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2013 Smart Passion Cabrio
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I've been driving my used 2014 Smart Cabrio for about a year and a half now, and it's been a pretty handy second vehicle, all in all. Had to buy a couple of new body panels and figure out how to remove the originals and attach these due to the clearcoat peeling off the original red ones, and it needed new spark plugs, which I changed out shortly after buying it. Replaced a burnt out marker light and a headlight bulb, and recently swapped a part for the EGR system to clear a fault code. I think those have been the only repairs I've really had with it.


But the one problem that keeps popping up is this whole transmission re-learning procedure. What seems to typically happen is the car is fine for several weeks, and one day, I'll drive someplace and the transmission feels like it doesn't want to up-shift when it should. That's usually my clue it's about to have issues. I might get one to two more trips out of it after that, and then it refuses to shift out of first gear, or like it did to me earlier today? I make it down the block but discover it won't let me shift into reverse, as I'm trying to turn around in a driveway, so I'm stuck. If I turn the engine off and back on at that point, I get the 3 bars instead of the "P" for Park, and I have to do the whole re-learn procedure (hold brake down for about 30 seconds after car is off for at least 20-30 seconds or so and ignition switched to "ON", until I hear some click noises under the car and it finally changes to a "P" symbol on the dash again).


I've lived with this for as long as I've owned the vehicle, but can't seem to figure out if this frequency is excessive or just a "Smart car thing"? I mean, the owner's manual does describe this process, so it's clearly something you have to do at some point. And I can't say it's gotten worse in the last year or anything? Just an occasional annoyance that I can cope with, but don't feel comfortable risking it happening to my kid that's just learning to drive right now.....
 
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