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Discussion Starter #1
I was looking at buying a Smart back in 2012 or so. There was a salvage car I was seriously thinking about back then but some of the wiser folks talked me out of it due to the cost of the parts to repair it and make it whole again. I am not afraid to tackle projects but it would have cost more than the car would have been worth. I ended up buying a Fiat 500 Abarth. I still had an affinity to buy a Smart. Last year I picked up a 2012 Passion for the wife and she loves the car. Just recently had to replace the fuel pump in it but other than that the car has been good to her. So, I started looking for a used one for myself. You know a his and hers. Prices for the used ones have come down quite a bit. I found a 2009 Passion that I really liked. It is a high mileage car and has a cracked front drivers side fender but the price was too good to pass up. So, I am looking for a blue fender for starters. Will post for a fender in the wanted section. I can just put a band-aid on it until I get it fixed. And as far as the engine goes that can be replaced as well if it comes to that. I will take good care of it from here on out. I plan to go pick it up this Saturday. Here is a pic of my new toy.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Got her home

Thanks-nice to be here.

I drove up to Minnesota yesterday to pick up the 2009 Passion. Took my single axle trailer. She is a bit rougher than the pictures that were in the ad but that was not too surprising. Took her out for a test drive and even though it is a high mileage car she runs pretty good. Probably has been neglected for some time now. The dealer had no clue where the engine was so they had not done any service. The bolt and latch for the engine cover are missing and engine bay was a greasy dirty mess. I paid the man, got the paperwork and backed her onto the trailer. The trip home was pretty uneventful except then I stopped for gas and checked things out. The hood had come loose and had been banging around and tore it up pretty good. Come to find out the hood latches were both broken, So, I added that to my list of things to fix. Got her off of the trailer and the first thing I did was to use some Purple Stuff to clean up the engine bay. I hate working on a dirty engine. The engine and bay cleaned up nicely. It is drive-able the way it is but I want to get her cleaned up and looking presentable. She has a good home and will be properly maintained from now on.

My to do list in no certain order:

Oil change and filter
Replace air filter
New front brakes rotors and pads
New drums and shoes in the back
Replace missing engine cover bolt/fastener
Run a bottle of Sea-foam through a tank of gas
Replace front cover and put new latches in
Replace drivers side fender
Replace lower rear bumper cover
Cleanup beige upholstery and Scotch-guard
Address the little nicks and scratches the best I can with dealer touch-up kit

Drive the snot out of it. Thanks to Smart Madness, Amazon and Ebay, and the local dealer for the parts I need and this forum and the internet for the info I need to make the repairs.

Looking forward to putting even more miles on this little car. I really like the metallic blue and the beige interior. Some one spent some extra cash as the car also has the tach and clock pod. Overkill but I will get used to them plus they both still work.

See you on the road.

Steve
 

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I replaced the engine cover bolt with a wing nut bolt and a new J-clip. cost was about 2 bucks at ace hardware. For the brakes, use a set of O'rieleys ceramic pads. It eliminates the brake dust on the wheels.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for tip on the engine cover. Must be one of those parts that goes missing. I did order ceramic pads for the front.


S
 

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There was a plastic disc that holds the stock bolt to the cover, but they eventually fall off and the bolt disappears in the engine compartment. At the time mine disappeared, there was not a dealer close by so I found a j-clip and a bolt with a thumbscrew head that would do the trick. Good call on the brakes and rotors!

I have heard you can remove the front grille without taking the front end apart. with the grille removed, you can put in new hood latches. I believe there is a youtube video on removing the grille..
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Hood Latches

I have to replace the drivers side front fender as it is damaged pretty good. Cracked through in multiple places. Not sure what someone ran into. So, I plan on removing the front clip anyways. I had the car up on the lift today and the under carriage looks good. Belly pans are intact and not missing any pieces.


S
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Update

Well, I have been busy working on my new to me Smart. I got the drivers side front fender replaced, the drivers side rear quarter, and the lower valance on the rear bumper. I also replaced both latches up front. I can tell you there would be no way to get the grill off short of removing the whole front end. And the grill has to come off to do the latches. It really was not that hard and I did it myself. Got a new hood fitted and the latches work as they should. She is looking pretty good and not so abused or neglected. I did destroy the antenna trying to get it off. Need some grease or anti-seize in case I have to take it off again. Already got a used one off of Ebay and installed it. Changed the air filter and did an oil change as well. Not sure whom tightened the oil pan drain nut last but it was very hard to get loose. My next project is the brakes front an rear. I already ran into a problem with the screw that retains the rotor. Stripped one on the drivers side so I will need to get new screws all the way around as the drums look pretty rusty as well. Will have to fight them all the way I am sure. I am going to try the punch trick as I have never had any luck with easy-outs. They usually break off and cause more trouble than they are worth. So, once I get the brakes done she should be good to go until the next service. See you on the road.

S
 

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Not sure whom tightened the oil pan drain nut last but it was very hard to get loose.
Most drain plugs are a pain because people overtighten them due to being too cheap/lazy/stupid to use a torque wrench. If torqued properly a long 1/2 inch drive ratchet will loosen them by just smacking the handle with the heel of your hand.

My next project is the brakes front an rear. I already ran into a problem with the screw that retains the rotor. Stripped one on the drivers side so I will need to get new screws all the way around as the drums look pretty rusty as well. Will have to fight them all the way I am sure. I am going to try the punch trick as I have never had any luck with easy-outs.
S
Go to Sears or Harbor Freight and get a hand impact driver like the one linked below. Use the proper size driver bit for the screw and it will break them loose, usually without damage. I have one from Sears I have had for nearly fifty years. It works great on screws used on motorcycles, too. Then don't overtighten the screws when you put them back in. Snug is sufficient.

Craftsman.com
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thanks for the link. That should work on the other three but the stripped one will be fun to get out. I hate it when I do that. I was trying to be gentle as to avoid stripping but my last little grunt did me in. I know I will get it out eventually. I will get the tool you linked and try the others.

S
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
Success

Well, I got the front brakes done today. I had stripped the torx screw that holds the rotor on the drivers side. I ended up drilling the head off, then I was able to bang the old rotor off. Fortunately, I was able to apply some heat to the broken screw and grab it with some small vice grips and turn it out. Success is sweet indeed. The other side went much better. I first applied a bit of heat from a propane torch. I whacked it with a brass drift and after a bit of effort it came loose. So, now we have drilled/slotted rotors and ceramic brake pads up front. They look good and provide excellent stopping power. I will tackle the rear brakes next. She is ready to roll the way she is now. Still waiting on the paperwork so I can get her registered but have a temporary dealer paper taped to the back window giving me the right to drive. So, drive I will.

S
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Rear brakes

I got the rear brakes done tonight after work. No more stripped torx. New drums and shoes. Brake wise I should be all set. Had a problem this morning. I have been driving the car to work all week and I went to back into a parking space and no reverse. I tried stopping, starting and moving the gear selector and could not get it to go in reverse. Ended up getting out and pushing it back into the parking spot. I did some reading at lunch and saw there have been problems with this which a software upgrade usually takes care of. With 97,000 miles there definitely is no warranty. I would have no clue what software version is even on there now. Thing is it was fine when I drove home this afternoon-forward and reverse worked fine. Plus, I have no beeping sounds. We are going on vacation soon but when I get back I plan on cleaning the clutch actuator and lubing it up. Figured it cannot hurt with all the miles on the car. Still fun to drive and hopefully I will get this annoying issue sorted.

S
 

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I got the rear brakes done tonight after work. No more stripped torx. New drums and shoes. Brake wise I should be all set. Had a problem this morning. I have been driving the car to work all week and I went to back into a parking space and no reverse. I tried stopping, starting and moving the gear selector and could not get it to go in reverse. Ended up getting out and pushing it back into the parking spot. I did some reading at lunch and saw there have been problems with this which a software upgrade usually takes care of. With 97,000 miles there definitely is no warranty. I would have no clue what software version is even on there now. Thing is it was fine when I drove home this afternoon-forward and reverse worked fine. Plus, I have no beeping sounds. We are going on vacation soon but when I get back I plan on cleaning the clutch actuator and lubing it up. Figured it cannot hurt with all the miles on the car. Still fun to drive and hopefully I will get this annoying issue sorted.

S
If you're due for a software update, get it. Are you able to physically move the shifter into Reverse, but the instrument cluster refuses to display R?

If the instrument cluster goes blank, try shifting to 'N' for a minute or two or three, wait for the transmission to calibrate itself to try to figure out what's wrong. It should eventually learn its orientation and respond to all gear positions that you select.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I am not sure if I have the latest software or not. I will go to the dealer after vacation unless I get the problem sorted. The car did the same thing this morning. After it sits for a bit it is fine. The selector does go to reverse-it just never shows up with an "R" on the dash. All I see is "P", "N" and "D". I have tried waiting for a bit to see if it comes out of it. Shutting it down and restarting-no good. So far only letting the car sit for some time does it finally work. I did notice on the way home the "D" starting flashing and when I got to the drive way-no reverse again. I read some where that a bad battery could cause issues. There are a lot of electronics with these cars. I checked the battery and am pretty certain it was the original battery as it even had the Smart part number on it. That makes it 7 years old? I doubt it had been replaced. No way to know for sure. I could have taken it to the auto parts store to have it tested but 7 years is a long time for a battery. I bought one recommended on here from NAPA-7547 which is a direct fit replacement. I can say the battery is packed in there pretty tight and was a bit difficult to get out but the new one is in there. We will see if that helped at all. Still going to do the maintenance on the clutch actuator as well. Even with this no reverse issue the car is still a hoot to drive. I am a pretty persistent person and will get it sorted eventually. :)

S
 

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The battery was due for replacement anyway, so no harm done there. A weak battery has been known to cause shift errors in the past. So keep your fingers crossed.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Well, sadly the no reverse issue persists. Got to work this morning and tried backing up and still no reverse. I know when I go to leave this afternoon-reverse will work just fine. Only after driving the car for a bit does this symptom appear. I guess after vacation a trip to the dealer is in order to have them run some diagnostics and check the software version. I will be the one performing any mechanical work so that will leave any software tweaks to them. A bit bummed the new battery did not fix the issue but will get the problem sorted eventually.

S
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Well, I made an appointment with the local dealer to run some diagnostics and to check the software version. Will be after my vacation. Once diagnosed I will plan to fix if it is not software related. Hope the service department is as good as the parts department. Guess we will find out soon enough.

S
 
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