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I am out of warrentee, 2008 cabrio - love the car, only 40,000 miles, but the local dealer closed and the nearest is an hour away. I cant seem to find an aftermarket shop that knows Smarts in the Norfolk-Virginia Beach area. Any suggestions?
 

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All the routine stuff like oil changes, brakes, tires, etc is the same as any other car. It's only if something particular to the smart goes wrong that it's best for a specialist to deal with it.
 

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I recently passed 148K on my smart, and I have always done all my own maintenance. There is nothing special about the smart. All regular maintenance is fairly easy.
 

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There is a Gemini Goodyear tire and service place that I took my other cars to. I would try them if I could not take it to my dealer. Since the dealer I take it too also services other makes and models of cars, it probably wont close down.
 

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Welcome!
In my experience, a mechanic or shop that you trust, and if they work on "foreign" models is even better, is good if you go to the trouble (not implying anything believe me) to learn from this forum about the smart. Lots of shops are willing to listen because the smart is so different. That has worked for me. Tell them you are a smart fanatic and you know....or think...(fill in the blank) and they might try it.
As posted elsewhere, I stopped at a way out in the country body works shop and they were going to restore a wrecked smart. They did not know where the battery was located and were glad for my ..diplomatic help. That's a key as well. Don't com on strong ie. "I know what's going on with smarts, here's what you do".
 

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Start training a shop you trust now. Bring the car in for an oil change and let them look it over. I started training my shop as soon as the warranty ran out.

One of the first things they fixed for me was that lower coolant hose that the body on all the 08s cuts open.

Next they saved me when a brake light switch went out, with full bars of death, no start and total dead in the water. Since the shop was just around the corner, the tow was cheap and the fix was less than 1/2 MB price.

Cultivate your local shop. You will be glad you did. A2Jack :)
 
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