I have 16,000 miles on my '08. I just flashed the 2.0 less than 100 miles ago. Service tech says 2008 clutch is inferior to 2009. I drive it pathetically slow all the time, but I'm almost at the 24month mark and I read somewhere in here that the extended warranty won't cover clutch replacement. I aint gonna get stuck with no $1400 in repairs on a new car!


*My Questions: Are others replacing their '08 clutches left and right ? How do I know if the clutch disk is about to leave me stranded? Is it true about extended warranty still not covering clutches past 24mo/24k mi?

Tags: clutch, disk, repair, warranty

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I have an 08 (June 08 Production) and have had no issue with the clutch. I have the extended warranty but have the same question that you do about the clutch. If the component has a defect, I think smart should replace it under warranty or under extended warranty if the failure was caused by a design flaw and not normal wear and tear. I only have 6k miles on my smart.
No extended warranty of ANY KIND covers the Clutch...!!!

~The Plan~
~Its A Factory Incentive Plan To Get You To Buy "Many" New Smarts~
~The Question Is, Will It Work To Get You To Buy A NEW Smart Every Time The Warranty Runs Out~

Yes you are Screwed after 24,000 miles or 24 months ~ Yes you will spend $1600.00 out of warranty to fix that Defective Design ~ unless you Sell that Car...
ah i get it. You shift it into R and it does nothing. I think I had that happen to me 2 days ago already.
In that forum ; it was stated that the clutch is only covered for 12 months or 12,000 miles. But there is one owner who has such a solid relationship with his dealership that they fixed his gratis after 60,000 something miles.
Car would not go from P to R without getting stuck in neutral and staying there, had to turn off car and restart. Needed new clutch plate @27,000 miles. Paid $1425.89.
You will know if you need a replacement clutch. Not all of them are exhibiting the problem so not all of them are being replaced. Mine was done under warranty at no charge but took 23 days in the dealer's shop because of a shortage of new clutch disks.

The symptom is this: You start the car and shift into R but the dash doesn't show anything and the car doesn't engage reverse. Eventually it can happen in drive as well. Turning off the engine and restarting sometimes works but it doesn't fix the problem, it just masks it. The shifting is electronic and the transmission computer isn't getting a signal back that the clutch is engaged so it doesn't show on the dash as in gear. Unlike a conventional transmission where you actually move the gears by shifting, the smart shifter signals the transmission which then shifts. It gets feedback from the tranny as to what gear it is in. A regular manual trans with linkage would give you manual feedback that your clutch was slipping or not engaging. The smart only has feedback via the electronics. But if it aint broke don't fix it.
I just took my '08 in for this symptom today. I have 16K on the car and it has been doing this since off and on since before the 10k oil change and I told the dealer about it then and they said the 2.0 tranny upgrade would fix it. It did occur less often but it has been happening more frequently of late. I hope they cover it, I should have made a stink back at the 10k warranty.

Seems like 16k is way too soon for a new clutch especially when the computer controls it. Its not like as the driver you can ride the clutch...
Doug- It is not case of simlpe clutch wear- It is a design flaw that has been corrected with a new part/ re-design. My dealer told me the flash would fix the problem and if it didn't he would replace the shifter and that would take care of it. He was not aware of the faulty clutch disk design at the time. smartUSA informed him of the problem and the solution. I would think that by now all authorized smart service centers would be aware of the problem, symptoms, and solution. The total miles is not the issue. Mine failed at 9500.
Pasde2- You should contact smartUSA and see if there is some restitution possible. Sounds a lot like the defective clutch problem.
Park Place Dallas is my dealer and I talked to the service representative about 40 mnutes ago and he told me that they need to replace the shifter, the parts will be in on Tuesday.

Jim, I realize that the thread was indicating design flaw, my comment about clutch wear was really more about emphasizing that it must be a flaw since the average Smart driver cannot easily destroy a clutch by simply riding it like the days of old when you could sit at a light with your foot on the clutch like it was a brake pedal. I should have been a bit more clear. I appreciate your comments and everyone else that has replied as well. I will post again next week after the repair are done.

Have a wonderful New Year everyone.

Jim Yedor said:
Doug- It is not case of simlpe clutch wear- It is a design flaw that has been corrected with a new part/ re-design. My dealer told me the flash would fix the problem and if it didn't he would replace the shifter and that would take care of it. He was not aware of the faulty clutch disk design at the time. smartUSA informed him of the problem and the solution. I would think that by now all authorized smart service centers would be aware of the problem, symptoms, and solution. The total miles is not the issue. Mine failed at 9500.
I picked up my blue streak this afternoon, the Dallas Smart Center replaced the shifter assembly and adjusted the clutch. All done under warranty. they had some delay getting it done as they only ordered the shift knob the first time rather than the entire assembly.

So far so good, no trouble going into reverse.
A smartcar tech was at a recent rally I attended and was asked this about this very issue with the 08,s Mine as yet hasn'tshown any signs of the problem.He said they were aware of the problem BUT it was a intermittent problem.Not that many complaints and yes there was a fix for it.It seems that if they know of this and the fix they have come up with they should notify owners Or better yet a recall.If I get stuckwih a unnessary bill for this I,m going to be one unhappy Smart car fan.

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