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I have been a smart car owner since 2008. I am on my 2nd smart. I have a 2009 smart passion convertible. I have serviced both my cars 99% of the time.

My current smart has a problem I cannot figure out.

When you go into 1st gear or reverse the transmission does a kick, the rpm drops than kicks again and than jolts forward.

Reverse is the same series of events.

Sometimes its so bad that the car stalls out.

I have removed the clutch actuator, cleaned it out, regreased, checked all internals. It appears to be working as it changes gears.

A couple years ago I had the software upgrade so the car changes into gear properly.

I am so against bringing my car to the dealership. There are no fault codes or check engine light on.

After the car gets going past 5 miles per hour the shifting is near perfect.

Some days the car drives as if there isn't any problems at all. I would say 8 out of 10 times I drive this problem has gotten to the point where I drive my other car because i don't want any headaches. I have about 73,000 miles on my smart. Overall my car is in pretty nice shape.

Does anyone have any suggestions?

Here is a short youtube video of this:

 

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^^^^agreed. Some issues can only be, fixed at a smart dealership. By a qualified smart technician.
 

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That is horribly rough. I would think the actuator is incorrectly setup. Closing in on 95k miles in my smart and it does none of that, never touched the actuator.
 

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i can tell you just from your description your actuator is probably out of adjustment. does not take much and may include a clutch release replacement or clutch.itself..
Take the actuator off, and look inside (actuator hole) with a flashlite, at the release plate for excessive wear.. I have seen one or two in my travels that have worn through. Rough shifting in first and reverse is most noticeable with actuator slightly out of wack, and a worn plate. if the clutch is worn to the point that the actuator cannot be adjusted enough to compensate, then its time for a new clutch. depending on how you drive and terrain.
if it shifts fine after warming up but not cold. maybe a change of the gear oil may be due as well...I know they claim its "lifetime". dont believe it. its a cheap insurance to prevent bearing and gear problems, and driving.
let us know what you find.
steveg..
 

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You have the symptoms of a clutch not releasing fully. Whether it is due to the actuator or the clutch itself is the question. One would need to look at trans control module fault codes and data to determine what it thinks is happening. At least I would. I prefer to look and think before I get my hands dirty.
 

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Yup, has to go to a main stealers, needs a clutch reteach, there is a mechanical adjustment and an electronic adjustment that both need to be done to fix it, suck it up and get it fixed, haha!!!!!
 

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Yup, has to go to a main stealers, needs a clutch reteach, there is a mechanical adjustment and an electronic adjustment that both need to be done to fix it, suck it up and get it fixed, haha!!!!!
Not really. The car can be "fixed" at home if the owner has the ability. I just don't believe a 7 second video of the car jumping and hopping around is going to lead to a 100% accurate diagnosis without throwing parts at it. I'd hate to suggest a clutch adjustment, and it actually needs a clutch replacement. I'd hate to suggest a programming issue, only for a reprogram, and it... needs a clutch. I'd hate to suggest a bad clutch... and it's a throwout bearing issue, etc,.

With what's going on in the 7 second video, I see a process of elimination. If the OP is asking, the OP probably needs to just pay somebody to go through that diagnostic process so parts aren't being needlessly thrown at the car. Heck, it might be a software issue too.

This is why I suggested the dealer. Although the OP doesn't necessarily have to. :nerd:
 

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Just went through this. I would first try adjusting the clutch actuator, then go through the standard re-teach.

If that doesn't fix it, it is likely one of three things. Bad actuator, bad transmission speed sensor or bad computer that controls the shifting and clutch.

I just went through this with my 2011 with 142k miles. I replaced the actuator, sensor, clutch and it ended up being what I thought was the least likely thing to fail, the computer module.

A note about the dealers, for the most part they are really **** at anything beyond simple maintenance and obvious diagnostic things they can quickly get form their benz app. The whole pay them to re-teach thing is false, they do exactly what you can do yourself. They wanted over $5k to replace my motor because they couldn't figure out it was a $200 part. If they replaced my motor, I'd still be having this issue.
 

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Just went through this. I would first try adjusting the clutch actuator, then go through the standard re-teach.

If that doesn't fix it, it is likely one of three things. Bad actuator, bad transmission speed sensor or bad computer that controls the shifting and clutch.

I just went through this with my 2011 with 142k miles. I replaced the actuator, sensor, clutch and it ended up being what I thought was the least likely thing to fail, the computer module.

A note about the dealers, for the most part they are really **** at anything beyond simple maintenance and obvious diagnostic things they can quickly get form their benz app. The whole pay them to re-teach thing is false, they do exactly what you can do yourself. They wanted over $5k to replace my motor because they couldn't figure out it was a $200 part. If they replaced my motor, I'd still be having this issue.

trashguy.... im going through same issues on my 09....158,000....serviced shift motors, cleaned and lubed acuator module.....could adjusting "in" the accuator maybe help this issue..??? also where is the "computer module located??....$200 is what it costs..?.....love my car, wanna get over 200k outta her.....thnx....ss
 

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All good advice here, so you will need to figure out how you want to attack the problem.
If it was me... I would start with looking into the opening where the actuator goes, since you already cleaned the clutch actuator. I think there is information on how to adjust the actuator, that may help. If that does not work... then remove, clean and inspect the shift motors, which is also a good time to replace the transmission fluid. Bad thing is removing the air box... a real pain.
I had to cut mine in half to get it out. Which was not an issue as I planned to install the madness intake tube anyway. Also, do the transmission relearn procedure... might want to try this first.
 

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dh, ive also removed and serviced the clutch motors....and i also had to cut airbox apart to get it out (made my own intake tube).i see the acuator motor itself can be adjusted in or out, as the housing has slotted holes... i was wonder maybe slide it closer to clutch...?
p.s. i do need to do the relearn procedure too....
 

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I hope someone here can confirm this... but I think you adjust the actuator by inserting the plunger until it makes contact with the clutch plate, and then just a tad more. Also the relearn should be done quite slowly, do not rush it.
This from evolution, describes the actuator adjustment

With all 3 bolts loosened, slide the unit towards the centre of the car (to the right).
The actuator will only move about 2mm or 3mm before you feel it hit an obstruction.
Stop pushing the actuator and it will move a fraction back to the left by itself.

Now you have to push the actuator towards the clutch with 50 Newtons of force.
This is the equivelent of hanging a 5kg weight sideways off of the actuator.

Smart have a frame that holds around the actuator and that attaches to a force meter (which looks
like old school luggage scales). The gauge is pulled to 50N and then the bolts are tightened to 10Nm.
Good luck, keep us posted
 

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well...i changed the trans with redline.....old fluid actually looked damn good for 158k miles......still getting a lurch in reverse and 1st......
 

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I believe they all have the lurch when initially starting off, either from reverse or first. I control it with the brake pedal, releasing it almost like a clutch.
If it continues to be rough and jerky... you have to adjust the clutch actuator, and do the relearn again.
 

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I hope someone here can confirm this... but I think you adjust the actuator by inserting the plunger until it makes contact with the clutch plate, and then just a tad more. Also the relearn should be done quite slowly, do not rush it.
This from evolution, describes the actuator adjustment

With all 3 bolts loosened, slide the unit towards the centre of the car (to the right).
The actuator will only move about 2mm or 3mm before you feel it hit an obstruction.
Stop pushing the actuator and it will move a fraction back to the left by itself.

Now you have to push the actuator towards the clutch with 50 Newtons of force.
This is the equivelent of hanging a 5kg weight sideways off of the actuator.

Smart have a frame that holds around the actuator and that attaches to a force meter (which looks
like old school luggage scales). The gauge is pulled to 50N and then the bolts are tightened to 10Nm.
Good luck, keep us posted
I can confirm that your quoted procedure is WRONG for the 451. That method applies to the 450. Evolution illustrates this on a 450, but they mistakenly include a reference for the 451.

This was discussed previously in the following:



Can a mod repair my now broken 1st link in post 39 of the above referenced discussion, as I seem to be unable to do so. The link is (currently):

I'd also note that the link posted by WhiteNBlack08 in post 1 of the above referenced discussion to the MB WIS procedure is also broken.

~toaster
 
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