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MikeT

Introduction to Club smart Car

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A day in advance: Happy 4th birthday to Rana smartii, born November 4th 2004 at Hambach.

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A day and a half in advance (because we will be at a smart club event when the anniversary occurs): It's our 4th anniversary!

Total distance traveled: 109,500 km

Total maintenance and repair costs, excluding non-essential extras like wide wheels, accessories etc: $3447.97, of which $750 was for the replacement of a clutch actuator that was making the car go into safe mode. That's 9 dealer services and two DIYs, plus the unscheduled repair. This is 3.15 cents per km, or about 80% more expensive per km than our B 200 is.

Total fuel costs over 109,500 km: $4650, average of 3.93 L/100 km, 4.33 cents per km, half the cost of the B 200 (though the B 200 has only been owned for a year and so the fuel prices were brutal compared to 2005/6/7 fuel prices for the smart.

Total costs for insurance: $5120.

Overall operating cost of 12 cents per km.

The car was purchased with cash and it will be in our family forever, so depreciation costs have not been factored in.

As for the other stuff on the car - fogs, cruise, wide wheels, Euro fenders etc..... and the snow tires, well that adds up to about $4000....

Four years in and we're still loving it. I am looking forward to spring when the wide wheels and tires can go back on and the top can be dropped again.

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Congrats! You seem to treat each other well.Our fourth is just a few days after that, and the spark is still there ----- oh, wait ---- it's a diesel. We're just at 72,000 k's, so you've gone 50% further.

Edited by deezle

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OK today is the day, happy anniversary to Rana smartii!

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We had such a delightful drive from Whistler through Lillooet and then down the Fraser Canyon to home that it made me realise once again how much fun this car is to drive. It's a keeper.....

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BUMP, to get that awful SPAM post off the top of our "Introductions" list.....

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Friday January 8, 2010 is the fifth anniversary of the day we picked up our smart fortwo cdi pulse cabriolet in Victoria. That was after a....908 day wait, I think it was. I had been expecting to get it before Christmas 2004 but events conspired against that.....mainly the backlog in Halifax for the Canadian market conversions (these were only done at Hambach the year after my car was made).It's been a very good car, even a great car. 5 years, 144,300 km (90,000 miles) with no breakdowns at all, no really serious problems and only a couple of extra repairs over the usual maintenance regimen have been needed (clutch actuator at 85,000 - $750 and intercooler at 122,000 - free but worth $700). The servicing costs are reasonable mainly because I do about 3/4 of the services at home. The frequency of one service every 10,000 km is quite intense, and I guess I am lucky that my car waits the extra 2000 km over the base case. That has saved me 4 services.The car uses about 0.15 to 0.2 L of engine oil over 10,000 km, 0.02 L/1000 km is extraordinarily low oil consumption. I've never had to top it off with oil, even though I only fill it to 2/3 at the outset. Fuel consumption is also really low, with a lifetime average of 3.943 L/100 km, and since 2005 I've not been driving to minimise consumption at all. In fact my daughter Jenn has put about 50,000 km on it and she drives even less economically than I do.At this time the car is accumulating km at the rate of about 50,000 a year, due to its being used for a drive to and from Victoria five days a week. So a year from now I should be near 200,000 km. I am hoping to hit 300,000 before the engine goes. When the time comes, I will probably just re-engine the car and keep on driving, assuming the rest is doing well.This car really shines in the good weather. Drop the top, and it's like a very slow sports car, just pure delight. I won't be without a convertible ever again.Looking forward to the next year!

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"I won't be without a convertible ever again" is what I told my wife after the first full day driving ours! With any luck, right around the time my warranty is up I might be able to reduce the kilometres put on it by getting an ED (the car).Congrats on the milestone. :)

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I miss having mhawel's convertable around (his car is dead in his garage, unfortunately), since I used to get him to drive anywhere whenever we'd get together. :) The convertable would be incredible in the BC/Vancouver weather.Congratulations!!-Iain

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Congrat's on your milestone as well !I have to agree "once you have had a convertible nothing else is quite the same"James

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Thanks guys, we had a little 90 km drive in the torrential rain to celebrate. Bought some Fluid Film spray in Nanaimo to keep the door cables/latches happy!

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Happy belated anniversary!!!! :spots: I'm sure all the club members will join me in thanking you for your dedication to the smart over the last 7 years!!!!Together I am sure we can help you attain your goal of reaching 300,000 kms.Cheers mate! :beerchug:

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Another year down, I am starting year seven with my green 2005 cabriolet!

I like it so much that I bought Snowball the white BRABUS Canada 1 11 months ago, to make sure that I have a smart diesel cabriolet in service for the decades to come.

After six years and 181,000 km, Rana the green smart has been a peach. There have been no unscheduled repairs in the past year and the car has racked up nearly 40,000 km. As it nears 200,000, I think I owe it some preventative repairs. It needs a new lower rad hose according to TPM, it needs new A-arm bushings (hence new complete A-arms assemblies) and may need ball joints, and of course a parallelism adjustment after the replacements. I have been debating whether a preventative oil pump and cam chain change would be worthwhile. I doubt that I will do the latter, but I will continue to talk to TPM's technicians about it.

The clutch engagement is a bit ropier than usual from rest, which makes me suspect engine mount damage (partially detached). This will be checked next week at TPM. It could also be clutch disc wear but the new smart does that too although nowhere near as roughly, as have all other smart cdis I've driven so far (about 15 of them). Unless the clutch starts slipping or fails I won't be doing any repair on it.

From past experience, running over 200,000 km in any car is when you can start to expect some component failures, such as alternator. Also, the years and km travelled do take a toll on the dampers and various mounts that use a steel/rubber sandwich, like engine mounts, transmission mounts, suspension bushings and the like. It might be time to think about changing the glow plugs too.

The key question at this stage of every car's life is: does the owner make the necessary replacements and keep it in top condition, or not do preventative replacements and then let a large mechanical infrastructure deficit accumulate, which, one day, when a problem arises, makes the owner think of scrapping the car "because of all the little problems"? Most cars are run into the ground from 200K km onward, which is why so many disappear between years 8 and 12.

My intention with this car is to keep it up, because I like it a lot, and it was the first new car I had bought ever up to that point. It may be the only new smart I ever buy. Also, I'd like it to last past the point where my youngest daughter will be able to still drive it in 5 years. By then it would have about 360,000 km. If the engine doesn't make it that far, I would re-engine it with a rebuilt unit if I can get one from Europe cheaply enough, or one from a local wreck.

Snowball and I will celebrate our first anniversary in just under a month. I seem to be putting about 14,000 km a year on it, so it should take another 11+ years to get to the km total that Rana has. By then I will be close to retirement age! Maybe I will drive it even less in 2011 (due to my plan to ride the bike more often).

So onto the next 6 years. We will see how things go but I certainly don't expect Rana to become a parts car for Snowball!

Happy Anniversary, little green car!

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Congratulations on another successful year. Like everyone else I look forward to how you do in the next year. So good luck in the next year of ownership and also good luck for many years after that.Roy

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Congrats to Mike and Rana! It's nice to hear the success stories.

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Yes, I agree :D .Great to hear about such a good and long term experience! Best wishes for many more good years.

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The green smart blasted over the 200,000 km mark yesterday on a drive up to Comox. Tonight it's around 400 above that and so onward to the next 200,000.

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Sunday the 8th is the 7th anniversary of us picking up Rana smartii on a snowy day here in the tropical part of Canada.

After seven years, the car has just shy of 218,000 km on her, so that's 37,000 km in the past year.

There were two unscheduled repairs in 2011: I had a three bar error in February that was caused by a chafed wire, this was repaired for $140 or so @TPM, and a similar error also due to chafing occurred a few months later, which I repaired myself for free. Aside from that, there were no pressing issues that required immediate attention. There was an annoying squealing belt that I had ignored for a while, which I changed with my son about 10 days ago.

I took the car into TPM Victoria for a lower radiator hose change, clutch adjustment and coolant replacement early in 2011. The previously reported need for A-Arms is not correct, the suspension seems to be OK. In a couple of months' time I will have the suspension of Snowball replaced by a new BRABUS setup, and so the white car's springs and shock absorbers, with under 35K km, will be kept in reserve for the green car, which by then will have 200,000 more km than that on it. Virtually new, in other words.

Regarding a preventative valvetrain and oil pump chain change, I have decided against it, because there is apparently ample warning in the form of slapping sounds before it becomes terminal. Also, some of the valvetrain failures have been due to rocker failure and needle bearing breakage inside the rocker, so a properly thorough preventative program would also involve preventative rocker replacement! Doing all that would cost thousands and then something else would go and all that money would be wasted.

So I will write once again: Happy Anniversary, little green car!

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The green car topped 220,000 km the other day! Woo-hoo!

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so I guess my 2006 with 82,000KM will be lasting a long time!!! Good news....

Edited by Serenitie

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It's time to post a photo of the happy little green car, which is now over the 230,000 km mark. Photos were taken near Cowichan Lake.

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That was happier times. The car is now written off and I think it is a good idea to summarise the car's costs over the time it drove this earth:Total vehicle price on January 8, 2005, including PDI/freight: $25,171Taxes: $3550First Service A (TPM): $156First Service B (TPM): $2432nd Service A (TPM): $1592nd Service B (TPM): $3323rd Service A (TPM): $271 (including rebalance of all wheels at my cost)3rd Service B (TPM): $402 (including brake fluid flush and the only transaxle oil change the car ever had (57K km)4th Service A (TPM): $194 (including new wiper blades)4th Service B (TPM): $462 (including full water separator/filter change + rear wheel rebalance)First Repair (TPM): Clutch Actuator @ 88691 km: $7455th Service A (home): $80 (including new pads)5th Service B (TPM): $421 (including accessory drive belts and coolant flush/refill)6th Service A (home): $386th Service B (TPM): $700 (including new intercooler - free -, intercooler scoop, new rotors/pads)7th Service A (home): $387th Service B (home): $80 (includes air filter)8th Service A (home): $388th Service B (TPM): $694 (includes fuel/water filter, clutch adjustment, wiper blades, remote batteries, A/C recharge at our cost)9th Service A (home): $389th Service B (home): $8010th Service A (home): $3810th Service B (home + TPM for belts and rad hose re+re, brake fluid flush): $520Second Repair (TPM): $139 (chafed wires causing three bar fault @186,240 km)11th Service A (home): $3811th Service B (home): $8012th Service A (home): $3812th Service B (home): $80Third Repair (TPM): $0 (Eskulab #238416 - replace A/C parts including lines, dryer, valves etc @ 233,780 km)13th Service A (home): $3813th service B (home): $38Third Repair (home): re+re intercooler fan ($165)Fourth Repair (home): re+re LF brake caliper holder ($130)Battery: $130Tires: winter set (Hankook): $650Tires: summer set (Conti): $700Tires: winter rear pair replace (Conti): $300Tires: summer rear pair replace (Conti): $350Headlight bulbs: 8 @ $12 each: $100Other bulbs: $30Windshield deductible: $200That's it....So that's $8935 on repairs and maintenance over 247,274 km, or ~3.6 cents per km.The car cost $28,721 and we got $7076 for it when she was written off, so the net capital cost was $21,645, or 8.75 cents per km.The fuel used was 9768 L, assuming an average cost of $1.20 per L, that's $11,722, or 4.74 cents per km.The insurance was about $1300 a year, so 7.75 years at that rate equals $10,075, or 4.07 cents per km.So that's about $52,400 in total, and 21.2 cents per km.

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Hi MikeSorry to hear about your green smart. Glad no one was seriously hurt. I always enjoyed reading about your car and your repair record, then compare it with Duck's car. I always thought that they were the two extremes in cost and that my car would be somewhere in between. (It is).Hope you have great luck with your new fiesta. I will be comparing its cost of operation against my yaris, so keep up your spritmonitor.de. All the best to you and your family.Roy

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Thanks and I will be doing Spritmonitor on the Ford (already started). Service intervals are 16,000 km but Eddie often gets 20K between. It should be very cheap to service.

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So that's about $52,400 in total, and 21.2 cents per km

Nice to read these details. I don't work much but I've wondered what to charge per km on those infrequent occasions when I take a little job out of town. For example, if I run out to Lake Okanagan Resort from my place - nearly 100km round trip, I've been getting $30. But at .30 per km (all indicators suggest my car expenses must be more than yours), that's simply a break-even. Good to know. Time spent on the journey is 1.5 hours but it's a scenic, twisty road so I enjoy the drive.Bil :sun:

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