Smart Car of America Forum banner

1 - 15 of 15 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
17 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I have the strangest thing with my 2009 Passion. When I started it , the wheel was "locked " and the car would go forward and back but not turn. I researched on line and called the dealer and no luck. They had never heard of it. There is no steering wheel lock.
It seems like the anti-theft device is on but malfunctioning since the car should not turn on. Key felt a little odd. Two weeks later it happened again and again , it seemed to sort itself out , though was not usable for a couple of days. It has happened again Any ideas?
I should say its very cold here, but I have owned the car for five years and nothing like this before.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,948 Posts
Welcome!

There's been ice on the cars outside in the morning down here in Southern California. Something frozen stuck maybe?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
82 Posts
I have some ideas, but I have no idea if they're valid, and some would seem to me to only be somewhat valid if you have power steering. You think the anti-theft system is malfunctioning. First, have you checked its fuse? If you have power steering, check its fuse too. Then, how about disconnecting the battery for about 15 minutes on the theory that it might re-boot the anti-theft system? Once again, I'm just shooting in the dark, but my ideas only cost a little bit of time.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
17 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Steering Issue

I posted the other day but cannot find either my post or any replies, so I am trying again. I have a Passion Fort Two. 2009.
My steering wheel " Locks" where I can start the engine but the wheels dont turn. The car can run back and forward but cannot turn.
The dealer tells me he has never seen this, and wants me to bring the car in for a few hundred dollars diagnostic charge.
It has happened three times now where I have been stuck. Nothing works , The out of the blue, after a few days of having no car and being stuck, it cures itself and simply starts working again.
Any ideas. My dealer has no idea :crying:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,635 Posts
The question was asked previously, Does your car have power steering? Your question makes no sense unless it has power steering. If you do not know how to tell then I suspect there is nothing that anyone here can tell you that would help. Take the car to somebody who can determine what is happening. There is no reason I know of that the car would fail to steer, then suddenly steer normally unless the car has power steering and the fault lies with the electric steering assist function. If that is the case the vehicle would get hard to steer when stationary but it would still steer, especially when moving.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,471 Posts
On the 451, to determine if the car has power steering, turn the key to #1 position and look for the power steering icon to light up in the upper corner of the right hand cluster. If you don't see the icon, your car is not equipped with power steering.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,297 Posts
I have the strangest thing with my 2009 Passion. When I started it , the wheel was "locked " and the car would go forward and back but not turn. I researched on line and called the dealer and no luck. They had never heard of it. There is no steering wheel lock.
It seems like the anti-theft device is on but malfunctioning since the car should not turn on. Key felt a little odd. Two weeks later it happened again and again , it seemed to sort itself out , though was not usable for a couple of days. It has happened again Any ideas?
I should say its very cold here, but I have owned the car for five years and nothing like this before.
There is no locking steering wheel on the 451. There may be an issue with the electric power steering system. There is an electric power steering control unit and a power steering motor. One of those items may be in the early stages of a malfunction. If I were you, it's easier to diagnose once it's acting up ALL THE TIME instead of for a couple seconds here and there. If that's the case, just wait it out for a little while before you tear into it. It'll eventually become more prominent and easier to figure out exactly why.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
17 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
Sorry John directed me to my steering issue post. I am not unable to drive my car .
My car is a 2009 Passion with power steering
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
17 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
Thank you all. I am new to the forum so it took me a while to figure it out. What happens and continues to happen so much that I cannot now drive my car is that it INTERMITTENTLY freezes , like in another car as though the steering wheel is locked , though there is no steering lock capability in the Passion 2009.
Then out of the blue, it gets over it and when I try and start it , it starts and runs normally as though nothing was ever wrong.
Yes, we have tried disconnecting the battery , made no difference. We have checked the fuses which are fine ( and since sometimes it is not there , does not seem to be a fuse issue)
Yes there is power steering and the light comes on.
Have noticed something " odd " with the key in the ignition. A little difficult to get out than previously. I only have one key.
Yes, it does seem to happen in the cold. I have had the car for 4 years and put $18,000 miles on it. I live in Colorado so I have driven in all kinds of temperatures and conditions and it has never been a problem .
No noises etc. The car run fine but straight forward and back and the wheels will not turn. Its parked. I cannot drive it.
Only one dealer in Colorado and they want to diagnose it for around $175 per hour which I cant afford at present.
My only option is to keep trying it to see if it sorts itself out and then move it to somewhere I can store it until I can afford the dealer's rates.
Disapointing though . Dealer told me that " they have never heard of it before " as once it unlocks, It is totally fine.
Thank you all
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
17 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
Dear Mr Smart USA

You responded ,
There is no locking steering wheel on the 451. There may be an issue with the electric power steering system. There is an electric power steering control unit and a power steering motor. One of those items may be in the early stages of a malfunction. If I were you, it's easier to diagnose once it's acting up ALL THE TIME instead of for a couple seconds here and there. If that's the case, just wait it out for a little while before you tear into it. It'll eventually become more prominent and easier to figure out exactly why.


It does not happen for a second or two , when it happens the car cannot be driven and I have to park it until it figures itself out which it has done each time.
Cant really drive the car though since I have no idea what is causing it and why it fixes itself and when it goes into it.
I am a single mother and useless with cars so I am at the dealer's mercy , and they told me they also have no idea.
I have googled and read and no other cases like this. The car has only 25,000 miles on it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,471 Posts
I think any competent repair shop that does steering & suspension system work should be able to repair your smart. I would inspect the steering system and check the steering coupler. The power rack itself could also be suspect so that should be checked out as well.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
68 Posts
There's an explanation of electric power steering (EPS) It's a general article, the Smart car may have a different system but at least it will show you some of the components that may be there.

Clemson Vehicular Electronics Laboratory: Electric Power-Assisted Steering

After watching this video for the smart 450. The 451 should have a similar system in it. Screwy things seem to be able to happen with EPS.


Here's a good article from this forum back in 2011.

http://www.smartcarofamerica.com/forums/f75/where-located-power-steering-controller-help-38403/

Now is just a matter of figuring out which component might cause your problem.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
16 Posts
Sorry to pull up an old thread but I wanted to second Kauna's experience here. My situation is just slightly different as my smart has been mothballed for 2 years due to two snapped front springs and no spare $1000 to replace them.

Anyway I went to move the car today (push) and I fired up the battery with a charger and threw it in neutral as I've done a few times before. Today (at 21 degrees fahrenheit) the wheels would not budge, as though the vehicle had a steering wheel lock. Same as Kauna has described. In neutral the car could be pushed back and forth, but even with two people pushing with all their strength, the steering wheel wouldnt budge the front wheels left or right. This isn't a simple lack of power steering. If I had to guess, something in the works is literally frozen and won't allow the wheels to turn.

Just wanted to make sure it was understood that this wasn't an isolated incident. Whatever happened with yours Kauna?
 
1 - 15 of 15 Posts
Top