The first thing to check is that you have standard springs. It doesn't matter if they are genuine Smart or aftermarket, just that they have the standard spring rate and length. Both the 450 and 451 models are prone to breaking springs, especially the front. Many owners will have fitted harder and shorter springs, so unless you have owned your car from new this could be one of the reasons causing a particularly hard and uncomfortable ride.Are there any suspension mods that can be done to improve ride..(more forgiving, smoother)? I read that tire/wheel mods can help a lot and I plan to do that but I was wondering about suspension and the cost versus improvement...worth it?
I know the 450 and roadster springs were prone to breaking (going so far as smart offering free replacements) but I've not heard of the same happening on a widespread level to 451s. Most (all?) of the broken spring reports on here came from early 2008-2009 owners.Both the 450 and 451 models are prone to breaking springs, especially the front..
In matching 165/65R15 81T and 185/60R15 84T sizes, there doesn't seem to be much choice in the North American market. My choice would be Vredestein Quatrac 5. If these aren't available I would look at Continental ProContact. The Quatrac will work well all year round including snow, the ProContact doesn't like snow and will spin and slide. I mention these two brands because you might be able to get matching tires in these two sizes, not because there are not many other good makes of tires on the market.Thanks, the tires are due for replacement anyway so I will change to your recommended sizes. What do yo recommend for a specific tire brand for a softer ride.
The reason for smaller tires on the front is to create an understeer condition due to the rear weight bias..... Smart have always fitted narrower front tires to the ForTwo and they have done this for a reason. ....
Yep, the narrower front wheels were for the 450 to pass the infamous moose test. MB continues this to this day to provide an extra layer of safety. That said, that doesn't mean the 451 and 453 particularly need it. Just getting my 451 on two wheels requires turning off traction control and deliberately trying to enter a turn at full lock.
That said, narrower front tyres do help in the snow, so if that's super important to you, stay staggered. If I turn off traction control and drive in the snow, sometimes the front wants to swap ends with the rear in especially icy situations, something that didn't happen with staggered tyres.
195/50-15 is probably the most popular tire size for a first gen Mazda Miata, a vehicle that is also rear wheel drive, low powered, small, roughly evenly weight distributed, with basically the same stock suspension characteristics, but weighs 2100 pounds, and owners universally have found over a wide range of tire types and brands that the tire pressure which best balances grip, tire life, and impact harshness, is 28 +- 1 PSI front and rear. For an ICE smart that is nearly 400 pounds lighter, probably 26-27 PSI would be about a good starting point.Apparently I need to play with tire pressures. I have 195/50/15 ContiProContacts all around, at about 35psi, and the ride is pretty awful. I know the car is never going to ride "nice" but anything would help.
Oh no! another "S.A." remark!! sorry, not a S.A. remark, just the simple truth.If you want a softer riding vehicle. The smart car isn’t the right car for you. Short wheel base, no rebound from the front to rear axle, over a bump. Low profile tires. It just the nature of the beast.