NeilsSmartOnAegina

Smart for two 450 Diesel three bars flashing.

41 posts in this topic

Hello and thankyou for having a look at the post....    Ok so I have a Smart 450 2006 Diesel, we have just had 3 solid days of rain and I went to start the car and all looked great I have all the normal dashboard lights and the box has a N in the middle. If I then turn the key to start the car then ALL the display on the dashboard flashes and the box has 3 lines and a loud clicking from the engine area. If I switch off then back on again this time I can using the brake I can select reverse and neutral and gears 1 and 2 but putting it back into N and try to start and the same happens flashing lights and clicking...   I have just checked all of the fuses under the dash board and the relay board under the seat and all are fine...   I would also add that when I checked the relay board I cleaned all of the connector contacts and once installed it started no problem once only then back to the same problem which is now solid. I have had the relay board out and checked it again and swapped the relays but nothing...   I hope someone can help and I do not have much hair left …   Neil 

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Welcome to the site and welcome to the SAM issues.....sorry to say.
Search out all threads relating to the SAM. You will find many that detail what to do  as in checking and repairing this black box of magic...lol   
You are looking for threads that explain how to take it out, check, connectors, open up the SAM, look at pins, find the bad ones, then re-solder them.  It isn't that bad once you actually get into it and know it's really an easy fix if you have some skills using your hands and simple tools. Then search out ground pin issues and also engine grounding strap issues.  Threads dealing with battery grounds and the little white connector in the battery tray area.
Always take negative terminal off battery when messing with electronics on this car......it's computers are very sensitive to being zapped or shorted by mistake. Also you can check threads on ECU connections and pin corrosion.

 

All of the issues you are dealing with come or result from corrosion or water damages in one form or another......short answer is check every grounding pin that you can posibly find and clean them all. Then same goes for connecting pins and connectors for all computer related items.

 

Let us know how you make out and ask more if you need to.   Glad to help.

 

Again welcome to the site, this is the best place for diesel 2005-2006 Smart cars!

Another site that is excellent but more for petrol/gas engines is Evilution.uk.co  pay their minimum donation to get the good information, you'll thank me later.

 

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In addition to the issues Willys mentioned, the "three bars of death" (as it has been nic-named) could also be the result of a sticky or worn clutch actuator or cracked reluctor rings.  He also makes a good point of disconnecting the negative post of the battery before getting anywhere near the SAM.  One fried SAM is VERY expensive. 

 

BTW, :welcome: to the club.

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Thanks for the feedback...    You say SAM is this the fuse board under the dash?   I have tried to take a picture    I hope this helps

1.jpg

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Yes that be her.....you need to get it down by lifting it up and uncliping it's clamps, easy after the second time...lol.   Two on the front and a bracket type on the rear....both just a slight bump upwards. Then lower it down to reviel the large positive wire that must be undone so as not to accidentally short it , BUT first take negative lead off battery.....that should have been first job....lol   sorry.   Once you have all the connectors removed then take off cover and peek inside.....you should do this when it's warm so as not to snap the clips in the cold weather....but being Greese  I doubt it cold enough to do this..lol.  We're mostly in Canada here where it's frig'in cold...lol

The connectors are all one way fitting, and nothing can be misplaced so no worries. The tag on fuses on the side are different and must be replaced exactly from where you found them.  Take a picture of them before removing them or write their location down. The place where they clip onto is either battery power or ignition powered. So it is important. 

I will say it looks very clean but appearances can be deceiving...lol.....look for burnt connection pins and plugs, then once inside and the circuit board is unfolded look for a row of pins with about 10 soldered pins all a row.....leading to the edge of the board....it'll be those pins that will have cracks around the pins....bad solder joints.......very typical.....you simply de-solder using either a solder sucker or anti solder braided wired then re-solder, job done if the connection pins are in good shape.....if they are really bad then it's a rewiring of another plug   not that bad but far more intailed than simply resoldering those pins. To see the cracks you may need to use magnifying lense of some sort. Naked eye may not see it.

 

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5 hours ago, NeilsSmartOnAegina said:

Thanks for the feedback...    You say SAM is this the fuse board under the dash?   I have tried to take a picture    I hope this helps

1.jpg

Your photo is not of a SAM but showing a ZEE. That means your Smart 450 was manufactured in 2002 or earlier. ZEE fuse boxes are less prone to going kaputt than SAMs. 

 

3 bars indicates there is a gear shift system fault. 

I suggest you study information on Evilution and FQ101 sites. 

https://www.evilution.co.uk/index.php?menu=electrical&mod=168

 

https://www.fq101.co.uk/how-to-guides/fortwo-450/engine/197-the-3-bars

 

Reading engine ECU fault codes may help homing in on the 3 bar issue. 

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I suggest you invest in a trolley jack and axle stands as you need to get under your Smart to inspect wiring to clutch actuator, gear shift actuator and to gear shift drum angle rotation sensor. Look for chafing damage to wiring and visible green oxidised copper. 

Also check if rod on clutch actuator has punched a hole through release fork socket. 

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Hello all and a big thankyou for all the messages.  I have started with the electrical and have now stripped down to the PCB but it looks fine so I will now get underneath and have a look at wiring etc..   thanks again and I will keep you posted...   I must add if I switch the car on I get the N in the box and I hear the actuator move behind me, if I then shift to 1st the actuator moves as it does to 2nd and back to neutral and into reverse it all seem to move Ok. BUT if I tried to start it all of the dash lights flash and the N changes to a flashing 3 lines...

 

Seasons greetings to all and thanks again

 

Neil 

pcb3.jpg

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When attempting to start, does engine turn a wee bit and then you get three flashing bars?

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Maybe the actuator is simply way out of adjustment...?  Loosen it off and readjust it against the clutch fork arm so you have firm pressure, then re-tighten......all after taking it off and having a very good peek at it if not even opening it up and a deep cleaning......which is what I'd be doing any way.  Plenty of threads here and over at Evilution regarding this procedure. Just out of curiousity does the alternator turn and not seized...? just something else to check into, a common issue. 
Good luck....

 

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Adjustment of clutch actuator is not critcal.

 

Do the easy checks first and start by checking ground strap between chassis at left rear of engine hatch to transmission.  Then check earth point at forward left inside engine space and nearly level with hatch.  Next check earth point forward of starter battery.  Also check battery voltage and battery terminals including earth point of negative terminal.

I recommend releasing and removing nuts at each earth point, clean all cable terminals and reassemble with grease or thick oil.

 

I suspect bad earth or low voltage since the three flashing bars appear when attempting to start.

 

Below are a few videos showing how healthy clutch actuators should work.  First video is Evilution's.  Second is mine.

 

 

My  video shows operation of my 2002 Smart Model 450 Cabrio Cdi clutch actuator. I am engaging forward gear first followed by reverse - my DIY reversing alarm is then audible. Then I switch engine off and operate clutch actuator with ignition on by moving gear shift repeatedly into forward followed by reverse.

 

You should perhaps remove clutch actuator and give its internals a clean using white spirit.  Shake actuator horizontally and avoid fluid entering its electric motor.  Drain and repeat until cleaning fluid comes out clean.  Spray in lithium grease but do not overdo.  You do not want the grease to contaminate motor brushes and commutator which are at the lower part of motor near actuator housing.

 

Of course sheck all transmission wiring for damage and repair as required.

 

 

 

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PS.  Keep grease away from rubber boot because grease will cause rubber to swell.  Clean area where boot seals against housing and rod.  Apply red rubber grease or silicone grease to these areas.

Inspect socket in release fork for wear and punch through.  Apply lithium grease to socket.  Protects against rust and limits wear.

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Hello All and thankyou for taking the time to help me sort this problem....   

I would like to answer some of the questions I have been asked...  I have put a spanner on the engine flywheel and turned the engine and noticed that all of the components that are on the belt turn with no problems. I have checked the earth points and cleaned and made sure of good contacts. I have checked all over the car with a meter and if I go from the battery ground terminal I get continuity wherever I touch the probe on chassis and engine.  I have just removed the clutch actuator  and as advised cleaned and made sure the connector pins are clean. and on reassembly I still have the same problem.  When I turn the engine on the arm pushes into the clutch, by using the pedel I can select R N 1 and 2 but when I have it in N and try to start it just flashes all the dash lights and flashes the 3 bars in the box...  thanks for reading    Neil 

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Hello all and thankyou for all the replies I have now gone all through the posts and have checked all of the points but still the problem persists.  So I have just jacked the rear wheels off the ground and both are free to turn.   I have charged the battery it has 13.1 volts, removed the clutch actuator and cleaned and cleaned the connector pins and all of the earth points are clean and giving continuity. Now I have a couple of questions and after this I think I will have to push it to the local garage and see what they say....

1, If I switch on the car and hold the brake pedal down I can select N R A 1 and 2 should I be able to select more than this in a stationary position?

2, When I switch on the ignition I get the normal noises when I try to start the car all of the lights flash on the dashboard and the 3 lines flash and I have quite a heave "clonk" from the back of the car it seems to be as the actuator is moving in and out...

 

Any way Happy new year to all my readers and a big thankyou for all your help and suggestions 

 

Neil

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You can only select R, N, 1, 2 and A whilst ignition is on and engine not running so no problem there. 

 

Reading your posts it appears the flashing dash board lights have come recently. 

Bad contact on Zee unit terminals is usually the cause so make sure all connectors are clean and properly seated. 

 

Can you confirm you have closely examined earth strap between chassis and transmission. This strap often disintegrates into dust especially if exposed to road salt and time.  

 

There is not much point taking the car to a garage that has no experience with these wee Smart cars. 

 

Read the cars control units for possible fault codes that may tell us what is wrong. 

Note that an OBD reader won’t work on your Smart because a 2002 Smart 450 diesel is not OBD compatible. 

 

Buy a suitable diagnostics kit like Delphi DS150E or ask local garages if they can read yours. 

 

 

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Thankyou for the help, I have now had the ZEE connector and the ZEE insert out and all looks as if it was connected yesterday all of the contacts are shiny and very clean, today I looked at the earth strap and just to make sure I have had a new on made and replaced the old, but no difference...  I get in the car, I have had the battery on charge it shows 12.8 volts. I press the unlock button on the key and when I turn it to position 1 all looks great and the dash board is as normal with N in the box. If I then try to start it the large blue solenoid under the seat clicks.

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Yes it does it just keeps clicking...   as you look at the board its the large blue relay nearest the centre console K5 id the pictures you sent the link to...  No when you attempt to start the dash lights flash on and off and the N changes to 3 bars and then back to the N and then 3 bars and so on...  Yes all of the fuses are OK and I have had all of the carpet up from the seat to the engine compartment and it all looks good...

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When you turn ignition on (but do not attempt to start) does relay K5 click and does electric fuel pump run? 

 

Fuel pump should be audible and should run for about 5 to 10 seconds or so and then stop.

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Another question:

 

Pull relay K3 that operates starter solenoid.  Then turn ignition key to start (obviously engine won't start with K3 pulled but this is just a test).

 

Does dash lights still flash and relay K5 still click continuously?

 

More:  Does glow plug indication light operate normally, i.e. you turn ignition on and glow plug light is on for a few seconds?

 

Final question:  Have you attempted bump starting?  Best done on a hill but can also be done on the flat if someone is willing to push.

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Hello Tolsen and thankyou for your help....

 

When I turn the ignition on yes I do hear a click and I get a sort of Humm for about 10 seconds.

 

Yes the glow light turns off as normal....

 

If I pull K3 and I turn the key to start I do not get any "click" but   All of the lights (coloured) behave correctly but the petrol and temp gauges are filling up the off then filling up from top to bottom and keep on doing this and the centre line of the 3 lines is flashing with them...

 

No I have not tries to bump as its hard to get the car out of the drive....

 

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