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Discussion Starter #1
Good morning from a first time user.....:wink: I have a 2009 SmartCar named Einstein. Hes been such a great ride from day one, that is, until a couple of months ago. While driving a short distance at normal highway speed, suddenly he jumped into neutral and there was absolutely NO way to put him into gear. I have been without wheels since then, because nobody, and that would include the Mercedes Benz dealership where I purchased him, can figure out what the problem is. The thermostat and sensor were changed and that made zero difference. btw, there are only 30,000 km on him. Any ideas, hints, etc? Sure would appreciate any help I can possibly get.....:(
Thanks in advance.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
where did neutral come from

Hello and thanks for the prompt suggestions. There was absolutely NO warning prior to this happening......in fact, after I had the thermostat changed, I drove Einstein from Guadalajara back to Puerto Vallarta....a 5 hour drive with zero problems. And then, two days later, it flipped into neutral again.... no reason, no warning, nothing. Frussssstrating! Will have a look at the vid you sent and then show it to my mechanic and pray. lol
This seems like a great site!!
I will post when we find a solution.
Thanks again
Sunny
 

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Any rainy weather or water splashing up on the under side of the car about the time of this issue?
I would check the connector on the transmission just infront of the rear bumper on the left hand side, and maybe apply a little dielectric grease before reconnecting it. I think there are a couple of connectors on the transmission that could be helped this way.
Jimvw57 spoke of issues something like this that were solved with the waterproofing of the dielectric grease.
Don't use it on the O2 sensors, however. That signal is apparently small and did not like the grease. It did cause a check engine light to light up and I ended up having to clean it off to get it to go away.

http://www.smartcarofamerica.com/forums/f25/p0805-clutch-position-sensor-circuit-problem-43409/#post496198

I think he was getting a P0805 Check engine code, however.

This could also possibly be an issue with the shift lever or SEL drive unit which is where the signal originates that tells the car what gear is selected, PRND or manually selected gears with the + and - selections. That is going to be a dealer issue for sure if it is that. They are expensive and difficult to troubleshoot as well as complicated. Ask Barney! About as easy to work on as a swiss chronometer mechanism.
 

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Here is another possibility, that is fairly common:

"Last night, wife phoned from the grocery store to say the car would not switch out of neutral. Sounded like a clutch actuator problem so I towed the car home and took a look this am. Actuator is fine, but the pushrod from the actuator to the clutch release fork had pushed right through the release fork ! In other words, the actuator rod moves in and out but is never going to release the clutch..."

This is from Clubsmartcar forum: Clutch fork failure - Club smart Car
one may have to log in or join to read, but worth it.
 

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Worth noting that that's a 450 with the clutch fork failure, although I think I've seen at least one report of it happening on a 451. Punch through can be "fixed" by either expanding the clutch actuator tip by attaching an acorn tip nut, or by attaching more material to the clutch fork itself.

You'll need to log in to see the pictures, but you can read everything without logging in.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I think I mentioned that I live near Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, and while its not all that sandy, the dust factor is huge.......of course, do I even KNOW how sandy it is on the roads? Nope......lol
yes, it seems to be its an early problem, but then again, I had no clue about Smarties until now......must say that I have adored driving Einstein from the get go and hate to be without him. Alas, I have just purchased a more reliable ride so not sure what will happen once we get this lil dude back on the road. Deep sigh!!!!
 
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