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Why does it ALWAYS have to crack? Is there no material smart could use
that would shield and not crack. The only uncracked ones I've seen are on brand new models in youtube videos.
 

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He's not mine
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I'm a little bit surprised that I haven't seen this mentioned previously.

I don't know what material could be used. But, surely there is something which would perform the same function without cracking. Or at least be more resistant to cracking.
 

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Thermal Cover:

Are you talking about the thick foam rubber insulation underneath the carpet over the engine compartment? Mine has not cracked on either of our 2008 & 09 smarts because I don't roll the carpet up. I lift it & use a curtain rod to hold it up.
I have had the rubber gasket seal crack in several places on the engine cover on our 08. I have been gluing the pieces back into place. Not too happy about this.
 

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Have had our Smart Car for 4.5 years and I've never noticed this... Have driven it at 90mph for extended periods of time which I would think would get the engine "compartment" about as hot as possible... also driven in frigid temps (0F or so) and no cracking due to thermals that I know of... more common in the newer ones maybe?
 

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My '09 Pure with ~210,000 miles has a mercilessly cracked insulation cover. Best way to deal with it is to keep it closed. Out of sight, out of mind...
 

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I sold my 89 Goldwing last year with over 400,000 on it. I now have a 96 with a virginal 102,000 miles. Don't overheat them and change the timing belts and I think they will run forever!! The Smart ..... I'm still not sure. I know lots of shop owners and they see lots of Mitsubishi engines with low mile exhaust valve failures. And not just Smart Cars.
 

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I was a Honda tech in the late 70's when they changed to bucket shim adjusters. I saw so many burned valves from people not adjusting them. Normally they would tighten up in the first 10000 miles as the valve bedded into the seat. But by that point the valve seat was hammered down and the metal compressed pretty good. So if you adjusted the valves then you may very well never have to do it again. If you skipped it, the engine would die almost for sure. I think that's all that's wrong with the Smart not running mega miles. People are skipping the valve adjustment.
 

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Why did you park it?
It might have a burned valve. Might not. Most likely it does. But I haven't much time anymore for project cars unfortunately... so I put it in storage until I get some stay at home vacation time to work on it.

I know I already cost myself $150 just to get a new battery because I've killed the one that's in there sitting so long. OR, I guess I can technically save the battery by swapping the fluid out...
 
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