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I have a 2009 Smart Car Passion which I bought used. This is a on-owner vehicle, looks good in and out and drives good too. However, the REVERSE gear does not engage intermittently. The same issue has been complained about by other owners in a forum I visited in. I do need help to address this issue. What am I going to do?
 

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As mentioned in the other posts linked above, try re-teaching the transmission, if that doesn't help, you may have out of date software in the transmission computer. a quick way to tell is if you hold the right paddle shift towards the steering wheel while you are in the auto mode, it should change to manual mode. holding it a second time should switch back to auto mode. If it doesn't do this, you have an older version of software and need to get it updated at a dealer. They might do it for free if you tell them about the no reverse problem as it is a well known software bug.

and welcome to the group!!
 

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If the "R" doesn't show up on the dash screen when putting the car into Reverse, try going gently thru Neutral to Drive. If "D" shows and Drive engages, then go back to Reverse. (might get a hard "clunk" as it engages). If this works, then the clutch plate is worn.
 

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For about a year I've had the same problem as Martib described and I've read all of the relevant posts on this topic. I tried jimvw57's above 'test' on my 2009 Passion (with less than 20,000 miles!) and my paddle shifters affect the Auto Shifting mode just as jimvw57 describes, so it appears that my car has the current transmission shifting software. I just hooked up my scan tool and it doesn't show any Diagnostic Trouble Codes. Therefore, I can only conclude that my occasional 'not shifting into reverse' problem isn't very likely a software issue. Last summer I also lubed my shifter motor with spray tube lithium grease. That didn't help. This is leading me to believe that my occasional problems are likely related to the clutch disc/spline shaft lube issue that has also been discussed. I can't take my car to a dealer 'cause the closest one is 1400 miles away. Do any of you have any other ideas as to what may cause this and how to solve it without pulling the transaxle/clutch? Is there some way I can access the spline shaft and spray it with a little lube without taking the transaxle/clutch out of the car? IF I truly do have to pull the transaxle/clutch, do any of you know the specific part numbers of the 'upgraded' clutch disc and spline shaft lube from Smart? If I do have to pull my transaxle/clutch, is there anything else I should service while I'm in there? (Other than the throw out bearing & fork.)
 

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There was one more software update that addressed the not going into reverse issue. See if a local Mercedes Dealer can help you or an independent with a the MB Star Tester.
 

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It's been a while since anyone has written on this post, but I thought I'd report that I now have been using the hand brake (aka parking brake) whenever I park the vehicle, and found a dramatic reduction in reverse not working! The key trick is to engage the hand brake before taking your foot off the brake pedal (but this can be done either before or after setting the gear to Park).

This seems to prevent pressure on the internal parking pawl (which is noticeable slight movement when parking on a grade without the parking brake).

Engaging the handbrake has been a hard habit to retrain myself to do, but whenever I forget to put on the handbrake, or remember to do it after I've already taken my foot off the brake pedal, when I get back in to drive again most times (but not all times) I have the reverse gear failure problem happening.

However, when I remember to use the handbrake AND engage it before taking my foot off the brake pedal, it almost always finds reverse.

Further note p. 129 2008 smart handbook: The park position is not intended to serve as a brake when the vehicle is parked. Rather, the driver should always set the parking brake in addition to placing the gear selector lever in park position P to secure the vehicle
 

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I have the same problem on my 08 but it only seems to occur when the car has sat for 2 or more days. Is this still a still an issue a re-flash would help and is it something i could get with only 40k miles under warranty (being a known service issue)?
 

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"If" the 08 didn't have the original up date which included the newer style clutch disk (different hub),different lube(on input shaft) and the software, the disk may not be sliding on the input shaft far enough to stop spinning (not touching pressure plate or flywheel). The computer then thinks the car is moving and will not let it go in gear.
 

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I've had this problem. I noticed that some fuses on the SAM started feeling warm/hot. I changed out all of the fuses and it now engages in Reverse with a solid clunk. Many of the old fuses looked "toasty" -- I'd say the ATC/ATM type blade fuses are junk... I'd treat these as a wear item and change them out every 5 years or so. The Smart uses mini, "standard" and Maxi blade fuses. Most assortements of fuses do not have 40A standard blade fuses, so you'll have to get some of those separately. Consult the owners manual for the fuses you'll need.
 

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I have a 2012 Passion I'm noticing when I go into reverse especially when not fully warmed it snaps into gear, now it's doing a double snapping noise like missing a tooth before it engages. I have a battery switch to tow. Could it be a relearning problem or a mechanical problem?. Car only has 15,00 miles on it.
 

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Works like a charm

Yup when you park keep foot on brake drop into neautral apply parking brake release foot from brake and put in park. I’ve not had mine do it one time after that
Your system works perfectly for my 2009 on a cold start.
I have tried it 4 times so far when the car has sat over night and the engine is cold, the car has gone into reverse from park each and every time.
No problems with a warm engine
The hard part is getting into the proper routine of gear shift to neutral, hand brake set then gear shift to park.
Thank you for breaking the code, at least for me.
Take Care
JL. :smartje.bl.zl:
 

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I think these transmission don’t have very good Synchronizers any other transmission when reverse doesn’t engage you can let off the clutch push it back in and your good to go but we don’t have that option
 

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Update 11 cold starts and it goes into reverse everytime.

Goofybutsane, it was great talking to you about how your system has eliminated the problem of the transmission going into reverse when cold.
JL
 

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We almost have the same car ?. I’m glad it helped. Remember when you put in neutral and pull the e-brake you can’t really forget it there cause you can’t take your key out without being in park
 

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Update 11 cold starts and it goes into reverse everytime.

Update 11 cold starts and my 09 smart has gone into reverse first time everytime, using "Goofybutsane's" system.
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Past post
I have tried it 4 times so far when the car has sat overnight and the engine is cold, the car has gone into reverse from park each and every time.
No problems with a warm engine.
The hard part is getting into the proper routine of gear shift to neutral, hand brake set then gear shift to park.
 

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We've owned three 451s over the past 10 years and never had to set the hand brake to put them into Park or Reverse....:shrug:
 

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My 2012 just started having this problem as well. I am leaking a little oil but my dipstick shows full, so I assumed that it is transmission/differential fluid. Also my check engine light has come on. Any clues?
 

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My 2012 just started having this problem as well. I am leaking a little oil but my dipstick shows full, so I assumed that it is transmission/differential fluid. Also my check engine light has come on. Any clues?
First battle is finding out what code you have off that check engine light and finding out if your transmission has any oil left in it
 
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