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Discussion Starter #1
Hello there smart community!
just got my first car... a 2015 smart Fortwo Pure with 50k miles and for the most part it’s been fantastic. Photo of it (pre-broken wheel) below.
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Unfortunately I had a little run in with a cement curb yesterday which very much broke the driver’s side wheel and tire (photo of damage below).
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I purchased a new wheel with tire from Autobahn Smart in California and I hope that’s all that’s wrong and that there’s no further damage. I’m creating this post as A sort of journal for my adventure in fixing up this car. If you have any tips or tricks for me I would love to hear!
 

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No tricks, no un-obvious tips, I bent a Genius Darwin 17 inch wheel on a 40 mph crater hit. Having little choice (far away from home late at night) I managed to beat it back with a hammer until it would hold some air. Nothing else broke
on the suspension, It even held its alignment. I drove on a spare for about a month then decided to fix the damaged rim. A shop straightened out the wheel for 70 bucks and a 2 hour turn time. I have that same rim and tire on my car today.
If you can get a cheep enough price to straighten out your damaged wheel it would make a great spare. A three lug wheel at a urgent time of need could be frustrating and or expensive.

the obvious tip.... don't run over anything thicker then a pencil. Oh.... Lube every pivot point on your Smarts suspension
with silicon spray lube to soften it up.
 

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Ouch! One of my steel front wheels had a minor ding in it when I got it. So where in VA are you? I'm in Northern VA myself.
 

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I just went through this with another car. Sometimes you can salvage a steel rim if you're careful, but in general it's best to replace them.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
No tricks, no un-obvious tips, I bent a Genius Darwin 17 inch wheel on a 40 mph crater hit. Having little choice (far away from home late at night) I managed to beat it back with a hammer until it would hold some air. Nothing else broke
on the suspension, It even held its alignment. I drove on a spare for about a month then decided to fix the damaged rim. A shop straightened out the wheel for 70 bucks and a 2 hour turn time. I have that same rim and tire on my car today.
If you can get a cheep enough price to straighten out your damaged wheel it would make a great spare. A three lug wheel at a urgent time of need could be frustrating and or expensive.

the obvious tip.... don't run over anything thicker then a pencil. Oh.... Lube every pivot point on your Smarts suspension
with silicon spray lube to soften it up.
Thanks for the tip! I’ll get around to lubing the suspension at some point...
And that’s a good idea! Hopefully there’s nothing else wrong with my car and I’ll look into getting the rim banged out. 😁
 

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I just went through this with another car. Sometimes you can salvage a steel rim if you're careful, but in general it's best to replace them.
Yah... I thought about but honestly the budget is super tight right now and the dealer wanted like $1000 for parts and labor. So I’m just kind of hoping this one is in good condition.
 

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Yah... I thought about but honestly the budget is super tight right now and the dealer wanted like $1000 for parts and labor. So I’m just kind of hoping this one is in good condition.
Front steel rims are cheap. Nobody seems to want them, even though they will support a 175 tire.
 

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Yah... I thought about but honestly the budget is super tight right now and the dealer wanted like $1000 for parts and labor. So I’m just kind of hoping this one is in good condition.
You can get a new factory rim, steel or alloy, for less than $200 shipped to your door. If you aren't trying to maintain a match with what you have currently, tirerack can get you an alloy wheel and tire, mounted and balanced, for just under $200 to your door in a couple days. I'm not one to pass on fixing a rim with a ball peen hammer and some patience, just trying to provide options so you can make the best decision for your circumstances. Me personally, I tend to try the fix-it route, but it's hard to recommend that for others when you don't know their level of understanding of what's involved.
 

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Since one (1) front wheel/tire is damaged and needs to be replaced anyway, now is the perfect opportunity to replace both fronts with rears and get a better ride, more stability and the ability to rotate tires.

See the "I can rotate my tires club" string.

-Barry-
 

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Discussion Starter #11
UPDATE
Got the new rim/tire and they were both in basically new condition. Spent about 20 mins and got the new rim on.
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Unfortunately it turns out the control arm is bent... awesome. At least the car will like move now. (I tried to get a photo of the camber.)
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I did some price shopping and the best quote I could get for a new control arm and all the parts with it was $600.

I have an appointment on Friday so I hope they get my poor car back in a drivable state.
 

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Since one (1) front wheel/tire is damaged and needs to be replaced anyway, now is the perfect opportunity to replace both fronts with rears and get a better ride, more stability and the ability to rotate tires.

See the "I can rotate my tires club" string.

-Barry-
I would love to do this and I probably will someday but for now I’m just fixing it for as little as possible. 😅
 

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Not saying it is but it seems high for what you are saying "a bent control arm".
You just got your wheel from this same place.

Pause.....

This is your first car Granted it is going to be a rough one to cut your teeth on because most shops, shade tree mechanics and car guys on the base, are unfamiliar with it. A shop can quote and charge you anything for a repair and sometimes for various reasons we are forced to pay it. This may be one of those times but going forward you must find that car person on your base who can get you to the right shop that will give you the right info and fair price for your needed work.
When you made this post, as a US Army Vet, I said to my wife I should adopt this young mans car, of course now the big "invisible enemy virus" is keeping me "Socially Distant" from even my own car. Do what you gotta do for this control arm repair if you gotta do it. But find some people to out there on that base who are wrenching on their cars all the time, chat them up and tell let them know what you got in mind for your car and whats going on with it and ease building up your car and repair knowledge. Building on a budget lol.
I intend to make my way to you if you are still in the VA area when this virus fallout normalizes and see if we can get your car where it needs to be then where you want it to be. PMD Motorsports Style (Poor Mans Dollar)

 

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UPDATE
Got the control arm and all its pieces replaced and they were able to install and align the car perfectly.

For about 5 minutes I thought this saga was over but I was wrong. The car still pulled to the left and it makes noise if you go over 30mph. So I brought it back and they found that the wheel hub is bent (making the noise) and the brake caliper is locked (making the car pull).

Thankfully I can buy most of the parts myself so in the end with parts + labor it should 'only' cost around $400-$500.

At this point I've talked with just about everyone in the shop with all my repairs but hopefully this is the last of the issues with this car.

I guess I've learned my lesson to slow down around corners. 😂Thanks to everyone for your help/support. Stay healthy out there.
 
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