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No Start No Crank, Reset Shifter does not help

2751 Views 50 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  SailorJohn70
This morning when I left work (I work 3rd shift). My 2009 Smart ForTwo 121K miles, would not start. I've tried the shifter reset process several times.

A week ago I had the shift actuator off and cleaned and lubed it and readjusted when I put it back on. I had to go through the shifter reset (or a variation - I did not at that time go through the manual +/- part) when I reconnected the battery to get it to start. It has run and shifted well for the past week (over 300 miles with various driving and traffic conditions.)

I got the car towed home and have carefully gone through the full shifter reset process several times, I have also disconnected the battery and let the car sit for hours before reconnecting and retrying. When I shift from P to R the dash screen flashes N. I can hear slight movement when shifting from R to D and good movement when moving to the manual side and going to 2 and back to 1. The battery has anywhere from 12.6 to 13.2 volts each time I try the reset and to start the car.

I am ready to pull the starter and have it tested at a local parts shop.
What else should I be looking at?
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…a 4 cylinder starter draws 130-160 load …goes up as cylinders go up…
…3 cylinders tiny starter no load at 30 sounds about right …
…disassembling cleaning inspecting lube and reassembling doesn’t take much…
…are you getting voltage to the starter???

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I have not tested to see if I am getting voltage to the starter, (I dont have any helper to turn the key for me) and I know the starter and corrosion look very bad but at this point based on the test results and other posts of people who have had bad starters on Smart cars. I just can't see that the starter is the issue.
…it’s not that hard to rig a 12vdc light bulb and wire…doesn’t even have to be in plain sight…
…if it lights up the garage floor you know you have it…

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The starter is good and I am getting voltage to the starter.
I know this because after doing a thorough cleaning of the starter terminals and cables my car now starts quite easily and strongly. (I'm still a little hesitant to drive it the 40 miles to work since it has stranded me there twice in one week, but gas prices are higher than my hesitation.)
This has been a long thread and discussion for such a basic matter. I really do appreciate everyone's comments, input, and help. This has been one of the best forums I have ever been involved with. I hope that I will be able to help others out as much as you guys have helped me out.

Thank you.
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So, what was the actual cause of the no start? ;)
It is possible that the SAM detected too much resistance in the trigger wire to the solenoid and would not issue a start signal... As Jetfuel says SAM is real smart, but he does not always leave codes for everything where non-Star type readers can see. The start of your problem may have been when you were lubing and adjusting the actuator you most likely moved the trigger wire inadvertently and it was no longer in the one semi-clean spot making connection.
I hope this was the final resolution to your problem. Please do post in a day or two if everything is still good.
I’ve would’ve been check the starter
So, what was the actual cause of the no start? ;)
As far as I can tell the actual cause was the corrosion on the starter terminals/wire
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I will make a post in about a week if everything is good.

I am thinking of going ahead and putting a remanufactured starter on the car. While cleaning the corrosion I noticed the wire from the starter to the solenoid is not in great shape. It is twisted not braded and it is starting to fray. I'm thinking it is just a matter of time before it goes.

What are all yall's opinions. Should I stick with the one that is currently working (probably the original 14 year-old) or get a remanufactured one?
…looking at post 39 picture that wire could be clean with baking soda solution and rinse clean to truly see its condition …for what I can see it’s not bad…the rubber grommet could use some RTV sealant to further enhance its ability of water intrusion…

jetfuel…I would
Well it's been about two weeks (about 20-25 starts), and my starter is still working well. No problems with starting.
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