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Discussion Starter #1
I have a new 2008 Smart Passion that has been in the dealership longer than I've had to drive it. The car has been towed on a flat bed truck for the last 2 Mondays.

The car began stalling unexpectantly. Pulling out of a parking space, the car stalled repeatedly 3 times. Each time, I would restart the car without a problem. As soon as I would move out, it would stall. After waiting about 1 minute, I restarted the car again and was able to begin my journey home. After about an hour drive, traveling at 20 to 25 mph, I drove over a dip in the road, and the car stalled again. I restarted the car and proceeded home (about 10 minutes away).

The car was towed to the dealer. They claimed that the problem was due to a loose ground wire. They drove my car for a "full" day and did not witness any stalling. They called me, telling me the car was fixed, so I picked it up and drove home. That was on a Saturday.

The 2nd incident occurred on Monday morning following that Saturday. Driving to work, 20 minutes from my home, the car stalled again, while traveling about 40 mph. The road was flat (no dips or bumps), the A/C was off, the radio was on, and my foot was on the accelerator, I coasted to the side of the road. The car starteded immediately, and I continued to drive to work. 5 minutes later the car stalled again. I restarted the car again and proceeded my drive to work (1 hour from 2nd stall) without incident. My 1-1/2 hour drive home from work also went withut incident,

The car was towed again to the dealer that night. I received a call from the dealer Wednesday that my car is ready for pick up. I asked what was wrong and was told that they couldn't find anything. They suggested that my leg might be hitting the ignition key (since I'm a wide body guy). I suggested that they change the ignition switch if that were the case. I said if my leg were hitting the ignition switch, my car would be stalling a lot more often. They went on to say, that it must be a "very special" way I'm hitting the ignition key that causes this problem intermittantly. Have you ever heard of such bull....!

Has anyone else been experiencing a stalling problem with their Smart car?

PS: It should be noted that when the car stalls, it does not sputter, but shuts off as if the key was turned off. Also the gauges go completely out.
 

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We hear that obesity is a chronic problem in the USA and very hard to admit. So, there is a simple solution to the problem: bend a bit of flat steel in the form of a bridge over the key so that the ends rest on the carpeted hump. Glue on velcro to hold it to the carpet and thumb tacks pointed outward all the way around. If it hurts when you drive and the car doesn't stall, the dealer was right. If that is the case, eat less to save the starving Chinese. Oh, wait a minute! That was way back before WWII when we were all thin except for the ladies with goiters. My, how times have changed.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I noticed that the comments focused on obesity. The focus should have been on stalling instead of inane fat remarks. Wouldn't my fat derriere cause stalling very often if that were the real cause? If you don't have a constructive comment, Isuggest you keep it to yourself instead of posting on this forum.
 

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I noticed that the comments focused on obesity. The focus should have been on stalling instead of inane fat remarks. Wouldn't my fat derriere cause stalling very often if that were the real cause? If you don't have a constructive comment, Isuggest you keep it to yourself instead of posting on this forum.
I agree; obesity is not the issue. Within a couple days of getting my smart, my car stalled during a couple hard left turns. I finally figured out that during the turn my right leg was hitting the card key attached to the caribiner that the smart key was on. The fact that I tend to drive with my legs a bit apart (I know, TMI) didn't help matters. But now that I know the cause, there is no problem! Case closed.
 

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Mine hasn't shut off, but I've bumped the key a couple of times just enough to feel it. I'm overly conscious of its position, because I'm 5'9" and 265lbs, so I'm closer to it than the average person. I would imagine if dees is bumping the key, then it would be obviously turned and a slight bump in the 'on' direction would bring it back to operation.

That said, the dealer's claim is a possible explanation and it would be a good idea to do a 'collision test' on the key. Instead of thumbtacks, either paint the key or otherwise make it so you can detect even a slight brush against the key next time this happens. i.e. if you put a plastic bag over it painted on the outside with an oil or somesuch, and you find that oil on your leg, then you know it's likely. And, while humiliating, it may be a design flaw that makes the smart hard to drive for larger people. I'd chalk that design decision into the 'bad' column, personally.

If there's proof of no contact the next time this happens, your car may have another problem. If the gauges shut off while you're driving, that's electrical - something cut off battery power. If there's no dimming of lights, the most likely cause is a loose battery cable or something related to the ignition switch.
 

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Smart Enuf

Does the same thing happen with both keys? I ask this because the keys have an RFID chip in them.

I'm not sure if the computer logic will turn off the motor if the signal loss, but it is something to think about.

Just a thought

ASM
 

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Smart Enuf

Does the same thing happen with both keys? I ask this because the keys have an RFID chip in them.

I'm not sure if the computer logic will turn off the motor if the signal loss, but it is something to think about.

Just a thought

ASM
I don't know. It hasn't been an issue since I figured out the problem. One thing I was thinking for the original poster is that evilution (I think) has a mod that separates the metal key part from the fob with the electronics but keeps them together on the same key ring. This would allow the fob to dangle off to the side and be less susceptible to bumping than having the key and fob together in one unit.
 

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I agree with nytwodees on the last two posts directed at the remarks on his obesity. First off, there is a right way amd a wrong way to mention something about the issue and being a person who was once a fat himself, i can fully understand your irritablity over the innane fat remarks and how they would really tick you off. Now that i got that off my chest id like to say to RVGRINGO that your delivery and the way you said what you said was very uncalled for and the way you said it was indeed very tactless , especially if it may be the cause of the stalling issue, and i mean may be. You should ask the service techinican if there is a mod that can be done to avoid what is happpening as you drive the car as it may be yourself hitting the key as you mentioned, now the gauges going out at the same time sounds like it may be some issue they can't even find yet as it is a faliry new car. if i were you, id be getting the shops manager involved in the thing and soon. As far as the health thing, that is your call, but as far as the others please refrain from the fat remarks this is not the time or the place to do so.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Stalling Smart Passion

Thanks for your post.
I have never used the extra key. It's still in it's sealed envelope. Regarding bumping into the key as the cause for shutting down the car, I'm incredulous if this is true, that Smart's design flaw, should now be my problem, not theirs. But again, I can't believe that this is the cause, because the stalling would occur much more frequently.
 

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It's amazing how people will say the rudest things on the internet that they wouldn't dream of saying to a person's face.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thanks for your post.

"One thing I was thinking for the original poster is that evilution (I think) has a mod that separates the metal key part from the fob with the electronics but keeps them together on the same key ring."

Do yu have any specific info on how or who can modify the key?
 

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Thanks for your post.

"One thing I was thinking for the original poster is that evilution (I think) has a mod that separates the metal key part from the fob with the electronics but keeps them together on the same key ring."

Do yu have any specific info on how or who can modify the key?
It looks like a relatively easy DIY mod:

Evilution - Smart Car Encyclopaedia

Evilution is awesome.
 

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I have had my smart for almost five months now and when I pull into the garage , I still reach up to the wheel to shut it off, before I remember the key is on the console. Also when my two brothers have ridden in the passenger seat , both have long legs, their left knee would always gravitate to be perilously close to the key. I would have to remind them to watch out, so they didn't bump the key. It's is a poor placement on smart's part if you ask me.
 

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I have a habit of sometimes resting my right hand on my seat in my current vehicle because the compartment between the seats isn't tall enough to work as an armrest. Found myself doing the same thing while driving my Dad's Smart car, and yup, I stalled it once. I know when I get my car I will have to watch what I'm doing! Old habits die hard...
 

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Being 5'7 and 350 pounds myself, I think if obesity was the culprit, I would have had the same thing happen to me. I have not...

To the people making crude crass remarks to the poster with the problem, not everyone can trace obesity to simply overeating. I for example, am disabled and my genetic disability caused me to have extreme mobility problems that get worse with age, I eat normally but do not have the ability to work off the calories any more and so I fight weight issues on a daily basis. My only hope is bypass surgery and unfortunately insurance issues have made that difficult. I now face a 1 year wait to get my surgery performed through Medicare, assuming they don't change their policy in the mean time and refuse to pay for it then. :rolleyes:

Everyone needs to be more compassionate to others, someday you may walk or not walk in "their" shoes.... Remember then how you laughed at or were critical of others... :(
 

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A quick search of this site to find any information on the " design flaw" that causes the smart to stall did not come up with much. Fact is the only references I could find are instances were folks turned off the key unintentionally. Good luck and let us know if you find a solution.
karl
 

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Having owned a 01 Saab with a console ignition switch, I can tell you that inadvertantly shutting the car off is not uncommon with this design. My favorite was when the dog would poke her head/paws forward from her usual rear seat position and kill the engine, then retreat to her back seat perch. The first couple times this happened we had no idea what was going on.........
 

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nytwodees - Start the smart and play with the key. I seem to remember when I shut the car off with the key, the instrumentation stays on for a while after. You have mentioned you loose everything. Could be the battery terminals are not connected properly at the battery or to the vehicle. I would think your dealer would have caught this the first trip if true though.
 
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