I own an '08 Passion which has a shift problem that my dealer says is "normal". Sometimes when I turn onto a road from a stop sign/signal, the transmission (in "D") seems to get confused if I have to slow up a little in turning and then want to speed back up again. The engine won't rev up, the car continues to loose speed until you get to a crawling speed even though the accelerator is pushed completely down. It will then shift back to automatic 1st and take off like normal. Pushing the accelerator pedal up and down repeatedly will usually get the transmission working again before it slows to a crawl. On 2 occasions, I was driving at aprox 50 mph and attempted to pass a car in front of me when this happened. Pulled out and floored the accelerator and nothing...wouldn't speed up (no engine revs or ground speed). Pumping the accelerator finally got things working OK again. The 2nd time this happened, there was no one behind me so just left the pedal all the way down just to see what would happen. It slowed from 50 mph down to aprox 10 mph before it shifted down to automatic first and took off like normal. I'm sorry but this can get you run over by on-coming traffic when you can't accelerate properly. It's not safe at all!! I really like the car but between this problem, the electrical gremlins
I've had/have, and the burnt rubber smell that permeates my garage
after my 9 mile commute, I'm loosing faith in this car fast. I'm getting real nervous after reading about all of the clutch problems these things seem to be having and the expense to repair. The car is still in warranty with a little over 10,000 miles on it...way too many problems for this few of miles! Has any one else had this happen?
Unfortunately the smart was mis-represented in the US (in my opinion)
The smart is a manual transmission with computer controlled dry plate clutch.
Drive it as a semi-automated car, using the paddles to shift gear and it is brilliant.
Rely soley upon the auto shift program and it is like a teenager fumbling with a stick shift and clutch while learning to drive.
The US changed the smart transmission shifter to include a D and a P (the rest of the world only sees an N and R) on the knob. The rest of the world has to pay extra for the Auto program... and it is generally considered to be money thrown away. The US sells the A as standard.
Learn to use the paddle shifters and enjoy the smart. Sticking with the auto program will frustrate you.
Every time I remember to pop into Auto, I quickly forget and tap the paddles when the next gear change is needed and am back in manual control.
A lot of clutch problems are possibly US specific... due to that wretched auto program feathering and bungling the shifts; causing indue wear.
Yes, and unfortunately driving in the US version's "manual" mode will do nothing to alleviate the clutch wear the vehicle is imposing on itself, since selecting manual allows the driver to control only the timing of the shifts, not the actual shift process. I sometimes grit my teeth when I feel and hear what the vehicle is doing with the clutch, knowing that it is causing unnecessary wear, and there's not a thing I can do about it, except to back off the accelerator a bit until rpms are matched. Slow, slow, slow.......`
On to another point. How are smart sales doing in Australia? As you have no doubt noticed, they have plummeted in the US.
I've been driving manual shifts for a long time... shifting my smart is just like shifting a pedal clutch car; with one major difference - the smart will automatically downshift when braking and slowing down. Took a while to learn, but now love those flappy paddles. Very quick and smooth up and down; there is no obvious attempt at automating the shift more than necessary. Auto is extremely jerky, almost all the time... no way to get a smooth shift in the first two gears with it in anything like normal or spirited driving. Top three gears are not too bad, but the shift to 5th is too high, slow and unpredictable.
All car sales in Australia are down due the global slow down. smart cars no more or less than any others (I guess... sales figures are not posted). In the wider market, SUV's are starting to feel the pinch of the new Chinese trucks (marketed as Great Wall). Some use Mitsubishi engines and body styles are similar to the old Triton, but sell for a lot less... quality is impressive. If they make a smart competitor they could be a challenge.. but will probably target the Toyota niche first. The smart is hard to beat in safety and tiny size.
smart Austrlia were "smarter" than smart USA... they started with a wider product range several years ago, so we now get the pulse 451, and can get the factory turbo. pure and passion were deemed not suitable. I see enough roadsters around to pique my interest in the more unique smarts.. they look very sporty. The 450 is very quirky compared to the 451 body style... they do look like toys.
Don't underestimate the smart horn. A 451 snuck up behind me and pipped his horn. That high beep is very effective punching through road noise... I sure jumped!
Smart is the biggest flop of car industry ,second to non comparing with GM,Vegas introduced in early 70-amusingly it also had an aluminum engine.
Nothing good from this car except its cute looking. I would get rid of mine to another sucker like me who was drawn into its fatal attraction and left with a broken wallet, as soon as Toyota IQ or Mazda G3 available in 2011.
Smart will end up like Yugo,Lada and Daihatsu and makes its owners crying in the rain for bills piling up against their wallet.
This car can bankrupt its owner easily in a flash. Routine maintenance has to be done every 10000 km and for honoring its warranty and ,blatantly threatening its customers, it must be handle by dealers who would charge 300 plus or up for a simple oil change plus so called inspection done in a flash but claim it is a 3- to- 4 hours job.
I would wonder what business model of this company and its affiliated dealers are deploying. Mechanically, it fails in every aspect and most importantly, it also fails miserably in gas efficiency; many poor owners are discovering this car burns more gas than a 4-seats Yari and comically, lags behind a retired suzuki sprint, a 4-seaters too.
I know what you're saying... only took one near broadside while this idiot transmission program tried to decide what to do...(like a car being shifted by a 9year old..that can't reach the shifter or clutch pedal) i now shift manually in traffic. in auto mine will often stay in 3rd gear if i slow down to15 mph and try to accelerate (i know because i've moved the lever to manual to see !)
If you want it to down shift at freeway speeds you REALLY have to push to achieve downshift ( you feel a catch near full pedal travel push through it)..and it'll go down to 3rd and scream it's displeasure all the way
are you sure it's rubber you smell burning...mine's definitely clutch burnt smell after an in town drive...
a little vent here ...0.6 sec clutch/shift time is insane with a sequential trans for better mpg the computer should just throttle off and up shift or blimp throttle and down shift no clutch disengagement required.0.06sec shifts on production auto's with other getrag transmissions. This was definitely a save a Euro (read that cheap) rush to market by Daimler AG with no hopes for a real cure, as the electric Smart is the engineering priority.
you still have warranty so call the 800 number and tell the zone rep your troubles...get hold of your state attorney generals office and file a complaint..many states have lemon laws...
I almost didn't pick mine up when i found out about the mix of the cheapest of German/Japanese/french/eastern European engineering and programing that would be the Smart USA. 4-2....saw it coming and not really surprised..only at the nasty attitude or just attitude of dealership service personnel in Arizona and CA ..everybody was so pleasant 'til I wrote the check...........and who else would have the nerve to suggest a service special- $157.00 for 3.5qts of oil and a filter! no wonder my Benz owning friends don't service at the dealer.....
don't let up just leave it at the dealer 'til they fix it!.....
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