Harleyduo

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About Harleyduo

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  • Location
    Southeastern MICHIGAN (Adrian)
  1. My first experience with the NEW authorized service center for smart in Ann Arbor (Mercedes Benz dealership) was very positive. Although they did not have the parts the day before, they had them shipped in via overnight express and it was completed by the next day. My service advisor even informed me that they needed s special tool that they did not have, yet, because it had not arrived from Germany, so they ended up sending a person over to the Bloomfield Hills, MI, dealership and getting it to complete the repair on my car. Everybody I encountered was friendly, down to earth, helpful, and true to their word. I am IMPRESSED, with my first encounter. My wife went along on this trip and she also really felt positive about the dealership and people we encountered. My hat's off to the new service center.
  2. Those of you who predicted that they probably wouldn't have very many parts on hand were absolutely correct. I decided to get three different repairs done and each of those required one part and none of the three were in stock. However, the good news is that they promised to have those parts shipped overnight and they were nice enough to send me home in a Mercedes Benz with just over 1,000 miles on it, because my heater blower had gone out and in the 7 degree weather I drove up there in, my windows were frosted over inside the car. It's a good thing I have heated seats or I would have really been frozen after my hour drive. They predicted that my vehicle would be done the next day (Friday) and if the parts came too late in the day to finish the repairs they would finish it up on Saturday. Now, we'll get to see how accurate their predictions are. Oddly enough, it's much easier for me to get in and out of my little Smart than the more expensive Mercedes. He was going to send me home in a smart car loaner but said they did not have any, yet. When I complained that I thought loyal customers who have been having their cars serviced regularly at the authorized smart centers should have been notified that the service location had been changed, I was told that they also did not get the official notice until after their phone was ringing off the hook with customers that the previous service dealership had informed that Ann Arbor would be their official service center. Sounds like MBA needs some lessons on making a good impression in their business dealings.
  3. Well, if that is the case, I blame it on how badly the product has been marketed and supported in the U.S. For instance, if you decide to buy a little Fiat 500, you can find it at all kinds of dealerships including many if not most Chrysler dealers and but buy it and get it serviced at most Chrysler Dealerships probably in your home town. If you choose to buy a smart, there is probably only one authorized dealership in your state and it may be very, very far away causing all kinds of issues. They have one of the best ways to order the smart cars and one of the worst ways to actually end up owning one, and getting service and support. I cannot believe that Mercedes lets their dealerships not be smart dealers and make them more readily available. That alone would surely increase sales. I've talked to all kinds of people in my home town that would like to own one, but they are not about to travel for two hours to purchase it and then take it that far for service. I'm sure the Mercedes dealership that is no longer the authorized service center is still a Mercedes dealership. I almost see this as a case where the dog is wagging the Mercedes tail.
  4. Today is Feb. 16, 2016 and I just placed a call to the Michigan Mercedes Benz dealership in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, that took over when Roger Penske surrendered the smart car franchise back over to Mercedes Benz. I was quite surprised when I was informed that they were no longer the authorized smart car repair center and they could no longer order parts for smart cars. I was then told that the Mercedes Benz dealership in Ann Arbor, Michigan, is now the authorized smart car repair place in Michigan. I subsequently placed a call to Ann Arbor and that was verified and I made my appointment. I'm fearful that they won't have much inventory of the parts I might need to get my blower motor fixed on my heater, and just a little surprised that nobody within the smart car system bothered to notify me since I have faithfully had all my maintenance work and even oil changes done through their authorized service centers. I also am trying to figure out what's going on to make this new 'change' happen. I'd love hearing from anybody who knows more about it than I do.
  5. Ok, so my only complaint about my smart dealership during the short time that Roger Penske was in charge was that the dealerships were too limited and too far apart. I was sure I read that when Daimler took over the smart dealerships in America there would be MORE dealerships so smart owners did not have to travel so far to purchase their cars or get them serviced. I have several Mercedez Benz dealerships much closer to me than the 80+ miles I have to travel to my smart dealerships, so why is Daimler still limiting their expansion of smart dealerships, if they really want to keep producing them and claiming them in their product lineup? I have had at least several dozen people express an interest in buying a smart car UNTIL they hear how far away the nearest dealership is. Most working people cannot afford to take time off to get to and from a dealership in the hours their service departments are open when they are that far away. I have had a very positive experience with my smart car and am beginning to think about its replacement but if Daimler does not increase the number of authorized service areas I'm not sure whether I'll buy another, nor will I continue to encourage others to do so. Even if they want to limit how many dealers can sell them you would think they would still have all dealerships service them. I can't imagine other vehicles manufacturers trying to market and support their products as poorly as this one has been marketed and supported by Daimler. Who should we contact to voice our dissatisfaction? It's time they take note. Six model years have gone by since I bought mine and I feel that's plenty of time to take action.
  6. THAT WAS IT! I took a metal dental pick and dug around and could not see or get anything out, even with the shop vac's help. So I loosened up the bolt holding that stubby little section of seat belt in and although i couldn't do much with it due to the short wire that is fastened to it for the seat belt sensor, I could at least turn it upside down and tap it a bit on the emergency brake/parking brake lever and that coupled with digging around some more and then trying to slide a the bottom plate that I could see backwards with the pick, I suddenly dislodged a very small piece of paper, sort of like a piece of a paper drinking straw wrapper from McDonad's. Once I pulled that free, the insides of the buckle were free to move properly again and it works just fine. I reconnected the bolt and was very relieved that your tip saved me either a cost of a service repair or the cost of buying a replacement buckle and having to route that little wire from under the seat. I appreciate the help tremendously. When I first tried just the vacuum and pick and it still didn't work, I thought I was going to be out of luck, but fortunately, I pursued your idea just one step further and I'm so happy that I did and that you offered up the suggestion.Thanks!Ron
  7. My passenger side seat belt buckle (the attached.female side) suddenly stopped letting the belt be plugged in. Has anybody else experienced such a problem and if so what did you need to do to fix it? I cannot seem to see anything broken in the little bit I can see down into that little opening.Secondly, in replacing a low beam headlight I got so frustrated with losing the wire clip and having to make one out of a paperclip that I completely forgot to put the rubber weather shield back on that I had laid in the recessed windshield wiper area while working on the headlight, and now it's lost forever. Has anybody tried to get a replacement rubber cover for a bulb and if so where did you get it and how much? I'm still also trying to find a replacement headlight bulb retainer clip so if anybody has s source I really could use that information. I was not happy at all when the dealership told me that the only way I could get the wire clip was to buy a complete headlight assembly for over $300. Come on, now...it's a wire spring clip that's prone to pop off and go flying, do you mean there's not a 'need' for such a replacement part on its own accord?I hope somebody can offer up some advice or help on any of these issues.
  8. Since I bought my smart car, back in 2008, I had dreamed of having a very lightweight camping trailer to 'match' it in size and light enough to pull with the smartie. Well, I found one and it's very fun to camp in it but I've recently had both knees replaced and it's not nearly as easy for me to get in and out of it as it was before, so I'm going to sell my little trailer off. Unfortunately, I lost all my pictures recently when my hard disk died, so I'll have to take some more to send if anybody is interested. This trailer weighs about 600 pounds with a light tongue weight. My 2008 Passion Cabriolet seems to have no problems moving right down the road with it and I've also pulled it behind a full size GMC pickup truck. Since it's so hard to find any kind of hard sided camper that can be pulled by a smart car, I wanted to post it for sale here, first, before I post it on RV/Camper web sites. These are incredibly hard to find and also tremendously expensive if you buy them from a manufacturer. This one was built by a man who ran a company out of his home near Belleville, MI, for several years, and it's quite nice looking, with two large doors with vented windows and a ceiling vent plus the cook stove and galley in the pop up hatch in the rear. I'm letting it go for $2,599. If you are at all interested, drop me a personal message and we'll connect via what methods works best.This item has been SOLD! (to another smart car owner ---Ann Arbor Jack is the new owner).
  9. Although I have the dual cupholder option on my 2008 Passion, all my passengers have commented that the rear cupholder is just TOO FAR of a stretch to be used comfortably. I purchased one of those plastic holders that is designed to hang from the door edge by hooking in the slot where the window track is, but that was just too flimsy and tended to spill the drink if the door was opened or shut. Then I made the discovery that I could also hang that on the top of the glove box door and the bottom of the cup would also rest on the dashboard's shelflike edge. That has been very warmly received and is perhaps the most used 'option' I have added to my car. The best thing is that I think the cupholder cost less than a dollar.
  10. Dave, Do you know exactly what vehicle that handle was originally on? I'm thinking that would be very helpful to help us locate a similar one without having to duplicate your search. Of course, I understand that it could have already been removed and not on the vehicle when you 'discovered' it.Thanks in advance.Harleyduo
  11. I'm not carrying a lot of tools but the dozen or so that I do carry I have placed in one of those rolled up tool wraps (you can buy them at Sears for about $10) and it fits perfectly in the carved out section that is designed to hold the removable top bars in my cabrio and they don't rattle. They are very easy to get to, even if the back of my car is loaded. I figure if I take out my removable roof bars and need to store them in the tailgate, I can simply throw the tools somewhere else during that time period. Actually there is room to have several of those stored away in that area.Works for me..
  12. I LOVE my Cruise Control!!!!!! Boy, it's been almost a week since I first installed it and it's already feeling like my car came from the factory with this wonderful option. The car is now COMPLETE as far as I am concerned, and I no longer have to sheepishly admit that it's a brand new car but you cannot get it with Cruise Control. Best of all, it TOTALLY looks and acts like it was part of the original design of the car. I cannot say ENOUGH good things about this after market improvement. I've bought lots of 'gizmos' for two passenger convertibles over the years but this one is easily my favorite one and really adds to the value of the car.Thank you AREA 451 and all the people involved with this project. You've provided a great service for smart car owners and deserve all the praise you can get.
  13. Yahoo, my long awaited cruise control arrived today. Unfortunately, I've got too many things going on to start installing it until Monday morning. So far everything matches up exactly to the pictures posted on their website. I'm mentally practicing the well-described procedures required for actual installation in hopes that it will seem like 'old hat' when I actually begin the actual install.I'll let everybody know my impressions when it's completed. Harleyduo
  14. Several owners of 2008 smarts have been notified that SmartieParts.com has received its first shipment of the long awaited Cruise Controls. My understanding is that most, if not all of the original shipment, is spoken for and they are being rushed out without the fancy packaging that will come later on. Hopefully this means that they will become more readily available in the near future. I've posted several encouraging suggestions that people who really wanted to get their cruise control soon, should have logged on to SmartieParts and get their name on the waiting list. It's probably more important now, than ever, since once people start really installing them in their cars, people will realize it's really become reality. Once, again, if you are wanting a cruise control, I'd be taking action NOW if you haven't done so already.As a person who just got back from a 2000 mile vacation in my smart, the only place I felt like my smart did not measure up was being able to maintain a constant cruising speed, due to my inability to be that precise for hours at a time. I am very happy to have received my notice that my reserved unit is available.
  15. I am going to hook up an additional 12 volt outlet in one of my cubby holes but because I will be running my iPod I'd also like to relocate the aux. input jack to the radio so it's a clean solid install. My question is whether anybody else has done this, yet, and if they can give me any tips or pointers if not step by step directions on how to do it. I don't want to run a wire all the way over to the glove box, nor do I want to run it under the dash, since I will be removing the device that holds my iPod so it's not so obvious to those passing by. Any information would be great on whether it can be moved and relocated.