451 smart fortwo

smart Car

On Thursday after returning from a trip and parking my smart in the garage I went to leave again about 30 minutes later and it wouldn't start. The battery was good, as all the lights and radio worked. The repair trianle was lit and there were three horizontal lines on the instrument cluster. After cussing for a while I went back out to try again before calling for roadside assistance, and it started right up and seems to be running fine now. Any ideas?

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I am being pestered by first start problems after the smart has been parked for more than 12 hours. Once started: no problems. The smart centre diagnosed a faulty crankshaft position sensor. That was replaced. Some initial improvement in starting... but now back to troublesome. I'm suspecting a fuel feed problem or something related to the turbo (this is not a US non-turbo 451). A push on the accelerator pedal before trying to start may cure it... still testing that hypothesis.
The yellow triangle is the ESP (traction control) light and it always comes on when the key is first turned on. It should go out after abut 15 seconds. Only if the engine warning light stays on after the engine starts would it indicate an engine diagnostic failure. If the yellow triangle stays lit, you have an ESP failure.
The horizontal bars in the display where the gear status shows, indicates a confused transmission. Press the footbrake and put the car into P (or N) and it will either clear or at worst indicate a transmission shift failure. If the tranny is not in a safe state, the smart will not start.
Ian,

Mine wouldn't even crank. I tried it in P and N with no luck. All the smart guy at the dealership said to call for roadside assistance....he didn't have a clue. But it seems to run fine now. About 6 months ago I caught the bad shifter bug and it took me half an hour to get it out of park. I'm starting to think my next car won't be a smart.
Scott,

Lack of cranking amps is a topic... may be poor battery connections or one of those 40ah batteries that need upgrading in the US for the 60ah.

The USA shifter problem is an American problem... we (rest of the world) don't get the P D shifter.

If the key turns and no cranking occurs.. it may be related to the 3 bars indicating a transmission state problem.

The bug I have is only on the first start in the morning... once it has fired up, there is no further problem during the day... so I'm suspecting a fuel pressure or accelerator position sensing bug. Often, waiting for the temperature light to go out was enough to get a first time start. That had me thinking of a pre-heat bug.

The ScanGauge has not caught a reported error code; so I'm guessing every day I first turn the key... as bad as a computer running Windows when it goes dicky...! Too smart for it's own good? Brilliant when it works, though.
Scott,... I know a guy that said the same thing after buying a YUGO...!!!...<:-((
No, I really do love my smart. I thought at first it was the tranny not ready correctly and preventing it from cranking. But after moving the shifter around without success I gave up and went inside. After about an hour or so it cranked right up. I have not a clue.

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