Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
Pantytec

G&K conversion cars - SERVICE CENTERS

57 posts in this topic

That was interesrting :peeved: I don't work on my vehicles & don't expect to start now. Am I happy that the new Smart is more bland? No Do I wish thatI could purchase a diesel Smart? YesWhat doesn't make sense is to pay a premium price for a vehiclewhich may bring you nothing but headaches. I'm sure that mostof these vehicles will perform with little or no problems. That said,I still want to be able to go to a local dealer with trained mechanicsif there is a problem.Add to that the possibility that I may get into the Smart for 10K less?Now is that Smart or what? :biglaugh:

make no mistake, the MIsubishi powered Smart 2nd generation is NOT an exciting prospect for me. I am still stuck on the idea of a diesel powered Smart. Going by past experience with Mitsubishi/Daimler joint venture vehicles, I think your Scion is a much better choice over the both Smart cars if you have a need to hand the keys to a mechanic. I've put more head gaskets on Mitsubishi engines than any other brand vehicle, with the possible exception of first series Hyundai cars and Nissans. Mitsubishi has not struck me as a long term ownership kind of car manufacturer, but I'm going to very hesistantly give them a chance with the new Smart car. WIth any hope, Mercedes has stood over Mitsubishi and babysat the developement of the 2nd gen's engine. I can't imagine Mercedes allowing failure to be an option with all the other political and support problems they've faced with this little car In alot of ways, I feel the Smart is a modernized version of Ferdinand Porcshe's air cooled Beetle. Both vehicles have/had a strong cult following supporting their success. The mentality that they evolved from is very similar, just at different levels. Hopefully the Smart is already past its growing pains period that plagued the VW for many years. I've talked to the local mercedes/porsche dealer and heard they applied to be put on the list for dealership approval, pending a seperate sales lot, which is just a remodeling job away. If they pickup the Smart Penske contract, I will be applying for work as a Smart mechanic. I believe in the car's design, I believe in the philosophy behind its creation. It's alot more than just a "glorified golf cart" to me, I WANT the car to succeed on many levels. Watching ZAP crash and burn while Mercedes steps up to make the introduction as positive as possible is a huge positive for it. I was afraid Smart would choke up and fail after Swatch pulled out, but thankfully, Daimler is determined to make this car succeed, which is all the more reason I will support it's REAL release date in the USA. When we move back home to Montana, I WILL be buying a Calgary CDI mode, just need to let the days go by until then. After reading through this thread and thinking hard about this, I am really getting motivated to step up to a certification for both the 1st gen's and the 2nd gen's. If anyone has contact #'s for G&K's service line, please post them up here. A combined roadside assistant/mobile Smart mechanic may be just what the ZAP/ G&K situation requires in this region. The only competition I see to the Smart right now is this: http://www.theaircar.com/ The major drawback is the lack of safety devices the air car has compared to the Smart. The idea of compressed air being the only fuel requirement for the air car may make up for it's lightweight design and minimal creature features. They are definitely worth considering if they make it to our shores. The main drawback i see is service support, it is going to be a real issue for the air car since it is a completely new idea to most mechanics. Few tech's will be able to get past the lack of spark plugs and/or injector pumps. It has the potential to make ZAP look like a princess when the service support issues arises.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When the new Smart dealers come online next year, I cant imagine them turning away a first gen Smart for basic service. Assuming that is, that the filters are supplied by the owner or if they are possibly the same as the new generation. Will they bend over backwards to help you? Doubt it. Warranty work? I'd have to say youre out of luck on that one too. I'd think the service depts would be interested to see the comparisons of the two cars. Besides, if you have it in for service, you'd probably be out on the lot looking at the new ones.....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When the new Smart dealers come online next year, I cant imagine them turning away a first gen Smart for basic service. Assuming that is, that the filters are supplied by the owner or if they are possibly the same as the new generation. Will they bend over backwards to help you? Doubt it. Warranty work? I'd have to say youre out of luck on that one too. I'd think the service depts would be interested to see the comparisons of the two cars. Besides, if you have it in for service, you'd probably be out on the lot looking at the new ones.....

Very good points, but real the question is whether they will be allowed by contract to even let them register the car with the service writer. MAYBE if the 1st genereation car in question has originated from Canada, which were blessed by Mercedes. You have to remember, Mercedes has a double edged sword by supporting the 1st generation cars, yes they are their cars by namesake, but they will be a nightmare for their tech's service if something doesn't go right while its in their hands. I've seen plenty of customers try to blame the shops I worked for in the past for things that were existing problems BEFORE we ever touched it. Out of sheer customer service, we usually attempted to make it right somehow with them, but if we could not get parts to correct the issue, we then had a car in pieces with no way to return it to functional condition again. Since the engines are a whole new design along with the complete car, I have doubts that parts interchange will be very likely. You may be better off visiting a completely unrelated shop, since they will be looking at it as an off brand service request. Until the 2nd gen's are released and parts/components are compared, I would not hold your breathe on the hope of compatible windshielf wipers even. Mercedes/Penske may take the stand that the don't want ANY service departments working on the cars because then their dealers who don't want to deal with the 1st gen's will be getting grief for not taking the same stand as another dealer. (will you be able to approach a Smart tech and ask for off location moonlighting work?.. I can bet that's a guaranteed yes, I used to do it just help out our customers and keep the service dept from looking like a bad guy. This was usually when the car was an off brand or had some non dealer supported alterations to it like lowering kits etc.) Don't get discouraged by this, just don't EXPECT your service whoa's to be over the minute the Smart dealers open their doors.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wouldn't Smart Certification for Gen 1's take place at the factory in France? or even in Mercedes in Germany?Sounds like a cool career path. Do it!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

back to the original topic, a while back I contacted the local MB Dealers in Orlando, after speaking with the service manager, MB of South Orlando was willing to work on Smarts, both G&K/Zap and CDN/Mexican smarts.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Maybe I'll check with the MB dealer here in Melbourne..... just in case.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wouldn't Smart Certification for Gen 1's take place at the factory in France? or even in Mercedes in Germany?Sounds like a cool career path. Do it!

I go to Muniche once a year to visit family, the travel part is not that exciting. My reasons for doing it are for self diagnostic and getting enough experience to help the 1st gen owners out, not to mention myself when/if we get back up north and find a CDI model of our own. The gas models don't do a thing for me, the real ticket for me is the CDI, period. A car is a car, I've worked on numerous models, its not a a glorious career path unless you work for yourself, even as a team leader of a service team dealer that sold 2 of the "big 3" detroit names, it is still not enough money for me to do it for long term. Stick with computers and white collar work, the automotive industry is changing and advancing too fast to trust its future as a technician right now. The first link you sent of the Obvio is another ZAP import ticket to disaster. I wouldn't go near that thing if it was given to me. Nothing against the car, I just refuse to let ZAP profit any way from me. If the car is imported by someone else with a reputable and well established dealer network, that's a different story. Too much negative vibes around ZAP to ever trust them with something as vital as personal transportation. Trendy statements are one thing, but when you're staring at a 2,000 to 4,000 lb lawn ornament that won't start up to take you work, the image factor wears off real quick. The rest of the cars you posted links of have been in Europe for year in one form or another. Renault is known for building soapbox racer sized cars. NONE of them compare with the quality of the Smart or its safety features. The Smart is in a class of its own safety wise. The upright seating position and Tridion cell sets it far above the microcar class it is being thrown in with. There are several crash tests on the net for the Smart, which have yet to be duplicated by other manufacturers with the same structural integrity results. The Jersey barrier frontal impact test is a true testament to why the Smart is the trendsetter for subcompact cars worldwide. I can't find it off hand, but I'm sure others will pipe in with the links to it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wouldn't Smart Certification for Gen 1's take place at the factory in France? or even in Mercedes in Germany?

Sounds like a cool career path.

Do it!

it is still not enough money for me to do it for long term. Stick with computers and white collar work, the automotive industry is changing and advancing too fast to trust its future as a technician right now. .

I used to know the Service Manager at Murray Motors Denver (bmw/mercedes) and he was doing 6 figures. At a $100/shop hour, or what they demanded was big business... and still is over there.

oops, I better keep my posts in check. Don't want to annoy some of the doogooders on the board with an off topic.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have one of the 1st '05's to leave their place. I "fell in love" with the car in 2000 when we were at Oberamergau. Tried ever since to find a way to get one here.The selling price was $3 or 4k higher than originally stated. I was looking at it as possibly the last car I'd be buying so in the grand scheme - what the heck. It was clear there'd be no dealer anywhere close. So I checked with the local shop I've gone to for the last 20 years. I have had a couple problems - with the added evaporative system and the revised gas tank G&K put in. They readily shipped replacements. I assumed the new warrantee would be of little value when I got it - but G&K has covered some of the service costs. The local service manager has had no problems talking with George or other of their personnel when needed. They even offered to fly one of their techs here if the local shop couldn't resolve the evap problem. And, the local shop has found that their equipment reads most of the codes - due to G&K's work. Someday we may face what happens when it doesn't.For now - I've had a great time. Just came back from the East (NY, Vermont, Virginia). Met up with some folks from the Toronto area in Vermont - had a wonderful time. Met many new people whenever we stopped for gas, food or whatever - "did you really drive that all the way from Minnesota?" Finally started getting some reasonably good mileage - am now at 17,400 miles (2400 past due for an oil change - but forgot to take a filter with me so just trusted that Mobil 1 wouldn't fail me). All the conversations added about 45 -60 minutes a day to whatever we were doing. Gave some folks test drives - I wondered if there would be anyway to know how many who expressed interest actually go ahead and get one.And I'm looking forward to driving it up to Minneapolis in a couple weeks when UAG's road show hits town - try to find out who a dealer up there might be. And, then see if I can con them into believing I might trade. More likely I'd wait to see if/when they'll bring in a diesel (convertible).This thread has gotten a bit serious/sour - conversation should be fun - just like the car, whether someone has the so-called grey marker or the new one. I'm not sure Daimler still really believes there's a market in this country - even an EPA rep let me know they weren't too interested in them (G&K's) coming here. It'd be great if they sold out and couldn't keep up with demand.Well - enough of this - have a great day.darrylalbert lea, mn

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My wife and I are owners of one of the first batch of 85 smart cars converted by G&K and sold by ZAP for the US market. We were on ZAPs waiting list for over 2 years to get the car. We are still very happy with our purchase. We bought the car from Green Car Co in Kirkland, Washington, who still sells and services the cars. We live 500 miles from the dealership, so have not taken it back for service, as at this time, no warranty service has been required. I have done my own oil changes, buying oil filters from eBay. Only other service I have done was a recharge of the Air Conditioning this spring, which again could be done by any "willing" AC service center.

I don't have any experience yet with GCC's service, but they do have the STAR DIAGNOSIS system. When I checked locally about servicing our smart, the local Mercedes dealer would not touch it, but 2 local European car shops said they would work on it. My favorite local European repair shop has looked at the car in their shop just for their own curiosity to make sure that they could work on it, including making sure it would fit on their car lift.

We bought the gray-market smart with our eyes wide open on these issues. I believe that is true of most of the early adopters. The smart car owners in our area have formed a club to help support each other with questions, support, etc. www.smartcarclubofidaho.com And so far, with 12 smart cars in the group, none of us has had any warranty issues with the G&K converted cars (knock on wood).

Yes, some cars only received 1 key, or received cars stripped of radios, but those issues are correctable. Getting a second key does require taking the car to a service center with the STAR DIAGNOSIS system. Upgraded stereo systems many people prefer over the stock system anyway. I did this myself, and now have a system that plays MP3 CDs and has an iPod input.

If you check around, you should be able to find an European car shop that can do most service on the 450 smart cars, including warranty service if you are distant from the nearest authorized service center. Parts and accessories are available from Europe and Canada, and a couple US vendors.

Tom

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Upgraded stereo systems many people prefer over the stock system anyway. I did this myself, and now have a system that plays MP3 CDs and has an iPod input.

Is it a DIN 1 or DIN 2 space? Have any photos?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

1 Din - needs a special cover plate too - available from the smart parts places here on the web. There is a 2 DIN thing I saw out of Asia but it involved slicing and dicing :tremble: Cheers,Cameron

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Upgraded stereo systems many people prefer over the stock system anyway. I did this myself, and now have a system that plays MP3 CDs and has an iPod input.

Is it a DIN 1 or DIN 2 space? Have any photos?
It is DIN 1 space. I ordered the surround from the UK.Tom

post-777-1181053109.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That looks great! I would have to switch to something that playsMP3 cd's too as I have become spoiled in my Scion with all thatmusic on one disc..:)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Does anyone have link for the double din for the Fortwo? I would like to put a DVD unit in my ride. I think DanGhas one fitted but did not see the double din fascia on his if I remember correctly.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Does anyone have link for the double din for the Fortwo? I would like to put a DVD unit in my ride. I think DanGhas one fitted but did not see the double din fascia on his if I remember correctly.

Check out this thread

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Fred, And I feel sorry for you for buying one of the cheaper and very un-Mercedes new models. I'll find service. Negative posts like yours and "know-it-alls" makes me feel sorry for all the new Smart posers coming out of the wood work. I would much rather have a euro-spec Smart than your Daimler Mitsubishi combo. Fred J, you suck.

Enough bloody bashing already.The truth is that neither Penske, nor Daimler-MB are responsible to do anything for the grey-market cars.Now, here's what you do if you need service - you go to your European mechanic who you have already found ahead of time, and do the best you can, getting parts from Europe or from one of the North American sources like flyingtiger.ca, and fix it up and keep going... on this point I think I am repeating what idahosmart already said.Don't beat up Fred J for telling the truth. We've been here since day 1 as far as the forums go, and know what is going on. We're not 'know-it-alls', we're fellow enthusiasts with a website meant to HELP owners, including those in the USA with 2006 and prior gas models...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Now' date=' here's what you do if you need service - you go to your European mechanic who you have already found ahead of time, and do the best you can, getting parts from Europe or from one of the North American sources like flyingtiger.ca, and fix it up and keep going... on this point I think I am repeating what idahosmart already said.

...[/quote']

Thanks for the promo. I'll help any competent technician. Heck, I'll even help get them a STAR if needed. It's well worth the money if you intend to work on many MB products.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Three Point Motors has no issues shipping parts common to both cars to the States either - most of the parts are compatible between the smarts except for some of the diesel parts and computer bits so common wear/maintenance items are available.Most (good) mechanics can figure stuff out if it is a mechanical bit - electronic stuff - there will be those that are both smart enthusists and mechanically inclined that will gain access to diagnostic tools. Heck if my Dad could keep a DKW going over here the smart is a piece of cake! Plus you have folks like Eddy that are just a FedEx shipment away (whole car is a bit big but most of the assemblies aren't).Remember - the car is still relatively new over here but not else where - have a peek at the european forums - lots of third party suppliers and such - given the North American tendency to want to tinker with stuff someone over here will be figuring it out.Not saying you can walk into your local Wally World and get service but it won't be like trying to buy missile parts either.Cheers,Cameron

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

EXCELLENT COMMENTS ALBEIT A BIT ROUGH!Montana rsidents: sounds like you are going or the diesels in Canada--lucky lads--now how can we spread the wealth for the 1st gen diesels down here?I'm not worried about servicing it here in the bay area, only registering it right--the man in tennessee give me hope however.ANYONE HEAR OF CDI 1ST GEN MIGRATING ALONG THE WESTERN BORDER? OR....THE BLEUTECH SMART 2009 CDI VERSION ALLEGEDLY COMING TO OUR SHORES?THANKS, DIZZZY300 MB 300 SD TURBODIESEL :doublethumb:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

With all the varying comments on this site - just thought I'd mention that we were in Winnipeg this past weekend. Went there for a car show (Eurofahr) and to see some of the folks we have met through this forum. I've had periodic problems with the add-on evaportaive system required by EPA.Last Friday evening my 42 started choking, jerking, stalling shortly after filling up. At 1st, thought it was incompatible gas. Got it hauled to the MB dealer, LoneStar, Saturday morning before they opened. I was told this was the 1st gas model they had dealt with. They spent about 1 1/2 hrs Saturday morning before they had to pay attention to customer with appointments (their shop hours on Sat are 9 - 1). Provided a loaner for the weekend and got back at it Monday. The service mgr noted that the evaporative system didn't have MB parts (they're Ford). They disconnected the purge valve and got me on the road by 1100. The bill was very reasonable and their staff were great. I couldn't have asked for better service.

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