Smart Car of America Forum banner
1 - 16 of 16 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
291 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just had my red 08 cabrio in for its 20K servicing last week, but last night I had an unpleasant situation happen with the transmission.

I was on my way to meet some folks and running just about on time, but I stopped to get a Diet Coke at a convenience store and set up my GPS for the last leg of the journey into unknown (for me) territory. When I started up and put the gearshift into reverse, the indicator on the control panel just went from P to blank and the car didn't move. I could shift into neutral and drive just fine, but even after a couple of shutdowns and restarts, and some tentative jiggling of the shift lever to see if there was a loose connection of some sort, nothing happened.

Fortunately, I had enough room in front of me that when I shifted into drive and moved forward a few inches, the next time I shifted into reverse the wonderful R reappeared.

This morning, when I called smart center portland and talked to Bryce, their service manager, he didn't shilly-shally for a minute about bringing the car in and getting the clutch replaced, a problem I hadn't seen on the board here myself until today. Fortunately, I'm a couple months shy of two years and had just over 21K on the car, so it's still on warranty.

Just wanted to let anyone who happens to run across the same issue of a potential workaround (although it won't do you much good if you're in a tight parallel parking spot or up against a curb and can't safely move forward a few inches) and make sure smart center portland gets the recognition it deserves for great customer service (at least to me).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,891 Posts
Always good to park in the back of a spot.
1. So folks don't think its empty and slam into your car.
2. so you can move forward if this happens

Classic Sticking clutch symptoms. Make sure you add yours to the Poll
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,398 Posts
sometimes the drive system looses it's memory?

This happens to me on about a weekly basis.

Mostly happens when I am in a hurry and quick shift from D to R (parallel parking) before I come to a complete stop?

I would guess that it is a safety feature so you don't shift from D to R while moving?

The fix that I have found, is to S-L-O-W-L-Y shift from P to R to N to D. (stopping at each letter)
Then S-L-O-W-L-Y shift from D to N to R to P.

One cycle up and down usually fixes the issue?
(sometimes I have to do it twice?)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
590 Posts
Always good to park in the back of a spot.
1. So folks don't think its empty and slam into your car.
2. so you can move forward if this happens

Classic Sticking clutch symptoms. Make sure you add yours to the Poll
I do this! I park away from the concrete parking bumper...I line up the tail of the smart with the tail of the Escalade (or F-150 or whatever) next to me...I noticed too many people trying to park where I'm already parked at Costco and thing like that....
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
590 Posts
This happens to me on about a weekly basis.

Mostly happens when I am in a hurry and quick shift from D to R (parallel parking) before I come to a complete stop?

I would guess that it is a safety feature so you don't shift from D to R while moving?

The fix that I have found, is to S-L-O-W-L-Y shift from P to R to N to D. (stopping at each letter)
Then S-L-O-W-L-Y shift from D to N to R to P.

One cycle up and down usually fixes the issue?
(sometimes I have to do it twice?)

I was doing this sort of thing...also the turn of/turn on again and the roll forward...anyway...all three techniques are a pain...mine is currently in the shop getting a new clutch installed...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,074 Posts
Good to hear your baby is back.
If you are on flat ground, a well planted foot outside the door with good leg muscle will make the car go backward...
No, I didn't have a problem. I was just amusing myself. :D
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
763 Posts
I've been having this problem. Is it just a quick trigger finger moving too fast between gears, or a real electro-mechanical problem I need to fix? I don't want to find myself out of warranty needing a major repair.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
291 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I've been having this problem. Is it just a quick trigger finger moving too fast between gears, or a real electro-mechanical problem I need to fix? I don't want to find myself out of warranty needing a major repair.
Well, PerryA, as I said in my writeup, when I called in to the smart dealership, they told me to come in and get the clutch worked on. From that and the comments on other threads about '08 clutch issues, I'd say check it out with your dealer.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
763 Posts
Some of the descriptions of quickly shifting from D to R and back sounded like some of what I was doing in the snow to turn around in my drive, so I wasn't sure if it was a computer thing like someone said. (Haven't been following the forums for a while, so I didn't see any long history of this issue.) I guess I was hoping the majority would say I was just too quick for the computer. I've tried the dealer twice to get my snow tires on with no luck - the snow will be gone by the time they actually connect me to service. Meanwhile, I've noticed my rear window defroster appears to have a bad segment just above the middle. I've mostly had good service, but I'll be glad when some local mechanics get up to speed on the Smart.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
16 Posts
Mine did this, again, tonight. Has been doing it since June 2009 (3/08 delivery, 12/07 build) and I have had it at two dealers, at least 4 times. Each time the car would not duplicate, and the dealer would not address. Finally called smart customer service, and asked them to intervene. Should hear back from them later this week.

I recommend you call smart if you have the problem, and can not get the dealer to assist you.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1 Posts
I am having the same problem. Driving along ... go to park ... and NO REVERSE! It's a safety issue! I tried to do a 3 point turn and was perpendicular to the oncoming traffic and ... no reverse.

Took it Smart Center West Covina. Craig was "unable to duplicate the problem".

I have just 9K on my 08.

Third phone call to Craig and he now says it's a "known problem" and they need to replace the clutch. Outrageously, even though I'm within my 2 year warranty - clutches are only covered for 1 year. But Craig's got a call into Smart USA to see if they will cover it.

Meanwhile, I'm madly printing all the message boards with hundreds of posts about this dangerous problem!

Smart needs to learn from Toyota and issue a safety recall!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
I'm glad I read this post. I bought a used '08 Cab with only 4000KM on it. Last week I experienced the problem with no gear display except for Park. The car won't go anywhere. I have to restart to get it working again. I'm glad I was in a parking lot with no one around. Anyways, I called Mercedes here in Markham, Ontario. They couldnt' get a code from the diagnostics but they get info from TIPS. Got my clutch replaced under warranty. What a difference! Now it changes gear much smoother than before. Thanks everyone.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
Good grief people--This ain't no clutch. All you have to do is shut off the motor and start again and goes back to normal--reboots the computer.

Find another service department.
 
1 - 16 of 16 Posts
Top