Smart Car of America Forum banner

1 - 11 of 11 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
386 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I've gone through the P2188 too rich at idle threads and haven't really found a definitive answer to the problem. I guess it is a pretty generic code however I'm now in the same boat as others who have had the problem.

What I didn't see in the threads was whether those that had the code finally got rid of it.

In my case I started to get the code after I blew the head gasket on my 451 last fall. We got the car back together this spring and though it runs great it throws this code pretty much every time I drive it. I reset the code with my Innova 3100 scan tool but it returns. *note that with this smart the only way to reset the code is to have the car not running but with the key in the run position. Otherwise code will not clear.

I have replaced the air cleaner which was filthy but again code returns. When we restarted the car for the first time the exhaust system blew a lot of white smoke due to residual coolant in the system and I'm wondering if I might have caused problems to the O2 sensor(s).

While the car was apart we replaced the water pump and thermostat, I did read that a stuck thermostat might cause this code and I remember that this part came in 3 pieces so am wondering if perhaps we didn't put it back in quite right....

The other comment I found was driving style, eg hard acceleration and/or sudden lift off on the gas pedal. It's possible I might be doing this as I've been trying to run the car hard to blow out any crud in the system and I did notice that when I ran up the car to high speed on the highway it threw a code shortly thereafter. So I have been taking it easy on the throttle to see if a lead foot is the issue but so far... I am hoping that the O2 sensor(s) might have had some residual coolant that needs to burn off so fresh premium and multiple highway runs will be done to see if I can get this code to stop popping up. However so far no luck.

I picked up an ELM 327 off eBay and at first could not get it to sync with my LG G5 android phone and DashCommand. I did get it working with Piston however I notice some oddities with this setup. Primarily the speakers cycle on and off which is probably due to the phone also being connected via bluetooth through the smart factory bluetooth system (which btw I would not recommend). Also had a strange throttle failure warning trigger with the ELM attached, cleared this code and unplugged the ELM and code has not returned so I think there is some sort of problem/incompatibility with the ELM and my particular smart. Or is it possible that this code might be another clue as to the issue. I have used the ELM to reset the P2188 code with engine off and key in run.

Will likely order up the scanguage II instead as I'm a bit concerned that continued use of the ELM may eventually damage the SAM maybe not but by the time I find out it would be too late....

The other thing that seems new is that the car takes a bit of 'priming' to start, I recall that you don't just crank the key but have to turn to run and let it settle in for a couple of seconds. Not doing this or not giving it a bit of gas causes the starter to run for an extended period as if it isn't getting enough gas at first. A short stab on the gas pedal while cranking solves this, however could this be connected to the problem? I would think a bad or dying fuel pump or clogging filter might throw a lean or different code. I do let the car sit for extended periods in the winter, however I only run premium that does not contain ethanol.

Also of note the car only had 1/4 tank of fuel when I blew the head gasket and I was getting the code before I filled it up the other day. Also based on what I read I didn't fully top up the tank due to the comments of flooded EVAP canisters.

I guess at this point I keep running, keep resetting codes and see what happens. I will be borrowing a better scan tool to read fuel pressure etc just in case the problem is there but have not had the time to take it over to the shop.
 

·
Moderator
Joined
·
17,356 Posts
Yeah, sometimes the car isn't fond of OBD devices. I have an UltraGauge that I use between the four smarts. Plugging it in to either of my 450s will occasionally trigger an esp light. Taking it out and restarting makes the light go away.

My starter occasionally runs longer than normal and has been doing so for a couple years now. Not sure how normal it is but it's never really bothered me.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
28,273 Posts
Just a comment on starting the 451, no need to hold the key at all. Just blip it to the start position and release it. Turning the key doesn't start the car directly, it just sends a signal to the computer, which then starts the car. :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
386 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Just a comment on starting the 451, no need to hold the key at all. Just blip it to the start position and release it. Turning the key doesn't start the car directly, it just sends a signal to the computer, which then starts the car. :)
Should have been more clear on my comment, I don't hold the key forcing the starter motor to crank. I blip the key like I do with all our cars and release, but on my smart even after I release the key the starter motor continues to crank for several seconds which I don't suspect is normal.

When starting I turn key to run hear the fan with high pitched whine fire up wait a couple of seconds, then turn key fully clockwise to engage the starter motor releasing it immediately as it catches. If I wait, blip the gas pedal, car fires up. If I turn key through to engagement of starter and immediately release the starter motor continues to crank even though the key has fallen back into the run position. This I find abnormal....
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
386 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Yeah, sometimes the car isn't fond of OBD devices. I have an UltraGauge that I use between the four smarts. Plugging it in to either of my 450s will occasionally trigger an esp light. Taking it out and restarting makes the light go away.

My starter occasionally runs longer than normal and has been doing so for a couple years now. Not sure how normal it is but it's never really bothered me.
This thing with the starter seems to have begun after the head gasket repair. Granted memory is a bit hazy these days. Thanks for the confirmation that the smart can stay engaged though!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
386 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Well I continue to get the P2188 check engine code though I found that I only throw it when I drive the car a bit harder than normal. If I just pussy foot around no code. Once the code is reset and the car is run a bit without the code my emissions status is green with all sensors good. I did originally suspect that the O2 sensor might have been damaged when I blew the head gasket and filled the exhaust with a mix of oil and coolant. It does seem to be slightly less prone to tripping as time goes on.

Also noticed something else interesting, with the A/C running the car doesn't upshift any where near as early as it does with the A/C off. It seems the car is keeping itself in it's powerband longer when A/C is on. If I start the car with A/C operating and then switch it off but don't restart the car it seems the transmission retains this setting. Weird.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
386 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Hmmm it only just occurred to me, I throw this code not when the car is at idle but when I am driving and typically at speed and has been running for a few minutes. I will experiment and see if I can trigger it immediately but I only throw the code after hard acceleration....

If this really is a rich fuel mixture condition would something like this be worthwhile?

smart fortwo Intake Performance Kit - Red Online Store - smart car Parts and Accessories

I currently have the stock paper filter installed though it is new and clean. Opening the stock airbox is a major PITA as there seems to be no room to open the thing easily. Mine also looks a lot different then pix I've seen online of most in 451s but due to it's size it has to be stock.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
In October 2017, my 2008 SMART car started displaying intermittently, persistently DTC P2188, exactly 1 week ON, the next week OFF (cleared by itself). After changing spark plugs, oil filter, air filter, engine oil P2188 persistently continued to display exactly 1 week ON, the next week OFF. I took my SMART car to Yorks Motorwerke in Walnut Creek, California. A previous SMART mechanic at the now closed Walnut Creek SMART dealer. They claimed they did all kind of emissions testing with all results negative. Before I picked the car, they decided to replace the spark plugs, claiming that the gap was too wide and that was causing the P2188. This did not make any sense because a mechanical failure (wide gap) will not correct itself the next week. I was desperate; therefore, I was willing to believe the experts at a cost of $300. Precisely, a week later, P2188 turn ON again. I immediately called Yorks and they agree to diagnose the car again for FREE. Again, they claimed they did all kind of emissions testing with all results negative. This time they proposed a possible leaking Head Gasket, no guarantees, and estimated repair cost of $500. Again this did not make any sense because a mechanical failure (leaking gasket) will not correct itself the next week. This time I declined the repairs. In December 2017, I thoroughly cleaned the Air Mass Flow Sensor and air passage, but P2188 continued intermittently, and persistently displaying, exactly 1 week ON, the next week OFF. In June 2018, I decided to changed my 2008 SMART original old Transmission Oil, with Lucas Synthetic 75W-90, 2.5 Quarts. I don't know why, but to my surprised, changing the Transmission Oil, immediately and permanently eliminated P2188. As of today, November 2019, my 2008 SMART car is still P2188 FREE. On November 2017, my other 2013 SMART car started displaying intermittently and randomly DTC P2188. Also,in June 2018, I decided to changed my 2013 SMART original old Transmission Oil, with Lucas Synthetic 75W-90, 2.5 Quarts. I don't know why, but to my surprised, changing the Transmission Oil, immediately and permanently eliminated P2188. Recently, my 2013 SMART started displaying intermittently and randomly P2188. I am getting ready to change its Transmission Oil again.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
I changed the Transmission Oil as a preventive routine maintenance, not because of P2188, nor because I expected to resolve the P2188 issue. As I already stated, I don't know why changing the Transmission Oil eliminated the nuisance P2188. All I can tell you is that changing the Transmission Oil in my 2008 and 2013 SMART car resolved my costly frustration with nuisance P2188. I am a 40 year experienced Industrial Control Systems Electrical Engineer and Programmer and experienced DIY mechanic. I wish I knew the conditions the SMART programmer used to turn ON the P2188. Right now, I am trying to resolved a persisting nuisance TPMS Low Tire Pressure alarm, in my 2013 SMART, even though according to my TPMS scanner, the four tires Pressures (Front 29 psi, Rear 36 psi) and TPMS sensors are OK,
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
Use the elm (know this has it if your PC software has it) or the scan tool (not sure if your unit can do live data) to montior your O2 sensors voltages live data.
Next time cycle the key before starting it so fuel pressure builds. Turn key on and listen for fuel pump (you probably can't because of the clutch actuator) then off, wait 5 to 10 seconds, turn on listen for fuel pump, then start.
 
1 - 11 of 11 Posts
Top