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About mrcanoe

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    Kemptville (near Ottawa) Ontario
  1. OK, I'll bite -- why the swap -- what do you know about alloy rims that I don't? And how does one tell if one has alloy or steel?How much cash are you looking for, in a swap for steel? Cheers, Phil.
  2. So, coming back to the Smart, how do you transport a bike to/from the parking lot? I used to stick my Canadian Tire mountain bike in the cabin of the Smart (folding the passenger seat all the way down), but I stopped doing that when I had to swerve suddenly and I ended with the bike on top of me -- hard to drive. [Why a C.Tire bike -- because its so cheap I don't mind if it gets stolen again -- carbon U-locks notwithstanding.]Then I thought about buying a bike rack from Smart. The bike rack itself is dirt cheap, only $63. It requires the basic rack, which unfortunately has not been approved by Transport Canada, so it is not available. Other threads (last year) suggested buying a U-Haul trailer hitch (which apparently at one point was mountable on a Smart bumper), and then buying a bike rack that sits on the trailer hitch. But that was not cheap.Then I hit upon a Danon folding bike, with 20" wheels. Now I can fold the bike in half (and remove the two screws that fasten the handlebars to the front post, so the handlebars dangle by the brake/ gear cables), and stuff the whole lot quite comfortably in the luggage area, and still have room for my 21yo son to ride as a passenger. So we commute from Kemptville to University in Ottawa (about 50km), and then I park the Smart at the university, restore the bike, and bike the last 10km to work. I even have sheltered parking in the basement to protect the bike, so it does not get stolen We keep that up about 75 days over the summer (not counting vacations and really stormy days), so I figure I commuted about 1500km this summer (May-Sept).Anybody else tried transporting a bike in a Smart?Cheers, Phil.
  3. Well, you'll see me around Toronto about once a month. Driving the 401 is not bad, just try to avoid getting too close behind the big rigs.There's also a CSC member driving around Clappison Corners (north end of Burlington), and a few others that I have seen around Toronto. In fact, it was in 2005 that I first saw a Smart on the 404, and I thought to myself, driving my VUE (read SUV from Saturn), damn that is small -- and cute -- and doing fairly well. Then the CV transmission in my VUE broke for the third time in under 100,000km, and I cast about for a better deal -- and settled on the Smart. Cheers, Phil.P.S. Booneylander lives not too far from me, and I'm in Kemptville -- so what's the deal, are all the CSC members from Toronto not viewing new posts??
  4. I'm 6'0", 250lbs, and my 21yo son is 6'2", 300lbs. We've driven many miles in comfort, with either him or me as the driver. And oh, BTW, we've done the same in a '72 Mini (that's British Leyland, not the larger BMW version) and a '76 LeCar. In none of these cars have we felt squashed. And we walked away (minor cuts & bruises) from the crash that totaled the Mini (ran into a deer). Just setting the record straight...Cheers, Phil.
  5. In Ontario, all regular gas is E10 by law since July 2008. I stick to 91 octane (premium) and I get 5.5 L/100km when I drive in the summer (Apr-Oct) and I remember to stay below 90km/hr. Gas consumption increases when my 21yo son is with me, when I drive on the 400-series, when I'm late to work (140km/hr gets me there on time, at 7-ish L/100km), and in the winter, in the cold and with winter tires on. Summer driving I can get 520km/tank, winter driving I usually get 425km/tank. (But I've never run dry, so a "tank" usually means when the fuel guage starts reading 3.5L remaining.) BTW, does anybody know where I could buy 92/ 94/ 97 octane (in Ottawa/ Kingston area)? I'd like to see for myself what improvements I may get. Also other threads suggest certain air filters, and improving the side air intake, may also increase fuel efficiency.Cheers, Phil
  6. I have an '08 451 with two rear lights on each side, the top is one solid red lens, the bottom is a red lens surrounding the clear (white) lights used when reversing. The top lens only has one light bulb, with two filaments: bright (21w?) for brake/turn, and dim (5w?) for the tail-light. In their infinite wisdom, MB met the per Canadian Daylight Running Lights requirement by having the normal headlights and tail-lights always on, when the ignition is on. The trouble is, in the daytime it is hard to distinguish between the tail-light and the turn signal -- so other drivers are sadly not as aware of my intended lane changes as I would like them to be. (grin) I am looking at wellsmart in UK, at amber indicator rear conversion kit. What I want is the middle socket to have an amber bulb, that is used exclusively for rear turn signals. The top lens should be split into two halves, the lower half is clear (to let the amber light shine through) and the top half is red for brake/tail-light. See the kit at With shipping and taxes, that's CAD $275. [smartieParts says they do not have a similar conversion kit available in Canada.] Star Motors (Ottawa) told me the middle light socket (no bulb present) is used for rear fog lights -- i.e. they are always on (same as tail-lights). The wellsmart kit looks promising. So... the point of this post is to see if anyone has already tried this, and any tips they might have would be greatly appreciated. Cheers, Phil
  7. Sorry if this is wrong forum or if this is epeat of previous topic (not sure how to search for archived topics...). In Canada, daylight running lights are achieved by MDC on 451 (2008 Passion) by having full headlights on at all times, which means rear tail lights are lit during the day as well as night. Unfortunately, turn signal is the bright element of the same bulb, which on sunny days presents a problem in trying to make my intentions to switch lanes "visible" (ahem) to the other drivers. (Brake lights do not have same problem, owing to centre mounted brake light). I am seeking a solution. Optimally I might obtain amber turn signals (, imported from UK. Before I shell out &252 (where & should read pounds), or roughly $500, I'd like to see if I can get a turn signal light that is separate from the tail (dim) and brake (bright) light. My first thought was to mount trailer lights on the bumper (see also European bike racks for Smart -- which Transpo Canada has not allowed to be imported -- wonder why?). So I opened up the rear light access panel... ...and discovered a third socket on the light mounting board. The board itself appears to be an over-sized printed circuit -- by which I mean the printed circuits are much bigger than on say a computer printed circuit board. I tried to fit the tail/ brake light bulb into the third socket (in order to test its function), but it wouldn't fit. Now my tail light won't work at all in the top socket, although the bulb works as intended in the top socket on the other side. Leaving that as a separate issue, does anyone know if the third socket is in fact useable in any way on a 451 (2008 Passion), or is it simply a remnant from the design of the 450 rear light assembly? Further, does anyone know if you can obtain a separate rear turn light (preferrably amber) for said 451? [must add that I've had less confusion from other drivers in reading my left turn signal now the left tail light is out of commission. It just leaves me with only one working tail-light at night!] Cheers, Philmrcanoe
  8. Good to see others have same problem. Several times I back out of my driveway, which has a slope, and I find myself merely coasting onto the busy road, instead of having transmission engaged (dash shows R). Or after driving home, I stop on the road (not so busy at night), and try to reverse into the driveway, and get nothing displayed on the dash, although the gear selector has "R" lit up... and car goes nowhere while traffic piles up behind me. Embarrassing! Turning the ignition off and on doesn't always cure it, I'll try shifting through all gears. The people behind me will just have to get used to seeing me run through the sequence. Doesn't help that I'm a computer geek, and I have been so glib about comparisons between Windows and modern cars. I'll have to eat my own words! Cheers.451 (2008) Passion in Ottawa, Canada
  9. Okay, there's the lockmaster's gate on the south side of Nicholson's lock, with a small hill, from which one can take a picture of the whole line of Smarties lined up on the north approach to the bridge (all of which is pretty much single lane -- although I suppose you could squeeze in two Smarties abreast!!)That's the picture I want!!I'll zip down the south side from BR to Nicholson's while everyone else is coming down the north side, so we can get into position of you lot driving up : )It also occurs to me to stand on the River Rd bridge over 416 at about 1:20 -- I'll catch another picture of the (Ottawa contingent) lot of you coming over the Rideau River bridge -- um, you are coming down 416, right? The alternative is to come down old 16 (through North Gower), but then you'd end up the wrong end of town from MacEwens. Cheers.
  10. 9) Mrcanoe + wife (Suzanne) [tentative] -- cheers, Phil
  11. Okay, so I'm ignorant. A re-map does what? Re-configures certain settings in the computer chip(s) that control transmission, ESP, and the like? What specific improvements do you hope to see?Cheers, Phil
  12. Bought my 451 (2208 Smart Passion) from ogilvie's -- wasn't really impressed by the dealership -- they still haven't straightened out my sales slip, so I'm delayed in getting ecoRebate $2000 (which I had placed as downpayment). Heard good things about Star -- especially service shop. Its further from down town (work) but still en route from home. Cheers, Phil
  13. I'm still a newbie I guess. Picked up 2008 Smart (you call that a 451 or 452?) six weeks ago. Scouted around various sites, soon decided CsC best aligned with my own interests/ level of detail. I've seen a lot of Canadian posts, but didn't really think of CsC being Canadian-centric.Keep on truckin' guys!
  14. Okay, I've driven my Smart for about six weeks -- totally fed up with the transmission. My beefs?1) No clutch -- can't put the clutch out and glide forward in rush hour stop-and-go traffic. The car lurches from 2nd to 1st to 2nd to 1st to...2) I don't like looking at the dash while I'm looking at the traffic around me. In my Honda (and Saturn and VW and Mini), I put my hand on the gear knob and the position of the gear knob tells me what gear I'm in. In the Smart, the gear knob is always in the same position. Now I have to take my eyes off the road and focus on the dash (or listen to the engine revs).3) Starting off from stop, in other cars, you pull the gear knob down from UpperLeft corner to LowerLeft corner (1st to 2nd). Try that in a Smart, and you're downshifting from 1st to... 1st!~4) Try to use the (+) paddle when steering around corners, the flipping paddle is out of reach. I find I have to use the gear knob for at least the first gear change.5) Trying to downshift as I slow down, the Smart downshifts for me, so instead of dropping from 3rd to 2nd, it downshifts from 3rd to 1st... oops!6) Owner's manual actually says to avoid manually downshifting when it is slick on the roads, the ESP will not function correctly. I'll have to wait until next winter to find out if I can start from stop in 2nd gear ... old trick to gain more traction -- but again no clutch, so the car may try to get Smart on me.Newbie question - "452" is 2008 model, "451" is pre-2007 model, correct? Ever notice the 452 has dropped the "fortwo" tag? Now its just "smart". (None of MB documentation uses "452" label, they use "42C" label instead... so how did "452" label arise?) Cheers, Phil
  15. For anyone reading this thread, here is the official word on the basic carriers (avail June 2008), from MB. Speaking with dealership in Ottawa, they said they expected price to be $350 + installation (+ taxes). BTW, here you can find the best picture of what we're getting: -----Original Message----- From: [] Sent: Thursday, May 15, 2008 9:39 AM To: Subject: Reply from smart Canada Division Please note the European version basic rack has to be redesigned for the North American market due to differences in certification between these two markets and the vehicle themselves. The bike holders and ski holders are readily available in Canada, however the basic rack is required in order to fasten the bike/ski holders properly to the vehicle. Subsequently, the factory has informed us that availability of the basic rack is scheduled for sometime in June 2008. My apologies that we couldn't provide more favourable news at this time. Best regards, E. Somerville CSI Co-ordinator Mercedes-Benz Canada Inc. smart Canada Division --------------------------- Cheers, Phil