When I go to put my smartie in reverse, it keeps hanging up in netural.  Has anyone else had this problem?

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This has been an issue with some smarts.  Hopefully, you are still under warranty so I would take it back to the dealer.  There are three things that can be done.  One is to reteach the transmission.  The instructions for this are in your owner's manual.  Next, is to lube the shifter and finally you can have the 2.5 computer upgrade performed by the dealer.  Some dealers charge for this and others do it for free.  My friend bought a used 2008 Cabriolet and he was having intermittant issues of not being able to shift into reverse.  The dealer performed the 2.5 upgrade for free.  In all likelyhood, all three of these items should be performed and your concern with not being able to shift into reverse should be alleviated.
Get your car to the dealer ASAP. Get the transmission software update/patch. You may be covered by smart warranty for this but if not pay to have it done or you may get stranded and need a tow.
Drive it fast to the Dealship!!! mine has been doing it for a while but I did not take it seriously. I assumed it was just a quark. Now, My car will not go into Reverse or Drive......
I just bought a 2009 from a private sale, same problem, my appointment it Saturday for software. Reverse worked fine at the transmission shop, he couldn't get it to fail, but it fails for me. I seriously hope this fixes the problem.
I'm glad I found this thread.  My dealer, Knauz in Lake Bluff, IL, seemed to think it was an unknown issue so they did some diagnostics, said they found nothing BUT charged me the $100 deductible on the SMART extended warranty to update the software.  I fealt and continue to feal that if it is a software glitch, the manufacturer should pay for the update because that tells me that it was faulty the day I got it.  This was the second transmission update I've had done.  First was a recall if I remember correctly.  After being a bit miffed about the charge, I called SMART.  I've never heard so much double talk in my life.  Mercedes has taken over from Penske and they really don't know anything about the extended warranties and did I complain to the dealer and what should they do and would I like a "case worker" to call me back?  Talk about a luxury manufacturer treating a customer like a peaon, wow!  Sure have the case worker call - a 20 minute talk with that  pleasant man yielded a promise that he would advise the dealer.  Well i've given that a week now and after buying 4 vehicles and having them serviced by Knauz, I will NEVER be back.  I will not buy another SMART nor will I purchase a Mercedes.  Customer service like this is uncalled for, especially from the "inventor" of the automobile with all their patents and high (?) quality.

i've abandoned loeber/lincolnwood a while ago, they couldn't figure out a faulty brake switch keeping me in park 2-1/2 years ago, had 2 shifters replaced, well i know i won't need lube, i got the first pure in IL. anything that doesn't require a smart "proprietary" computer, i take to Bergstrom's Fiat in wisconsin. the techs are still there, they didn't forget how to work on smarts, and they're nicer people up there, ya hey!

 

i sorta went sour on mercedes when they went from straight 6's to v-6's, i had a 190E when i took delivery of my smart. a high school friend got an E300 a few years back, he wasn't thrilled with it. (i think he used a yellow citrus fruit to describe it).

 

the only thing that saved me back then was Dave Schembri, after 2 "lock-ups" he called me direct and got me fixed right, loeber would just keep replacing the shifter and not the brake switch. (that was the big thing, the shifter for the first USA smarts, when i described that i could depress the shift button to engage reverse/park, he got a tech to figure out the brake switch was faulty)

for the past 2 years, i've been problem free, i got an AREA 451 cruise control installed 6 weeks ago, works fine, will really drive my smart now that it will drive itself! (makes sense, donut?)

if you're not happy with knauz, drive a bit north, save a few bucks with the bergstrom folks. i'm gonna do all my "10kx" service there (brake fluid, coolant, etc that doesn't require a smart service computer)



M G Murray said:

I'm glad I found this thread.  My dealer, Knauz in Lake Bluff, IL, seemed to think it was an unknown issue so they did some diagnostics, said they found nothing BUT charged me the $100 deductible on the SMART extended warranty to update the software.  I fealt and continue to feal that if it is a software glitch, the manufacturer should pay for the update because that tells me that it was faulty the day I got it.  This was the second transmission update I've had done.  First was a recall if I remember correctly.  After being a bit miffed about the charge, I called SMART.  I've never heard so much double talk in my life.  Mercedes has taken over from Penske and they really don't know anything about the extended warranties and did I complain to the dealer and what should they do and would I like a "case worker" to call me back?  Talk about a luxury manufacturer treating a customer like a peaon, wow!  Sure have the case worker call - a 20 minute talk with that  pleasant man yielded a promise that he would advise the dealer.  Well i've given that a week now and after buying 4 vehicles and having them serviced by Knauz, I will NEVER be back.  I will not buy another SMART nor will I purchase a Mercedes.  Customer service like this is uncalled for, especially from the "inventor" of the automobile with all their patents and high (?) quality.

For what it is worth, I had the same problem and went dutifully to the dealer (Loeber), where I was told it was in need of a software upgrade. I had had the stage two trans upgrade on my one year service, but now I was out of my regular warranty and on my extended warranty, so it cost me a few bucks over $100 (my deductable).  The problem started in my third year of ownership, wasn't a big deal, but I thought I had better take it in just to be safe in case it was the beginning of a major problem.  I agree that it should be something they would just go ahead and do without charge...just a good, smart (no pun intended), public relations decision.  However, I find Mercedes sorely lacking in that department. I'm very happy that our other car is a Lexus because they really treat their customers very well!!!

Bert

Thank you for posting Smart Car transmission issue. I got Smart Car from the dealer, who normally doesn't sale this type of car. Dealer said(Valencia Lexus), it is everything is check out. Well, I have intermittent reverse transmission problem, it doesn't engage (R, N, or manual drive!) I will look into three area. I don't have manufacturing warranty? My Smart Car is 2009, at this writing, it is 2012

Robert Ricewasser said:

This has been an issue with some smarts.  Hopefully, you are still under warranty so I would take it back to the dealer.  There are three things that can be done.  One is to reteach the transmission.  The instructions for this are in your owner's manual.  Next, is to lube the shifter and finally you can have the 2.5 computer upgrade performed by the dealer.  Some dealers charge for this and others do it for free.  My friend bought a used 2008 Cabriolet and he was having intermittant issues of not being able to shift into reverse.  The dealer performed the 2.5 upgrade for free.  In all likelyhood, all three of these items should be performed and your concern with not being able to shift into reverse should be alleviated.

Thanks for the posts.  My 2008 smart has not gone into reverse about 5 times on my husband. So, I got on here to see if it was a recurring problem. So, now it is waiting at the dealer to check the problem.  It's under an extended warranty with Toyota with no deductable.  We will see how that works out.

Hi Carolyn, I took my Smart Car to dealer near by, upgraded on software. They say it may cost $116 but got upgrade or reinstall it for free.  Even though my car was not under the warranty. My service was great at the Mercedes Benz. Great! :) It seem the shifting is much better. I hope this does it. It is too soon to say it is fixed. I will see in two or three months.

My smart also gets stuck in neutral. I brought it to a service center (Mercedes abandoned Minnesota and to get to a dealer we have to go to Madison WI, at least 3 hours away) the service person wants to charge me $1475 to replace the clutch. He said the extended warrenty that I have will not cover parts that get worned down, ie brakes, clutches etc. It is a 2009 SMART with less than 15000 miles..surely the clutch doesn't wear down this fast? Anyway after reading these posts, I feel the service person doesn't have a clue on what is wrong. I hope I can get my car back from them on Tuesday and take it to someone that knows. Does anyone have a recommendation in the Twin Cities? Not Wayzata.

There is clutch wear and then there is clutch malfunction.  smart had to replace some clutches on early cars due to incorrect materials being used - a defect, not wear.  It's also possible the clutch actuator may not be working correctly.  There is a DIY fix on SCoA which may cure the problem; if not, replacing the actuator is pretty simple and can be done in the driveway.  I'd ask the dealer for a lot of specifics on what exactly is wrong with the clutch that it needs to be replaced. 

Mary said:

My smart also gets stuck in neutral. I brought it to a service center (Mercedes abandoned Minnesota and to get to a dealer we have to go to Madison WI, at least 3 hours away) the service person wants to charge me $1475 to replace the clutch. He said the extended warrenty that I have will not cover parts that get worned down, ie brakes, clutches etc. It is a 2009 SMART with less than 15000 miles..surely the clutch doesn't wear down this fast? Anyway after reading these posts, I feel the service person doesn't have a clue on what is wrong. I hope I can get my car back from them on Tuesday and take it to someone that knows. Does anyone have a recommendation in the Twin Cities? Not Wayzata.

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