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Discussion Starter #1
I have towed My 2009 SMART for several thousand miles behind my motor home (and other vehicles) without a problem until last month. :crying: I hooked up the SMART as usual and placed the transmission in N, disconnected the battery and bungied the steering wheel. I drove to have both vehicles inspected and after leaving the shop (and driving 2 miles) the rear tires of the SMART locked up. I stopped after seeing the tire smoke in the rear view mirror and went back to ensure the car was still in N. The tires need to be replaced and when I returned to the house I was not able to get the car to start. The starter motor engaged, but the car would not start. Initially I thought that the Bendix was not engaging so I changed the starter. With a new starter I had the same symptoms and on further investigation was able to determine that the crankshaft is turning (belt to the alternator moved) and that the camshaft was also moving (visualized through the oil filler).but the car will not start. Any ideas of where to go next? :shrug:
 

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from what I know, and by the sound of it, the transmission may have THOUGHT it was in neutral, and may have been, but maybe just jolted it enough to engage the trans in gear, (maybe reverse) locking the wheels. it sounds highly unlikely that the brakes were activated since the battery was disconnected as you say. How this may have happened unknown. as for not starting afterward that is related to the transmission, this is why my first statement it may have THOUGHT it was in N.. or close to it. there may have been some slop in the indicator NOT in your favorr... it may have wandered into gear, depending on the miles and how it was driven or towed.
the transmission may just may need to be reset because it doenst know where its at an tells the SAM unit not to start the engine.
I could be wrong, but i would hold off towing it until its solved.. or the worse case your tranny is FOO-BAA....


something to think about, the transmission is still an AUTOMATIC and will act as so. yes there is a clutch, but has to be electrically DEATIVATED (disengaged) to make gear changes.and MAKE gear changes ..... unlike manual gearboxes if its in NEUTRAL you know it.
one of the reasons you dont ever see any auto-clutch car being flat towed or any car with paddle shifters ...
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I do not think this is a tranny problem. If I put the tranny in gear R or D, the starter will not engage. It will engage in N. After I disconnected the tow bar I was able to push the car (up hill) without difficulty.


I do not hear the fuel pump powering up when I turn on the key. I don't know how this is related to the wheels locking up....


Disconnecting the battery and reconnecting it should reset the computer. I hear the relays trip when I reconnect the battery.
 

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now that is strange.. how could the rear wheels suddenly lock up without power to the trans, antilock, or stability control.... this has me puzzled. if it will turn over with the starter in N, (but not in gear) this tells me all is well in that aspect.

question... when you disconnected the battery, is there a chance it could have made contact by accident while towing? ifso this could have been the root cause... just a thought.
another idea, have you checked ALL fuzes?
something else is going on here that makes diagnosis difficult. without all information...

steveg.
 

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I will check all of the fuses. I did not think about the battery disconnect momentarily making contact. Like I said I don't hear the fuel pump so it could be a fuse since it was working before the lock up. It really surprised me that it would not start and the starter sounded funny. Thinking about starting the smart, the starter remains engaged until the car starts...just bumping the key engages the starter. This is not like my other car where you hold the key until the engine catches.
 

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I checked the engine and transmission fuses and they were all good. From there I disconnected the intake from the air cleaner, sprayed fluid and attempted to start the engine. No change in symptoms, still won't start. I really don't want to take it to the SMART house but short of randomly replacing parts I am stumped. I could be on to something or completely off base.
 

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most likely there isnt any spark or it would start right up. you may need to check that could be the crank position sensor, as that tells the ECU where the crank is.
If you have access to an OBD reader you may be able to find the cause..

steveg
 

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That was my thought. The engine turns over. Starting fluid to rule out fuel pump problems so all that is left is spark. I will see if I can find a code reader before investing in additional parts. Thanks for your help!!
 

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So why did the tires lock up? I had been going only about 10 to 20 miles an hour twice once getting ready to get on the freeway and I think that is what happened to me. because when I checked the car was in neutral. You are the second post here mentioning the wheels locking up How can I prevent that?
 

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I have towed My 2009 SMART for several thousand miles behind my motor home (and other vehicles) without a problem until last month. :crying: I hooked up the SMART as usual and placed the transmission in N, disconnected the battery and bungied the steering wheel. I drove to have both vehicles inspected and after leaving the shop (and driving 2 miles) the rear tires of the SMART locked up. I stopped after seeing the tire smoke in the rear view mirror and went back to ensure the car was still in N. The tires need to be replaced and when I returned to the house I was not able to get the car to start. The starter motor engaged, but the car would not start. Initially I thought that the Bendix was not engaging so I changed the starter. With a new starter I had the same symptoms and on further investigation was able to determine that the crankshaft is turning (belt to the alternator moved) and that the camshaft was also moving (visualized through the oil filler).but the car will not start. Any ideas of where to go next? :shrug:

To dw_lucas:
What kind of switch do you use to disconnect the battery?


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