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The car does remain perfectly driveable after the rear rings fail, but you won't get the aforementioned ESP or ABS, Hill Start Assist, or the creep mode. [mod]
Ok, so just spray my creepy_mix on these super sensitive items, as soon as we can id them (photos please!). One of my Smart_EVs is now up in the air so I can get at them now. Perhaps you could describe them; are they connected to the brake lines or ??. This 2014 car is from UT and is quite pristine looking underneath although UT does spray CaCl2 liquid from tankers all over the highways the day before a snow storm is forecast. :(

VR (ex-Upstate NY rustbelter)
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Ok, so just spray my creepy_mix on these super sensitive items, as soon as we can id them (photos please!). One of my Smart_EVs is now up in the air so I can get at them now. Perhaps you could describe them; are they connected to the brake lines or ??. This 2014 car is from UT and is quite pristine looking underneath although UT does spray CaCl2 liquid from tankers all over the highways the day before a snow storm is forecast. :(

VR (ex-Upstate NY rustbelter)
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The ring is attached to the hub/axle.



 

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These aren't nearly as nice as @Miss Mercedes images, but here are a few crusty photos. The yellow arrow points to the sensor which picks up on the ring. These are obviously pre-cleanup and there's still a lot of work to do here.

64199

64200



And lastly, a poor image of a replacement. The old ring is pried/cut/pressed off and the new one heated and driven over the shaft and reseated where the old ones were. There will likely be cleanup on hte shaft needed.
64201
 

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If they get crusty just knock off the flakes with a wood splinter. There is plenty of meat on those teeth. When you rotate tires you could reach in and lightly(!) spray with rustoleum paint. This is old technology.

The other trouble spot I'm curious about. The yellow arrow points to the sensor, which is how hard to replace? Never had to replace one ever on dozens of vehicles, but there is always a first time.
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My Florida smart is always parked near the Gulf of Mexico (under a covered area but exposed to the salt air - and the underside is rusted just as badly.

Oil filter once rusted thru and dumped oil when I started it up after being parked for months.

-Barry-
 

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Oil filter once rusted thru and dumped oil when I started it up after being parked for months.
Weirdly enough, that's how my 2012 caught fire. Oil sprayed from filter, flirted with the cat, things got pretty fiery. Thankfully once it ran out of oil to burn it extinguished. Ran like crap for a while after (1-2 cylinders) but I was able to nurse it back to health. :)
 
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I wanted to undercoat my Smart Car to protect it from road salt in the winter. I was asked if I wanted the rubber or the oil. Has anyone done this and have a preference?
I have a 2010 Smart and the whole underbody has two panals made of a material similar to the door panels. These panels cover the whole underbody.
 

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The belly pan is not watertight. Moisture and road contamination will ingress, including stuff that can be harsh to the metal surfaces. When I give my smart her yearly rustproofing touch-up, I remove both belly pans, give it a rinse, dry, then apply the undercoating spray to make sure I’m not missing anything.
 

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The relentless creeping of 90w gear oil is your friend as it will insinuate itself into all crevaces, nooks and crannies to provide rust protection. It will only wash off from open exposed surfaces, hence the 2x per year on these areas. So buy a quart of 90w and a gal of hyd fluid and a quality hand-pump pint-sized sprayer and go to work on these critical areas. Cost of project: under $20-US maybe @walmart.
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And the smell of that gear oil?
 

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The problem with rust and especially SALT rust is once it's started it's nearly if not impossible to stop. On my smart which lives in the snow belt (lots of salt) I have used a product called "Fluid Film" and have very little rust visible on the metal body parts. With this type of product it needs to be reapplied every so many years.
 

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Yeah just my two cents but comparing the underside of my spouse's 2012 Toyota (never rustproofed) to that of my 2012 Hyundai (rustproofed annually by a shop) is night and day. Hers had the exhaust bracket rust off, needed major suspension work after the shock mounts rusted out... wipe off the coating and my Hyundai looks like new. Got my 2017 ED used in January 2020, already a ton of rust on the undercarriage. Had it sprayed right away just to be sure. I was under there today changing out the horn and yeah... rustproofing is necessary IMO in Southern Ontario. YMMV of course!
 

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Whatever you do, make sure to avoid rubber undercoatings. They can work, but when they don't you would have been better off not having a coating at all. :eek: Couple months ago I worked on a Ford Bronco where the rubber undercoating worked pretty well...but what the owner ended up with was a pretty frame with a rotted out body attempting to hold onto it.

 

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Similar experience living in Cleveland OH in 70s. Dad’s 1973 new Duster under coated rusted out, after ~ 10 yrs, unsafe to drive! My used 1971 Volvo without under coating lasted much longer w/o rust. Old Volvo had two coats of primer and excellent paint job, had also some kid of extra sealant in trunk area.

With Smart cars (had 2011 ICE & 2014 ED) , did very little driving in winter time. Electric had great traction on snow, short range on cold days. Both had a little clearance for driving in snow covered roads. No rust issues on mine.

Cleaning under carriage on winter (preferably AWD) car is a must. Self serve car washes, all over Denver metro area. And always clean after ski trips, mag-chloride/ similar snow melting liquid is bad news for brake calipers/pads.
 
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