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Discussion Starter #1
Car:

2008 Smart ForTwo

History:

Last year the motor blew (another story for another time, no fault of smart) and we replaced it. The car has been sitting there, waiting for some parts. Finally the parts were acquired and everything put back together. Engine fired right up! (Breaks arm patting self on back) ran into the house grabbed the spousal figure and said "Let's go for a ride baby!" jumped into the car, put it into gear and ... yeah, same ol story. Tranny won't recognize it's in gear.

Attempts:

I read through everything I could find on transmission problems, followed all the advice from doing the reset to disconnecting the battery to clearing moisture out of the computer terminals at the tranny.

Additional information:

1) As we were attaching the transmission to the engine prior to putting the assembly back into the car, the transmission was pretty far over on it's side and I saw fluid coming out of what I now know to be the Transmission motor (M17/4 & M17/3 from the 2008fortwotech.pdf) seemed to be very little fluid escaped and I wasn't worried.

2) After doing the initial retraining at the beginning of the "Attempts to fix it" the tranny slammed into reverse hard. But refused to go into drive and after putting it back into Park and attempting again, did nothing.

3) I determined the fluid loss was more of a factor than I had thought, so I plopped down my $27 + tax for a quart of the Castrol (Driving 120 miles to do so) and figured out how to get it into the transmission motor (air bubbles where a challenge. A common straw turned out to be the savior of the day) I added fluid until it started to backflow out of the transmission motor (here after referred to as the M17.) I jacked up the car to get the drive wheels off the ground so if it did slam into gear I could let the wheels turn. The transmission performed perfectly! Again excited I ran in and said "Let's go for a ride baby!" We got in the car and nada. It wouldn't even shift out of park. It acts as if the transmission is stuck in gear.

4) I added more fluid, thinking maybe the fluid had settled and more air had worked it's way out. It took the rest of the quart. I can't imagine how it's possible even that much fluid could have leaked out.

Assuming it did, could this be the cause?

Does the M17 share a common reservoir with the AMT itself? It' can't be under pressure, the fill cap is little more than a dust cover.

Thanks so much for any advice.
Jeffery and the spousal figure.
 

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the oil getting up into the shift motor may be the problem - there isn't supposed to be any oil in there anyway. You've managed to bathe the electronics with trans fluid twice (once when it leaked out through the motor when the trans was resting on it's side and again when you tried to add trans fluid through the motor. You'll probably have to remove the shift motors, clean one or both of them out then re-install them. There are numerous threads addressing this job on the forum. Then find the level plug for the transmission and add fluid through that if needed.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks dhirtle, the old adage "assuming makes an ass of you and me" applies here. Except for the "you" part. I was assuming the port on top of the transmission motor was the correct place to add fluid since that's where it came out. I'll sort it out later today.

Thanks again!
Jeffery
 

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there's a vent with a plastic cap on it on top of the casing between the two shift actuator motors. From your post it sounded like that's where the fluid leaked. Hopefully it's a simple (and cheap) fix and you're on your way.

Then we'll all want to hear about the engine swap.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Hoping for some new direction

OK ... followed dhirtle's advice and pulled the motors, turns out they are sealed from the central gear chamber and no oil entered the electronics area at all. I cleaned it up anyways while I was in there, it looked pretty good, but better now. Reinstalled the motor.

Found the info about changing the fluid and checked the level, it was over-full so I allowed it to drain until it stopped. It was maybe 1/2 quart over-full.

I have been reading forum posts here and elsewhere for a couple of days, and found very little on the transmission being physically stuck in gear. At first the gear shift lever would travel through it's path smoothly, though the electronics did not register any shifting. Now the lever won't budge. The white release rod inside the shifter handle moves up and down freely, no resistance at all, even with manual depression of the white rod the lever would not budge. Something is mechanically wrong I think. Today I disconnected the battery for a couple of hours, let all the computers reset and tried to move the lever again. Nothing. I read about the yellow release lever on the bottom of the shifter assembly but I'd like to find the real problem.

I read about a faulty brake light switch being an issue, but the brake lights come on normally when the brake is depressed and always has. The ABS light is on, would that prohibit the shifter from moving?

The EPS light also comes on, haven't even begun to diagnose that one. But I'm leaning towards brakes as the ABS light is on. Probably need to rebleed them as we had to remove the brake lines during the engine reinstall.

Anyways, any ideas where I might start looking for a problem?
 

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The brake switch is a double pole switch. I don't know if they are connected in parallel for reliability's sake or if they feed separate circuits. I keep a spare, since it is a critical part that is not easily sourced. Uptown Dog is who I got mine from.
I suspect your brake switch and the computer are keeping you from driving right now. I wonder if the two button inhibition of the ABS/ESP would allow the shifter to function?
I am also wondering if the transmission hall effect sensors or their connectors are faulty? You might look on the transmission and check for damage to the sensors and or their connectors. What kind of error messages are you getting now?
 
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