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Discussion Starter #1
New SMART ED owner with two simple questions about water which the manual doesn't seem to answer:

1) Can I plug in the charger in the rain? Or will water cause havoc?

2) How much of an issue is water in the roadway? If it's a foot deep, I imagine it'll get into the batteries and short everything out?
 

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Yes, you can plug the car in in the rain. No damage can be done to the car's on-board charger, or the battery pack, or yourself - even if you poured salt water is right into charging receptacle while charging (but don't try it just to be absolutely safe). The car and EVSE, as required by SAE Standard J1772 (and a similar European standard) has multiple safety layers:

1. The charging plug from the charging station (the EVSE - including that box for 120 volt charging) is only energized when it is plugged in the car and the car is providing a specific "charge me" signal (I'll provide the technical details if you want).

2. The charging plug and receptacle has seals to minimize water entry - and remember, plain rain water is not very electrically conductive.

3. The EVSE contains a ground-fault circuit interrupter - like electric outlets outlets are required to have in bathrooms or near sinks. This is what would trip in the case of pouring salt water in the plug (should the seals leak), or your body by some unlikely means, come in contact with the energized circuit.

4. And finally, the EVSE is connected to a circuit-breaker protected circuit.

Regarding submergence, I dont know for sure, but it would seem fairly certain that the battery pack is designed to be is watertight against moderate submergence - a few feet at least - such as might happen fording a stream or the like. Recall that even ordinary driving in heavy rain or slushy-salty winter roads pummels the battery pack with water and brine.
 

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Yinzer covered charging in the rain. Only thing to add is when charging in freezing rain, the locking mechanism on the plug can freeze and need to be thawed out to unplug.

The battery pack is sealed water tight. There is a desiccant cartridge inside to keep it dry from traces of water that may seep in.

The rest of the car is like other cars: if it gets submerged in a flood, it will be totaled.
 

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New SMART ED owner with two simple questions about water which the manual doesn't seem to answer:



1) Can I plug in the charger in the rain? Or will water cause havoc?



2) How much of an issue is water in the roadway? If it's a foot deep, I imagine it'll get into the batteries and short everything out?


I'm fairly new to the ED also. Just got mine in June last year. Did you buy a used or new?


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Discussion Starter #7
I'm fairly new to the ED also. Just got mine in June last year. Did you buy a used or new?
Gently used 2014. Panicked a bit yesterday when I tried to charge and red lights were blinking. Tried a different outlet and all is well. It'll take a bit of getting used to. Car looks good, drives well. Tire pressure good; getting reasonable mileage on battery. I suppose I should check the fluid levels up front but otherwise I don't really know what else to inspect (I always assume the prior owner never did his required maintenance, so I believe in checking everything).

We get a fair bit of street flooding here after heavy rains; hence my concern about driving through water. Sounds as though it shouldn't be an issue. Surprised to hear folks can charge in rain as electricity and water don't mix, but makes sense that it's possible given the heavy sales in the Pacific Northwest.

Only one key; need to get a spare in case I lose it but don't want to pay dealer spare prices. May just get a blank key and have a locksmith duplicate. Won't have the remote features, but those aren't really necessary.

Read through all the posts on this forum; great stuff!
 

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I bought a used 2013 and love it. And yeah, if you get the red lights on the EVSE, it's the outlet. Have you installed a level 2 charger? That helps a lot.


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Gently used 2014. Panicked a bit yesterday when I tried to charge and red lights were blinking. Tried a different outlet and all is well. It'll take a bit of getting used to. Car looks good, drives well. Tire pressure good; getting reasonable mileage on battery. I suppose I should check the fluid levels up front but otherwise I don't really know what else to inspect (I always assume the prior owner never did his required maintenance, so I believe in checking everything).

We get a fair bit of street flooding here after heavy rains; hence my concern about driving through water. Sounds as though it shouldn't be an issue. Surprised to hear folks can charge in rain as electricity and water don't mix, but makes sense that it's possible given the heavy sales in the Pacific Northwest.

Only one key; need to get a spare in case I lose it but don't want to pay dealer spare prices. May just get a blank key and have a locksmith duplicate. Won't have the remote features, but those aren't really necessary.

Read through all the posts on this forum; great stuff!
I'm not sure about the EV, but the ICE version has an immobizer that prevents the vehicle from starting if the correct key fob isn't inserted. Eg if you pull the key from the fob and attempt to start it, a key will appear on the dash and the vehicle won't start.

So I don't think a locksmith key would work.

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I'm getting a second key made for mine right now. Price tag? Are you sitting down? $250 dollars at the Smart Center. I think that's pretty ridiculous but probably cheaper than having a locksmith get you in a couple times. And like Bmercer said, it has to be coded in to the computer.


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Discussion Starter #11
I bought a used 2013 and love it. And yeah, if you get the red lights on the EVSE, it's the outlet. Have you installed a level 2 charger? That helps a lot.
Standard charging works well for me; just plug it in overnight. I have no interest in paying to install a 220 outlet and associated hardware.
 

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Standard charging works well for me; just plug it in overnight. I have no interest in paying to install a 220 outlet and associated hardware.


I totally agree. The bulk of the time, I could totally make do with my level one charger. I know there are some other guys that have too. I only put a level 2 in because I could install it myself and I got the cheapest ClipperCreek I could find. It ended up being around $450 for everything and there are times that it comes in handy. But in the long run, I wonder if your level 1 charger will prove to be better for your battery.


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I'm not sure about the EV, but the ICE version has an immobizer that prevents the vehicle from starting if the correct key fob isn't inserted. Eg if you pull the key from the fob and attempt to start it, a key will appear on the dash and the vehicle won't start.

So I don't think a locksmith key would work.
So does that mean if your fob battery dies that you can neither enter the car nor start the car???? Definitely need to keep a spare battery handy if that is the case.

So if you insert the key but the fob is not connected to the key, you are saying the immobilizer is activated? Even if the fob is right in the car with you? Does the car send an electrical impulse through the key to the electronics in the fob?
 

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So does that mean if your fob battery dies that you can neither enter the car nor start the car???? Definitely need to keep a spare battery handy if that is the case.

So if you insert the key but the fob is not connected to the key, you are saying the immobilizer is activated? Even if the fob is right in the car with you? Does the car send an electrical impulse through the key to the electronics in the fob?
When I first got my smart, I found that the key was huge, and definitely uncomfortable in my pocket, so I pulled the metal from the fob. There's a loop in the metal part of the key, so I put it on my key ring. Unless I put the fob on top of the key when I attempt to start it, I can't due to the immobilizer. Even if I put the key in and let the fob dangle at the end of the key ring, it's not close enough to disable the immobilizer.

So yes, if the battery dies you can no longer start the vehicle because the immobilizer cannot be disabled.

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Discussion Starter #15
I'm getting a second key made for mine right now. Price tag? Are you sitting down? $250 dollars at the Smart Center. I think that's pretty ridiculous but probably cheaper than having a locksmith get you in a couple times. And like Bmercer said, it has to be coded in to the computer.
SMART dealer is the only place you can get a key made? I'm guessing the computer is to program the electronics in the fob.
 

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I purchased a key on ebay, took it to a local key maker here in Medford, Oregon, who cut the key, but was unable to code it to the car. Took the key too the local MB dealer who programmed it. Works great. If I remember the total cost was $120.
 

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When I first got my smart, I found that the key was huge, and definitely uncomfortable in my pocket, so I pulled the metal from the fob. There's a loop in the metal part of the key, so I put it on my key ring. Unless I put the fob on top of the key when I attempt to start it, I can't due to the immobilizer. Even if I put the key in and let the fob dangle at the end of the key ring, it's not close enough to disable the immobilizer.

So yes, if the battery dies you can no longer start the vehicle because the immobilizer cannot be disabled.
But can you open the door with a key that doesn't have a working fob? As Chris stated, the cost of a locksmith is huge if you lock the key in the car, but you can get a blank key for $2 and have a locksmith key it for a bit more and then at least be able to get into the car with the 'spare' to retrieve your working key.
 

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But can you open the door with a key that doesn't have a working fob? As Chris stated, the cost of a locksmith is huge if you lock the key in the car, but you can get a blank key for $2 and have a locksmith key it for a bit more and then at least be able to get into the car with the 'spare' to retrieve your working key.
You should be able to enter the vehicle. I have never attempted to unlock my '15 without the fob, although I know there's a spot on the driver's door to insert the key to manually lock/unlock the door.

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The battery in the key fob only operates the remote to unlock/lock the doors and the back window. There is a microchip that works the immobilizer. Same as most american cars. they don't use a battery to lock out the immobilizers. The chip has to be on the metal blade for it to work.
 
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