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Uisge

Can Data Bus Error - Won't Start

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CAN (data bus) malfunction

Nothing worse than intermittent electrical problems...

Yesterday I took my smart to Star Motors in Ottawa to have them activate the tachometer that I installed last week. They were able to do that (for 0.5 hours labour - $46), and then they washed the car, and away I went.

I drove downtown and parked underground for about an hour. When I came back, the car would not start. When I turned the key to position 2, there was a single bar flashing in the centre of the display, and then the blobs on both sides started flashing. I checked the manual, which indicated CAN (data bus) malfunction. I tried a number of things (except disconnecting the battery), all to no avail.

I contacted the dealership, and they were at a loss. They suggested a number of things that I could try; all of which I had already tried. I finally had it towed back to the dealership (for $150), and when I arrived, the Service Advisor saw the same behaviour that I saw.

They finally got to the car about an hour and half later, and, of course, when the Mechanic went to the car, it started! Now, however, the check engine light was on, and when he hooked it up to the computer, over 30 codes had been thrown! He reset them all, and there seemed to be nothing wrong after this. They were unable to find the source of the problem. They didn't charge me for the diagnostics, but I did have to pay for the tow!

The car has run fine since.

Has anyone seen this sort of behaviour before, and if so, what was the cause? I know there will be those who will try to draw a line between activating the tachometer and this problem, but I'm not going down that road; the dealership would gladly take the blame for it if it was their fault, but there is no evidence one way or the other.

Edited by Uisge

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I had that problem 3 years ago. Disconnected battery for about 10 minutes and my Smart was back to normal. There were 2 pages of faults mostly CAN related. I never managed to fathom out the problem.

Posted Image

Stroed = stored (this is my Taiwanese WinStar)

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tolsen, was there anything that happened immediately beforehand that might be related to this? This issue is going to bother me until I determine what caused it, which likely means that it will bother me forever.I'm still kicking myself that I didn't disconnect the battery! Oh well, next time.

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I had trouble with clutch actuator at the time which turned out being caused by two broken cables in the engine harness. This can not be related to the CAN errors. I pulled and reconnected every fuse and connector I could get access to assuming that perhaps there was a bad connection somewhere. Checked earth connections as well. Single bar problem has not reoccured but I still see the odd CAN error when connecting my WinStar.

There is some good info on Evilution.

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I'm still kicking myself that I didn't disconnect the battery! Oh well, next time.

Just as an interesting aside, I recently had a problem with a Blackberry. The speaker would not work, the mic was fine. So you could speak, just not hear. resetting defaults, etc etc did nothing. Finally called Tech Support and "Andy" told me to take out the battery, wait a few seconds & put back in. It worked fine after that.His comments were any electronic device should have the battery removed and reinstalled periodically (1/ month) to clear & reset everything. Lots of electronics in these smart cars!

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tolsen, was there anything that happened immediately beforehand that might be related to this? This issue is going to bother me until I determine what caused it, which likely means that it will bother me forever.I'm still kicking myself that I didn't disconnect the battery! Oh well, next time.

Live & learn I suppose. Glad it's running well now, reminds me of a time when one of the Shuttles wouldn't launch & keptthrowing out trouble codes from its computer network, the guys with the sliderules were scratching their heads bald overthat until they tried turning them all off & then back on in sequence.Too simple?It worked.

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Sounds like a loose connection somewhere on the CANBUS. The CANBUS will include pretty much every computer module in the car, like the SRS computer, PCM, SAM unit, gauges, etc. Possibly a loose connection at the new guages installed?

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