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About Eldor

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  1. Yeah, I believe it is only the rear drums which are controlled by the hand brake. The car is fine today... all it took was warmer conditions (heated garage) overnight and all was well. And luckily I'm only 6km from that dealer. I drove it home, slowly, but I could feel the brakes holding and the hand brake lever had a lot of free play in it.I wonder how many Smart owners actually use the hand brake though... I tend not to, and simply put the car into reverse before turning off the engine and removing the key.
  2. Thanks very much for posting the photos!I got my car back from the dealer, and they replaced the block heater element under warranty. All is well now.(But somebody's got to tell dealers that if they wash the car and put it outside in below zero weather, NOT to pull the hand brake! Mine was frozen on for the 6km it took to get it home and into my warm garage for the night.)
  3. Well, my dealer told me this was a decision made by MERCEDES. It has just happened, so it'll probably take a few days for the info to filter down to all the dealers.And yes, Evil, it's the bulb that's now covered, including the labour to change it.This particular dealer is not an independent but rather is Mercedes-Benz owned. (For anyone interested, it's the one on St-Jean's in the West Island of Montreal.
  4. My block heater's dead. And the dealer will be looking at it tomorrow morning. Covered by warranty (since this is a standard feature of the '06)? The service advisor wasn't able to immediately tell me, but she said that if at all possible she would try to have it covered.And as far as how long to plug the heater in, well, is there really something wrong with leaving it plugged in overnight? Unfortunately I'm responsible for several buildings and businesses, and I can't tell you how often I get a call from the alarm company in the middle of the night and have to run into town. So I'd like the engine warm and ready to go immediately. Can there really be any harm in keeping it plugged in?
  5. I was just talking with my dealer (well, not the dealer I bought from but another dealer who I'll be bringing my car to from now on) and they told me that since Friday there has been a change concerning headlight coverage under warranty on the Smart. They are NOW COVERED!!! That's since Friday and I am afraid that I didn't ask about '05 models, but for '06 and on they ARE covered.Maybe now I'll turn my daytime running lights back on.
  6. Thanks MG. I'll check under the car when I get home tonight. And also will check if there's power at the pass-thru. I did check that there was power getting TO the car.Wish I knew which part of the engine to look for the block heater though. Can it be seen only from underneath? Towards the front? It's going to be a bit tough to find it by flashlight when I get home, especially if I can't get completely underneath the car.Thanks for checking the ohm meter value of the heater for me.
  7. Last year I got one of the first '06 Smarts which were delivered without the block heater, but once the dealer received them they called me in and installed. (For some reason that installation took two full days! Maybe mine was the first one that dealer installed?)Anyway, I found last year that it made an incredible difference as my Smart sits outside overnight.This year I've tried a couple of times to use it (wasn't extremely cold yet but just slightly below zero) and the first day again I noticed an incredible difference in how quickly the engine warmed up. But then it seems to have stopped working. There used to be a slight snap like static as I connected/disconnected the plug, and that's stopped. And it now takes a long time for the engine to warm up. And checking with an ohm meter shows nothing.Anyone else experience trouble with the block heater?Is there any other diagnosis I might be able to do? I'm really reluctant to go back to my dealer (because they're the worst in Canada as far as I'm concerned) and would have to go to a different one and that would be a lot more inconvenient.Anyone know where physically the block heater is located? Can it be seen somewhere? Is it a one-piece unit from the block to the plug at the front, or does the wire snap/connect to the block heater (meaning could the connecting be bad or have fallen off?).And since the car is now 14 months old, I guess none of this would be warranty. SIGHThanks for any help.
  8. (Trying hard to keep a straight face here...) At such low mileage (17,000 km) with no noise or problem before the service but the bad bearing immediately after (and I do mean immediately - less than 4km!) to me there's no question that the dealer was at fault here.But I am reassured in a way that it wasn't normal wear, meaning no reason to replace the other bearing at the same time. Cheers!
  9. I didn't realize that left and right sides might not wear the same way. Thanks for pointing that out.As far as "abuse" goes, well, I certainly haven't abused the car and everything was fine (no noise and no complaints) immediately BEFORE the regular service but noisy immediately AFTER. Gee, to me it sounds like another example of shoddy service from this dealer.
  10. Gee Dan, and how about the ball joints on your Smart? In any case, your experience is disappointing. I believe you do a lot more in-city driving than I do and I'd suspect it would mean over worse (more pot-holed) roads. Most of my driving is in on the TransCanada. So if your ball joints had to be replaced at 28,000 and mine at 17,000 (after driving on smoother roads) something's really wrong. Let's just say we both were unlucky and that the should last at least 40,000 km on the Smart. Wouldn't that also be far too short a lifespan? I've never heard of a car needing new ball joints after such a shot distance.I will be going to the dealer on St John's in the future, but that'll make it harder for me as getting either back to my home on Ile Bizard (to pick up my other car) or to work will be much more difficult. But I'm going to do it anyway because I've been so unsatisfied with Silver Star's service. As I said, the worst I've ever experienced in over 30 years of owning new cars.Funny nobody commented on the wheel bearing issue. Anyone have an idea if the dealer could have damaged the bearing while replacing it? Or if it wore out just the same as the ball joint did? There was no noise (or anything for me to complain about) before I went in for that "routine" service. And if they changed one bearing, wouldn't it have made sense to change the other at the same time? Don't bearings wear evenly? I mean it's not like the right wheel would have less mileage than the left, right?Best regards...
  11. Okay, but after only 17,000 km??? And as I said, I do very little driving along city streets - it's mostly highway (and my office is right by a highway exit). DangerDan reports having his changed at 28,000 km, so heck, even if 30,000 would be considered "normal" for a Smart, that's still pretty lousy (not to mention expensive!).
  12. I love my Smart, but hate my dealer. They may be fine for Mercedes service, but when it comes to Smarts, my experience shows they’re simply incompetent. (My dealer is the one on Decarie in Montreal.) Latest issue was when I brought my car in for the first “B” service at 17,000 km with NO problems with the car. They said the car would be ready in 3 hours, and just before that time was up, I got a call from the “advisor” saying that the car needed new ball joints. “New ball joints?” I asked, “The car’s only got 17,000 km on it and is still new!” “Don’t you know what the roads are like in Montreal? But don’t worry, it’s a warranty repair” was the reply. Well I DO know what the roads are like here, and my other car has 120,000 km on it still with the original ball joints! And just about all my driving is coming into town on the TransCanada – highway driving, not bumpy country roads or pot-holed city streets. Ok, so I told them to go ahead. Near the end of the day the car was ready and I picked it up just before their service dept closed for the weekend. Driving the 4 km back to my office in bumper-to-bumper traffic I thought there was a funny noise but since I was going so slowly, I wasn’t 100% sure. But when I tried to drive home after work, there was a grinding noise, like something rubbing or a bad wheel bearing. The noise got louder when I went faster and continued even if I took my foot off the gas and coasted. I didn’t know what was wrong but I was afraid to drive the car. I made it home (slowly!) and parked it in my garage and used my other car for the next few days. This was the Labour Day weekend, so the dealer was closed on Monday. I called on Tuesday and got another appointment for Thursday. They insisted that I go for a drive with their technician even though I told them they’d hear the noise immediately (they made me wait 20 minutes for the technician). So we get in the car and start driving and he immediately hears the noise and suggests it might be a bad wheel bearing. And we’d only gone half a block! Anyway, I left the car and the dealer called me back a couple of hours later to say that it was indeed a bad bearing and that they’d ordered parts but the car wouldn’t be ready until the next day. SIGH The next day it was ready and when I picked it up I asked if they’d changed both of the front bearings and they said no, that they’d changed only one. (Heck, if the ball joints had to be replaced at such a low mileage and then also a wheel bearing, why wouldn’t they change both bearings at the same time? Perhaps because they’d make more money by changing the other one later?) So folks, how is it possible that a Smart with only 17,000 km needed new ball joints? How is it possible that by changing them, the dealer damaged a wheel bearing? If it’s “normal” for Smart ball joints to wear out at 17,000 km, then keeping the car well-maintained is going to be VERY costly! (In winter time when I went for my first “A” service, they told me they’d found something wrong with the air conditioning but that they had to order parts and would let me know when they arrived. The a/c was working just fine on the last warm fall day that I’d used it. The part came in a couple of weeks later and another service was scheduled. They changed the part and I thought everything would be fine. Well, the first warm day I found I had no a/c at all and that it was blowing warm air! Another service. And then another, and another. Yes, all for the same thing! Once they even called me to say the car was ready but before I left to pick it up they called back to say that there was still a problem and that they’d ordered something else and the car wouldn’t yet be ready. It was like some kind of comedy routine, which wasn’t really funny at all..) (The dealer also replaced the turbo on my car and that too took several visits and many many lost days for me to get fixed.) Anyway, almost every time I’ve gone for service for something they’ve found something else and had to keep the car while they ordered parts. And the car would be lost to me for several days. And then when I got the car back almost every time they’d damaged something else or not fixed it right, requiring yet another service. I’ve owned new cars for over 30 years now and I can honestly say that I have NEVER experienced as poor service from any other dealer at any time. And now I’ve had it with this dealer… I will never return to them, nor would I ever buy any vehicle from them in the future. And it’s quite possible that I might have bought a Mercedes from them if they’d treated me better. (My other car is a Lexus, by the way.) In spite of all this, I really do love my Smart, but really do hate the dealer! I just wish I’d have bought it from another dealer.
  13. Me too. Why haven't you installed it yet?I'm thinking that I'll install mine any day now... one of the things that had been keeping me from installing was the red LED - I'd at first thought I'd have to drill a hole and install that in the instrument cluster, but it seems that's not needed. That it could even be installed behind the carpeting somewhere. It's only used (it seems) for "programming" (which I also didn't know about). But the install is supposed to be fairly easy. My car's at the dealer right now (3400km) for the block heater installation and a check about a slight turbo whine which might be related to slightly poor fuel economy. (The best I've managed to get so far was 4.5L/100km on a prolonged highway 90-100kph drive and I think under those conditions I should have gotten better.) I also didn't really want the dealer to see that installation as they'd been very strongly against any add-ons.
  14. I tell them miles per US gallon. After all, most of the world is metric now, so most should understand L/100km, and for the rest, well, US probably works. I have a small spreadsheet on my palmtop that lets me put in miles per US gallons, or litres per 100 km and have the conversion to the other automatically done.
  15. I tell them miles per US gallon. After all, most of the world is metric now, so most should understand L/100km, and for the rest, well, US probably works. I have a small spreadsheet on my palmtop that lets me put in miles per US gallons, or litres per 100 km and have the conversion to the other automatically done.