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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Under the topic "Three bars" the current issue afflicting my (wife's) 2008 451 is discussed.

I normally work on my cars myself, but I am at the point that I am considering having someone else fix it. I am in the Seattle area. Is there a shop in the area that someone here would recommend having the work done at?

I suspect that I will need to get the transmission replaced (well, I think a portion of the transmission needs to be rebuilt, but it would be more cost effective to just replace it with a used transmission (to go with the new gear selection motors and 3 year old clutch actuator in the car now)).
 

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The only place anywhere near you is the smart center on airport way near downtown Seattle.

I lived in Tacoma, and that was the only place that would even look at the car, let alone work on one. I tried all the MB service places, but they didn't have anyone "qualified" to work on it.
 

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What I did was call ALL the independant mercedes repair. Of the 10 M-B repair shops in my
area, 8 said NO. One had an early version of the M-B star diagnostic system. He TRIED but
couldn't link with the computer in my 2013 smart. One shop has the current star system, and
he assure me, that he can repair my car. A 30min drive to and from the local shop. A 2.5hr
drive to and 2.5hr drive back with the stealership in knoxville TN.......................
 

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Any qualified transmission shop. Could replace your transmission. I’d look into a rebuild, or salvage transmission.

MB dealership, going to be $$$$$$. The transmission replacement, might cost more the your smart car is worth.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
The "smart center on airport way" is better known as Mercedes-Benz of Seattle.

Our car got rear-ended about 6-7 years ago. The repair work was done by the insurance company recommended shop, but after we got the car back it kept throwing codes. We needed to take the car there to get them to perform some magic on the computers. It was a strange experience because the atmosphere in the service department was oriented more towards Mercedes S-class customers that smart customers.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
"Any qualified transmission shop. Could replace your transmission."

The last time that I took a car to a "qualified transmission shop", the radio was stolen out of the car while it was sitting in their yard. When I took delivery of my car and noticed that the radio was missing, the response that I got from the shop was "Oh, well. You should call your insurance company."
 

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"Any qualified transmission shop. Could replace your transmission."

The last time that I took a car to a "qualified transmission shop", the radio was stolen out of the car while it was sitting in their yard. When I took delivery of my car and noticed that the radio was missing, the response that I got from the shop was "Oh, well. You should call your insurance company."
So you’ll have that issue, at every transmission shop across the country. Any Auto service department you use too. My daughters Jeep was sitting on our driveway. 2 months ago. Street light across the street. We live in a nice neighbor too. They stole her in dash Sound /navigation system, out of her car. We called the police, got a report. Turned it into her insurance company.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
So you’ll have that issue, at every transmission shop across the country.
Yeah, I know. As I said, I mostly work on my stuff myself and that is one reason why. Our smart for rear-ended hard years ago. We gave it to the insurance company's preferred shop to repair, but afterward I found many things that they did wrong. And I had to take it to the Mercedes dealer to get the software straightened out afterward.

I saw a video on pulling the transmission and it doesn't look hard (I have rebuilt engines and they worked afterward).

Someone has offered to bring by their STAR clone to see if there is more Mercedes-specific codes to indicate where the problem is. I may need to get one of my own since we are keeping the smart for some time to come.
 

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I saw a video on pulling the transmission and it doesn't look hard (I have rebuilt engines and they worked afterward).
Having just recently removed the engine and trans, I would agree it's not really that hard. The two most frustrating parts were finding all the little connectors to separate the subassembly from the car and the second being discovering that the mid motor mount bracket needs to be removed before you can separate the engine and trans. I mostly documented the removal here if you'd like a review of the process I used. There were a few steps where I think doing them in a different order would be helpful which I mention in the thread.
i'm no great mechanic, just a guy known to tinker and learn so if I can do it anyone who's mechanically inclined should be able to do it.
 

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If you just need a part replaced, any mechanic worth their shop rate can work on these. I've had a Merlin shop do my belts and the local independent shop did my muffler and bearings.

It gets a little more weird when you start getting into things that need a STAR machine. When you start needing those kinds of repairs you'll need to contact a Euro specialist shop. Usually cheaper than the dealer but still quite expensive compared to a normal independent shop.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
YMMV. As noted above, our smart was rear-ended (25-30 mph hit) about 6-7 years ago. All things considered, the damage wasn't bad. Took it to the insurance company preferred shop. They had a STAR clone, but could not fix a programming issue with the transmission and it required a trip to the Mercedes dealer to resolve the problem.

A couple years later someone backed into the smart. I got the insurance co. to buy me a full set of excellent condition used body panels and I would install the ones that needed to be replaced instead of having the work done at a shop. What I found under the panels was that much of the repair work done after the car was rear-ended was poorly done.

About half of the time that I have someone else work on my cars, I found something that needs to be redone when I go over the work after I get the car home. I get other people to work on the cars when the work is under warranty, the work involves specialized tools/skills, or, the current situation, I don't have enough time. Including the smart, we have 5 cars and, not counting the smart's transmission woes, I have parts to install on 3 of them that I haven't been able to get to. Two of the cars were never sold new in the US, so there isn't a lot of local expertise on them.
 
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