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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all-

I'm not a mechanic so I seek some help from you guys.

My 2013 Smart has already crapped out and died at 9600 miles on the odo. Here's my sad story:

The car has been working flawlessly since I bought it. Couldn't ask for more. I drove it out to supper this evening and all was fine. When I pulled out of the restaurant parking lot onto the main road, I was in automatic. The car started jerking rather violently as if it was struggling with either changing gears or as if something was slipping. After it got over its spasms, I was able to drive home without incident although I could feel it randomly jerking a little while driving on the interstate. Not much but just every now and then. I made it to around a mile from my house. I made a right turn at a light and that's when the car basically gave up any sort of useful movement with any gear 3rd or above. The engine light finally popped on at that point. I drove the car home in 2nd gear at around 15mph with a high tachometer reading. The engine did not sound revved up and it certainly didn't sound right either. I creeped my way to the house, got to my driveway. It is an incline. The car would not make it up the driveway. There simply wasn't enough strength left to get me up top so I had to park it in front of the house.

Bottom line is that I can change gears but the pull is pretty much gone. No smell, and the engine appears to idle fine. It's just no pull and things sound strange if I try to go forward or reverse.

I know this is not a very scientific explanation but it's the only way I know how to explain it and it is what transpired this evening! I'm off to Mercedes Charlotte on Monday to find out if they will tow the car since it should be under warranty.

Does this sound like a transmission problem to you?

Thanks-
Steve
 

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Since it's still under warranty ........... take it to the dealer... if undrivable call smartUSA and have it towed in !
 

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could be, bad gas will give you some of those symptoms... did you put in gas shortly before it started? Some of the early cars seemed to have a few transmission problems, but there hasn't seemed to be many popping up with the newer cars.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I've had several people mention the bad gas theory, and that's certainly possible. I just attempted to start the car and drive it. The problem appears to be gone but I bet not entirely. Regardless, Smart is sending out a tow truck tonight to take it in to the dealership and they'll look at it tomorrow. The service rep at Smart claims the car went into limp mode which after I researched the term, it describes exactly what I experienced. However, many here on the forum state that the check engine light along with the wrench indicator both come on. The only indicator that lit up for me last night was the check engine light. I do use an Area 451 cruise control. Could that have somehow disturbed the computer to make the car do this? I decided to insert the bypass plug just in case Mercedes gives me grief about a 3rd party device connected to the computer control cable.

I'll follow up later once I find out more. Honestly, I would rather it be a physical part that has failed or is failing rather than something intermittent that I have to chase down throughout the life of the car. At least at this point the transmission does not appear to be the culprit. This is almost certainly something else.

-Steve
 

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Just my .02 but there's no way the cruise control would cause what you describe. Let Mercedes figure it out and fix the car on their dime. :)
 

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Anything plugged into the OBDII port? My ultragauge caused limp mode initially, but the triangle ESP light was lit. The very first time I used it, I failed to wait adequately for the unit to discover the canbus correctly. I unplugged it and every thing went back to normal, just like the instructions stated, including describing the various malfunctions that went with the symptoms displayed. Sounds like a form of limp mode. It will be interesting to hear what they find.
 

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Interested in what they find myself. Have had this issue on my 08, except my triangle light is on and my ABS.... but that could be another totally different thing here cause I've been battling those two light for a few months.
 

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Sorry to hear the bad news, it must be dissapointng having car issues @ 9.6k miles :(
But, At least it's still under warranty.
Do let us know what happens as I'm curious in knowing the cause for the failure.
 

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Interested in what they find myself. Have had this issue on my 08, except my triangle light is on and my ABS.... but that could be another totally different thing here cause I've been battling those two light for a few months.
BTW the triangle light sounds like its part of traction control; and from my experience, if there is an issue with either traction or abs both lights usually turn on
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Fixed! :)

Hi all-

I just retrieved the car from service. I'll type in exactly how the repair was written up. A few comments first. One, the folks at M-B Charlotte were exemplary and above board. I couldn't ask for better support and communication. Even though this was a warranty fix, they treated me as if I had to pay for the repair, so kudos to my local dealership. (And, it was nice to park amongst other Smarts in the parking lot!). Second, the car handles like a dream now! Shifting between gears is amazingly smooth compared to before it failed, not jerky and feeling like the car's front end is going to lift off the ground because the engine was revving so hard. I also notice that the engine is not working near as hard as it was. RPM's seem lower than before. Thirdly, I am finally able to pump gas into the car without the gas pouring out the nozzle because it wouldn't flow down into the tank properly. Something was amiss with this and the service report reflects that. Now, I can pump gas and fill it up, top it off, etc without incident.

The report follows, and hopefully it might help others who might encouter similar symptoms as I did:

Two parts of the service ticket.

#1
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Client states the vehicle will not shift. Vehicle will go into limp mode and will not accelerate over 40mph - No power.

Faulty sprint shift selector drum.

Performed test drive (12:02 9671 miles to 12:31 end 9678). Found to not shift at times and not shift out of 3rd gear when this occurs. Performed short test and found code P0949 Implausible Transmission Data. Checked actual valves in sprint shift to cluster when shifting (OK). Raised vehicle and inspected sprint shift connectors for corrosion or contamination (OK). Performed hard reset of transmission control module and performed short test drive. (Start 1:43 to 2:01, 9678miles to 9680 end). Found to still incorrectly shift. Performed normalization of sprint shift selector drum. Normalization failed. Sprint shift selector drum found to be faulty. Removed air box. Removed retention bolts to selector drum. Removed and cleaned off sealant. Installed new sealant bead and torqued in place. Reinstalled affected components. All now operating as designed. Performed initial start up and normalization of drum and clutch teach in. Now operating as designed.

#2
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Client states the check engine lamp is on.

Faulty left fuel level sensor.

Performed short test and found code P0461 Fuel level sensor value current code. Checked actual value and found to be 36L outside of specified range. Puled fuse to fuel pump to reset the level and found to be at 36L in actual values. Exposed fuel pump connector and checked 5 volt reference at pins 3 & 2 4.9 volts (OK). Lowered tank slightly and checked resistance and found 250 ohms at pins 2 and 3 of sender. SPE 105 to 125 ohms. Removed right rear fender liner and removed fuel filled neck connections. Removed misc hoses lines and brackets. Lowered tank and removed sender from port. Removed faulty pump / sender module. Installed new. Reinstalled all affected components. Cleared code. Now operating as designed.

-Steve
 

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Thanks for posting that dealer service report. Now us do-it-yourselfers have a heads-up on what's necessary to replace the fuel pump/level sender assembly.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Fixed, I hope..

Just collected the car from M-B Charlotte, and the result was NOT what I had hoped for. But, I cannot fault M-B if the problem won't re-surface. I have a very strong feeling that one day (soon) I will find myself stranded on the side of the road somewhere.... Anyway, the report:

Client states upon accelerating the vehicle would shift, jerks/struggles to change gears. Renormalized sprint shift. Reset. Performed multiple test drives and was unable at any time to duplicate complaint. Performed short test and found no codes at any time relevant. Performed extended test drive and was unable to duplicate any abnormal shifting at any time. Performed hard reset of vehicle and performed sprint shift renormalization adaptation. All found operating as designed.

:crying:

Bummer drag.
-Steve
 
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