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Everything posted by MikeT

  1. 200 km later I can say the engine's just fine, thanks.
  2. Our 405 needs some repairs that - at this point in time - tell me it's time to retire it and get something new. It has life left in it to be sure, but it needs a driveshaft, two new shocks on the front, a ball joint, 4 new tires, front pads and rotors......I am just thinking that I don't want to pour money into a losing prospect. The km is a little over 360,000. So I am looking at a few options. First the Cahier des Charges: [*]seats four comfortably, five adults in acceptable comfort [*]lots of rear seat headroom and legroom [*]lots of luggage room, more than the 405 preferably (and it has a huge trunk) [*]airbags all around plus side curtains [*]Maximum price with tax around $36,000 [*]good fuel economy potential [*]good car for highway road trips [*]manual gearbox [*]car only to be used infrequently, mainly for road trips We were considering a few cars: Audi A3 + looks good + good safety - only available with muscle-bound 200 HP engine - cost is above my preferred range - middling fuel economy - headroom and legroom issues in rear Toyota Prius + fantastic fuel economy potential, even on highway (4.x range) + reasonable legroom + massive gov't rebates ($4000 total) - rear headroom issues - trunk is smaller than 405's - brain-dead automatic transmission - safety is optional - need $4K option package to get stability control and sidebags Mercedes-Benz B 200 + good fuel economy rating on highway (6.7) and city (9.2) + tons of rear seat room, head and leg + looks OK, even though it's a van + price has been reduced to under $30,000 for 2008 model, without de-contenting it + heated seats available for $550 (used to be $200 more) - service costs will be high - no CDI!!! We would have considered a VW TDI wagon had they been available, but that is not gonna happen. As far as power and so on, I would find the 136 HP engine of the B 200 to be adequate....the car is supposed to do 0-100 in about 10 seconds and have a top end of 196 km/h, which makes it slightly quicker in both respects than my 405 was. That should be fine for our purposes. Any thoughts/words of wisdom?
  3. Update: about 12 days ago the alternator stopped charging and there was also a "new" noise from the poly-V belt. It snapped, fragmented/shredded on the way to the Nanaimo dealer and the car got hot too: 120°C or more, the temp warning came on. The temperature gauge in modern cars seems to dampen out normal temperature variations so the drivers don't get worried but this dampening meant that the temperature gauge showed 90°C one minute and 120°C the next. I thought I may have cooked it even though I shut the engine off within 10 seconds of the warning light. The smart was ahead of the broken down B200, with my son-in-law driving it... The root cause according to the dealer was the failure of the idler pulleys, which was making the belt slip and eventually overheated it to the point that it died. In the process the tensioner pulley "exploded" according to the work order! In the end the alternator was also damaged so I authorized its replacement - 340K km is a good innings for an alternator - along with the two idler pulleys as well as the tensioner pulley and belt. $2290 all in with labour. That's three months' payment on a new car, which I'd prefer not to have to buy right now. The engine seems fine after the getting hot episode so on we go towards 400K km.
  4. With the regular hybrid drive and gas 180 HP engine, the car would average a touch under 7L/100 km at 125-135 km/h mixed with city driving. The way we were using the car, we only had about 300 of the 6900 km on e-power only. If I had it in Canada it would be reversed - probably burning little fuel at all and mostly electricity - except for road trips.
  5. Driving this puppy around Europe this month and early November. Delivered new with 2 km on the clock, in my name until November 8th....then I have to give it back. We were 4 up at one point with our daughter Julia and her husband but they're heading to Iceland on the 23rd so from now on it's just Sandy and me. In Nîmes tonight, heading deep into Spain in 2 days. Autobahn A96 today.....traffic was too heavy for a proper opening up of the car to its 240 km/h top end, so this will have to do. I'll post a review about the car once I'm back. Pretty positive overall - plug in hybrid rather like a new Prius. Economical and fun to drive.
  6. Condolences.
  7. The trajectory here is following the trajectory of smart itself, a bit of a flash in the pan in Canada and even more so in the USA. The new Chinese "smarts" are atrocious things given the original brief for smart - I saw some in the UK, heading to dealers. The thrill of the new radical economy car in the Canadian market is long past; the current typical owner has it as a cheap thing to be disposed of once it needs a repair over $50. I'm not sure why other smart sites are more active. Maybe not being for profit and having pretty much absent site leadership and unclear ownership @CsC is part of the problem.
  8. No. Dealer or someone with a star machine and new SAM.
  9. Engine mounts I would guess....if they have never been changed, that will definitely be part of it.
  10. Erratum: the battery in the 508 is 11.8 kWh, not 17.8 kWh. Still, the Autobahn electric recharge would have been more expensive than gasoline.... I'd rather gargle razor blades than buy any Tesla. Too ugly, company owned by a fascist nutjob, mindblowingly godawful interiors, shit ride except in the airbagged S models. Nope. Range in the 508 on the small (for the 1750 kg car) 43L tank, with an empty battery was always over 600 km, reliably, driving at 130 km/h. With full battery, another 40-60. Still, we would not have the car here even if it was possible; it was not to our liking overall even though it drove well.
  11. I could see a plug in hybrid being useful around town and on the highway, just don't recharge it at commercial spots. Imagine filling a Tesla at that Autobahn price: 80 Euros to fill, for maybe 200-300 km (assuming its driven like this 508 was, often at 200+)! So full electric as a touring car? Nope, not unless the price become cheaper than petrol for the same distance!
  12. The copied photos didn't take....so here is one from south central Spain. Full review below the photo. Peugeot has a long history of making very good and high-capacity station wagons, especially in the post-WWII period: the 203, 403, 404, 504, and 505. They also made smaller ones that were not really first and foremost designed as heavy load carriers and among those I’d note the 204, 304, 305, and the 405. Before seeing the 508 station wagon in person, one could have the expectation that it’s more like the load carriers of old rather than the “lifestyle wagons” typified by the 405 if only because it’s about as long as a 504 station wagon; but that would be wrong. The 508 SW is not particularly capacious and its road manners are more like those of a sports sedan than a utility vehicle: · it’s rather low to the ground · rear legroom is OK but not especially generous · there would never be room for a third row of seats · the height of the load area is not all that great · the suspension is quite firm, and although it’s not uncomfortable on the road, it’s no 504 In my case, the 308 SW Hybrid that was reserved from EuropAuto.ca (upgraded at no charge by Peugeot to the 508 SW Hybrid) was chosen as the vehicle we would use in Europe to take 4 people and their luggage on a 2000 km trip through France, Belgium and Germany, and thereafter to take my wife and I on a further 5000 km journey through the entire Iberian Peninsula. You would imagine that a 308 SW or 508 SW would have no trouble swallowing 4 large suitcases and some smaller bags. I can’t speak to the 308 SW but I expect that it’d have been tighter than the 508; to get the luggage into the 508, the load area was packed to the ceiling – I do mean tight to the ceiling, to the point that the headliner was heavily compressed – and on the rear seat were two bags as well, with passengers on either side of them – blocking the rear seat area air conditioning vents. A 504 station wagon would have had no problem with this amount of luggage. OK… it’s not an old school capacious Peugeot load carrier…. The 508 Hybrid has a 180 HP 1600 cc turbocharged engine – the ex-BMW-Peugeot joint effort that started with a terrible reputation but seems to be better sorted now, with a total powertrain output of 225 HP counting the electric motor’s contribution to the effort. The power units are connected to an eight speed Aisin automatic gearbox. The electric motor has two sources of power: a regular hybrid buffer battery that can recapture kinetic energy and also the plug-in battery, that enables the car to operate as a full EV for a limited distance. More on this later. This technology is heavy; the car weighs in at about 1750 kg with the electric glass sunroof, and if you can’t plug the car in, part of that mass is dead weight. According to the French government certification sheet that came with the car, the top speed is rated as 250 km/h, but most other sources suggest 240 km/h is the limit. Either way, it’s reasonably fast. Acceleration is good at 0-100 km/h in under 8 seconds. We took delivery of GR-417-KF at the TT delivery centre at CDG Airport on October 15, 2023. It had 2 km on the odometer and the 43 L fuel tank was full. The car is light grey metallic with 17-inch wheels with W rated (270 km/h) tires, while most of the rest of the car matched GT specification – heated leather seats, lane keeping assist, electric sunroof and more, in Britain the “small” wheels would supposedly make it the base “Allure” model. Could British and French wheel specifications be different? The car has a 2.3 kW domestic power plug charger and cable that fits into the e-plug on the left rear fender. During the 23 days and nearly 6900 km with the car, we only managed to use this charger at 4 hotels, for a total of 7 days, or around 30% of the time. The first impression is that this is a low car, and the pronounced bolsters in the cushions of the front seats made ingress and egress more difficult than it should be. The seats had two electric adjustments: lumbar support and cushion angle; the other adjustments were manual. Both front seats were heated. Peugeot’s thermocouples in their cars’ seats seem to be very sensitive, as the seats never seem to get particularly warm, except on the first bit of a drive. The windshield also seems to be shallow in the vein of a 1960s car, and the low roofline limited headroom in the rear especially, though likely not as much as in the fastback – sedan – model. Peugeots have always had excellent steering and despite the electric assistance, the 508 is no exception. Straight line stability is exemplary and the weighting is perfect. I engaged the lane keeping assist during our time with the car and I think it is overly sensitive and frankly easily confused at motorway exits and where lanes merge. Perhaps its main benefit is detecting and correcting tired drivers. The car would occasionally remind us that we had been driving for two hours and it was time to stop. The 8 speed automatic transmission was very good and despite having paddle shifters fixed to the steering column, I very rarely used them – mainly when descending really steep hills and not using regenerative braking. The integration of the hybrid drive with the gasoline 1598 cc unit was OK but occasionally there were clunks and lumpiness as the mode changed from full electric to hybrid. Very usefully, the cruise control would maintain the set speed even on steep downhill sections by using kinetic energy recovery for recharging the batteries. Even if the car could not be plugged in, there was always hybrid function available so long as the regenerative – as opposed to plug-in – battery had any power from braking and other sources. A good example of this is the day that we drove from Mojácar to Granada – a 200 km run. We left with a full plug-in battery, showing a potential range of 68 km due to some local EV driving the day before. Getting onto the Autovia about 10 km after leaving the seafront Parador, the electric range was still showing around 46 km but once on the highway, at the 120 km/h speed limit, the electric drive diminished rapidly, lasting only about 38 km in total from the start. At that point the gasoline engine lit up and the regular hybrid system was active. When we got to Granada, I decided to drive up Sierra Nevada, a climb of about 1900 metres from Granada’s 700. The plug-in battery had been a 0% for most of the day and of course climbing the mountain was not going to improve that. But the descent, done using cruise control for the reason mentioned above, managed to recharge the plug-in battery to 47%. At one point near the bottom of the mountain, the kinetic recovery system was unable to maintain energy capture and I had to use the service brakes… presumably the circuitry was overheating and a pause in recharging was required. Otherwise, the battery could have made over 50% of a charge during this descent, which took maybe 20 to 25 minutes instead of the 3 hours it would take with the 220V charger. After about ten minutes, the kinetic recovery resumed normal operation. The same effect could be achieved using the brake pedal which also activates the kinetic recovery system, but I wanted to use cruise control so the service brakes were not used at all. An interesting experiment. Sierra Nevada is stunning by the way. Acceleration even with a full load of 4 people and too much luggage always seemed strong and torquey and there was never a sense that the car was in any way underpowered. It’s no drag racer but it’s very brisk. It was interesting watching the car’s on-board computer to see what the readout said when driving, particularly when the plug-in battery had charge. We once saw 68 km travelled with a fuel consumption of 0.0 L/100 km. On the drive to Granada, the consumption was 0.0 up to about 38 km and thereafter it climbed to just under 7 L/100 km at the summit of Sierra Nevada and then went back down to 6.4 when we arrived at our hotel in the Moorish Albaicin district, thanks to the 47% charge, which permitted 100% electric urban driving. We drove from Strasbourg to Munich but the Autobahn A5 is more or less a parking lot these days, with traffic having occasional bursts up to 160 km/h but lots of slow going. The A8 from Karlsruhe to Munich is not a lot better, with a massive rebuilding project that covered about 20 km. Once past Stuttgart, it opened up a little and my son-in-law was able to get up to 193 when a short window opened up in traffic. After the couple of days in Munich, Sandy and I were alone in the car heading to deepest Spain and the Autobahn 96 to Lindau was more lightly travelled and I was able to get above 230 km/h for a few seconds, but had to back off immediately due to the high closing speed on traffic up ahead, moving at a glacial 150 km/h or so. There is no doubt that the car will achieve its 240 km/h top speed rather easily, and so the 508 must be quite aerodynamic. The 508 rides well on the highway, reasonably firm and well damped. There was the odd occasion when it seemed as though more suspension travel would have been useful, though it never bottomed out on its bump stops. In town, the ride was a bit jiggly but larger bumps were handled well. The proximity sensors built into the bumpers were overly sensitive, beeping like crazy and showing red on the screen when there was still a fair bit of space. Which leads me to the GPS – it’s a TomTom system, and compared to the Google system in Volvo’s XC90, it was not very good. The main problem is that in cities with super narrow streets, it will direct you down ones that clearly are far too narrow. This happened to us in Granada, when we were headed to our hotel. I missed a turn and it recalculated, sending us down a series of roads that eventually got as narrow as the space between the car’s side mirrors. When I realized that we could not go any further, after a brief moment of panic (!) I managed to do a 100 point turn to get it pointing the wrong way down the one way street and to get out. This should not be a problem. Another thing that the Google nav does better is tell you where there is road construction, traffic congestion (and suggesting alternate routes). The 508’s system was good enough in normal circumstances but not in all. The 508 has interesting slimline LED headlights with multiple reflectors and a driver-selectable Auto function that operates the high/main beam in phases, depending upon what light sources are ahead of us. As a driver I appreciate its ability to illuminate parts of the road ahead while ostensibly not blinding oncoming drivers. Couple of comments though, as a potential long-term owner: 1. I wonder what a component failure (e.g. light source) will cost to replace. My guess is the units are sold integrally at many hundreds of Euros. 2. on the Autoroutes we were on with 4 up and luggage, the lights would not react to oncoming trucks in the other carriageway in time for the drivers, who often winked their roof lights and main beams at us. This could be down to the high driving position on those units along with median barrier blocking the truck headlights from the 508’s sensors. 3. The headlights were also too sensitive to other light sources such as streetlights, where it’d still have been nice to have a bit more light. Of course, manual high beam is just a flick of the wrist away. Overall, I liked these lights very much. During the 6883 km that we drove this car, the average fuel consumption calculated by actual fills was 6.68 L/100 km. This compares to the 8.37 L/100 km that we managed in the Volvo XC90 B5 mild hybrid in the UK and Ireland over 4100 km, which was driven at 70 MPH on the motorways, a bit slower than the 508. It was a 7 seater, a behemoth of a vehicle, and yet reasonably economical. It makes me wonder what a plug-in hybrid XC90 might have done. We didn’t pay for any of the electric “fills” which were all done in hotel and Spanish Parador parking garages, which is just as well, because one place – an Autobahn rest area – where we saw a suitable commercial charger for the 508, it cost 68 Euro cents for 1 kWh. The battery holds 17.8 kWh and so a fill would cost 12 EUR. That fill would likely last 45 km in average driving conditions. On gasoline and normal hybrid alone, assuming ~7 L/100 km, that same 45 km would be about 3.5 L of fuel, which would cost half what the electricity did. Not a compelling case for EVs as touring cars. The 508 was returned to Peugeot at the CDG TT site on Tuesday November 7th and as is normal for this program, the car’s condition was not important and it ceased to be my property at 11:30 AM on that day. As it turns out, we had been rear-ended by a Fiat 500 in Le Mans the day before, but the damage was nearly imperceptible: a small scuff on the paint near the towing hook hole area, and a small chip in the car’s black diffuser. I told the Fiat driver to not worry about it and no exchange of information or constat amiable was filled out, which probably made his day. The question after all of this is whether the 508 SW Hybrid is a car I’d like to own. Maybe, is the most generous answer I can give. My wife did not like the seats and I too found them uncomfortable. We both enjoyed the Volvo XC90 – a vehicle type I generally don’t like at all – much more, with respect to comfort.
  13. ...and they have particle filters.....so the electronics won't be compatible.
  14. Spotted on the Autoroute near Narbonne yesterday by a trucker who's in a FB group I belong to....
  15. Rear view, parked a week ago outside Galeries Lafayette in Paris
  16. Everyone wants a Dually, even smart drivers.
  17. ...and beware, the 451 has totally different offsets.....
  18. They're 4 inches for the 450. Early (pre-Canadian importation) front wheels were 3,5 inches wide.
  19. A truck driver questioning your masculinity because of the smart, LOL. A hard driven 450 cdi with a remap should do 68 Imperial MPG - that's what mine does. The one I had that was not remapped, driven moderately, averaged 71 Imp MPG. Driven gently, either will do 90 MPG with ease.
  20. To get the collector plates, the car has to be 25 years old. So, 2030 for early 2005 models.
  21. Oh all right then, we're doing photos...... The first one that we factory specced in early 2004: The BRABUS Canada 1 we bought in Toronto in 2010 off lease with 380 km on the odometer, here photographed at speed on the local racetrack in 2022:
  22. It's the circle of life of all cars with character. The first buyers were keeners....I for example was on a waiting list between summer 2002 and the very start of 2005 before mine came in. We were all doing road trips together, it was great. We are now in the "malaise" era of the use car cycle, where the typical buyer of a smart diesel (especially) doesn't see it as anything other than a cheap POS to be run into the ground and then scrapped. The few survivors that make it to 25 years and beyond - I'm going to guess at most 2000 cars in decent running condition, of the over 10,000 sold - may be rediscovered by collectors of oddball vehicles and some will be cherished. As they approach age 30, they may actually begin to gain in collector value. In 2031 mine will become eligible for collector plates and that's what I'm going to do. It will have well over 250,000 km by then. Eddy, if you still have a good stock of BRABUS and other good parts for them, your place will be even more of a smart-Mecca than it was in the old days!
  23. long live CsC!
  24. Back when ClubsmartCar made a bunch of T-shirts around 2006, I ordered a few of them for the kids, but they were never tried on or worn. So I'd like to get rid of them. Description and sample photos below: 1x Men's Medium Hemp shirt - heavier material - $15 OBO plus postage 1x Men's Medium 70% Bamboo / 30% Organic Cotton shirt - light silky material - $15 OBO plus postage 2x Woman's Medium 70% Bamboo / 30% Organic Cotton fitted shirt with shorter sleeves - light silky material - $15 each OBO plus postage They have to go, so please don't be shy and make an offer, though free would be a stretch! small logo on front, later one on the rear. Men's (this is the Hemp shirt but both look the same) Women's shirt PayPal OK. Contact me at tippett -at- s h a w dot ca (using the usual syntax)