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King of Smart Gadgetry
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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
It has been mentioned many times before in the forum about battery drain on the 451 and how long can they sit without being untouched and still start up without the aid of a jump or a fresh battery. I had that problem with my Fortwo and I endeavored to get to the bottom of the battery drain issue with some cold hard numbers that we all could work from.

Now first let me say that anyone who knows me on the forum knows I am a dedicated tried and true gadget freak and there are many projects that I have inflicted upon my Fortwo, and each one was done with care and not just a cut and botch up kind of add on. I bought my Pure and shortly after having it and investigating all the options I could have had if I would have just bought a Passion or even the coveted Brabus, I decided to slowly add options to make it a full blown Passion clone. But that opens up some choices on the Fortwo due to it's configuration of electrcal devices. Since the Fortwo uses a Can Bus system to tie all the working electrical items together it can get tough doing all factory style upgrades like factory fog lights or factory heated seat option. Even if you were to find factory parts on E-bay or a donor car, plugging them up to the existing harness doesn't guarantee they will work when you flip the switch because many of the options has to be enabled or programmed into the SAM to power that item. For newbies the SAM stands for "signal acquisition and actuation module". It's just a fancy way of saying the fuse box with it's relays is controlled by a computer chip that controls how power is routed from the battery to the cars systems.

So I had the choice if I wanted heated seats. I could install either the seats themselves, find a button bank with the correct buttons, plug it all in, make a trip to my friendly neighborhood Smart Center to get it enabled through the SAM, or I could get on Ebay or Amazon and buy a heated seat kit and install it and then power it from one of the "R" terminals in the SAM and I was in business. Same deal for fog lights etc,...Well I added CREE LED fog lights, 5 way heated seats, LED's to more than mimic the Ambient lighting package, used a computer sound system, front and rear and internal DVR cameras, Android touch screen radio,....well you get the idea.

So the first thing to die was the original 2011 Smart battery. So after a quick survey of prices and batteries and their specs I figured out for me the cheapest battery was from Walmart and the specs weren't bad on it. So I installed the battery and was driving the car frequently and all was well in Graceland. Then when the weather got cold and bad I parked him in the warm garage and drove my daily driver. Well I soon learned after the car sat for a week or more the battery would be dead, and since the battery is buried under the passenger floor we know what a pain it is jump it or even get at it to connect a battery charger. So I opted for a battery tender and the first one I bought was rated for 500 miliamps at like 14 volts. So I plumbed that in and put my fortwo on an intravenous IV of power.

Well when the weekend came and I wanted to go for a spin, low and behold the battery was dead. Darn that battery tender. So I went and bought the largest tender I could find and it put out 750 milliamps at 14 volts and connected it up. The weekend came again and when I hopped in for a spin it was dead again. So I dug out my battery charger that was 2/6 amps and connected it the battery on 2 amps. Then I looked at the chargers gauge and it was reading about 1 1/2 amps. That's when I decided I needed to look in to parasitic battery drain. So I got out my multimeter plugged the leads into the proper jacks for a 20 amp test. I pulled the negatrive battery terminal and placed the meter leads in series with the battery post and the cable and viola I had a 1.25 amp draw. So I disconnected my new Android radio and it dropped down to 380 milliamps.

I knew from researching on the internet that I had to get it down to 50 milliamps or less to be in the neighborhood of newer cars. Alot of the newer cars use the can bus system of communicating because it is so much more efficient and I won't go into the particulars there, but newer cars have key FOBs and the cars computer sits and listens for the digital code from your FOB so it knows to unlock your door for you. You can imagine how busy the computer is at the mall parking lot or Walmart with all the different people locking and unlocking cars and all of those in range of your vehicle have to be listened to and sifted through as it listens for your FOB. Now the systems do go to sleep after a period of time depending on the car manufacturer. So the system draws a little power. The 451 listens for your key FOB to lock or unlock the doors. We have a clock in the dash that needs power to keep the correct time. If you have the dash pods, that clock is a crystal regulated clock with a stepper motor to advance the hands, so it needs power. If you have the optional car alarm it uses power when it's armed. If you have the auto lights on and auto wipers it needs power for a period of time after the car has been shut down before it nods off to sleep. So on astock Fortwo there is some battery drain and when you add gadgets like I have then it becomes too much for the little battery to cope with right? or is it?

Well when I discovered380 milliamps of drain I knew I had to charge up the battery. So with the terminal disconnected I pulled out my 10 amp battery charger and connected it directly to the battery while the battery was disconnected from the car. Well you may or may not know, if you have a completely stone dead battery and you hook up a battery charger to it the charger will usually read zero amps for a little while and then the charge rate will begin to climb slowly and after a couple of hours the charger shuld be charging near maximum and then as the battery stores the charge the charge rate will slow down until you are back to the 1 to 2 amp range again.

So I checked battery voltage and it was 9.8 volts and that's well below total discharge. So with the 10 amp charger on it it only showed about 1 amp of charging. So this was okay with me because of what I stated earlier about charging a totally dead battery. So I went upstairs to bed and I couldn't sleep for thinking about the situation. So after about 4 hours I went back downstairs and checked the charger expecting it to be on 10 amps of charging. Well it was still on 1 amp. I felt the battery case and it was warm. So that's when the situation became clear to me. I had a bad battery.

I let it charge the rest of the night and the next morning I disconnected the charger and let the battery set for about an hour for the charge to equalize between the cells and I checked battery voltage and it was 10.99 volts, so it was still dead and very warm to the touch. So I put it in the car and drove to Walmart and took the battery in to them and they said we have to charge it for an hour before we can load test it to see if it's bad or not. I told them it's been on charge all night and I just pulled it off charge. I told them to feel the case and they did, so they believed me. He load tested it and my 6 month old EverLast battery failed miserably.

So they gave me a new battery and I installed it in the car. I checked battery voltage and it was 12.6 volts which is very close to being fully charged. So without changing a thing or disconnecting a thing I did my battery drain test and instead of being 380 milliamps it was .005 amps. So the reading I got of 380 milliamps was because the battery voltage was so low the milliamps raised. So after 3 days I could wait no longer and I tried to start the car tonight and it fired up instantly.

So I was blaming all my gadgets and the last install was the new radio and I will admit at first I had it wired to power wrong. The Fortwo doesn't have an accessory position on the ignition switch, only OFF ON and START. To play the radio with the car sitting I would have had to keep the ignition switch on and I didn't want to do that. So I hooked the radio battery wire and accessorry wire(that keeps setting and the clock running) together on one of the SAM's R terminals that was hot all the time. Well the radio is Android and was going out on my WiFi and doing updates and things and using up the car's battery to do it.

So I did straighten pit the radio power wires sp it only plays when the key is on. Then I put a toggle switch between the radio battery wire and accesory wire so that if I want to listen to the radio with the key off I can flip the toggle switch on and do so. So with eveything hooked back up and that includes the radio and the MP5 player rear camera on my rear view mirror, battery drain went from 1/2 milliamp to 11 milliamps and that is well below the 50 milliamps that alot of newer cars have nowdays do to sophisticated electonics. And as for the systems on the Fortwo going to sleep, when you shut the car down and lock the door, watch for the backlight on the lower display (gas gauge, clock etc,..) to go out. You'll also hear a relay under the dash click and viola your systems are in minimal standby mode. So if you suspect it's the battery it could be, I sure found out the long way around. Sorry I wrote a book. Didn't mean to, but sometimes the difference is in the details.DCO
 

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Now first let me say that anyone who knows me on the forum knows I am a dedicated tried and true gadget freak and there are many projects that I have inflicted upon my Fortwo, and each one was done with care and not just a cut and botch up kind of add on.

Sorry I wrote a book. Didn't mean to, but sometimes the difference is in the details.DCO
DCO don't be sorry. Once again it was a great and informative read for our first cup of coffee.

Can't wait to see what you do next - wait what's left? :wink:
 

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Good read.


Just for informational purposes. I have left my 09 smart in storage for 6 weeks, battery hooked up, no tender, everything unlocked..just in case and it started right up.
 

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Great article! I had flashbacks of "forensic troubleshooting" sticking my hands in a bundle of wires (electronic access control systems) installed by God knows who or when with wiring diagrams that were wrong or missing altogether. Your thinking that the new battery was "good" was a normal assumption. Who woulda' thunk? That said, in the words of Bilbo Braggins, "It is always good to start at the beginning," meaning the power source. But you get an A+ for tenacity.
 

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King of Smart Gadgetry
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Discussion Starter #5
Great article! I had flashbacks of "forensic troubleshooting" sticking my hands in a bundle of wires (electronic access control systems) installed by God knows who or when with wiring diagrams that were wrong or missing altogether. Your thinking that the new battery was "good" was a normal assumption. Who woulda' thunk? That said, in the words of Bilbo Braggins, "It is always good to start at the beginning," meaning the power source. But you get an A+ for tenacity.
Yes lockwriter, when we troubleshoot we try to look for the obvious. But sometimes it's not so obvious. It messes with my thinker and deprives me of alot of sleep. Darn that little Smart Car anyway. DCO
 

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Yes a bad brand new battery would certainly skew the trouble shooting process and not something I would have suspected right off.

Funny how that is about trouble shooting electronics. I worked as a tech way back and one of the first things I was taught was the sniff test, open unit, sniff around to see there is an obvious problem I can tell what part is burned based on the smell. Go figure... Granted if you open some older Apple products it seems as if they used something that smells like funky gym bag not sure what it is exactly but man it's brutal on some older Macs and even some newer ones.
 

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Lead acid batteries can die from draining them. With all the electronics you have wired up, and some to stay hot while the key is out, I am not surprised. While Walmart will exchange them, it can be a pain to swap them out. (Some batteries are very heavy from my own experiences!!!)

Just to clarify: 0.005 is 5 mA, not 1/2 mA, or am I forgetting something?

Glad to read you've worked it out!!! (I may be driving to Iowa for a new battery someday if I need one. Wish they could ship them. Didn't find out until later, sorry about that!)
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Yes the battery is just physically hard to get out. You take out the floor mat and roll up the carpet. The 2 nuts or fasteners that hold the styrofoam down was missing in mine when I got it, and also the tire sealant and factory air compressor was gone. So I bought a small yellow compressor at harbor frieght on sale for like $7 and it fits in the pocket perfectly. But anyway, remove two said fasteners and then wrestling the stryrofoam piece out without breaking the edge towards the console. You almost have to have the passenger seat clear back and the passenger door open to manipulate it out. The negative terminal is easy to get off and also the holddown isn't too back if you use a 1/4 drive 10mm deepwell socket and stubby ratchet. Then my positive terminal is hard to get too as I have added a 30 amp circuit breaker to it to supply battery to my air horns which I trigger the relay with the original wire to the factory horns. Once the terminals are out of the way and the hold down too you have to lift the battery end towards you up and out of the footwell. But you can't do it without smashing your fingers. So I lift it up and then use a small screwdriver handled prybar to get under the edge and basically flip the battery up on its side and then I can wrestle it out. Walmart always treats me well and even brought in my old battery from the car and carried the new one out for me. Sometimes it pays to walk with a cane.
I bought a small voltage gauge that was made to plug in to the cigarette lighter. Got it on Ebay from China for like $1.99. I wanted to mount it up on the headliner beside the passenger seat airbag light. So I cut the end of it off, soldered wires on it. Drilled a hole and super glued it in place and wired up it comes on with the ignition switch, so now I'll know proper voltage. You know even with the headlights on and idiling the alternator still carries 14.3 volts.
I also got my DVR camera for inside mounted. Since the Android radio has an app called "Torque" on it I won't have to go out and buy a scan gauge. Just gotta get it all set up and dialed in. Gotta get the kinks all worked out for the April Fools Rally and I still have to replace my crankshaft seal on the front of the crank.DCO



I just turned the key on and it's been sitting for 3 days unstarted, so I think 12.7 volts is pretty good.

 

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Has anyone used one of those solar battery charger/maintainers on their smart? I use them on our Saturns and they work ok, have not over charged a battery yet. But on our Dodge truck it fools the trucks systems into thinking that the key is in the acc position and this causes the radio to power on which over powers the incoming charge from the solar unit and kills the battery.

In the garage I use AC battery maintainers which are not a problem, just that until I can get my smart shoe horned into the garage it's stuck under a cover outside.
 

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Thanks for all the links!

Didn't answer my specific question but gave me a hint, e.g. the smart 12v socket is switched by the key. Oddly the Dodge is as well so I wired a direct lead to the battery for the charger and that was how I discovered that the electrics in it think that the key is in the acc position when 12v is applied to the battery it livens up the electrics.

And yes this makes absolutely no sense to me whatsoever because how in the world would the circuit differentiate between 12v from the battery and 12v from the charger! But all I can do is report what I found.

I would have hard wired a plug through the firewall to the battery with a socket accessible from the front. The solar chargers a buy come with two sets of leads, one with a standard 12v plug and a second lead with spade lugs to attach directly to the battery.

So guess once we are done with the snow I'll do some more checking as I'm also going to have to wire in my HF 2 way radio gear. Which will create new headaches such as antenna placement and type of mounting hardware.
 

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Battery Dies. Fuse #14

You seem very knowledgable. I have a 2008 Fourtwo Pure. Battery drains overnight. Dealer tells me that if fuse # 14 is pulled they drain stops. But they want $2,000 for new SAM. Wonder what exactly is on fuse #14 . The manual says a/c & blower. Would like to check every thing on fuse and see if I can correct or disconnect offending item. Any suggestions would be appreciated.
 

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Parasitic battery drain on a 2009 Passion.... I have narrowed it down to the AC system. When I pull the fuse for the AC compressor the drain goes away, I can hear a click in the engine area, It appears the AC compressor clutch is being told to stay engauged all of the time even with engine off, Anyone ran into this ?,,,,,, still troubleshooting....
 

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Oh Man now i am getting worried I'll never get this figured out.
So my daughter bought her Passion as her first car Summer on '17. She had been riding a motorcycle for three years with me giving her rides in the winter and I got tired of it. She didn't want a car (there too big) and the Fortwo was the smallest she could find. I thought they were ridiculous cars but we drove the 100 miles to test drive it and pick it up. I was satisfied it would be okay for her on the test drive so she bought it and I drove it home. Driving at 85 mph on the way home with the pep and responsiveness of the car I fell in love with it (I like small cars - MG midgets are my favorite) I drive the car now as much if not more than she does. Anyways....
I noticed it was having AC problems in the fall of 17 but weather was cooling and I did not worry about it. then it got finicky to start, and then the wipers were wacky I had to take a trip from Missouri to Michigan in February '18 so I when through the fuses to see if I could figure out the problem. None were blown but the fuses for the AC and for the wipers did not look good. I replaced them and all was well. Then in OCT '18 we started having problems with the car not starting I replaced the battery and checked alternator and it was good. I ended up taking it to the dealership 60 miles away for a diagnosis. It also needed the carpet recall completed and a tune up. They sad there was a lot of carbon build up in the intake and week spark plugs but that the reason it would not start was the SAM was bad and needed to be replaced and reprogrammed $1,400 for a car we spent $4,000 for. We told them go ahead. They ordered the parts but just before installing and reprogramming the SAM they rechecked the alternator and found out that it was only intermittently working. They cleaned the carbon, replaced the spark plugs and changed the alternator for the low low price of $1,200 and said the car was good to go for many many miles....
A few months later late spring of '19 now I was driving and the car just stopped and would not re-start. While I was on the phone with roadside assistance trying to arrange a tow I tried to start the car and it did. I canceled the tow and drove halfway home before it cut out again. I put it in neutral and drifted into a grocery store. A few hours later my local mechanic took a look at it in the parking lot and could not find anything wrong so he test drove it and after about two miles it shut down on him. I had it towed home and he spent 3 months replacing sensors and trying to figure out what was wrong. With some help he determined the oil sending unit would stop working and the car would stall but didn't know what caused it or how to fix it so I had it towed to the dealership. The dealership claimed that the car had overheated at some point and that weekend the oil sending unit and the only fix was to replace the engine. $7,200 new 2 year warranty or $3,700 used 1 year warranty. we opted for the used. I picked the car up on a Friday evening at rush hour and it drove it home in stop and go traffic for the 60 miles. It didn't seem right to me but I hadn't driven the car in about 4 months and it was a small 3 cylinder engine anyways. The next week my wife and I took the car on a short trip and when it wouldn't get up to 65 mph I knew something was wrong. The next day I called the dealership and they sent a truck at their expense to pick up the car. They had put a bad engine in it and replace the engine and all the supporting parts with another used replacement. We got the car back in Oct '19 and all seemed well until last week Dec' 19. Now we are having battery issues again. The battery is a Wal-Mart 5-year battery (one year old - 10/18), both the battery and alternator seem to be working well but if the car sits for more than a few hours it will not start. I put a solar charger and controller directly to the battery today and will see how that goes but I really want to track this down. PS other than the soar charger there are no aftermarket accessories on this car.
 

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It has been mentioned many times before in the forum about battery drain on the 451 and how long can they sit without being untouched and still start up without the aid of a jump or a fresh battery. I had that problem with my Fortwo and I endeavored to get to the bottom of the battery drain issue with some cold hard numbers that we all could work from.

Now first let me say that anyone who knows me on the forum knows I am a dedicated tried and true gadget freak and there are many projects that I have inflicted upon my Fortwo, and each one was done with care and not just a cut and botch up kind of add on. I bought my Pure and shortly after having it and investigating all the options I could have had if I would have just bought a Passion or even the coveted Brabus, I decided to slowly add options to make it a full blown Passion clone. But that opens up some choices on the Fortwo due to it's configuration of electrcal devices. Since the Fortwo uses a Can Bus system to tie all the working electrical items together it can get tough doing all factory style upgrades like factory fog lights or factory heated seat option. Even if you were to find factory parts on E-bay or a donor car, plugging them up to the existing harness doesn't guarantee they will work when you flip the switch because many of the options has to be enabled or programmed into the SAM to power that item. For newbies the SAM stands for "signal acquisition and actuation module". It's just a fancy way of saying the fuse box with it's relays is controlled by a computer chip that controls how power is routed from the battery to the cars systems.

So I had the choice if I wanted heated seats. I could install either the seats themselves, find a button bank with the correct buttons, plug it all in, make a trip to my friendly neighborhood Smart Center to get it enabled through the SAM, or I could get on Ebay or Amazon and buy a heated seat kit and install it and then power it from one of the "R" terminals in the SAM and I was in business. Same deal for fog lights etc,...Well I added CREE LED fog lights, 5 way heated seats, LED's to more than mimic the Ambient lighting package, used a computer sound system, front and rear and internal DVR cameras, Android touch screen radio,....well you get the idea.

So the first thing to die was the original 2011 Smart battery. So after a quick survey of prices and batteries and their specs I figured out for me the cheapest battery was from Walmart and the specs weren't bad on it. So I installed the battery and was driving the car frequently and all was well in Graceland. Then when the weather got cold and bad I parked him in the warm garage and drove my daily driver. Well I soon learned after the car sat for a week or more the battery would be dead, and since the battery is buried under the passenger floor we know what a pain it is jump it or even get at it to connect a battery charger. So I opted for a battery tender and the first one I bought was rated for 500 miliamps at like 14 volts. So I plumbed that in and put my fortwo on an intravenous IV of power.

Well when the weekend came and I wanted to go for a spin, low and behold the battery was dead. Darn that battery tender. So I went and bought the largest tender I could find and it put out 750 milliamps at 14 volts and connected it up. The weekend came again and when I hopped in for a spin it was dead again. So I dug out my battery charger that was 2/6 amps and connected it the battery on 2 amps. Then I looked at the chargers gauge and it was reading about 1 1/2 amps. That's when I decided I needed to look in to parasitic battery drain. So I got out my multimeter plugged the leads into the proper jacks for a 20 amp test. I pulled the negatrive battery terminal and placed the meter leads in series with the battery post and the cable and viola I had a 1.25 amp draw. So I disconnected my new Android radio and it dropped down to 380 milliamps.

I knew from researching on the internet that I had to get it down to 50 milliamps or less to be in the neighborhood of newer cars. Alot of the newer cars use the can bus system of communicating because it is so much more efficient and I won't go into the particulars there, but newer cars have key FOBs and the cars computer sits and listens for the digital code from your FOB so it knows to unlock your door for you. You can imagine how busy the computer is at the mall parking lot or Walmart with all the different people locking and unlocking cars and all of those in range of your vehicle have to be listened to and sifted through as it listens for your FOB. Now the systems do go to sleep after a period of time depending on the car manufacturer. So the system draws a little power. The 451 listens for your key FOB to lock or unlock the doors. We have a clock in the dash that needs power to keep the correct time. If you have the dash pods, that clock is a crystal regulated clock with a stepper motor to advance the hands, so it needs power. If you have the optional car alarm it uses power when it's armed. If you have the auto lights on and auto wipers it needs power for a period of time after the car has been shut down before it nods off to sleep. So on astock Fortwo there is some battery drain and when you add gadgets like I have then it becomes too much for the little battery to cope with right? or is it?

Well when I discovered380 milliamps of drain I knew I had to charge up the battery. So with the terminal disconnected I pulled out my 10 amp battery charger and connected it directly to the battery while the battery was disconnected from the car. Well you may or may not know, if you have a completely stone dead battery and you hook up a battery charger to it the charger will usually read zero amps for a little while and then the charge rate will begin to climb slowly and after a couple of hours the charger shuld be charging near maximum and then as the battery stores the charge the charge rate will slow down until you are back to the 1 to 2 amp range again.

So I checked battery voltage and it was 9.8 volts and that's well below total discharge. So with the 10 amp charger on it it only showed about 1 amp of charging. So this was okay with me because of what I stated earlier about charging a totally dead battery. So I went upstairs to bed and I couldn't sleep for thinking about the situation. So after about 4 hours I went back downstairs and checked the charger expecting it to be on 10 amps of charging. Well it was still on 1 amp. I felt the battery case and it was warm. So that's when the situation became clear to me. I had a bad battery.

I let it charge the rest of the night and the next morning I disconnected the charger and let the battery set for about an hour for the charge to equalize between the cells and I checked battery voltage and it was 10.99 volts, so it was still dead and very warm to the touch. So I put it in the car and drove to Walmart and took the battery in to them and they said we have to charge it for an hour before we can load test it to see if it's bad or not. I told them it's been on charge all night and I just pulled it off charge. I told them to feel the case and they did, so they believed me. He load tested it and my 6 month old EverLast battery failed miserably.

So they gave me a new battery and I installed it in the car. I checked battery voltage and it was 12.6 volts which is very close to being fully charged. So without changing a thing or disconnecting a thing I did my battery drain test and instead of being 380 milliamps it was .005 amps. So the reading I got of 380 milliamps was because the battery voltage was so low the milliamps raised. So after 3 days I could wait no longer and I tried to start the car tonight and it fired up instantly.

So I was blaming all my gadgets and the last install was the new radio and I will admit at first I had it wired to power wrong. The Fortwo doesn't have an accessory position on the ignition switch, only OFF ON and START. To play the radio with the car sitting I would have had to keep the ignition switch on and I didn't want to do that. So I hooked the radio battery wire and accessorry wire(that keeps setting and the clock running) together on one of the SAM's R terminals that was hot all the time. Well the radio is Android and was going out on my WiFi and doing updates and things and using up the car's battery to do it.

So I did straighten pit the radio power wires sp it only plays when the key is on. Then I put a toggle switch between the radio battery wire and accesory wire so that if I want to listen to the radio with the key off I can flip the toggle switch on and do so. So with eveything hooked back up and that includes the radio and the MP5 player rear camera on my rear view mirror, battery drain went from 1/2 milliamp to 11 milliamps and that is well below the 50 milliamps that alot of newer cars have nowdays do to sophisticated electonics. And as for the systems on the Fortwo going to sleep, when you shut the car down and lock the door, watch for the backlight on the lower display (gas gauge, clock etc,..) to go out. You'll also hear a relay under the dash click and viola your systems are in minimal standby mode. So if you suspect it's the battery it could be, I sure found out the long way around. Sorry I wrote a book. Didn't mean to, but sometimes the difference is in the details.DCO


Hi Rich, I bought in September 2008 my yellow smart passion.
The original battery lasted with never an issue until until winter 2019.

Since then I have had THREE batteries and my mechanic is fed up with me having him replace batteries under warranty. Between crappy weather, fear of Covid and long post-op recoveries at most I do only short errands about 6-10 weeks apart.
AAA has jumped my current battery 3 times in five months. Each time Mr. AAA shows me the my battery on his hand-held meter, jump starts my battery and tells me to drive an hour before shutting the car off!
My mechanic is rather put out with me since I spoke to him a month ago about the issue again.

All the homebound Covid-avoiders I know also have unused cars, I'm the only one with this frustrating aggravating battery nightmare.
I'm not technically inclined like you and with my disability it is just too much effort to go across the street to the garage every 2nd or 3rd day to sit in a running car for a half hour.
If you can help me end this cycle I would be grateful.
Do I go to another mechanic and buy the fourth battery?
Do I try to sell the car? I don't want to have to call AAA so I can get errands done.
Growing up we were a two car family and one car would sit untouched for weeks at a time, my parents never needed AAA for a dead battery!
Help?! Thanks!
(I think Smartcar will tell me when you or anybody else has replied?)
 

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I put both of our smart 451's on a maintenance charger once a week. Our 08 Passion which has the factory alarm, pods, auto lights & wipers is parked with the alarm not activated and the auto wipers & lights turned off. Sometimes, it takes around 1 1/2 days for the battery to fully charge. I also drive this car once per week. Both cars have Group 47 AGM batteries from O'Reilly Auto Parts. Our 09 Pure charges up a lot fore quickly and obviously doesn't have all of the parasitic drain taking place. We drive the Pure once per week minimum and I take the cars for a 20 mile drive just to keep things moving and I always turn on the A/C. So far, I have never had to deal with a dead battery. I charge my other cars once per week as well. On the smarts, I have the charger hard lined to the batteries so that I don't have to lift up the carpet and remove the floor board to access the battery.
 

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at most I do only short errands about 6-10 weeks apart.
??? Umm yeah, you definitely need a float (aka trickle) charger. The short errands don’t give the car enough time to recharge the battery from the energy used to start it.
 

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Thanks Jen Baker,
What is a float trickle charger?
Something a handicapped person without a private garage could deal with? ♿
 
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