Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
SmartLee005

Smart mechanic central Vancouver Island?

8 posts in this topic

  Just registered to this illustrious forum.  I have been lurking for a little over two years, ever since I picked up a 2005 Passion Cabriolet CDI.  Over that time, I have found much useful information on this site that has lessened somewhat the aggravation of ownership of a Smart car.  But I have to say that, overall, purchasing this car has been a big, big mistake.
  It has come to the point where I really need to find a knowledgeable mechanic who really likes working on these tiny cars and who lives somewhere in the mid-Vancouver Island (Parksville-Qualicum) area.  So far, my search has been fruitless.  So, here is my first question.  Does anybody know of such an esteemed person?
  Assuming that such a person does not exist, I have three other alternatives, the Nanaimo MB dealership, Victoria TPM, and Flying Tiger in Richmond.  The latter two are listed as recommended on the CSC service provider list, but I could not find many comments about them.  Does anybody have any recent experiences with any of the above, particularly the Nanaimo one as it is the closest to me?  (I did visit Nanaimo MB over a year ago and I got the distinct impression that they had no passion for my Passion and that they only saw it as a conduit to siphon as much money into their pockets as possible.)
  I have two main current concerns.  I have an oil leak that a mechanic thinks might be coming from the turbo but he does not want to work on it.  My second concern is an undulating quiet wauping sound that varies with road speed that seems to be coming from the front end, but you only really hear it between 40 and 60 kph.  I am thinking that it might be caused by the ESP reacting to bad reluctors, but that is just a wild guess.
  So, I am soliciting comments as to who or where is the best person/place for me to have these things fixed.
  Now, a parting thought - a thought exercise, so to speak.  Imagine, if you will, a world where MB properly supported the Smart car and these little beasties developed a reputation of being dependable.  Just sit back a moment and think about that.  A world full of dependable Smart cars.  And MB making more money than they would know what to do with.  I wonder if there ever was an MB exec who ever thought about that.  Probably not.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted (edited) · Report post

Welcome to the club. 

 

M-B service should be several steps beyond a last resort.  The front noise may just be brake noise.  How often is your car used?  How far does it travel when you are making use of it?

 

My 2011 fortwo has been the best car I have owned to date.  My 2005 is very needy.

Edited by Huronlad
1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Never mind the generally low opinion of Canadian Mercedes dealer service centres; Mercedes/smart Nanaimo is just fine, take the car there.  Your "impression" of their disinterest doesn't mean much unless you give them a chance.  You will pay dealer prices for labour but they know what they're doing.  Mercedes charges less for labour than the Ford dealer in Duncan I have had the misfortune of patronizing.

 

There are no independents that I am aware of north of Nanaimo that will even deign to look at a smart, never mind do good work on it.

 

The oil leak, if it is dripping and is from the left side of the engine compartment, is likely from the intercooler.  That job will cost a bit over $1000 no matter where you go.  DIY it will be cheaper, especially if you source the intercooler from Europe or buy it for 20% off at TPM's annual "Garage Sale" which is coming up in a couple of weeks.  If it's a turbo seal, I don't know the likely cost.  If your reluctor rings are bad and they're done at the same time as the IC, it might be a bit less painful.  You can ask M-B Nanaimo if they can source new rings, or if they will install aftermarket ones that you supply.

 

Eddy is good too but he charges a fair rate a bit over $100/h and you have to factor in the time and ferry costs.  So Nanaimo M-B will be cheaper for this scope of work so long as they will install new rings on the existing driveshafts.

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I thought TPM in Victoria was known as a smart friendly dealer?

 

When I travelled to the island 5 years ago I had a service done at TPM and was very impressed. Have things changed?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Still the same.  It's just that the person is looking for something more local to Qualicum.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thankyou, Huronlad and Mike T for your responses.

    Huronlad, you asked about my driving habits.  I drive it almost everyday.  It is my main mode of transportation.  (My only alternative is an electric scooter, which has been great but I expect that my enthousiasm will dampen once November hits us. :) )  My daily usage tends to consist of 3 or 4 "legs", each one about 10 km, timewise 50/50 between city and highway..  It is approaching 140K.  I am a tutor and the car would be perfect if it just did not require so much maintenance.  Your comment about your 2011 raised my eyebrows.  On the upside, I have to say that I have become addicted to the $12 fill-ups.

    Mike T, your comments about Nanaimo MB is moving me in that direction, despite Huronlad's warning.  I am getting desperate  You are right, Nanaimo is much more convenient for me compared to Victoria.  Everytime I go over the Malahat, that darn thing goes into limp mode.  You confimed my suspicion that there is no nearby competent Smart mechanic. I made my original posting as a hope against hope.  Depressing thought, but it is what it is.

    Thanks, guys, for your comments.  It definitely helps me in deciding whether to weather the storm a little longer or just wash my hair of it.

            - Lee -

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
22 hours ago, SmartLee005 said:

  Everytime I go over the Malahat, that darn thing goes into limp mode. 

            - Lee -

 

Your symptom sounds like the wastegate is sticking or misadjusted.

 

The rear body panels come off with 7 Torx screws. The problem is that the front lower screws are sometimes difficult to remove because of corrosion.

 

Usually the wastegate arm just needs high temperature lubrication.

 

 

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks, smartdriver, for the wastegate suggestion.  It sounds like something I could do.  I will give it a go this weekend.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0

    Chatbox
    You don't have permission to chat.
    Load More