alacazam

450
doors won't lock - 450 CDI 2005

11 posts in this topic

Hi !

 

Story goes that the car doors will not lock when pressing the lock button on the key remote. I do hear the locking mechanisms closing in the 2 doors and the trunk panel, but they all unlock immediately after.

Pressing the unlock does de-activate the immobiliser so i can still drive the car.

I am essentially looking for ideas as my local Smart mechanic has already spent many hours and replaced a few components without success to resolve this issue.

I read most if not all threads on the topic in this forum, but did not get any luck so far.

The Fusebox/SAM was replaced a few days ago (with a second-hand unit, in an attempt to resolve the issue) including reprogramming my 2 key/remotes. 

The passenger-side door was replaced (by a used one) about 6 months ago and the driver-side latch mechanism was also replaced a few days ago.

The trunk panel was dismantled, all wires are sound.

All doors and trunk latches work well.

All doors close well and tight (no slack, well adjusted).

The connector at the base of the battery was also replaced a few days ago (was seized). 

I doubt there is any link to it, but the front suspension coils were replaced last week (reason it went into the shop) so the front bumper panel was removed / re-installed. Any electrical wires / contacts to should check in that area (aside from the door connectors) ?

The trunk window struts were also replaced last week.

 

I am no car expert and would dearly need some help

Many thanks and happy holidays !

Alacazam.

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Hi:

Do you have two key fobs? If so have you tried it with the second fob? Maybe the thin foil switch in the fob is playing up? I have seen them fail and thus took one apart to see what was inside....a very thin micro switch. The one that failed had a corroded wrinkled piece of foil unlike the other two switches in the fob.  Just a thought, maybe?   Beware of taking the switches apart as they are seriously small things to deal with.

Maybe get some tin foil big enough to wrap the fob in immediately after it opens the doors to see if the tin foil would stop a false signal contacting the car....could this be a way to test the fob in question?

 

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Hi Willys,

Thanks for the tip. 

Yes, two key fobs i have. The car came with only one which is likely the original, so I had a second unit cut/programmed about a year ago.

Both fobs were programmed for the newly replaced SAM and both have same behavior.

 

I forgot to mention in my post above, that the interior lights remains ON (instead of dimming out as usual) when ignition key is put in position-1 and the engine is started.

The car beeps a couple times when driving off from a standstill, as if one of the doors/rear glass/trunk was still open / not properly closed.

Funny thing is, the "open-door" console warning light stays OFF and the beeps only sound when the car is moving.

If I recall, the normal "open-door behavior" is for the car to beep when put in 1st gear and the "open-door" console red warning indicator light to stay ON.

Also, the car has been sitting in a heated garage for several days now, so no snow/ice/water should be interfering.

 

I just noticed that the "open-door" console red warning indicator light comes ON only when the driver door is opened. I does not come ON when either the passenger door is opened nor the back glass/trunk door is opened, which seems odd.

Can anyone pls confirm this is not the correct behavior (indicator should come ON if any latch is not closed) ?

 

Many thanks !

A.

Edited by alacazam

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OK, back to basics.....how many ground pins have you located..? Start looking for them and open each up and clean every eye loop and terminal it attaches to...yes a nasty painful job but these cars seem to love getting poor ground signals.....or if you bite into a power cable it sometimes messes with the signal being sent along that wire.  I did it on my first Smart, took ages for me to realize what I had done...my water seperator light was half lit, drove me insane until I removed the new wire I installed....all good once again.
Do you have the correct rear light bulbs installed, yep, different amperages do wierd things to the car.....not kidding.  I bet if you slowly go after each wire or system you'll find a chaffed wire or a short or a dead ground....check under the centre console for pinched wiring...? Between the two pods, it's very tight in there...?   I'd check all three of your computers for corroded pins or connections.....first the SAM(sorry don't care if they replaced it) then the Speedo and finally the ECU and BEWARE of this as it holds a charge and if you short the pins out it will be junk...ask me how I learned this expensive mistake.  I had 3 pins corroded and tried to clean them using sensor clean and a tooth brush.....all I saw in the suds was a lightening flash. I knew right away what happened.!!!

That should keep you busy for a few days over Christmas.....lol.

 

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Hi Willys,

Thanks for the reply and precious info on bulbs and the ECU warning.. I wouldn't have guessed it. 

 

From your post, it sounds I will be looking for a needle in a haystack... Thanks for depicting that right, at least i know what i am up against !

 

As I am not familiar with the Smart's wiring at all, before I start dismantling too much, any pointers where most of these connectors are hidden ? I assume interior door panels and front bumper housing will need to be removed.

 

You did point out the tight centre console, is there anything I should remove to ease access ?

 

I have no clue where to look for the ECU either...

 

Best wishes, many thanks !

A.

 

ps: should the "open door" console warning be lit on any open door ?

Edited by alacazam

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Can  ask, do you have the use of a garage? If so, then you are lucky. I strongly suggest for you to join a site called Evilution.uk.co and pay them their lowest donation fee....imho well worth it to anyone who is new to the Smart Car fun. It is a solely technical site with no chatting. It is a wealth of knowledge and pictures and diagrams to help you with anything related to your car. BUT, we, this site is the best for the 2005-2006 CDI model as we got the most delivered to us, so we know the most about them. But Evilution has the best pics and technical stuff to help .....they just do not have the best CDI knowledge, but the best over-all knowledge of Smart Cars IMHO. Again IMHO worth the donation at least once. Your problem isn't just a CDI problem possibly that is why I suggest going there. Also asking at all Smart car site you can find, you never know, someone may know straight away what the cause is or have had it happen to them...?   Do you have surface rusting on the floor boards inside your car? Is the carpet wet? Does your windshield leak? Shown by water trails either in the centre area or corners, there will be trails going from glass rubber to the dash panel. OR, do you have a sun roof that opens or a convertible roof...?  IF so then you will have most of the common issues related to water damage to the electrical system I have seen.  The other place to look is under the gear selector or gear shift.....it's where the immobilizer is for the key fob i think.  Not 100% sure but it's where it makes sense for it to be. There is a small board under there that may have issues?  I have never had you issue so it's where I would start......great eh,?  But again most of the electrical issues are the other places...?Next, the ECU is attached to the air cleaner box on the righthand side and if you think about taking it out you probably will snap a few of the screws holding it onto the air box.....so you will want to use silicon to hold it in afterwards. It's how mine is held in now.  I would leave this till last....as it is the most dangerous to play with imho. The grounding pins are all over the chassis basically. There are the usual things to go after when starting the electrical gremlin hunt. Check battery connections, then you'll find two grounding pins near batter, one is to the left of the battery just on the edge of the tunnel and the other back rear side of battery well. They're also is a white connector in the battery well, it usually gets corroded and green, normally we simply cut the connector out and hard wire it in. Then go after the silver box above the battery that is about the size of a large cigarette package....check it's connections, then take it apart as inside it usually gets corroded. If it is try and re-arrange the wiring that goes to it and move it up higher off the floor, mine is attached to the dash main cross member using self tapping screws. The SAM has issues but if replaced it should be perfect but the connections to a few of the longer plug-ins may show signs of heating up or corrosion? Seeing as the SAM is secondhand then I would be opening it up and carefully looking inside it for any pins showing any signs of cold solder joints, it's where the pins get hot and warm up then cool down and the solder melts enough to not correctly reattach itself to the pins resulting in a poor connection. Thus being called a cold solder joint. You will need one of those head magnifiers or a good magnifying lense to easily see the very thin line around the pins that indicate this has happened. It's very common... It's relatively easy to take the SAM apart just take your time and take all of the large fuses out as well as the screws in the deep holes, they are torx screws. The SAM is held together with plastic clips which can be brittle if man handled. The main board is unfolded easily, slowly to reveal the pins in question. There is many threads showing how to do all this. There also is a grounding pin to the left on the side of the body near this....if memory serves me well..? All of this must be done with battery disconnected....also recheck all connections to battery and where it grounds to body. The battery also should be load tested to make sure it's in good condition but if new forget testing it....for now. The ECU that is attached to the air box holds a charge in it's capacitors and it will cook itself if you short out any of it's connection pins. Ask me how I know!  There could be 3 pins in one of the plugs that may be corroded....mine were. I used a plastic toothbrush and sensor cleaner and they still shorted so I do not want to tell you how to clean them as it could short them out also. But I will try either a plastic tooth pick or a wooden one if i do it again and simply pick at the corrosion very carefully. The ground pins and the live pins are not that close to each other again if I recall correctly.....but be careful to go after one pin at a time. Only if you see green or white crud on the pins.  There is a large grounding strap that runs from the engine to the rear part of the body that usually corrodes as it's simply braided wire. There is also a small grounding pin at the 11 o'clock position as you are standing facing the engine bay, under the lip of the rear hatch edge that is a well known issue.  IF you start after the door power issues you need to take off the front clip as there is a large connection attached to the front door pillar. After that you can go after the insides of the door wiring, I haven't had that thrill yet....but have removed all of the electrical system from a scrap car, so know what's in there.....
As for the dash issues it may be under the top idiot lights that are between the two pods if you have them, clock and RPMs. I have seen the wiring under that piece very squashed in two of the cars I have dealt with, possibly causing a short or pinch????

Like i said at the beginning, join Evilution and read before going crazy searching......there is hours if not days of searching above and it may be a simple fix they have had issues with already.   Hope this helps...

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Willys,

You sure make me believe in Santa again, thanks for all the presents !

You've exceeded my expectations, awesome !

 

Already a member of Evilution (free) but will pay the dues as suggested.

 

The car is in my heated garage, feeling very lucky indeed for this type of work. 

 

Carpets are dry now, but where damp wet when i got the car a couple years back...Took me a while to figure where water was coming in, Thanks to ClubSmartCar !..

The windshield had its issues as well, I was able to seal it all with silicone, syringes and patience :-)  I had carefully and thoroughly cleaned around the windshield gasket prior to, so quite confident this is not leaking anymore, but will check again as these things have a habit of failing without notice...

Carpets have been consistently dry for more than a year now (I usually park it outside), i check them regularly when we get heavy rain or meting snow. Been lucky so far...  

 

The only exception has been the rear side panels (below the quarter windows). I had assumed the window gaskets were at fault but could not find any replacement clips for the inner windows lining , so did not take the chance to undo them (seemed brittle). The local shop said it was likely due to the hatch's gasket needing reseating, which was done last week when the struts were replaced. Haven't tested if leak is resolved as it's been in my garage since then. 

 

Battery was brand new when I got it (stamped 2019) but will disconnect it the for any electrical work, as visual will likely be sufficient for a "first pass" . will test with power as i work my way thru. see how that goes

 

Would have never guessed the location of the ECU, Thanks for that. So the screws holding it are difficult to access or rusted in ? will check it out. Thanks for the early warning, though.

 

Someone suggested to me to squirt di-electric grease on all contacts to prevent water intrusion & corrosion (any comments ?)

 

BR

A.

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Yes dielctric grease is great but smeer it on not spread it on.....it does conduct in blobs I found, the way I used to use it, now i use a small craft paint brush and carefully paint the grease where needed.

Yes the screws rust in and snap. Silicone is your friend as it will stick it in place for sure. Mines been in that way since the first day I got it so to speak.

The reason to pay Evilution's donation is they restrict you from getting the really in depth information unless you do, so well worth the small fee....and if you think about it, there is no other site with that amount of information where we can learn from. A very well put together library of info.

As for the windshield home repairs, i went through all this also.....buckets of the black stuff.....washed the entire seal and glass and basically siliconed it in and it still leaked the seal isn't what holds the glass in, it is glued in with the usual black industrial adhesive glass shops use, can't remember name of it....Hmmm...????  I found I could get a flathead screw driver under the centre of my windshield and carefully pry the glass up and down so no amount of silicone would have sealed it by only sealing the rubber gasket, it must be under the glass itself.  The rubber seal around the glass is simply decoration.lol.

The rear side quarter windows do come apart semi easily and IF you do break the little clips it doesn't matter that much as I again siliconed my windows in, lol.  You still use the plastic lock but the last small lock at the bottom corner can be placed in place then a small dab of the magic black stuff will hold it there. I found all sorts of crap under the seal of those windows.,  Yes they are meant to expand and contract from heat etc but so far mine have been just fine....Toronto Canada climate.


Glad to help if I can, this is how we keep this site going and alive, by talking and helping others.   We need new members all the time.

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Hi Willys,

 

Not much got done on the car since last week, aside from browsing for solutions.

Got my paid membership on Evilution which helped find this thread that deals specifically with the issue (a lifesaver) https://www.evilution.co.uk/mod/450-central-locking-testing.htm .

Says it is likely related to misbehaving door latches, wirings or selenoids. 

 

As my local shop said they tested both door latches (has apparently replaced the driver's side 2 weeks ago) and passenger door has been replaced last year, i may be barking at the wrong tree here, but eh, these things can go bad anytime and none of the replacement parts were new...

 

Evilution shows wiring / testing scenarios, so I would give it a shot, but am debating whether I should remove the exterior door panels or just the inner/interior sleeves to get the to door handle connectors.

Evilution recommends to dismantle the whole door (as one will likely have to replace the wiring/handle i.e. remove front bumper, mirrors, door panels, but it seems a bit over-the-top for my case ( if the local shop already tested that).

 

My money is on the passenger door as it does not light-up the "dashboard indicator" when opened, but the driver's side does.

 

What do you think ?

 

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As I would say to anyone wanting to work on any of the plastic pieces during the winter, beware......better to attack plastic when it's warm. So if you have use of a warm garage then the outer skin should come off if you have the touch....or the knack....It took me a while when i tried to get my panels off my doors, but my doors were also off the car and on the floor so they moved around making it far more difficult to pop the skin to release it from the top rail....but once you figure the right way to lean into the door skin they do come off when warm not too badly.  Going after the inner skins is semi easy once you read how to from that other site as they explain almost everything very well.   As I said worth every penny when you first start playing with your car. After a while you may not require it but it's still cheap imho.

Good luck, and yes I'd be going after the one which seems not to be responding as it should.

I also have found using used parts to repair a known weakness isn't always the best way. Sometimes better to spring for a new part as long as you retain your manhood...so to speak....cost wise.

 

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Hi Willys,

The car has been sitting indoors since i got it back from the local shop around x-mas, so no worries of working with plastic pieces in the cold, car is in a warm place and i would not even attempt at working outside in these freezing temperatures. I've come to appreciate working in a heated parking lot, after too many of these fine youth experiences dealing with a defective car in the middle of the great canadian frost  :-)

I was hit by other priorities lately so did not put much time on the car... issue still ongoing.

I will dismantle the passenger side door at some point. will send an update when i get there.

Thanks for the support ! 

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