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dmoonen

Smart Car Parked And Won't Start

32 posts in this topic

Hello everyone my Smart car has been acting a bit "odd". Yesterday at the International Plowing Match it was raining quite a bit (tons of mud is a understatement) and drove out to the store and then back, parked it and it won't start. Left it for a day and tried to start it and nothing here's what I see:

[*]Fluids are good and right levels

[*]Still diesel in tank, at the right level since last fill up

[*]Scangauge shows no codes

[*]Car tries turns over and doesn't take

[*]Went through the glow plug cycles same issues

[*]Checked engine bay, clean as usual. No mud in there

This afternoon tried to start it again and it took awhile then it started, left it running for half and hour shut it off and does the same thing and won't start :angry:

Any help and recommendations would be nice, here at the show all week no hurry to leave.

Thank you, Dillen

2005 Smart Fortwo Passion, 219,351km, last serviced last month.

Edited by dmoonen

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Check the cable connection at the back of the SAM Unit, some times the connection overheat and the fuel pump doesn't work...

Edited by David_18

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Check battery voltage. It could be dying.

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Check battery voltage. It could be dying.

Voltage is good, no issue with that. Put my special pv panel car battery setup on it to maintain the battery due to me trying to start it.(bonus having electrical goodies at the booth)

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Battery voltage alone is not an indicator of the batterys health, it may have sufficient voltage but not enough current capacity if its an old battery.Next time it wont start, get someone to give you a boost and see if it will start. (careful with booster cable polarity)Canman

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What David_18 said.

See this post, and check connector N11-3, pin 10.

All too common a problem, $1000 or more at a dealer, or an hour of your time.

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It could also be loose connections on the starter.Last week I repaired 2 of those.Not an easy fix because the engine needs to be dropped to access those connections. Or could be low compression.Good luck :D

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Does it crank over without starting? Or just nothing?Does the key appear after it cranks for a brief moment or not at all?

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Does it crank over without starting? Or just nothing?

Does the key appear after it cranks for a brief moment or not at all?

Yes when you turn the key it cranks over but doesn't start. I'll check if I see a key tomorrow when I'm back at the show.

Checked today:

[*]Checked voltage battery is good and reads 12v

[*]All contacts at the SAM are good not burnt out (replaced it when I had issues with my lights before)

Thinking it may be in the fuel delivery system by the way it's reacting.

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Check the SAM carefully. Connector N11-3, pin 10. Measure the voltage, you should have a constant voltage out when the key is on. It runs the low pressure fuel pump, without which the car won't start. See my link above for an easy, effective, better and far cheaper repair than a new SAM.A very common failure point, along with pins 6 & 7 on the same connector for the low beams.

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Check the SAM carefully. Connector N11-3, pin 10. Measure the voltage, you should have a constant voltage out when the key is on. It runs the low pressure fuel pump, without which the car won't start. See my link above for an easy, effective, better and far cheaper repair than a new SAM.A very common failure point, along with pins 6 & 7 on the same connector for the low beams.

I'll take it apart and see a bit closer tomorrow

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12V is a tad low for a battery that's charged, in fact I would suspect that as the cause even more now. Try a jumper, just to see.

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Has anyone mentioned earth leads yet? Confirm the main earth lead that is clipped to and wraps around inlet pipe from air cleaner box to turbo (TIK) is OK. This one disintegrates over time.

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Original Smart earth lead measures 410 mm between centres of lug holes. Lug hole diameter is 6 mm.

Posted Image

Original earth lead and a standard after market earth lead modified with 6 mm lugs.

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Check the SAM carefully. Connector N11-3, pin 10. Measure the voltage, you should have a constant voltage out when the key is on. It runs the low pressure fuel pump, without which the car won't start. See my link above for an easy, effective, better and far cheaper repair than a new SAM.

A very common failure point, along with pins 6 & 7 on the same connector for the low beams.

Took appart the unit, no issues seen.

12V is a tad low for a battery that's charged, in fact I would suspect that as the cause even more now. Try a jumper, just to see.

Tried jumping it from my Chrylser 300, same issue

Has anyone mentioned earth leads yet? Confirm the main earth lead that is clipped to and wraps around inlet pipe from air cleaner box to turbo (TIK) is OK. This one disintegrates over time.

Checked it, sprayed contact cleaner, removed and tightened the bolt. No difference. Also did the one by the battery while at it.

Original Smart earth lead measures 410 mm between centres of lug holes. Lug hole diameter is 6 mm.

Posted Image

Original earth lead and a standard after market earth lead modified with 6 mm lugs.

Check it and nothing.

Going to put it into my trailer I use for shows and drop it off to a shop, pretty sure it's the fuel supply system. its at 219,000 clicks and nothing went wrong yet mechanically. Everything fails in time.

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You should hear low pressure fuel run when you turn on ignition. Pressure is around 2.5 bar.

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12V is a tad low for a battery that's charged, in fact I would suspect that as the cause even more now. Try a jumper, just to see.

Once the battery gets down to a certain set level the computer stops working and will not let the engine run. If you fool around with it trying to jump star it and changing batteries the computer can go into a safety mode and not start even with a 100% fully charged brand new battery.If it goes into safety mode, once a good battery is in place, you have to go though the starting cycle 10 or more times with the right amount of waiting time between tries (forgot how long- somebody ?) before the engine will start ,then like magic it fires up like nothing was ever wrong. People who were not aware of this have wasted many hours fretting away on the fuel system , SAM unit and electric wiring harness, some have even given up on the car all together thinking there was some huge problem that would cost too much it fix.

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Drove the one back home (started) and took thing 2 out of storage.

Once my mechanic is back in Canada he has a list of things to do:

[*]Change AC Belt

[*]Change Alternator Belt

[*]Oil Change

[*]Splice connector going to the SAM and install new connector

[*]Change Battery

[*]Find the starting issue!

[*]Install heated seats (and wiring)

Thank you everyone who posted, will update when available

post-12052-1348513812_thumb.jpg

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Hi everyone, I got the same problem, I just can't get my smartie to start for love or money after parking it for a few weeks. The battery was low so I had it on a charge to bring it up and also tried another battery and boosted but still nothing. Here's the scoop on my car : 2006 pure CDI, bought new in november 2005. Changed the EGR, and cleaned it again last year. Got the oil sucking problem but never filled it over 2/3 of the high side. Dead block heater, new battery last summer and still had problems starting on days under 0C the hard starting got worse over time. I have been using Mobil1 0W40 ever since the first oil change in cold weather and 5W30 in the summer which seemed ok. Last winter, even with 0W40 it had trouble starting, I always helped it with the boost pack when it was below zero. In the fall, the trouble starting gets worse and the mornings where it's 10 degrees or less can be painful for starting.I changed the fuel filter today and bled off the air with a hose attached to the screw top, pump works fine when I turn the key.I'm wondering if I have injector problems or high pressure pump trouble. I used diesel clean and other additives to increase performance and aiding in hard starting but never saw any difference. Is there a way to check the high pressure pump and injectors? When I turn it over, there is a lump in the cranking as if one cylinder wants to fire but then after a few seconds, there is a belt squeak and the cranking slows. I cycle it again and crank but don't always get that lump or fire in that one cylinder on the next cycle.A few of you mentioned the SAM and poor connection from overheating, where is it located? I am also going to replace the ground cables for the engine and probably that puny one for the battery.I also thought the glow plugs were dead a while back but checked them and they seem fine and also getting current. They could also be coked up but havent pulled them to find out.Does anyone have any other ideas what could be giving this trouble?

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Could the motor still turn over freely with a seized alternator? I find it hard to believe it is that but will check it out tomorrow if it doesn't rain because if it is seized, that would explain the squeaking sound of a belt while cranking. Is it just that it's giving too much resistance from friction while cranking and then once started the rust breaks up?Is there a way to spray it with WD40 or something without removing it or dropping the engine?Thanks for the suggestion, I'm pretty sure you nailed it on this one and as odd as it sounds, it most likely is the alternator.

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If you're planning on using WD-40 or spray lubricant, be careful not to get it on the belts. Try turning the alternator manually with the key OFF.Where are you located? There might be someone in your area who could help.

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Note that if it is a seized alternator, once you get it freed up it will be fine, and once you get some rust preventive on the rotor and stator it won't seize again.

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Hello everyone I had a chance to work on the Smart car a couple nights ago and cleaned all the contacts in the full vehicle and gave it a good wash. I think the issue was at the fuel pump connection it's self, while applying contact cleaner on the contact of the fuel pump I noticed the connection was quite dirty (interior not exterior) I believe that it wasn't clipped in properly that let dust and debris in which effected the connection. Been driving around for the past three days and no issues.I already ordered a bunch of stuff for my mechanic to do including a new battery and SAM connection. If the problem arises again I'll keep everyone in the loop.

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