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Help -- my wife's 2015 Smart ForTwo ED was sitting unused for 2 months during COVID-19, and wasn't plugged in during that time.

She went to charge it with our garage charging station and the dashboard says "malfunction". We tried plugging in the wall charger and it says "Charge HV Battery Now" and the icon on the dash changes to show that it's plugged in, but it doesn't do the normal animation that shows it's charging.

Did we brick the HV battery by accident? Any way to diagnose? The only Mercedes dealer that will even look at the Smart car is super far away; it sucks that Mercedes doesn't like to support their own cars.

Would love some advice here.
 

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MY08 cabrio MY09 cabrio Brabus MY15 ED
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Welcome to SCOA!

Two months off the grid, YIKES! Original 5 year old 12V?

Try charging the 12V FULLY, say a prayer and then plug in the EVSE.

Note - this may not end well?
 

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Thanks for the advice -- I went out and bought a 12V charger, and indeed it says the 12V is very low. So I'm charging it now to try this as you suggested; fingers crossed!
 

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I still think it's bricked -- charged the 12V completely and it still refuses to charge the HV battery. What a piece of junk. Mercedes service was completely unhelpful, of course. They just want to sell me a $10k battery and don't actually do repairs.
 

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@eraoul , Check this thread out. There may be a less expensive fix for you:

 

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Not that it’s a show stopper, note that it appears he is across the pond in the Ukraine.
LOL yeah I read that thread and it's cool that he's able to fix it, but I can't find anyone near me in the U.S. who can.

Mercedes told me they couldn't work on the battery but they had heard of others who could even though they couldn't give me names. Maybe they also knew of this one guy in Ukraine...

Also I see that the battery itself is encased in an enclosure that's riveted shut; a bunch of drilling seems required even to get access to the ports to to a manual charge. And then removing the BMS units to clear the software flag is also a pain. I think I could handle the software part on my own but not being a mechanic/hardware guy I can't pull the battery out and get access to it on my own Basically it seems that the battery isn't serviceable; more like planned obsolescence.

It's also annoying that here in the US (Seattle area) I find all these repair shops who actually claim to work on "electric and hybrid" vehicles, but then when I mention Smart they say "oh, we can't work on all-electric cars".

I used to be a fan of the idea of electric cars, but if no one can service them except one dude in Ukraine, I don't see how they're a good idea at this time...
 

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Ok, here's the rumor: you can bring your car back from the dead via regenerative braking. The theory is that this is a software bug, not a damaged battery.

You hook it to a tow truck, get in or tie the brake pedal down all the way, and slowly tow it for a long time. 1/2 an hour maybe? This will fool the software into actually recharging the big 48v battery.

Like I said, it's a rumor. You have nothing to lose but your dignity.
 

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@eraoul I looked up EV Works and they are located in Bainbridge Island Washington. According to the map, they are less than 11 miles from downtown Seattle. You can't get much luckier than that. Give them a call. Good luck.
 

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Thanks for the advice everyone. Didn't hear back from EV Works, but they're only accessible by ferry anyway so the logistics are actually pretty bad.

Selling it for parts now, better than nothing.

The Mercedes dealer, as expected, did nothing at all but plug it in, see that it wasn't charging, and then tell me "it's not charging, you have to buy a new battery for $9700." They wouldn't even bother to try to read any error codes from the computer. Utter waste of time to take it to the dealer, but at least I tried in case I get traction on a class action lawsuit.

The user manually literally says to keep it plugged in if it won't be driven for more than 2 weeks, or else make sure the temperature is in the right range to avoid damage. Extremely misleading!
 

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Thanks for the advice everyone. Didn't hear back from EV Works, but they're only accessible by ferry anyway so the logistics are actually pretty bad.

Selling it for parts now, better than nothing.

The Mercedes dealer, as expected, did nothing at all but plug it in, see that it wasn't charging, and then tell me "it's not charging, you have to buy a new battery for $9700." They wouldn't even bother to try to read any error codes from the computer. Utter waste of time to take it to the dealer, but at least I tried in case I get traction on a class action lawsuit.

The user manually literally says to keep it plugged in if it won't be driven for more than 2 weeks, or else make sure the temperature is in the right range to avoid damage. Extremely misleading!
Actually, even keeping it plugged in won't prevent a bricking casued by a failure of the 12V battery. The plug of an EVSE (charging station or portable 120V charging box) only gets energized with a "charge me" signal from the car, and if the 12V battery dies, the car cannot send the signal. Look up "SAE J1772" for a explanation of how this EV charging safety standard works. The only way to prevent a bricking is to keep a maintenance charger connected to the 12V battery if the car is not going to be driven for more than 2 weeks.

The Smart ED had entirely too many software so-called engineers and not enough real engineers involved in its design. And no, the lousy design of the Smart ED is NOT reflective of EV's more broadly. I've heard of nothing like this happening on other EV's
 

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The Smart ED had entirely too many software so-called engineers and not enough real engineers involved in its design. And no, the lousy design of the Smart ED is NOT reflective of EV's more broadly. I've heard of nothing like this happening on other EV's
2012 - Tesla and their Roadster defined “HV bricking” early on.

Guess that Daimler failed to read the Cliff Notes?

While Tesla assisted Daimler in bringing the smart ED to market, their over the air software updates have proven superior to anything that our barebones ED can do.

Wi-fI connectivity was nice while it lasted and could have included an alert message for the 12V but obviously even that wasn’t thought out as it utilized 2G with no plug & play upgrade option? But even that “feature” wasn’t widely known?

Unlike Tesla, the lackluster HV Warranty and their lack of Customer Service (and/or LOYALTY) shows that Daimler was simply not ready to embrace the nuances of Electric Vehicles.

Stateside, with the first boatload (thanks to PAG) of smarts we were the UGLY Stepchildren of all things born under that silver tri-star!

Twelve years later, nothing has changed accept they put their tail between their legs and ran...



And in 2016 a Tesla S Model failure...

 

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The Tesla Roadster now has a 3rd party mod that allows Chademo charging. Of interest here is that he is feeding directly into the hv battery via the regen circuitry and not thru the charger (which would require Elon's digital ok). In fact they discovered how to do this when they were pushing the Roadster one day and found out they were actually charging it too.
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Ok, here's the rumor: you can bring your car back from the dead via regenerative braking. The theory is that this is a software bug, not a damaged battery.

You hook it to a tow truck, get in or tie the brake pedal down all the way, and slowly tow it for a long time. 1/2 an hour maybe? This will fool the software into actually recharging the big 48v battery.

Like I said, it's a rumor. You have nothing to lose but your dignity.
 

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You can’t tow it to charge it. The BMS won’t allow regeneration to put in power into the battery for safety reasons. Pulling it down is not as hard as you might think. There are a few scan tools that will work, one is the Mercedes star scanner and I don’t remember the name of the after market one that can do it. There was a new version of software that needed to be downloaded. You really do need to pull the battery down and open it up to check the voltage on the pack. It is a 350v system so please wear rubber gloves. There are three packs and each pack is 91 3.6v pouch cells in series. If you have good voltage you can then recondition the BMS, otherwise you will be tearing them apart to use as home storage.
 

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Finally reached PAC, Inc on Bainbridge Island. The EV guy was out today but they can drop hv batt and massage back to life etc. They have not worked on a Smart_EV to date but of course understand the process should be similar to jobs they have already done before.

I have 2015 Smart_EV and will try to have them do the work.

MBenz advises today that replacement hv batt is currently not avail from Euro or N.America either for the time being.

VR
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