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About Jocko

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    West Island, Montreal, Canada

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  1. Thanks guys. Yeah the more I look at it the more it looks like you have to replace the whole steering column which I was hoping to avoid. The steering is still easy and it's not that the joint is stiff, the problem is that I can really start to feel the clunk in the joint so it's definitely getting loose and sloppy in there and will need replacing with a dealer part. There is the whole issue with the clock spring, assorted wiring from the levers and airbag etc. to deal with. I'll let you know how I make out.
  2. I have a 2016 451 ED and last year I had the "Hard to Turn" problem on the U-joint on the lower steering column. I greased it last spring and no issues since. Until now... Now I'm getting a small clicking sound on the steering column and a bit of loose. I've seen this in other cars and its sounding like the lower U-joint is going. I'm just starting to look into this and I'm wondering if I could do it myself. Has anyone ever replaced this lower joint? I looked on the MB parts site and I only get the part as an assembly of the steering column. Smart steering column part # 4514600001 Is there a way to just rebuild the U-Joint? Cheers!
  3. Thanks for the input. The ball joints and bushings are getting noisy on both sides after 130K km and like you say its easier to just change out the whole thing. I'll keep an eye on the sway bar linkage bolts but I changed them out last year with the tie rod ends, They should come out OK and shouldn't be too rusty. I found a great video showing how to change out the control arms. He changes the whole suspension out so it might help others with similar issues. Check it out It also makes me a bit more confident to do it myself so I"ll probably give it a go in the next couple of weeks. Cheers
  4. The control arm is the A frame on the lower front suspension. It is connected to the frame by 2 bolts and the point holds the ball joint. MB part #4513300010
  5. Has anyone replaced the control arms on the Smart 451 ED? I wondering if I should give it a try or take it to an Indi shop. Gas 451 is the same. I'm a pretty good mechanic with an impact but no torch. I always stress out when I tackle suspension in my garage because you often end up breaking tools on suspension bolts. Any special tricks I should be aware of or should I just bring it in because its not worth the hassle? Thanks
  6. Follow up. Drove all winter and no issues. The steering is perfect and loose. I will give the car a good power wash this spring and may try another lube but I won't mention which in case it sets someone off. LOL
  7. How to grease the Lower U-Joint and check the ground. OK here we go! So indeed there is a way to get to the U-Joint and the steering box from the wheel well to grease the U-Joint and check the ground and here is how. First is to get the left side of the car in the air with a floor jack so as not to become a statistic as was correctly previously mentioned because you will be getting under the car with the wheel off. I removed the front left (drivers side ) wheel. I also undid the 2 plastic clips to remove the plastic liner thinking it would give me more room but this step is unnecessary. When I put it back I realized it didn't help so don't bother. Between the tie rod bar you can clearly see the clip to the ground and the U-Joint. I only had a big can of WD-40 or I would have started with that. You can squeeze a regular can inside the hole there and once on the other side you can reach in, grab the can and hose the U-Joint. I'm not going to lie, it's tight in there but I did manage to douse it in grease. I also grabbed the ground wire and pulled it off to put it back on just in case but the connection looked fine. I think the resistance in the U-Joint was just too high. I ended up using Fluid Film grease. It's a wax type and will penetrate and wick. I'm not sure what the best choice would be. Penetrating oils will evaporate and make it looser and grease won't penetrate. Food for thought for another thread. After working the steering from end to end about 20 times it became loose and was practically normal. I imagine the grease will take some time to work itself in. It ended up not being that hard so I may do it again. After hearing about others having similar issues I wonder if it isn't worth doing every fall for maintenance. So to summarize. It was the U-Joints. I greased the inner one under the dash to be sure but with no effect. I greased the lower U-joint and it resolved the issue for the moment. Let's see how long it lasts. Thanks for all the input. It was greatly appreciated. Cheers,
  8. Thanks for the replies guys I should mention that the steering is sort of easy and then hard then easy when I turn now. So I am kinda leaning more towards the U-Joint. That being said I did get the car in the air on jack stands as high as I could and you don't see squat from underneath. It really takes a hoist. I'm going to try from the drivers side wheel well and see if I can't get at it. I have the feeling its both the ground and the U-Joint. I'll let you know how I make out. Cheers
  9. OK so I got under the car and removed the front of the splash guard. I can't get the car high enough off the ground without a lift to see the steering but everything looks OK. I spoke to another mechanic who works a lot on Smart cars and he tells me its the U-joint too. I also read a bit more and it seems water can get into the U-Joint make it easier temporarily. So it is looking like the U-Joints. So I got under the dash and greased the internal U-joint but no luck. The steering is a bit better but it looks like the lower U-joint near the steering box. My question is how do you get at it? I see nothing from below. From above I see only the 2 tanks for the Washer fluid and the coolant overflow. Do I bother taking the front off the car? I'm afraid that I take it all off and still can't get to that U-Joint. Any ideas or experience would be appreciated. This is a 2016 451 Smart Electric Drive. It should be the same as the gas car of the same era but I only see stuff for the 450 and the steering is different. Cheers
  10. Thanks for the reply. I hadn't seen those but I doubt it the U-joint because the car isn't that old and a daily drver. It just rained the last few days and now the power steering works so I'm guessing its a poor ground on the steering pump or in the electric steering. I changed out both tie-rods last fall because they were loose. I'm goiing to put some new front brakes this weekend and get in there to inspect. I'll try to post photos of what I find. Cheers
  11. 2016 Smart ED with 97K and daily driver. I noticed my steering getting harder and harder over the last month. I thought maybe it was the cold. Now that it warmed up it's still hard. Here is the kicker. I drove it in the rain and the power steering came back. A week later and the steering is back to being hard. Any ideas? Electric power steering? Lack of fluid? Is there a pump? Any one know how this thing works? Thanks
  12. I saw one here in Montreal that they rigged with a snow plow on the front and they used it to clean the entrance drive of an apartment building. The up side is that its use is unlimited indoors. No toxic gas.
  13. Thanks for the response. I call Tables the bottom plates with the bushings and the ball joint. They're commonly referred to as control arms. They still look solid so I'm going to wait. Yeah I was just going to bring it to my local alignment shop. I just changed out the 2 tie rod ends and 2 sway bar linkages. Just the one tie rod end was toast but I usually do both while I'm at it. The linkages were just starting to make noise and it drives me a bit nuts to hear noise with a car that's so quite, so while I'm there... So nothing special for the alignment in other words? It's just I hate giving MB $175 plus tax for a job I know is fairly simple that I can get done for half that price. Cheers!
  14. Hi everyone, Just got my 2016 EV back from the 100k km service at MB and I have a list of front suspension issues. Mainly a loose tie rod and linkages. Anyone else had issues like this? I was going to replace both tie rods and linkages myself. I'm wondering if I should also do the tables or should I wait for them to get loose too. I also find a MB $170 alignment a tad crazy seeing as it is a simple rear wheel drive. Can an indi shop do the alignment after the repair?
  15. Hi Mari, I realize this thread is getting a bit stale but I'm curious how you made out with your car. In my case my car had just finished the warranty the month before so I presume they thought I might try to pursue them legally but its only a guess. They offered the good will right up front as I said previously. I'm guessing that if there is too much fluctuation in the voltage of the HV battery it disables the car and throws the codes noted. Once you restart the car it clears the code and you can drive until it happens again. The MB High Voltage is a bit of a black box as I discovered. I didn't find anyone who could replace or repair the battery except MB. On other EVs you can sometimes find a replacement or have it serviced and installed at a specialty garage. Not in this case. You have to replace the unit at a cost of $12,000 for the 1 part and only at MB. The battery pack is a sealed unit and in case of an accident there are explosive charges that disconnect the battery mains from the car. This makes getting a battery pack from a wreck almost impossible. I have read that even MB cannot fix the battery once the charges have been blown. I hope it all worked out for you.