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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So...

I thought I had fixed it! :cussing:

About two months ago my 09 Smarty-which I had bot a month before- caused me much grief and made me look "not so smart" when the gears would not work and the three lines showed up on the dash. One minute they would be fine and the next minute not. Of course it happened in the middle of busy intersections. Never on a quiet road.

I got the car home and watched this
. It seemed to fix the problem. The gears shift much faster and smoother. Until yesterday that is.

I gave the car a good wash in one of the local spray washes. I was prepping the car to get it wrapped. So I washed and sprayed everything and everywhere.

Half way from Coquitlam to Richmond-about 40 kilometers-the gears went again. Could not have happened in a worse spot. Busy street - no shoulders and a massive truck behind me. Of course the horns start blasting and I again do not look so "smart".

Eventually, I re-set the tranny and off I went. There are plenty of posts which one can read on how to do this. I then drove to Richmond with no problems.

If you drive a Smarty - read the posts on how to deal with the dreaded three lines! Can save you the cost of a tow.

I am now wondering if I have chaffed wires around the intercooler air scoop. I have been reading this morning that it can be a problem. My Smarty is a 2009 with 94,000 kilometers. So if water did get in the wiring that could be the reason for the failure.

I know there is a software upgrade for that year - I have not gotten it as of yet.

As the rainy season is about to set upon us here in Vancouver, I thought it would be an idea to go over the car and get for cracked and chaffed wiring.

Anyone else done this?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Interesting.

I always thought they were on turbo charged cars - which mine is not.

But I am seeing quite a few photos of Smartys with this cooler and the scoop. Plenty of description on forums of the cooler and the scoop without reference to a turbo. So I must admit I was a little confused.

At any rate, I still plan on checking for cracked and chaffed wiring. Plus, I should get the software update.
 

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Did it ever occur to you to get somebody to read transmission fault codes to see what the transmission control unit thinks is wrong? People must have a lot of free time to screw around with a car repeatedly looking for a solution. In the process you could disturb the real problem, thus running in more circles around the same problem that is still there, mocking you.

The internet never fixed a car. Just because one thing may have fixed one car does not mean that will fix them all. It's your time and your car. Post the fix if you find it. Anything that prevents the car from knowing or selecting the gear position or operating the clutch can cause a fault which displays the three lines and leave you a sitting duck for a speeding Freightliner. Several possibilities.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I was looking to repair the car using the economical approach 1st.

However, have found a local shop that deals with Smart Car. Most shops around here won't touch a Smart Car. As far as the MB dealerships, all I have read are bad experiences.

Plus, I like to tinker.

Oh, as far as the "codes", that was on the list to check if the wiring all checks out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
A local shop was recommended - not a MB dealership.

So if I can't solve the problem I will take it there. The car should have a good checking over anyways.

However, if it is a simple fix, why not do it yourself.
 

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Plus, I like to tinker.

Oh, as far as the "codes", that was on the list to check if the wiring all checks out.
Do keep us in the loop.

Dunno that "tinkering" has ever solved the Three Bars of Death? The stored codes could be your best friend?
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Will do

Just seems a little odd that the problem came up after a really good power wash. Had me thinking about a possible short.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)
Well the car tranny went again. So that's twice in the last week. The gears just disappear. One second I have them - the next I don't.

Took it to Norlang Auto in Langley, BC who does work on Smart Cars. Mine is a 2009 with a 97,000 kilometers on it. They were recommended by another local company that runs a smart car.

They have technician who used to work at Mercedes for about 15 yrs and is familiar with the Smart cars.

He ran tests and suggested I replace the clutch and the clutch actuator. When all is said and done the bill is going to be $2,800 CDN.

Ouch!

I only paid $4,500 for the car but...

Apparently all the wiring is fine - no chaffing, etc.

The computer check was done for the error codes, etc.

I was also told that because of the kilometers on the car - any other fixes would be band-aid solutions. I would be back again.

The garage does offer a 2 yr or 30,000 KM warranty on all their repairs.

I was hoping for a less costly repair, especially after I just spent $2,000 on getting the car wrapped. I need the car on the road so I don't really have a choice about the repairs - they need to be done.

The only take away from this that has any positive aspect to it is the fact that this is a work vehicle so every dollar spent is fully tax deductible.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)
Well - this is going to be interesting.

Getting a 2nd opinion tomorrow from another shop in Langley that works on Smart cars. Andersen Autohaus on 200th

Decided to get a 2nd opinion for piece of mind.

Funny thing - Stephane at Andersen spoke about adjustments. Norlang did not, they just talked replacing parts.

As I said, this is going to be interesting
 

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Not good to wash the engine with a pressure washer, if you did that.

Take the least expensive route first, adjustments, then go from there - possible cleaning and refitting of the clutch actuator - or replacement, something you can possibly do yourself.

The item being lubricated (in your original post - video) from the top of the engine appeared to be the Electric Gear Shift unit - I would not even touch that unless you are sure it is a problem. The top cap I believe is a vent and not meant to have lubricants injected in there. There is a tutorial in this forum on how to disassemble and clean the unit.
 

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if you washed it the actuator probably got a good soaking and that will foul it up.
do the cheap and easy first. clean out and lube the actuator, then adjust it. then day out all connectors , actuator, shift indicator, shift motor, and GROUND to transmission (remove and clean both ends well with brush) get a tube of dielectric grease and do all connections, this will save you a lot of grief when it gets wet. as I have said many times here, these little buggers have very sensitive electrical systems, so do the basics FIRST.
Battery connections, GROUND cables, then the rest.
adjust the actuator and lube that up. and try it.... if this helps, let me know.
steveg.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
2nd opinion came back the same

I use the car for business and it costs me more to have it off the road while I am playing around with it.

So since both diagnostics came back the same I am just getting the repairs done. Car will be on the road on Tues again

Plus it comes down to being deducted as a business expense
 
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