EGR - P0401, P0405 issues

6 posts in this topic

Hello Everyone,


So I brought my car in to get front bearings replaced and when I got the vehicle back the check engine light was on with a EGR fault. 

The error codes presently are P0401 and P0405. I was researching buying a EGR simulator on Ebay, but first wanted to talk to some people about the decision. 
Well it turns out that my day of research ended up selling out every single last one of them on Ebay and none are to be found.


I cleaned out the EGR but the check engine light persists, and limp mode is intermittent depending on whether I stop for any length of time after initially driving.

If I can start the car and drive, and not have to stop until reaching a higher gear, I seem to not go into limp mode, but occasionally go into limp mode while driving.

If I stop for an extended period of time after starting to drive (stop sign / red light), it is almost guaranteed to go in limp mode.


The check engine light has been on ever since getting my car back from the mechanic. The check engine light wasn't present before bringing it in to have the front bearings fixed. I am suspicious, however I am told there is nothing related. Literally one block away from the shop and it turned on. Are there any electrical components that are involved with the front bearings that could be causing a short and the EGR is the weakest point?


The mechanic that I have been going to for Smart specific issues has quoted $705+tax to replace the EGR. I presently don't have that kind of money and to add to it, my plates need to be renewed in a month which require an e-test which means I need to get rid of the CEL by then. I had paid him a two months ago to clean the EGR (~$150) and it was fine until the front bearings were replaced, but as you can see in the photo, that appears to be a lot of build up for only 2 months of driving (~4000km).

I wonder if it is maybe my choice to use 0w40 oil for the first time instead of 5w30. I've had no EGR issues for the past 4 years of having the car until I changed the oil.


In my investigating I noticed some corrosion on pins 1 and 5 of the connector. I used some electrical cleaner to clean it up, but wonder if the corrosion could have went further into the holes, and regardless how well I clean the external portions, if they are by chance causing issues internally. 


Any suggestions on where to find a EGR simulator, or what could possibly be a cause would be greatly appreciated.








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I'd clean those connector with a tooth brush and connector  cleaner then check for continuity between what you see there and the other side of the plug just to check for a break internally...?  As for the EGR, Hmmmmm.....I wonder if it was cleaned before well enough?    400kms...Hmmmm....????    But what do i know? Who do you use if you don't mind me asking? After cleaning and inspecting those connectors I'l apply some dialectric grease to all connectors to make sure they stay free of the greenies...lol

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Send a pm to stickman007, he is the emulator expert here.  He was making them at one time but I’m not sure if he still is. He may be away at the moment I believe he has gone to pick up a Canada 1.  My understanding is if you have a functioning one you can just rotate the cartridge 180 and never have to clean again.  I agree with Willys 4000 km?  Maybe have a chat with smart142 in London, he usually just swaps your egr for a clean one and puts yours in the parts washer until he gets around to cleaning it for the next guy.  



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Thank you both for your responses.

After Writing this post I started digging through the ~30 pages regarding the EGR, and stumbled across @stickman007.

@Willys the person you're asking for was located in Etobicoke, and has since relocated to Oakville. He did successfully change my clutch actuator for $1600 and swap out two reluctor rings I provided from smartmods.

I returned for my water separator because the light had been remaining on. It wasn't until I recently started investigating the EGR that I came across a corroded wire near the battery that was causing the light to go on.

I'm assuming the water separator was replaced, but after I paid to have it replaced, the light turned on within a week. 


The EGR was a confirmed red flag. I drive 15 minutes out of town nearly everyday on 80km/h road. The timestamps of when text messages were sent and received, I am being generous when estimating 4000km (25km/day x ~90days). 

I'll contact @smart142 for further repairs to see if he has availability.


The cost of the repairs this past year as been astronomical, (Glow plugs, shocks/springs, bearings, ball joints, clutch actuator, water separator, rotors, windshield resealed, and starter have all been done within the past 2 years) and I'm reaching a point where I may need to sell it if I can't find a sweet spot. I'm hoping that after replacing everything it practically becomes a new vehicle that will last a while without needing any major repairs again, and if it does, I could buy the parts and make the repair at my parent's where I have access to a hoist. First I need to learn how to do the repairs. Most people say "It is a Smart and I have no idea how to do A, B, or C" and then proceed to recommend I buy a different kind of car that is more well known and cheaper on repairs.


I'm willing to learn how to do the majority of the repairs (presently changing tires, oil, lights, etc), but when special tools are required (adjusting the clutch), I've been outsourcing.
Presently it sounds like I'm going to need to replace the rear right bearing, have the clutch adjusted (assuming the EGR/Limp mode affects the clutch), and the alternator squeaks a bit on start.


I bought the car (2005 smart Fortwo cdi) at 64,000km and I'm at approximately 124,000km after ~4 years.



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Damn that's plenty of repairs, I'd seriously look into Glenn as he is the man in the know and is a very good guy to deal with imho. He has the experience and knowledge to fix just about anything Smart related as well. So if there are specialty tools required I bet he either has a work around or has what's required to do any and all repairs. 
Good luck....just keep that car on the road seeing as how much you have invested in it...

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I could help out and also show you how to look after your smart. 

Best to give me a call at 519-652-2528 as I'm a slow 2 finger typist :D

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