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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
My experience in the last 3 weeks has lead me to conclude My Smart 451 is the smoothest shifting manual vehicle I have ever driven.

That is my statement and it subjective and limited to the Manual transmission vehicles that I have driven. Thought they have been many and wide spread is of no relevance to this Challenge

Here is what happened. Based on some real frustrations with my Smarts transmission behavior. I had been continually having to do the throttle rest and transmission relearn. I began focusing in the relearn and reset procedures and looking at youtube video after youtube video on how to drive a manual transmission.
So many things that the videos said to do and not do seemed that I had not been doing in My Smart.

First thing I had do confirm in my mind was understand and commit to the fact that the 451 Smart Fortwo is a Manual transmission vehicle. That means every rule of driving a manual vehicle applies, so I had not been driving it correctly.

Second to understand what the computer system was doing to try to apply all the rules of driving a manual transmission. I ended up in this conversation with a friend about the transmission relearn, throttle reset causes and how to reduce the need for them:
I wrote.
(Recent continued work with and on the car have it in a really sweet spot right now.
Seems there is a fuzzy logic system that can be straightened out. It's comparable to defragmenting a computer. Where it places the files in a better order and is then able to process and access information quicker.

On the 451 the signal is processed several ways like a flow chart. If the gear shift is in automatic and you use the paddle shifters that's one process path. If the gear shift is in manual and you use the paddle shifters thats another process path. If the gear shifter is in manual and you shift with the gear shifter that is another process path. The gear shift use in manual path is the fastest process path. Could be a placebo effect but it sure feels the most in tune and where the other processes eventually get out of sync the manual shifting with the gear stick seem continuously stable.
So I am having a ball and getting ready for California canyons lol )

What is being described is putting the gear shifter in the (+/-) ie. manual position and making all up shifts with the gear shift stick.

note*** there is nothing scientific or factual about my Fuzzy logic statement just my feeling on what is happening.

Now I have been driving in manual shifting with gear shift stick exclusively for about a week when I wrote that conversation, it has been 3 weeks to this point
and My 451 has been so smooth and driving it this way has applied every manual driving rule to it and its fantastic.

Here is the Challenge .

For the next 7 days exclusively drive you car with gear shifter in manual and make all up shifts with the gear shift stick.
Let the computer make all down shifts except when down shifting to pass or to increase uphill power.

Desired effect .

Is to see if others began to experience a smoother shifting Smart manual transmission.

 

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Just my .02, but it seems to me you are overthinking this. The computer determines when to shift, or not, unless you are using the paddles or the "stick." In all cases, the actual shifts are computer driven and the clutch actuator and shift motors operate the same no matter how they're told to shift. All we do when we use the paddles or the "stick" is tell the car we want to change gears - after that, we are out of the picture. IMHO, the throttle body "reset" is an urban legend (placebo) and the transmission relearn/reteach procedure is only needed if the transmission is malfunctioning - not on a regular basis. YMMV, of course. :)
 

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This is all true, and I guess I want my car to shift faster, accelerate faster, run smooth, but also get 42+mpg... So the last thing I did was the throttle relearn, and the car seemed to shift faster... maybe I am just imagining.... but I think it helped.
I will try the shifter in the manual position for a week, and see if its any better... or is it just making me feel better... nothing to loose!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Why? They both do the same thing?
I believe the paddles activate different sensor circuit then the gear shift lever. What if there is a different lag time in the paddles then the gear shift sensor circuit. Understanding in computers milliseconds are life times. This again is just me babbling with no evidence.. just babble.
But read this it gives an idea of what the paddles go through electronically.
Yes it is for a 450 as opposed to a 451. Just absorb the information.

paddle shifters not working
 

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I have preferred manuals since I began driving many years ago. I like my 451, but it is nowhere even in the running for being the smoothest shifting transmission, manual or otherwise.
 

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I have had my 451 almost 11 years. For the first few years, I used the auto mode almost exclusively. Then I bought the GoPedal and started using the paddle shifters more. It did seem smoother and faster in making shifts. It may be my imagination, but it to me it feels better. About the only time I use the floor shifter is when turning a sharp corner and the paddles are in an awkward position. I will try the challenge and see if the floor shifter feels better than the paddle shifters.
 

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My smart car always starts to shifting smoother, after taking a couple muscle relaxers, and shots of Jack Daniel. I owned lots of real manual transmission cars, over the years. You can actual play with the Gas pedal, clutch pedal, and smoothly move the gear shift lever. For a smoother shift, then a babies bottom. Something you can really do with the smart car. There isn’t any fuzzy logic feature of the smart car transmission. With software, you can enhance, the shifting pattern. That’s it. My 2008 smart car had 2 transmission software update, back in 2009, from the smart dealership. Made a lot of difference in smoothing out the harsh shifts.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I have preferred manuals since I began driving many years ago. I like my 451, but it is nowhere even in the running for being the smoothest shifting transmission, manual or otherwise.
I felt the same thing for the last four years in that time I have felt it was the worst, fun but the worst shifting transmission ever. I changed my mind only in the last 3 weeks.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
My smart car always starts to shifting smoother, after taking a couple muscle relaxers, and shots of Jack Daniel. I owned lots of real manual transmission cars, over the years. You can actual play with the Gas pedal, clutch pedal, and smoothly move the gear shift lever. For a smoother shift, then a babies bottom. Something you can really do with the smart car. There isn’t any fuzzy logic feature of the smart car transmission. With software, you can enhance, the shifting pattern. That’s it. My 2008 smart car had 2 transmission software update, back in 2009, from the smart dealership. Made a lot of difference in smoothing out the harsh shifts.
gear shifter in the (+/-) or manual position. Use only the gear shifter to make upsihifts let the Software make all the down shifts except when you need power to pass or top a hill. Combined with a couple of muscle relaxers and shots of Jack Daniel for 7 days would be your challange lol,.

You have already experience 2 transmission Software (IE. Fuzzy Logic) adjustments that were trying to change how the computer manages all its sensor information. I believe giving the software system less sensors to manage is what this challenge method does. The system says says.

"ok im in Manual mode. all i have to do is monitor the same sensor the put me in manual mode and the rpms for down shifts. got it one sensor and rpms. lets go."

For 7 days don't give it any thing else to do. not to mention how natural it becomes to tune in to the engine sounds and lift off the gas on all the manual shifts. The software is excellent on rpm matching on the down shifts.

Remember since the Smart car transmission/Clutch is software driven its entire function is fuzzy logic.

Fuzzy Logic (FL) is a method of reasoning that resembles human reasoning. The approach of FL imitates the way of decision making in humans that involves all intermediate possibilities between digital values YES and NO.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I have had my 451 almost 11 years. For the first few years, I used the auto mode almost exclusively. Then I bought the GoPedal and started using the paddle shifters more. It did seem smoother and faster in making shifts. It may be my imagination, but it to me it feels better. About the only time I use the floor shifter is when turning a sharp corner and the paddles are in an awkward position. I will try the challenge and see if the floor shifter feels better than the paddle shifters.
I too have the go pedal and during these 3 weeks I have left the go pedal on and in the mode I had been using it in. my go pedal is green light plus 3 green lights ( economy, curve 3) What I feel the Go pedal does is quicken how fast the clutch disengages. Where if there was a clutch pedal the human driver would control that movement.

To make the go pedal a non factor in the challenge, leave it where you had been using it for the 7 days.
 

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Try changing the sauce in the transmission... ....I changed mine to Valvoline SynPower 75w-90 and the distinctive "clunk" disappeared! Abracopocus... .
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Try changing the sauce in the transmission... ....I changed mine to Valvoline SynPower 75w-90 and the distinctive "clunk" disappeared! Abracopocus... .
For this 7 day Challenge nothing but the challenge and I am specifically referring to the 451 model.
 

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Have to agree with jwight on this one.

Over the years smart owners have used some interesting ideas to make their cars do this and that. They're almost always placebos. These cars are really not as complex as many think they are. There are no "tricks" to getting the service indicator to reset like closed doors, you just have to have quick hands. Likewise, the transmission isn't all that smart (ha). It's either in Auto Mode or Manual Mode and it'll shift the same in either mode. All you're doing is telling it when to perform said shift. It doesn't matter whether you use the knob, paddles, or just put the pedal down further (in the case of Auto Mode).

The only folks getting faster/smoother shifts are the ones with 453s and people with remappers and other software tools. The only time my car's shifting changes is when I redline the sucker through every gear. Clutch engagement then temporarily becomes very rough, but quicker than normal. Then again, I have 162,000 miles of wear.
 

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Discussion Starter #17 (Edited)
Have to agree with jwight on this one.

Over the years smart owners have used some interesting ideas to make their cars do this and that. They're almost always placebos. These cars are really not as complex as many think they are. There are no "tricks" to getting the service indicator to reset like closed doors, you just have to have quick hands. Likewise, the transmission isn't all that smart (ha). It's either in Auto Mode or Manual Mode and it'll shift the same in either mode. All you're doing is telling it when to perform said shift. It doesn't matter whether you use the knob, paddles, or just put the pedal down further (in the case of Auto Mode).

The only folks getting faster/smoother shifts are the ones with 453s and people with remappers and other software tools. The only time my car's shifting changes is when I redline the sucker through every gear. Clutch engagement then temporarily becomes very rough, but quicker than normal. Then again, I have 162,000 miles of wear.
I went back a reread the owners manual for my 2014 451 passion. I read it from beginning to end. Of particular interest was the transmission gear select.
The manual describes three separate modes.
"D" position is described as System-controlled automatic gearshift.
"D" position using Paddle shifters. as put transmission in mamual
It then states when Gear shifter is in "M" System-controlled automatic gearshifting is switched off.

I think we can all say that shifting our Smarts ourselves is not the same as the Automatic mode. Timing being everything. So Auto Mode and Manual Mode do not "shift the same in either mode", because one is System controlled the other is driver controlled even the test reviews claim that there is a different (Most say more tolerable
shifting feel the the horrible automatic shifting)

Now reading the manual it makes a emphasis to say "when Gearshifter is in "M" System-controlled automatic gearshifting is switched off." I would conclude that System-controlled automatic gearshifting is switched off only when the Gearshifter is in the "M" position. And it says System-controlled automatic gearshifting is switched back on when Gearshifter is put back into the "D" position.

Note for the Paddle shifter use in the "D" position it puts the car in manual but it does not say it turns off the System-controlled automatic gearshifting so I don't believe it does. Those who tweak their computers at home know
disabling a system component is different from turning off or removing a system component.

I believe what the difference is the System-controlled automatic gearshifting is where your shifting patterns are stored or at least it is what monitors them as the Smarts transmission is said to learn and adjust to driver habits. So gearshifter in "M" may be turning that off.

The challenge is to take 7 days and drive with the System controlled automatic gearshifting turned off. No Tricks, no magic, no money. Just turn it off and drive 7 days, and shift with the gearshift.
 

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I drive my car most of the time in Manual Mode. Honestly, the only time I do not is when my right hand is holding my girlfriend's hand. Distracting, I know.. ;)

Anyway, I'm not a fan of the US spec 451's shift program. It's aggressively tuned for fuel economy, often swapping up cogs when you want more power or downshifting when it actually has the power to climb a hill. I like being able to choose my own adventure like I do in a true standard manual.

My point is that it doesn't matter if you're doing Auto Mode or Manual Mode, you aren't speeding up your gearshifts. All Manual Mode does is put you in control of what RPM said gearshifts happen at. Remember, all these inputs still go through a computer. The difference is letting the computer choose for itself or telling the computer when to shift.

Just my .02, a 7 day challenge is pointless when there's no shortage of smart owners already using Manual Mode on the regular.

I suppose you can make your gearshifts feel smoother, but that'll more or less be because of the RPM you shift at in Manual Mode, not specifically the Manual Mode itself.
 

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I was throwing my input from the 2.451s not my 3 453s. The SynPower with the MB rating is the cats ass
Haven't hear any one run 75w-140. Most like too heavy on the high side
 

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Discussion Starter #20
I drive my car most of the time in Manual Mode. Honestly, the only time I do not is when my right hand is holding my girlfriend's hand. Distracting, I know.. ;)

Anyway, I'm not a fan of the US spec 451's shift program. It's aggressively tuned for fuel economy, often swapping up cogs when you want more power or downshifting when it actually has the power to climb a hill. I like being able to choose my own adventure like I do in a true standard manual.

My point is that it doesn't matter if you're doing Auto Mode or Manual Mode, you aren't speeding up your gearshifts. All Manual Mode does is put you in control of what RPM said gearshifts happen at. Remember, all these inputs still go through a computer. The difference is letting the computer choose for itself or telling the computer when to shift.

Just my .02, a 7 day challenge is pointless when there's no shortage of smart owners already using Manual Mode on the regular.

I suppose you can make your gearshifts feel smoother, but that'll more or less be because of the RPM you shift at in Manual Mode, not specifically the Manual Mode itself.
I drive my car most of the time in Manual Mode. Honestly, the only time I do not is when my right hand is holding my girlfriend's hand. Distracting, I know.. ;)

( lovely :love: )

Anyway, I'm not a fan of the US spec 451's shift program. It's aggressively tuned for fuel economy, often swapping up cogs when you want more power or downshifting when it actually has the power to climb a hill. I like being able to choose my own adventure like I do in a true standard manual.

( that is the biggest knock about the Smart 451 )

My point is that it doesn't matter if you're doing Auto Mode or Manual Mode, you aren't speeding up your gearshifts. All Manual Mode does is put you in control of what RPM said gearshifts happen at. Remember, all these inputs still go through a computer. The difference is letting the computer choose for itself or telling the computer when to shift

( Yes, to that point there is a difference between the two modes ).

Just my .02, a 7 day challenge is pointless when there's no shortage of smart owners already using Manual Mode on the regular.

( if you are already exclusively shifting manual you already know its smoother,
for this sentence regardless of why, )

I suppose you can make your gearshifts feel smoother, but that'll more or less be because of the RPM you shift at in Manual Mode, not specifically the Manual Mode itself.

( The goal or point is to feel smoother gearshifts. the challenge is for those who do not already to use manual; mode "M" and shift with Gearshifter exclusively for 7 days. to see if they feel smoother shifts in a Smart 451 whos most complained about item is a quirky transmission shift pattern. )
 
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