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Thread: Help Please. 2004 Cabrio. Safe Mode, Dash Flashing, Intermittant Starting.

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Middlesbrough
    Posts
    5

    Unhappy Help Please. 2004 Cabrio. Safe Mode, Dash Flashing, Intermittant Starting.

    Help Please. 2004 Cabrio. Safe Mode, Dash Flashing, Intermittant Starting.

    My problem dates back to February 2010.
    Car is a 2004 Smart ForTwo Cabrio Petrol - named "Pootle"

    Intermittantly the car does the following: Cuts out and all the dash lights flash, clicking comes from the SAM unit and power is lost, then it all goes back to normal and drives fine... or... it properly goes into Safe Mode, drops to 40 mph and either switches back to normal within a few seconds or has to come to a stop, and after a few minutes starts again and drives ok.... or... when is at a stop for over a few minutes all of the dash lights come on, the gear indicator has one line through it and the car has to be turned off, wait for a few minutes, then starts and is ok. It has also begun to have trouble starting and sometimes takes several attempts with the lock/unlock etc procedure before it will go - this happens if the car is left in N or R when parked.

    The car has been in the official Smart garage on five ocassions since February ( totalling over 4 months! ). It has had a new Turbo, Offside speed sensor ( inc full driveshaft ) and a new Steering Wheel ( to replace the speed sensor ) They have also tried replaceing the ECU and ESP and have checked the SAM and the wiring. None of these "fixes" have sorted the problem BUT have cost a lot of money. It is in the garage now but they have basically given up as I refuse to throw any more money their way. Due to pick it up this coming weekend

    Please help - any ideas are greatly appreciated.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Rugby
    Posts
    3,156
    Don't go back to Merc, they know nothing and have probably replaced things they didn't need to (Turbo for an electrical problem?)

    Get Sam of forsmart to have a look at it, Indie's tend to know a lot more about smarts

    Anastasia
    Mr Poo - 600cc Pulse
    Honky - 451 Passion Diesel



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Middlesbrough
    Posts
    5
    Thanks MrPoo - know that about Merc garages already, useless and expensive, I thought i'd give them a chance to fix what they originally charged me for back in February. They have now had 4 attempts and still can't sort it!

    I'm getting the car back at the weekend and would really appreciate anyones help on what to check myself / get a Indie to check.
    I've bought new battery and engine earths in readiness cos it can't harm to upgrade them but other than checking fuses / relays etc I'm stuck.

    Help please! I love my little smart car and really want to keep it on the road and if she's too much trouble my husband wants to get rid of her

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Cumbernauld, United Kingdom
    Posts
    1,901
    tell them to check the ecu wiring ;-)

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Middlesbrough
    Posts
    5
    Thanks McSmarts. They replaced the whole thing ( donor part ) and checked wiring etc about 2 months ago on it's third visit, no joy

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Middlesbrough
    Posts
    5
    Just to keep everyone up to date.
    Collected the car on Thursday 12/08/10... it didn't even get out of the garage forecourt without dying.
    Techy people from the garage could not get it started. She's still in the garage and they are waiting to hear from Smart....

    ....funny how it has been "perfect" all the time they've had it but could only manage to drive 50ft before coming to a stop!
    It wouldnt even talk to their diognostics.

    I've managed to get a list of what they have checked - as follows:

    Checked main live and earths to all control units.
    Exhaust manifold (including turbo charger) cracked and one driveshaft abs ring snapped. Both replaced.
    Carried out extensive electrical checks.
    Checked all related wiring, plugs and connections for connectivity and security. Stripped Sam unit to check for corrosion.
    Carried out short test. Showed communication error between Steering Angle Sensor, ESP unit and Sam unit. Checked all relevant connections and re checked, fault still showing. Replaced Steering Wheel (steering angle sensor).Re tested all faults cleared.
    Checked all connections to control units for corrosion, water damage etc.
    Checked all Can wire resistances, checked main live and earths to all control units.
    Advised to replace Engine Control Unit to eliminate from diagnosis. Vehicle ran extensively by drivers who experienced the fault for the first time, ruling out the ECU as cause of the problem. Old ECU replaced.
    Bypassed several can wiring connectors to eliminate poor connections at the multi plugs and also by passed Can wiring connectors by replacing them with MB repair Z connectors at the instrument cluster.
    Found poor contacts at the N3/10 MEG motor electronics control unit made good all multi pin connectors.
    All X30/7 connectors replaced with soldered joints.
    Check all Can wiring at front of vehicle (under head lights)
    Lowered engine and sub frame, check all ECU and Sam connections.
    Check all live and ground connections.
    Check all main battery wiring and engine earth points.

    ... but still faults and stalls or won't start

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Middlesbrough
    Posts
    5
    "Pootle" has had her SAM unit replaced by Smart of Stockton costing 550.
    That was last Tuesday 17/08/10 and she seems to be running fine.... hopefully she is now fixed and I can go back to spending money on making her look and sound nice now

    Thanks for all your comments.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    gloucester
    Posts
    157
    ive had a fault similar fault to yours, all sorts of strange things, engine cutting out, no connections to the engine, couldnt see the engine, couldnt talk to the engine, loss of power, no fuel pump, no fuel at the engine, although some of the time it would crank over and other times it wouldnt and found it out to be one of the plugs on the sam unit ever so slightly corroded,you couldnt even see it was corroded with the naked eye, which is probably the same as yours but once the sam unit plug thats dirty was unplugged and plugged in a few times the plug makes a good connection and then the fault disappears......

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    London
    Posts
    8
    Glad you got it sorted lynn, must of be a relief!

    Thanks for keeping us updated!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    West Sussex
    Posts
    3,124
    That's good you got it sorted. I don't know what the deal is with garages, but is it possible to get a refund for the work they did which didn't solve the problem? Surely that's their fault and you shouldn't have been paying for all of their diagnostic failures?
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