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Discussion Starter #1
Will I need to take the Smart to a dealer for every little thing, or can my local mechanic (whom I've been using for years) do basic work? Things like...

Routine maintenance:
Oil changes
Tire rotation
Brake pads
Tansmission fluid
etc...

Long term maintenance:
Timing belts
Rotors
etc...

Minor abnormalities:
Burnt out headlamp bulb
Power window fault
etc...

Also, will regular MB dealers be able to do maintenance on the Smart, even if that dealer doesn't acutally carry the line?

Thanks
 

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I've heard mixed replys on this one, however I do know that any mechanic is capable of doing your minor repairs and oil changes etc.. They do recommend taking it to the smart dealership to have maintenence done. With a new car, I would take it to the original Point of Purchase, I am sure they will take care of their customers and keep you posted on new events and so forth.
 

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The actual warranty has not been written yet, officially. It's part of criteria on which I'm weighing my decision to buy. I'm concerned about length of warranty, what it covers and also any roadside service. I want some support as this will be my primary trans., ya know? :)
 

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Smart A**
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Will I need to take the Smart to a dealer for every little thing, or can my local mechanic (whom I've been using for years) do basic work?
I am certain that the maintenance issues are going to be handled by Smart very similar to the way they are handled by MINI which has a very small dealer network.

All work to be performed under warranty must be done by a dealer. Lots of MINI owners travel hundreds of miles each way for service. Not very practical, but you do it if you want that particular car.
 

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All work to be performed under warranty must be done by a dealer.
I am sure this will be the case for smart too. Dealers make their money on service, not sales. It is usually a requirement of the manufacturer's warranty that all service is performed by a franchised dealer.

However, if you want additional oil changes beyond those required in the service schedule, I don't see any harm having those done at the local shop.
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
I heard the warranty will be 36 months, and the guy at the demo mentioned road side assistance. In contrast I think my dad has a 4 year warranty on his Acura TL ($33K new I think).

And yea, I'm totally fine about the concept of the dealer doing warranty service. Makes perfect sense. No problem. My question just had more to do with routine maintenance (and yess, things like rotors are routine, but only like every 8 years or so). Warranties cover driver-unexaserbated manufacturing defects, not things that have a designated service life.
 

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...I'm totally fine about the concept of the dealer doing warranty service...
I was referring to all scheduled maintenance (including oil, air filters, and checking fluids, etc. per the manufacturer's published maintenance schedule).

The way this usually works is you have to get the maintenance service performed by a franchised dealer, per the manufacturer's schedule. The dealer then stamps the little book that comes with the car as proof of service. If something needs fixed under warranty, the first thing they do is look at the little book and if it isn't stamped up-to-date the warranty is voided and you have to pay. The warranty usually contains fine print to the effect: "all scheduled maintenance must be performed by a franchised dealer...".

I don't know how strict about this smart will be, but a lot of manufacturer's are real particular about it.
 

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.....and of course if the Smart comes with scheduled maintenance, why pay to go some where else! With my MINI, I've even payed for a extra oil change or two (by my dealer). I figure while its under warranty, and since its a relatively new vehicle that the "guy down the block" hasn't had experience with, I'm not trusting my investment anywhere else then a MINI dealer. Will do the same with the 42.
 

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When/if my number comes up, I intend to order a factory service manual (availability required for cars sold in the U.S.) and a parts list. Not that I intend to do my own maintenance, but in case the vehicle is somewhere and needs emergency service at a non-smart garage it would be a major assist and expedient if I could reach under the seat and hand them the references.
 

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Smart A**
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When/if my number comes up, I intend to order a factory service manual (availability required for cars sold in the U.S.) and a parts list. Not that I intend to do my own maintenance, but in case the vehicle is somewhere and needs emergency service at a non-smart garage it would be a major assist and expedient if I could reach under the seat and hand them the references.
That 20 lbs service manual will screw up your fuel economy. Maybe you can get it on microfiche for your microcar. :D

Kidding aside, that is a great idea given the sparcity of dealers and a nation full of service garages that have never seen a Smart.
 

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The current smarts, and I'm sure the new ones, can be serviced by anyone including yourself. Warranty repairs must be done by a dealer. Most things involving the computer have to be done by someone with the star system by Mercedes. They cannot deny a warranty repair unless they can prove that your outside service caused the failure.

In Canada they have a roadside tow service that will pick up your smart anywhere in Canada and take it to the dealer for repair. This is part of the warranty.

Your John Deere is barely broken in, mine is a 1947 and it runs like new.

A manual would be great as Mercedes has not provided one yet. Only thing out is a WIS program, available legally only to dealers. The unfortunate thing is that most anything that will stop the car will also require a star system computer to get it going again. Some minor problems will self correct by letting it set for 30 minutes and restarting. Sometimes you must disconnect the battery.

It will be interesting to see if a Mercedes dealer who is not a smart dealer will support service on a smart.
 

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Those of you who believe that a Manufacture can insert "fine print" that requires ALL services to be preformed by "authorized dealerships only" are mistaken.

The Current USA LAW that governs this is the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act.

Under this law you are permitted to have any, or all, normal services performed by yourself or any mechanic.

If you need warranty repairs it is required that the Manufacture repair the item unless they can establish that you did not follow the service schedule, did not use the proper approved fluids or parts, AND that the failure of the Warranted Item is a direct cause from that action.

Let us say you were supposed to use Smart's (MB) brand $35 Air filters and you found that WalMart's $12.99 Fram Air filter works. Later you have a clutch or transmission failure.... There is no way that Smart (MB) can refuse a warranty claim for the transmission repair just because you used a Fram Air filter....

Now--- if Smart (MB) specifies that you use a specific lubricant, say MB 80W synthetic in the tranny every 30,000 miles, and you used a non synthetic 60W at 32,000 miles and the trany craps out...You can forget about the warranty claim because they can, and will, prove you did not use the correct lubricant...

BTW if you had used an 80W synthetic with the same SC/API as specified by the manufacturer (say Royal Purple) but not the MB recommended brand--- then you are covered because the Warranty Act prohibits the manufacturer from requiring you to use only their MB Brand lubricant

Bottom line---- in America you can perform your own normal services or contract for any other person to perform those services...and you do not necessarily require a stamp in a book to prove you did in order to get warranty repair....

I said not "necessarily require"... I am the first to agree that being able to prove ALL scheduled services were performed, using manufacture equivalent filters, lubricants, and repair parts is a wise move and will prevent any possible arguments when it is time for a warranty repair...

I have owned a whole lot of low and high-end cars and trucks and I never ever pay for standard normal services (I am a retired certified aircraft mechanic)

I do keep a extensive log book on every vehicle with the receipts for the items I used. On the rare occasion that I needed significant warranty repairs this evidence was key in helping the "Service Manager" take care of my problem under warranty.
 

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Those of you who believe that a Manufacture can insert "fine print" that requires ALL services to be preformed by "authorized dealerships only" are mistaken.
I don't think that was the issue. The issue of concern is the fact that WARRANTY work will have to be taken to an authorized dealer. A bit problematic for some of our friends on this forum residing hundreds of miles from the nearest dealer.
 

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lhoboy
I got too long winded so I decided to remove the quote from Micronut's post#7 on the first page that claims there will be "fine print" requiring factory authorized service to maintain warranty in effect...

'Tis not true here in the USA--- and if I read the topic starter's question correctly, this is what he is asking about.... can he or someone do the normal services and maintenance with OUT jeopardizing the warranty

I think most of us understand the dynamics of living in Lampasas Texas and owning a Mercedes with the only authorized dealer 116 miles away...

I would hope everybody understands that there potentially will be entire states with ZERO Smart car dealerships or authorized service centers....
 

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lhoboy
I got too long winded so I decided to remove the quote from Micronut's post#7 on the first page that claims there will be "fine print" requiring factory authorized service to maintain warranty in effect...

....
You are absolutely correct. The M-M Act specifically prohibits such fine print regarding routine service.
 

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...It is usually a requirement of the manufacturer's warranty that all service is performed by a franchised dealer...
My bad! Lhoboy is entirely correct - this loathsome practice is specifically forbidden under the Magunson-Moss Act. I must admit to being surprised that the federal government managed to enact something so genuinely advantageous to the "little guy"...:)
 
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