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djblackwood

Dead 2008 Smart

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My 2008 Smart wouldn't start once last winter when I left it for a two week vacation. Roadside Assistance started it with a boost and it worked fine for the rest of the winter. After just a one week vacation this winter the same thing happened. But when it repeated itself a second time I had the vehicle towed to the dealer instead of boosted. The verdict - corrosion in the wiring harness requiring a complete wiring harness replacement. The only problem - a replacement is not available in North America and a custom built wiring harness will take 10 days to fabricate. Needless to say I'm not happy. My 2001 PT Cruiser hasn't been out of service as many days as my 2008 Smart. Would I buy another? Not likely!

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Oh well, might as well sell it, it seems to be a lemon.

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2 weeks to fabricate or 2 weeks to get one from Europe. Same, same. Better to get the proper parts, IMHO. Keep or sell, at least that way it'll have a proper harness. But that begs the question: what will you do (that you didn't do last time) to prevent corrosion the next time you put it away in storage?B :sun:

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Well that makes no sense that a wiring harness is not available. I think that it would indeed take awhile to get a factory replacement harness but to get a custom one made I would think would void any kind of warranty work should some other electrical problem arise.

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Au contraire. It's completely normal that the entire range of replacement and repair parts for a brand new European car is not warehoused in a foreign country (in this case, the US or Canada - the poster doesn't say location).

Nor is a brief (likely 2 weeks or less - once again, we are not told what the dealership offered) delivery interval for an atypical parts request unusual or weird.

We also haven't heard whether the parts and labour will be covered under warranty; components don't spontaneously corrode to destruction. I.e. moisture got into an electrical harness (e.g.) either from a failed weather seal (warranty) or operator negligence (no warranty).

We are also told the car died before, after being in storage a year ago but a proper exploration of the initial cause was apparently not made, just a power boost. Why was the battery dead the first time? Corroded terminals or a minor short circuit, or...? Maybe tightening some fitting or replacing some more minor wire or plug would have prevented this year's total failure.

We know Mr. Blackwood is not happy, but... to blame the car? :dunno: On the other hand, maybe there is more to this story than what we have learned so far.

Bil :sun:

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The car has never been stored - just parked in the driveway when not in use. The "repair" is being done by the dealer under warranty but they are at a loss as to what may have caused it or how to prevent a recurrence. All required maintenance has been performed as scheduled by the original dealer. Roadside assistance is also a part of the original warranty service. It seems that not all Smarts may be up to Canadian winters.

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Oh well, might as well sell it, it seems to be a lemon.

I know what is it!! I have one too... :(

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It seems that not all Smarts may be up to Canadian winters.

+1 on that observation, cousin! They were not designed for us. But we love them anyway ;)

B :sun:

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I'm curious as to what particular part of the country you are in, djblackwood?

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Probably the part under the Pacific Ocean ;)

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My 2008 Smart wouldn't start once last winter when I left it for a two week vacation. Roadside Assistance started it with a boost and it worked fine for the rest of the winter. After just a one week vacation this winter the same thing happened. But when it repeated itself a second time I had the vehicle towed to the dealer instead of boosted. The verdict - corrosion in the wiring harness requiring a complete wiring harness replacement. The only problem - a replacement is not available in North America and a custom built wiring harness will take 10 days to fabricate. Needless to say I'm not happy. My 2001 PT Cruiser hasn't been out of service as many days as my 2008 Smart. Would I buy another? Not likely!

I am sorry to hear of your experience. I too need a wiring harness and Star Motors in Ottawa talks like they can have one here soon. The only thing is, I refuse to pay for a corrosion repair, though my car is 3.5 years old. The corrosion started for a reason.....possibly a leak....which over time caused this issue. Star mechanic states the corrosion is leading to bad signals to the transmission and may also be causing issue with the clutch actuator. What was the reason for the corrosion? That is the question, because the new harness may experience the same problem after awhile. My argument is never in 42 years of driving have I ever had to replace a wiring harness. This repair costs $450 to $495 for the part and up to 5 hours labour. Hmmm. Yours is under warranty. Go to the thread I started, below this one and list your experience in a logical sequence with invoice numbers. This issue is now in my Dealers' hands, who inturn will be speaking to smart Canada and in Europe. I managed to get my car to the Dealer and gave the service people the key, with the clear message that I would not be paying and they could keep the car on the lot until some resolution was made. It was mentioned to them that I would pay my lease etc. but the car was theirs to repair and would stay on the lot until it was at smart expense. The Dealer has been sincere in trying to find a resolution....meanwhile a one family vehicle again.Garry Edited by garry stearns

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Sorry to hear this, Gary.If I'm not mistaken, yours is a 2005 and the harness is likely somewhat different from a 2008 gasser but may well route through the same channels. It would be good to know which part of the harness corroded so that the source of the exposure was located. I wonder if this problem has surfaced in Europe, particularly in the northern climates.

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Can one of you please identify the offending wiring harness for us? I for one would like to inspect mine for a little preemptive attention. Please.TIA,Bil :sun:

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Can one of you please identify the offending wiring harness for us? I for one would like to inspect mine for a little preemptive attention. Please.TIA,Bil :sun:

Monday I will check the exact area of corrosion and report back.Garry

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Monday I will check the exact area of corrosion and report back.Garry

Cheers for that, my friend.B :sun:

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Corrosion in the wiring harness was apparently not uncommon in pre-2008 Smarts. Mine was the first 2008 to experience the problem. At least one other 2008 was brought in since mine with the same issue. Look in the battery compartment inder the passenger floor mat for evidence of water leakage. That's where it starts. My car is still not repaired (it has been at the dealer for two weeks now) but at least it is covered under warranty. The last update I had was that they had totally disassembled the car to the point where is was just a steel frame on four wheels with no interior and were spraying it with a garden hose trying to figure out where the water was getting in but with no luck. Since the car is only 13 months old - a new wiring harness every winter or so could be a real problem, not to mention the longterm effect on the steel frame.

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It seems that not all Smarts may be up to Canadian winters.

+1 from me here. When does the air conditioning seem to go haywire? In the winter, and people notice it's gone when they try to get some cool air in the springWhen do all the battery problems seem to happen? In the winter when people leave their car to sit for a timeWhen do the Accidents happen? In the winter, when people drive like idiots (Smart car driver, or someone else involved) and get into accidentsWhen did my turbo blow? In the winter.Ok those last two have no correlation to the smart car's design.. but it looks much more impressive as a quartet of points no? And i couldn't think of anything else.

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Monday I will check the exact area of corrosion and report back.Garry

Any luck finding out what harness this is?

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