking is it's not an electrical problem. I tried the white lithium grease in the port on top of the shift motor to see it that works. For now it seems to be working. My wife has had it out a few times since our problems and it worked fine for her. It's still a car I want to get rid of.
So far it seems the grease in the port on top of the engine bay has worked. It seems to shift fine now.
Sorry I had not seen this sooner, you might want to consider changing your transmission fluid now. That port is a vent which leads straight into your tansmission, so you have contaiminated your tranny fluid with lithium grease. The shift motors have sealed bearings, lithium applied through the port will not reach them. I recently disassembled a set of shift motors as part of fixing a shift problem in my car. The shift motors are, for all practical purposes, a sealed unit not designed for repair. Can it be done? Probably, I'm still tracking down a few parts.

Edit: I should probably post a thread here with my images and notes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
This small port can't be a fluid port. It just has a snap on cap.


Sorry I had not seen this sooner, you might want to consider changing your transmission fluid now. That port is a vent which leads straight into your tansmission, so you have contaiminated your tranny fluid with lithium grease. The shift motors have sealed bearings, lithium applied through the port will not reach them. I recently disassembled a set of shift motors as part of fixing a shift problem in my car. The shift motors are, for all practical purposes, a sealed unit not designed for repair. Can it be done? Probably, I'm still tracking down a few parts.

Edit: I should probably post a thread here with my images and notes.
 

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Yes, I agree... that port is a vent for the transmission, not a fill port... although I have heard of people filling it with lithium and getting temporary improvment.
So, to change the transmission fluid is not that hard... bottom plug to drain, and top plug to fill.... so far so good.
But, you may have contaminated the shift motors. There are two of them, so removing, cleaning and reinstalling is the way to go!
Now the hard part. To get access to the shift motors, you need to remove the air induction box... a real PIA.
You will most likely have to cut it out, I did. I replaced it with the cold air intake tube from Madness, and no longer have to worry about that.
The motors are electric, and you can clean with electric contact cleaner, easy to do, just take your time.
Since you are at it...this is a great time to drain the old fluid from the transmission, and refill with a correct fluid of your choice... I used Redline MT90.
Now... you are almost done.... Lets not forget the Shift actuator. Remove it, take it apart, clean it, then spray it with all that white lithium grease you have left over....
remember??? Then reassemble, reinstall and give it a go! You may have to adjust the actuator a little... maybe further in, or out.... but trial and error should be
easy to find the sweet spot.
Hope this all makes sense.... keep us posted.... !
 
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