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Just a for instance... This spring, It got warm enough to crank up the AC and I noticed (as did anyone nearby) that when the A/C was turned on there was a loud growling noise from the front of the car. I tracked it down to the cooling fan behind the radiator. The fan blades were lose and hitting the shroud. Parts to repair were $136, labor was quoted at 2.5 hours and involved removal of the front end, radiator and condenser.Now add in the 4+ hours of travel time to get to the dealer and 4+ hours to drive back, plus gas... Local garages took one look and respectfully declined the job. I ended up repairing it with an alternate method. 

My point is... we need a local service facility. I would have paid to have the repair done but not with the 8 hours of driving The dealer price was just over $500

I'm not saying it is unreliable, with 71K miles, I have no problem with getting in my Pure and driving anywhere I want to go.  I would expect to see a problem or 2. I bought this car with the understanding that I could get parts and service/repair locally. That changed 2 years ago. All I hear is "a matter of weeks" to hear an answer as to where to take my car. 240 miles is a bit far for local service don't you think?? 

BTW, Kenny Ray agreeing with Kamaal?? I am shocked!! oh and there are reports that it may snow today too... something about hell freezing over???

LOL

I understand your concerns about wanting a service department and feeling more comfortable with one closer to where you live.  Especially after having an issue with your cooling fan.  However, that problem has been fixed.  The chances of you requiring another repair of that nature, prior to the time another service center opens up in your area is probably slim. 

It was only 2 months ago that Eric stated that a service center will open up in your area as soon as possible.  It might take a few months, might take a year, might take longer.  But one will open up eventually. 

Until that occurs, you can still get by.  You post here.  You're a member at other owners clubs and forums.  smart center West Covina's parts department is open and will ship any parts you may need for your car.  You still have your maintenance guide and the smart usa owners site provides information for basic maintenance such as oil changes and spark plugs.

If you cannot find a garage willing to work on your car, blame the shop for its incompetence and find another one.  You probably won't even need a "repair" again prior to a MB/smart service center opening up in your area anyways. 

I'm just trying to offer you more confidence in your car.  I'm sitting at 162,000 miles and they haven't been the friendliest miles either.  Sure lots of highway miles.  But lots of lunch breaks idling with the a/c running too, 30 minutes at a time.  Lots of stop and go traffic in Los Angeles.  Many uphill runs with rpms at 5000 or higher.  These little cars were designed to last and I'm confident yours will be fine until that new service center opens up.  Call me if you have any questions in the future, 626-430-3730.

Kamaal


Jim VW said:

Just a for instance... This spring, It got warm enough to crank up the AC and I noticed (as did anyone nearby) that when the A/C was turned on there was a loud growling noise from the front of the car. I tracked it down to the cooling fan behind the radiator. The fan blades were lose and hitting the shroud. Parts to repair were $136, labor was quoted at 2.5 hours and involved removal of the front end, radiator and condenser.Now add in the 4+ hours of travel time to get to the dealer and 4+ hours to drive back, plus gas... Local garages took one look and respectfully declined the job. I ended up repairing it with an alternate method. 

My point is... we need a local service facility. I would have paid to have the repair done but not with the 8 hours of driving The dealer price was just over $500

I'm not saying it is unreliable, with 71K miles, I have no problem with getting in my Pure and driving anywhere I want to go.  I would expect to see a problem or 2. I bought this car with the understanding that I could get parts and service/repair locally. That changed 2 years ago. All I hear is "a matter of weeks" to hear an answer as to where to take my car. 240 miles is a bit far for local service don't you think?? 

BTW, Kenny Ray agreeing with Kamaal?? I am shocked!! oh and there are reports that it may snow today too... something about hell freezing over???

Cheerleaders from Calif. are about as helpful as politicians from Washington.  People do what they want to do.   My son and fiancee just bought a Fiat 500;  They have both dealers and local service!

I am disappointed because, when I heard that a service point was to open very soon in Minnesota, I was hoping for more than lip service.

I see your point, believe me I do.  But it's not like smart cars require much in the way of service anyway.  Oil changes every 10k miles.  No tire rotations.  No transmission tampering.  No timing belt.  What's really left that needs tampering with?  A Fiat 500 requires service every 4,000 miles.  Your son and fiancee will require the dealer's service department more often.

Stephen C Hokonson said:

Cheerleaders from Calif. are about as helpful as politicians from Washington.  People do what they want to do.   My son and fiancee just bought a Fiat 500;  They have both dealers and local service!

If you know what the service code is and the description of the problem then post the problem either here on insider or on smartcarofamerica.com.  Someone might know a solution on how to fix it.  There are plenty of owners that know alot about our smarts and are willing to help.



At least they have a service center, something a lot of people don't have. BTW, how do know fiats aren't as "perfect" as smartCars are? Right now a lot of smart owners, myself & a good number of owners that got dumped on in MN & elsewhere, wouldn't buy a SmartCar, ever again. Besides, I think, SmartUSA is circling the drain. As far as comparative tampering, why don't you read the posts, here & elsewhere, & you'll see they're no different than any other car. FWIW, I'd rather service my car every 4K than have no service at all.

Kamaal Peterson said:

I see your point, believe me I do.  But it's not like smart cars require much in the way of service anyway.  Oil changes every 10k miles.  No tire rotations.  No transmission tampering.  No timing belt.  What's really left that needs tampering with?  A Fiat 500 requires service every 4,000 miles.  Your son and fiancée will require the dealer's service department more often.  

 

The point is, We were told last June that a dealership/service center was in the works. which must have fallen through. then we were told it would happen in a matter of weeks, not months. Again fell through. Now we heard in Feb (?) that an announcement was pending in a few weeks, 2 months later, nothing. In the meantime, I am still racking up miles on my car and eventually it will need more work, which I am OK with. The latest group of ads for the Fiats are quite entertaining, and we see nothing about smart on TV. I can only hope that they can attend the Midwest Rally with some news. 

at 55+ years of age and pushing maximum density, I just don't move good enough to do repair work like I did when I was younger. I'd hate to have to get training so I can support my own car. That is what we pay dealerships for. If I was told when I got my car that I would be on my own after a few years with no service or parts locally, it would most likely affected my decision to own a smart.

 

Kamaal Peterson said:

I understand your concerns about wanting a service department and feeling more comfortable with one closer to where you live.  Especially after having an issue with your cooling fan.  However, that problem has been fixed.  The chances of you requiring another repair of that nature, prior to the time another service center opens up in your area is probably slim. 

It was only 2 months ago that Eric stated that a service center will open up in your area as soon as possible.  It might take a few months, might take a year, might take longer.  But one will open up eventually. 

Until that occurs, you can still get by.  You post here.  You're a member at other owners clubs and forums.  smart center West Covina's parts department is open and will ship any parts you may need for your car.  You still have your maintenance guide and the smart usa owners site provides information for basic maintenance such as oil changes and spark plugs.

If you cannot find a garage willing to work on your car, blame the shop for its incompetence and find another one.  You probably won't even need a "repair" again prior to a MB/smart service center opening up in your area anyways. 

I'm just trying to offer you more confidence in your car.  I'm sitting at 162,000 miles and they haven't been the friendliest miles either.  Sure lots of highway miles.  But lots of lunch breaks idling with the a/c running too, 30 minutes at a time.  Lots of stop and go traffic in Los Angeles.  Many uphill runs with rpms at 5000 or higher.  These little cars were designed to last and I'm confident yours will be fine until that new service center opens up.  Call me if you have any questions in the future, 626-430-3730.

Kamaal


Jim VW said:

Just a for instance... This spring, It got warm enough to crank up the AC and I noticed (as did anyone nearby) that when the A/C was turned on there was a loud growling noise from the front of the car. I tracked it down to the cooling fan behind the radiator. The fan blades were lose and hitting the shroud. Parts to repair were $136, labor was quoted at 2.5 hours and involved removal of the front end, radiator and condenser.Now add in the 4+ hours of travel time to get to the dealer and 4+ hours to drive back, plus gas... Local garages took one look and respectfully declined the job. I ended up repairing it with an alternate method. 

My point is... we need a local service facility. I would have paid to have the repair done but not with the 8 hours of driving The dealer price was just over $500

I'm not saying it is unreliable, with 71K miles, I have no problem with getting in my Pure and driving anywhere I want to go.  I would expect to see a problem or 2. I bought this car with the understanding that I could get parts and service/repair locally. That changed 2 years ago. All I hear is "a matter of weeks" to hear an answer as to where to take my car. 240 miles is a bit far for local service don't you think?? 

BTW, Kenny Ray agreeing with Kamaal?? I am shocked!! oh and there are reports that it may snow today too... something about hell freezing over???

IF all you need is an oil change, you can get that done until a smart service center is nearby.  That's why the maintenance guide and the smartusa owners site gives an explanation of the necessary parts and how to change your own oil.  If you can't do it, somebody else can. 



Corky A Freeman said:



At least they have a service center, something a lot of people don't have. BTW, how do know fiats aren't as "perfect" as smartCars are? Right now a lot of smart owners, myself & a good number of owners that got dumped on in MN & elsewhere, wouldn't buy a SmartCar, ever again. Besides, I think, SmartUSA is circling the drain. As far as comparative tampering, why don't you read the posts, here & elsewhere, & you'll see they're no different than any other car. FWIW, I'd rather service my car every 4K than have no service at all.

Kamaal Peterson said:

I see your point, believe me I do.  But it's not like smart cars require much in the way of service anyway.  Oil changes every 10k miles.  No tire rotations.  No transmission tampering.  No timing belt.  What's really left that needs tampering with?  A Fiat 500 requires service every 4,000 miles.  Your son and fiancée will require the dealer's service department more often.  

 

The car, I enjoy. the support by the parent company, I don't enjoy. At least let us have some maintenance and repair manuals so we have the option of repairing it ourselves, or an independent mechanic repair it.  right now I could use a few plastic clips for the panel under the door. I will have to order them from the 'local dealer' and wait for them to be sent out. They do a great job but it would be easier to stop in and get them, but not when I have to drive the 200+ miles each direction. This means I will most likely have to have my own inventory of parts to take care of the minor repairs that come up. This is not the first time I have had to order parts instead of picking them up locally at the dealer. Again, this was not the case when I first bought the car. This is the result of the MB taking over and closing down the non-MB dealership.  Thus my frustration. 

Excellent point Jim -- IF, MB would at least make a shop manual available for the car(s), you could take a look at the manual, see what's involved and then take it to an independent mechanic if there is no service center or decide it's simple enough to do on your own.  Having to join heir proprietary on-line data base is utter nonsense. This is the first car I have ever owned in 38 years -- foreign AND domestic, that I couldn't buy a service manual for!  It ranks up there with the no-dealer issue pretty close for me.

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