I'm betting a noise coming from the from of my Smart Passion Coupe that happens largely on Speed Bumps or when there is a sudden drop in road grade. I'm wondering if anyone else it getting anything similar.
It seems to happen now when the temperature is cold (below 40 F). The best way I can describe the sound is as if there were a metral box of tools in the front that gets 'bounced'. It is something like a cross between a crashing and crunching sound. It is rather pronounced (loud) when it does happen and certainly sounds like something in the 'not good' or 'not normal' category. The best I can determing, the noise is coming from the front of the car.
After the car is driven for a while or the temperaturs is up, the nouse typically can't be reproduced. I've had it to the dealer several times and, as you can imagine, they can't find or see anything and haven't even been able to reproduce the sound. They suggested it may be a 'normal' sound of the gas shocks, but it is loud enought that it turns the heads of people near the car when it happens. I even took a mechanic for a lengthy ride finding as many speed bumps as we could with no luck, but again, the car was already warmed up by then.
I have the very same thing happening. Actually, that's why I got on this site today, to see if anyone else was having the issue. The first time I noticed it, I was going thru an intersection that has a dip in it. And as it is cold, it always does it for a while until the car is totally warmed up.
It doesn't seem to matter that I warm up the car in the garage before I leave the house either. Seems like it needs driving time (which could explain the shocks thought). I was worried that the nose of the car was hitting the pavement, but apparently it isn't.
I would love to know how to fix this! And I will certainly pass along any information I find out. Haven't talked to the dealer yet.
I got the same noise driving my smart. I took the car to a first dealer, who gave me a BS check the tire pressure and lets do wheel alignment. Waste of Time at that M@$F##$ING place. After noise continued I took my baby to Smart Center Edison for a second opinion and guess what? They took it more seriously and they did discover that the front right wheel suspension is bended and I need new wheel carrier and new cross member. They said this could of happened by hitting a pot hole or a bump. I agree since roads here in NYC are mess-up beyond the recognition. There finding also indicate that I may have to replace a shock absorber as it may fail. So this my story. If when you bought your smart and it didn't make that sound this a sign that you may have hit a pot hole or a bump. Don't forget the front and rear in smart car designed to collapse to absorb a force during an impact or collision.
how much of a hole do you have to drive through to bend the suspension? I'm also in NYC and some of them are pretty much unavoidable. Some of the worst seem to be on the FDR where the speeds are higher and traffic closer. On the regular streets I tend to drive r-e-a-l-l-y slow a lot of the time and drive around the ones I can. Something else to check for on my first service.
Am I correct in guessing that if something is seriously out-of-whack, you'd know it when driving at speed on a smooth surface? I always assumed a loud jarring "thwack!" was the appropriate noise for entering / exiting a pothole.
My smart also feels like it will fall apart when hitting a bump that other cars would just take in stride. The front end is the culprit. It doesn't take kindly to sudden jolts - and they don't have to be caused by much of a bump or hole. It's been like that since new.
If the car rides smoothly and otherwise behaves well then there is nothing bent or broken that needs replacement. Did you also look at the components they told you that were in need of replacement?
I don't think that the noise that I'm having or that Kim, this discussion originator, is having could be something damaged such as the suspension. Here's why...wouldn't the car still make the noise in warmer temperatures...not mainly under 40 degrees? That's my thought anyway. My car is doing the exact same thing as Kim's...and while the temps were ranging from 0 to 30, it was making lots of noise. As soon as it got close to 40, the noise is practially gone.
Hmmm...this is an interesting topic & I'm glad this forum is here, so I can hear from others who are having the same issue!!
I think you're probably right, Melissa. I don't suspect that it's a 'damage' problem at this point. I did spend some 'quality' time with the technician in the dealer and with the car on the rack (or rack(ette) as it would be for the small car). He did a pretty thorough inspection including tugging, pulling, feeling, pushing, looking, and measuring (short of tasting) the front-end stuff. And let's face it, there's not a ton of stuff in that front-end.
This really seems to be somewhat of a temperature related thing. When the car is comfy, it's normal as normal can be. Drives clean, straight, quiet, and smooth ... even over the same darn speed bumps or dips that cause the noise when it's cold. And wow - what a shocking noise (no pun intended) when it's cold going across the same terrain. Someting that sounds like it does should, by all rights ... fall off.
Jim may be right, the shocks may need time to warm up. But like you, I'd sure like to make the connection with the Smart folks that this is really what's going on. And, I still wonder if this is a 'normal problem' that occurs consistently on all of the new Smarts ... or ... is there really a defect in the animal (like one of the shocks) that only raises its head when it's feeling cold and lonely. Do we need to find a Shock Warmer?
I am wondering if some of our Northerners who enjoy the sub-zero temps as a regular diet (lol) have this kind of problem with some consistency. Would sure like to hear from some more Northerners. Yea, I realize Dan and Dennyrex ... NYC qualifies ... but ... you get my drift. Some folks in ... let's say ... Maine, or Upper Michigan, or Minnestoa or ... Canada ... eh?
Thanks for contributing .. Keep 'em coming ... we'll sort this Smart Mystery out yet.
If you want a better ride on your smart go with BRABUS SPORT Suspension. Better shocks and springs. And the ride is much more pleasant. After an upgrade on mine it drive almost like a small size sedan.
The noise in front was fixed after tech at smart center changed:
Lower control arm
on the right front side. At speeds of 55 mph and up on Belt parkway with bumps that their.... The final word to fix all of the above costs about $1,300. Local NYC center didn't pick up problem, but NJ Edison center did and I am very thankfull for it.
Final word UPGRADE YOU SUSPENSION WITH FACTORY SMART KIT DON'T RISK LOOSING YOUR WARRANTY WITH AFTER MARKET ITEMS
Dan--what did you end up paying for the Brabus Sport Suspension? I wasn't sure if that was included in the $1300 figure you gave.
The roads in Chicago are pretty horrible as well. I drive 16 miles each way to work on side streets, never going over 40 mph, and I feel like I am going to ruin the car with all of the dips, potholes, and heaves in the roads. I'm sure you've all heard the noise the car makes when you hit a pothole by accident -- not cute.
Kim-- I'm in Chicago, which has had some below zero weather recently, and was also in Minnesota for 10 freeeezing days over Christmas, and I haven't (knock on wood) experienced the problem with the shocks that you are speaking of. So sorry to hear and I hope you find a solution.