Have you gotten stranded in your smart yet? Well I was this weekend (06-6-09). I traveled from Bucks County Pennsylvania to Cape May County in southern New Jersey. I was going to visit a friend of mine. I had traveled about 90 miles when I stopped at a small dinner for a late breakfast. As I was putting my smart out of gear the button on the shifter would not move. I played with it and got it to work, and slid the shifter into park. And there it stayed. I was stuck. I called the smart road side assistance and arranged for the car to be towed back some 80 miles to the dealer. My friend picked me up. On monday morning he took me home. Later that day the dealership called me up to let me know the car was ready for pickup. When I got there they not only repaired the shifter, they upgraded my transmission and engine software. I also got a new owners manual. Well the smart is now shifting nicer, and the engine seems to be running smoother. They washed my car and cleaned the inside. So I am up and running again. All in all, I am very pleased and impressed with smartUSA and it's quick action in getting my car up and running. Good job! In hind sight I do remember the shifter button sticking from time to time the week before. If you start to feel this you may want to have it looked at before you get stranded like I was.

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Tags: failure, shifter, stuck

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Comment by jwight on June 11, 2009 at 1:27pm
Based on the info from smart about the "2.0" checkup/upgrade, it does not include any servicing of the shifter mechanism as described in the two links above. Your dealer may lube the shifter button if you ask, or may chose not to if you haven't reported any problems. Of course, when you go in for the 2.0 service is a fine time to report the shifter problem you've "just noticed."
Comment by John Mears on June 10, 2009 at 4:10pm
Not to be Captain Obvious, but the current smart of America campaign should take care of the shifter (and a few other) issues that seemed to be endemic in the 2008 models. Even if you have not had this (or any) problem with your 2008 it is a very good idea to schedule an appointment with your dealer.
Comment by Wayne on June 10, 2009 at 2:14pm
Hi all,

The links jwight posted are likely the same ones I used to fix my shifter, and the tips are invaluable! When you see in the video/photos about loosening the "shifter collar", the thing I did was wrapped 2 or 3 of those wide (approx. 3/8") rubber bands around the collar for a good grip, then I wrapped a washcloth over that, and used a pair of channel-lock pliers to loosen the collar. It does make a couple of scary sounding "clicks" when you first turn the collar to loosen it, and it alarmed me, too. But, the instructions were perfect and my knob came right off, allowing me to temporarily lube the shift knob/actuator inside. When I go for my next service, this will be an item on the "fix list" for me.
Comment by jwight on June 10, 2009 at 10:23am
Also a DIY for lubricating the shifter to avoid the problem to begin with: http://www.smartcarofamerica.com/forums/f25/diy-gear-shift-removal-lube-short-video-5428/
Comment by jwight on June 10, 2009 at 10:21am
There is a DIY fix for this that will save calling the tow truck and get you back on the road until you can get to the dealer: http://www.smartcarofamerica.com/forums/f25/shifter-stuck-park-heres-get-me-home-fix-5578/

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