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TonyB

Smart Fortwo will not turn over

22 posts in this topic

Hi , everyone, this is my first post as I have just bought a non running Smart Fortwo 450 2003 reg and I have a few questions that I am sure you maybe able to answer. The previous owner told me that the car had a recon engine fitted by a mechanic, and all was well and the car ran, but then he came back to it , it wouldn’t start, in fact wouldn’t turn over so this is when I bought it.

 On looking at the car the roof had gone back,as it is a cabriolet, and would not close, upon trying the ignition, the dash lights would come on ,together with the indicator light  and one bar in the centre of the dash, the fuel and temperature gauges flash from empty to full, but the car will not turn over. I have also checked the electric windows, indicators, radio and these appear not to operate, the doors do lock and the windscreen wipers ,lights including the brake lights all work.

 I have got it on ramps now and I have noticed that there is a wire hanging down from under the floor pan which could of rubbed along the road.

Could I ask any of you guys what would you look at first to get it started? Thanks for reading this and any help would be much appreciated, as this is my first encounter with a smart car , having only worked on my classic Triumph Stag before.

Regards to all and have a happy New Year

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Welcome to the site and Happy New Year to you also, from an ex-pat Uttoxeter guy....My cousin owns National Paintball in Bramshall.  OK enough for the plugs...lol

Please can you take a few pictures of the areas you are worried about so we can see what it is you are trying to describe, a picture is worth a thousand words as they say.  These little cars are a pain in the arse for electrical issues but once you get them sorted are a fun little scooter.  They must have a fully charged battery to operate well. First job. Then go after every ground pin you can find on the car. There should be one close to the battery and have many eyeloops attached to it. They get corroded between each eyelet so it is important to look at each one separately. sorry to say. The car also has issues with water getting in and causing electrical problems. IF your carpets are wet or there is surface rusting under them you will have grounding issues..imho. There should be a large frounding strap running from engine to frame that sometimes simply rots off. There also is a main grounding pin collection at the 10 or 11 O'Clock position when standing looking into the engine bay, just under the lip of the body towards the front.  Then check the starter signal wire on the solinoid to see if it is loose or off or the main braided wire running from soliniod to starter motor is still intact. They also rot off. The spade connection on the soliniod usually comes loose and requires the spade connection to be tightened up and a bit of grease applied to keep the water away.
Seeing as you live in England......check out a site called Evilution.co.uk as it is the most technical site there is but there isn't a chat area to ask questions. But it has the best wealth of information and to get the most from the site it requires a small donation for all the hard work collecting and displaying it. It's worth every penny imho.  But that is up to you. 
When you turn on the key do you hear the fuel pump turning on and running for a short time to build up pressure? IF not perhaps that wire is related to it...?   Again take a few pictures and show us what you see.....it may be very obvious to us what your issue is...?

 

 

Again welcome.

 

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Old Diesel mech here, I have tips for you, when you clean any ground spray it with Fluid Film and you will never need to go back. Fluid film does not conduct electricity will exclude moister likely as long as you own the vehicle and beyond. Fluid film is actually made from wool wax extracted from sheep wool piss it into your rear door key tumbler on battery terminals and spray liberally over any electrical connections and liberally piss it into door latch mechanisms they will never fk up.

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Similar to Dilectric grease....now a days....lol

Just a smeer not loads as I normally use grease...lol....as loads does conduct a small amount of juice, enough to upset these frig'in little bastards...lol   Just a smeer will do like you say, use a small paint brush for crafts etc........enjoy.

 

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 Hi all,

took a photo of the underside of the car , and found these wires hanging down , could that be the problem, wire broken?

I have no idea what the wires are for , but it looks like they have been dragging along the road when running.

Any ideas will be much appreciated

thanks again

 

B956711F-247C-41EA-9610-407B2D556928.jpeg

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Great picture, now get under there and check for signs of the wiring damaged , then fix it correctly with shrink tube  etc to try to keep water etc out of repair....then tie it back up well out of the way..
At a guess we are looking forwards correct? So those wires if a diesel look like the ones running to the fuel filter.  If a petrol I do not know as I think your fuel filter is towards the driver's rear tire.  Either way it will result in bad readings for computer if wiring is shorting due to damaged from rubbing on road.  I'd get under there and see where they go, if you need to take picture please do and post. If we can see where it goes we can give more accurate help.

Good luck.

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follow the wire...it comes from somewhere and goes to somewhere else

 

thats the easiest way to know what its for

 

 

 

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Then check all your fuses....in the SAM computer, under dash....easy with multimeter, check for continuity across fuse pins so you don't need to remove them.

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Hi guys,

a quick update, ran three wires in tandem to the wires hanging down in case one had a break, and then changed some of the fuses. Tried it again and the single line and flashing temp and fuel gauges had changed  to a symbol of a key ,as in picture, no flashing of temp of fuel gauges , but key is flashing. Any ideas if this is better ,and how do I get rid? Could it be that the battery needs changing in the key fob?

Any ideas greatly appreciated , thanks again.

94F1A008-8E12-4F83-A9F7-0FCEFD670ED1.jpeg

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Vehicle battery must be 12 plus volts and yes change key fob battery.  For a start.  Key sign usually means fob or imobilizer issue.  

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Thanks Willys, will try the key fob first, and let you know how I get on

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Just in case you don’t know.  Turn the key off, press the unlock on the fob and then try to start.  The key symbol is to let you know the immobilizer is on.  It will turn itself on automatically whenever  the key is off for a period of time, maybe a minute or two.  
 

Nigel

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Posted (edited) · Report post

it would be kind of funny if the problem was just improper starting procedure :D

 

 

but yeah that key symbol on the dash is a clue 

 

 

 

i dont know why the windows and signals wont work though

Edited by LooseLugNuts

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IF the new battery in the fob doesn't activate it, open it up and check what the little switches look like inside the fob....I have seen a few that the thin foil paper switch is broken.   But that is usually in a well worn fob, usually shown by worn out buttons and rubber...but you never know?  It would be a shame if you went after the car when all it was was those nasty micro switches in your fob.

 

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Thanks Guys,

like I said in the first post ,this smart car thing is all new to me, used to messing around with 40+ year old classic ,so any help is greatly appreciated. I have changed the battery in the fob and will have another go at it in the next day or two. Will let you know how I get on . Thanks again.

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Also just looked at the picture again.  The dashed line below the key symbol should show the odometer.  Don’t know what’s up with that.

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On 1/5/2022 at 2:08 PM, TonyB said:

 Hi all,

took a photo of the underside of the car , and found these wires hanging down , could that be the problem, wire broken?

I have no idea what the wires are for , but it looks like they have been dragging along the road when running.

Any ideas will be much appreciated

thanks again

 

B956711F-247C-41EA-9610-407B2D556928.jpeg

Have a look under the carpet on the driver side there should be a relay and fuse box, See if that is part of this wire.

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Hmmmm....it was brought to my attention today, that possibly when this other mechanic swapped out the motor he also swapped out eith one of the computers.....either the Speedo thinking it would show a lower mileage  and go with the new motor, OR he simply swapped out the entire sub frame and that included the air box with holds the ECU....?  IF he has done either of these things you do not have a matching set of computers and they will never talk to each other without being taught to using a STAR machine.  
So, if he has played with the engine compartment, check all grounding points and also the large ground braided strap that runs from engine to bodywork. IF this isn't attached and in good condition it will create a bad situation and the car won't start.  There is also another big grounding pin at the 11 O'Clock location when you are standing looking at the engine from behind. It's just under the lip of the bodywork and has about 6 or so brown wires attached to it. Take it apart and clean each eyelet if they are corroded in any way.  Next make sure main battery is disconnected  and take off both long connectors on the ECU, it's on the righthand side of the wir box, well it is in Canada any way...lol. You will snap most of the screws off, no problem just silicon it back in place after you inspect it. Look , just look at the pins for the connector and see if you have any green pins(corroded). BEWARE when playing with this device as it holds a charge and will cook itself if you jump any of the pins....ask me how i know!  IF it shorts out it's JUNK and you will need another either new or used working one that must be taught to speak with the other two computers.    Again go back to the mechanic and ask him if he swapped out any of the computers when he worked on it. IF he did ask why? If just to get a lower mileage ask him where the original spedo is and ask for it to put back in car as it will work instantly if that is what happened.

Just a thought, let us know.

 

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Hi all, me again, I fitted new battery into the key fob and the central locking worked on the doors. I then had a look at the Zee unit under the dash and gave the main loom socket connector a push in and heard a click, as though it was not fully connected. Put the key into the ignition switch again and switched on ,just to get the key on the dash again ,so turn off ignition and pressed unlock on the fob , and low and behold ,it changed to the gear select, so put my foot on the brake peddle and tried to start it , and guess what it fired up and ticked over great. So all done ,just need to  get thing looking right, and drop off the ramps. 
So to sum up it looks like a dead battery in the fob and the main loom cable not pushed fully home .

Thanks once again guys for all your help it was much appreciated.

Best Regards

Tony

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welcome to smarty ownership....youve now passed your first challenge

 

 

 

...many more to come 

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