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Red battery light

4576 Views 9 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  gtdump
Just purchased an older (2013) Smart Fortwo and noticed that sometimes when idling, the red battery light pops up. The dealer said not to worry about it, but the owner's manual says it could indicate a problem. Is this normal? I've never driven a SmartCar before and know they have their quirks, but I don't want to ignore a potential issue.
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No, it's not normal. You could have a charging issue with the alternator, or the battery is getting weak. Get a digital voltmeter, and check the voltage across the battery terminals at idle. If it's not in the range of 13.8-14.4V, you have an issue. Might need a new alternator. Hold onto your butt if you do. Smart alternators are not cheap.
I had to put one in my smart at about 155,000 miles. I got lucky and found a low mileage used one on eBay for $50. I think remanufactured ones are going for close to $300 right now...
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Oh, and another thing, find yourself another dealer. If they told you not to worry about a red warning light on the dash, they are either incompetent, or are trying to avoid working on your smart. Either situation is not good....
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If you are looking for a good OBDII tool that works on the smart, get a blue driver took from Amazon. $99 and they work well with a smart.
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