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Everything posted by smart65

  1. Why Mazda Is Betting its Future on Gasoline While others look to hybrids and EVs, Mazda is refining the gasoline engine for the next 30 years, and keeping the manual transmission alive. Written by Bob Sorokanich and published by Road and Track on Nov 30, 2018.
  2. Borrowing from automotive history: Ford Model T's were commonly produced as a chassis only, with multiple coach builders completing each one independently. A recent article published by Jalopnik suggests that Tesla might similarly benefit from building its Model 3 as a chassis only, and contracting the body building to experts in the field,such as Mazda or Subaru.
  3. I think that the writer of the article was addressing Tesla's problem of producing cars without annoying body defects, rather than the basic design of the body. When I was in high school in 1955-60, I recall that GM cars still had badges proudly proclaiming "Body by Fisher".
  4. I was curious about where "Shoptictoc" was physically located. The Facebook page for the business had a "get directions" button. When I clicked on it, the map which came up was obviously of an area in Germany. After moving the display, looking for a familiar place name, I finally found Berlin. It's amazing that they can send product all the way to Canada with no shipping charge. An import fee may be applied though; we shall see. As part of the same Amazon transaction, I ordered a 0.5mm lead size mechanical pencil, which also featured free shipping. Amazon correspondence that I've received about that part of the order, indicates that the pencil is being sent from China.
  5. Economical source for CR1225 batteries I opened the key up and found that the battery was a quality Swiss made Renata brand. An Internet search found an seller (Shoptictoc) offering a 2-pack of Renata CR1225 batteries for $4.95 including free shipping! I ordered that item, and then added an order for a Renata 315 cell for my Longines watch (offered at $5.49, also including free shipping). I have bought batteries several times through the Internet, and found that the sellers just pop the items into an envelope and send it by Canada Post. This is the only way I buy small batteries any more.
  6. Today, after well over 13 years, my smart's key battery finally failed. The spare key was in a magnetic key holder under the dash, and it worked!. It is the same age as the other one, but had only rarely been used. Mercedes supplied an extra battery when the car was new, but I don't know where it ended up. Pill batteries can have a pretty amazing life span.
  8. This note has been posted in order to compile a list of potential buyers to be contacted when the time comes to part with my smart. I have been driving the car less and less each year due to arthritis, among other things. In a couple of years, I'll be an octogenarian, and am already pretty creaky. Eventually, it will be sold, either by me, or my wife, if I'm no longer around. I'd like to see it go to someone who values diesel smart car ownership. Selling it is complicated by the fact that it has hand controls, which cost over $1000 to have legally installed by a licensed specialist. When the time comes, if a person who needs a car with hand controls could be found, that would be ideal; the car could be signed over to him/her as long as the person has first legally qualified for driving using hand controls. If that ideal recipient can't be found, the hand controls would have to be removed before the title could be transferred. The odometer just passed 98,000 km this year. At the current rate of use, it will certainly be less than 100,000 km when it finally goes onto the market. It's fuel consumption records are available online on under user "smart65". Those records show that the odometer reading was 75,626 km on the day in October, 2008 when I filled the tank just prior to having the surgery which ultimately left me a paraplegic. The A/C was reconditioned a couple of years ago by M-B Oakville. It worked last year, but unfortunately has again lost its refrigerant. A couple of years ago, I had CsC member "Bessy", an apprentice mechanic at the time, replace the reluctor rings on the rear axles. He remarked that it was the first diesel smart that he had seen that had an intact original intercooler scoop. He described the car as "almost perfect". The Optima Redtop AGM maintenance-free battery is kept fully charged by being constantly monitored by a Battery Tender (TM) whenever parked at home in the garage. Every time I take it for a spin, it starts and performs flawlessly. Whenever it is started up (only on nice days), it's taken for at least a 20 km spin, guaranteeing that the engine reaches full operating temperature before shutdown. The thermostat has been upgraded, so operating temperature is in the range of 88-91C. The following text was copied from the text that appears at the bottom of my CsC posts, which describes the factory features that I ordered, and mods that I've made to the car: Some of extras on smart: tach & clock pods, heated seats, sound upgrade, underseat storage tray, electric P/S, softtouch, steelies & Blizzak winter tires, hand controls, MDC cruise control with W/W arm control, MDC armrest, front signal lights converted to Euro-style with original signal lights running as DRLs and front side lighting converted to act only as signal repeaters (now LED), Grundig 6 CD changer, MDC ultimate window package, Scangauge II, 3-spoke steering wheel with paddle shifters, Technine stage 2 remap, LED footlights under dash. I also have miscellaneous bits and pieces which would accompany the car (including a desktop model purchased from M-B). Maintenance records from day 1 included. Anyone who is interested in purchasing this unique car, is invited to send a CsC PM to me, supplying name and phone number and/or email address. The selling price will depend upon bids received at the time that I decide that I am ready to say goodbye to the car, or, if I delay too long, when my wife sells it after my passing. Anyone in the GTA area is welcome to visit my residence in Mississauga to check out the car in person. If it's a nice day, and not during the period when the on-road insurance is deactivated for winter, I'd be happy to demonstrate its performance on the road.
  9. My car has both the restrictor plug and an upgraded thermostat. Prior to those modifications, the normal operating temperature was 78-80C. It now runs at 88-91C due to the T-stat upgrade. I store the car over winter nowadays, but I'm pretty sure it would produce sufficient heat if I were to use it in winter. With regard to defrosting ... a working air conditioner is quite effective in dissipating excess humidity. Also, if the heater control is set to recirculate, humidity rapidly rises, and windows will fog up.
  10. I think you meant to say it's a 450 coupe; it looks just like my 2005 model.
  11. See attached PDF. A warmer climate spells trouble around the world._rain_storms.pdf
  12. From this American site: A clickable link on the site: http://5 Cool Things About the 2017 Chevy Bolt EV
  13. All that for nothing? Diesel engines were supposed to help us transition to an all-electric transportation system, but it turns out it was too little, too late. The Volkswagen debacle badly hurt diesel technology during, these past few years. The German carmaker has gone full-reverse and has become one of the industry’s largest investors in batteries and other electric powertrain technologies. There is not a lot of choice left when it comes down to buying a diesel-powered vehicle—on the consumer side, that is. Jeep, Hyundai and Kia will add diesel engine options before 2019 in the SUV segment, and we wish them luck. Another diesel promoter is General Motors that offers—among other models—the 2018 GMC Terrain, which comes in two diesel-powered flavours, both using the same 1.6-litre turbo-diesel engine. The 2018 Terrain’s retail price is $32,445, freight and delivery charges included. The Terrain SLE Diesel comes next, at $36,445. That’s a $4,000 difference for a technology that, at least according to the numbers published by Volkswagen for its TDI engines, promised a 30-percent fuel economy improvement. Today, it’s much less than that. Crunching the numbers The modern turbo-diesel is a rather hi-tech engine. It includes an automatic start-stop system that also improves overall fuel economy by a fraction. This is, in other words, the most optimal diesel-powered SUV GMC could come up with. On paper, it works. According to Natural Resources Canada’s numbers, the Terrain’s average fuel economy is rated at 8.6 L/100 km. The diesel version announces 7.4 L/100 km. Driving 25,000 kilometres per year, considering the difference in gas and diesel fuel prices, we should save about $375 per year, taking an average price of $1.25 per litre of fuel into account. The extra cost of going diesel will be absorbed within 10 years. Hopefully less if we drive more than 25,000 km a year, which is probably the reason why we’d buy a diesel vehicle. IRL In real life, the difference is still quite small between the Terrain’s base gas and diesel engines. Our tests in a suburban area (which means mostly highway cruising) reduces the diesel fuel economy gain to about 2 L/100 km. At this pace, the annual savings come down to $500. During that period, add the extra cost of filling up twice on the special urea-based solution needed to ensure the vehicle adheres to the environmental pollution standards, which will cost an additional $150-200, and those savings are significantly reduced. That means it could take up to 12 years to get the full return on buying a diesel-powered Terrain. GMC also offers a SLT version with the choice of either gasoline or diesel engines. The price difference in that case is reduced to $500 ($39,945 vs. $40,445), but that means we have to invest in a better-equipped, but higher-priced vehicle. That’s about the same time it takes to get our money back if we buy a plug-in hybrid or a fully electric car, which, considering Canada’s strong promotion of clean-emission vehicles, seem like a better option. Obviously, there are some instances where opting for a diesel-powered vehicle actually makes sense. But those cases are few, which tends to explain why most manufacturers are looking into plug-in hybrids and fully-electric vehicles as the better alternative, proving that diesel in Canada is agonizing, if not already dead, in 2018. Source:
  14. It's smart142, not smart124.
  15. Munich is/was the jumping off point for the 3 week European motorcycle tour that my wife and I enjoyed in 1983 (Beach's Motorcycle Adventures, They have connections with BMW GmbH which can supply motorcycles and cars for tour participants (and with other companies for other vehicles). We rode a rental 1976 BMW R90S. The Beach organization owned it and had imported it back to Germany from the USA. Since it carried a NY license plate, people would have assumed that we were Americans. I can believe how tired you both must be at this point, but this is the trip of a lifetime, so enjoy it to its fullest! I'm looking forward to seeing your roadster here in Canada.
  16. I thought that the replacement of CV shafts was to solve the problem of corroded/cracked reluctor rings. If so, replacement of the rings was deemed to be the most economical solution, after much discussion on this forum and others. Dealers cannot source them from M-B, but they are available. I can confirm that they work as well as the originals.
  17. Bosch GmbH claims to have developed a system which can reduce emissions from diesel engines to well below acceptable levels. The downside is that it cannot be retrofitted to existing engines.
  19. Looks a lot like a smart42. It only will go 70kph and range is not high, but the article is an interesting read. Click here
  20. I think the length of the url overwhelmed the link-handling logic of our site. I did a copy and paste of the following url to the address line of my browser and found that it worked..
  21. Article about a German Homeowner who bought two smart cars just to keep people from parking near driveway. Click here
  22. That, that is, is. That, that is not, is not. Is that it? it is!
  23. Watching the TV coverage of the scramble to evacuate south Florida, reminded me how impractical an all-electric vehicle can be. When mobility is required under emergency conditions like avoiding a fire, as at Fort McMurray, or a hurricane, short range and long recharge times are not compatible with the needs of evacuees. All-electric cars in south Florida are likely to be abandoned and inundated by the storm surge..
  24. The what3words app. can supply an unique address in the form of three words, for every 3x3 metre location on the surface of the planet. It's already being used to provide third world countries that never had a proper postal system, with a simple and effective addressing system. It is based upon the existing Global Positioning System. A link to a brochure which explains what3words in detail, follows:
  25. It seems to me that this system might have the same effect in the third world as the adoption of cell-phones had, where the infrastructure required for landlines was never fully implemented because the cell-phone technology had leap-frogged ahead. Similarly, sophisticated postal systems may not be necessary in many counties if what3words technology is generally adopted. The application is like a high-level language used to access relatively complicated addressing techniques, which still support the whole GPS addressing concept.