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Discussion Starter #1
My Smart with 66,000 miles started fine this morning but would not go into gear. Shifting out of park to reverse the "P" disappeared, but the "R" did not come on. I get a "N" for neutral. No "D" or number for any drive position. I have the engine warning light for the first time.

I am the only owner of the car and have never had any issue with it. I change my oil and filter every 6000 miles.

I turned off the engine and tried to restart thinking that it could be a computer issue. Engine would not restart and I was getting a warning sound. After multiple attempts to start the engine it would start, but still could not get into gear.

I am wondering if the sudden drop in temperature last night could be a contributing factor. Last night it was 50ºF and very rainy. Overnight the temperature dropped below freezing. Could some ice formation on any exterior engine or transmission part be affected? Right now the temperature is still below freezing. It should rise in the upper 30's today.

I am 240 miles from the nearest Smart dealer. If I need service it would be good if it could be done closer.
 

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Do you know anyone with a scangauge, Ultragauge, or OBDII scantool? It would help to know the check engine light code.
Without those, the first wild guess would be the clutch actuator or maybe one of the sensors on the back of the transmission near the rear bumper cover on the driver's side. That connector is known to get water inside. A little dielectric grease can drive that water problem away.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for responding. I scanned it -- Clutch actuator circuit open.

Where is the connector located? Is it where I can reach it without a lift?
 

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I found a thread on the clutch actuator maintenance. The connector location looks like I will have to reach in there blind to get at it.

Note that it appears that the transmission will not get out physical park. In neutral I can not roll the car.
 

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Pop the shifter lever box COVER up an inch and trip the yellow lever on the left side. that will release the shifter out of park. You can then proceed from there.

A stop light switch failure will cause your car to lock in park and exhibit other strange shifter behavior. Good Luck A2Jack
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thank you for all the good input. I am fortunate the problem has gone away by itself for the moment. It is getting an oil change tomorrow. When it is up on the lift I will have them clean and lubricate the clutch actuator connector.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Okay, cleaning the contacts worked until two days ago. I was running an errand, parked the car and turned off the engine. When I return to the car in a few minutes it started fine but would not move. The shift indicator on the dash showed P, R, N, D, & 1 as I selected each setting. The car would not move.

I got out and wiggled the electrical connector to the clutch actuator like I did a weeks back. No luck. I had it towed to my local mechanic.

I provided my mechanic with printouts on the clutch actuator from Evilution. He cleaned the electrical connection again and followed the print outs except that he did not remove the clutch actuator. He also did not remove the cover of the actuator since he noticed that the fasteners were coated with a plastic material. He was concerned about avoiding damage where the removal of the coating was not included in the Evilution article.

The question is what other diagnostics should we consider and what repair options are recommended? Obviously, money could be thrown at a dealer and they would happily get things working. That creates a problem for me since I don't have buckets of money laying around and the nearest dealer is 240 miles away.

Note that I have not sensed any issue with the clutch being out of adjustment or being worn or poor car acceleration. The car has been running perfect for the previous 6 years and 66,000 miles.

It is a 2008 Passion.
 

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I would try doing the transmission re-teach and make sure that the brake lights come on when the pedal is depressed. If you have the car in a shop, have someone run the car through the gears, key-on, & see if the clutch actuator is working. Clutch actuators have been known to fail, causing the symptom you describe. If you determine that the clutch actuator is at fault, try finding a used one on e-bay or order one from the dealer & have them ship it to you.
 

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Okay, cleaning the contacts worked until two days ago. I was running an errand, parked the car and turned off the engine. When I return to the car in a few minutes it started fine but would not move. The shift indicator on the dash showed P, R, N, D, & 1 as I selected each setting. The car would not move.

I got out and wiggled the electrical connector to the clutch actuator like I did a weeks back. No luck. I had it towed to my local mechanic.

I provided my mechanic with printouts on the clutch actuator from Evilution. He cleaned the electrical connection again and followed the print outs except that he did not remove the clutch actuator. He also did not remove the cover of the actuator since he noticed that the fasteners were coated with a plastic material. He was concerned about avoiding damage where the removal of the coating was not included in the Evilution article.

The question is what other diagnostics should we consider and what repair options are recommended? Obviously, money could be thrown at a dealer and they would happily get things working. That creates a problem for me since I don't have buckets of money laying around and the nearest dealer is 240 miles away.

Note that I have not sensed any issue with the clutch being out of adjustment or being worn or poor car acceleration. The car has been running perfect for the previous 6 years and 66,000 miles.

It is a 2008 Passion.
You need to do that actuator cleaning. Get the cover off and do it !!! Then seal her all back up.

IF that doesn't do it, you will need a new actuator (don't ask me how I know :eek:)
 

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The question is what other diagnostics should we consider and what repair options are recommended?
I am amazed at how complicated some people make a simple issue. I visit different repair shops and dealer service departments each day and am amazed at the things that theorhetical Professional mechanics do not know, whether it is theory, diagnosis, procedures or standard practices. I am in a near-constant state of amazement. Sometimes agast and agog, as well.

Anyway.

Think about how the system works. If the proper gear indication is displayed on the instrument cluster when the gear shift is moved to a particular position, one can assume the proper gear has been selected by the trans shift motors. This assumes one does not have a scan tool to read gear position directly. In order to select the gear the clutch must be disengaged, yes?

So the symptoms you report would suggest that the clutch can disengage and the shifter motors can, um, motor the shifty parts. The question then becomes, why will the car not move? One would conclude either the clutch is not engaging or it is engaging but not transmitting power, i.e., slipping.

What I would do is lift the rear of the car so the rear wheels are off the ground. Or the floor. Whatever. Clear of terra firma. And properly and securely supported. Then the party of the first part gets in the car and starts the engine, selects a drive gear and releases the brake. The party of the second part would be under the car and observe whether the clutch actuator is moving to disengage and engage the clutch and if so, whether the wheels are actually turning, If the actuator does not move the problem is obvious. If the actuator moves and the wheels turn then the car should move unless the clutch is slipping under load. The latter case would seem to be unlikely to appear suddenly.

Just thinking out loud here. No disrespect intended toward anyone present, living or dead.
 

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I just had a issue similar, on another of my car. Close to dead battery. Imobolize the shifter. Got to love modern electronics.

How many grandma's understand today's cars?
 

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2015 smart passion wont go into reverse or drive

I am having the same issue with my 2015 Smart Passion. 55k Miles.

2/8/19 I started the car and was about to head to work. Started the car then and shifted into Reverse but the dash did not display the "R". Same happened when shifted into Drive. No "D" appeared. The display would only show "P" when in park and "N" in neutral. CAR DOES NOT MOVE (only in neutral you are able to push the car). Read a few threads online, tried shutting off and on multiple times, removed the negative terminal from the battery and waited 5 mins. Still having the same issue. Had to get it towed to Mercedes of Manhattan dealership. Awaiting diagnostic report from them as they have had the car since 2/8, it is now 2/11.


IF ANYONE HAS A SOLUTION PLEASE POST HERE. I WOULD GREATLY APPRECIATE IT.
 

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Sounds like another clutch actuator needs cleaning, re-lubing and reseating. See threads on how to do it in this forum. Search clutch actuator. I just did mine for the second time in 7 years.
 
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