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Grrrrrrrr problems with my smart car!!!

34
Found 20th Oct 2011
I bought a used smart car a couple of months ago to try and save some money on my costs travelling to work and for two months it has been great but over the past couple of weeks it has been losing oil. I couldn't find it to begin so topped the oil level up and monitored it.
On monday I got home from work and it was smoking so I stuck some carpet underneath it and it is clear to see that it is coming from several areas. Don't really know if it is coming from one point and running to other parts of the engine before it drips but I am completely gutted. More money to spend this month.
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Probably just from the sump or sump plug.

Would that cause the oil to drip from other areas of the car? It seems to be bad just after it has been driven it doesn't seem to constantly be leaking although it probably is.
Good clean (Steam clean) then underneath with a torch, preferably up on ramps.

Just a thought - the oil cap and dipstick are on tight, aren't they?
Edited by: "Fluffykins" 20th Oct 2011
Yes they are both on tight.
It's going into a garage on Monday anyhow.
brettytopbanana

Would that cause the oil to drip from other areas of the car? It seems to … Would that cause the oil to drip from other areas of the car? It seems to be bad just after it has been driven it doesn't seem to constantly be leaking although it probably is.



Well if it's leaking from the sump which is common the oil can be blown all over with motion of vehicle etc..

Check your rocker cover gasket for oil leaks too.

depends on what age your smart car is, but some of them (early ones) weren't fitted with sump plugs, you have to suck the oil up through the dipstick tub to do an oil change !!!! the trouble with oil leaks is they tend to spread from a small amount, I usually wash it all off with something like Gunk or Jizer then run it up & see where its coming from.
It's a 53 plate but only has 35000 miles in the clock. I hope it doesn't cost me a fortune to repair.
A little tip to help reduce oil leakage is to use a thicker grade of oil..!!!
I hope you regularly check your smart car's oil. If you don't, you should at least once per week, and if it uses more than 1 litre every 1000km (600 miles), you may have a problem, infact, you have definately got a problem! Read on for more information on what to check and try if your smart car is using excessive oil. (Picture courtesy of Flikr some rights reserved )

Discuss this article in our forums.

How do I know if it's using oil?

It should be obvious if you're checking your oil regularly, but some signs are smoke from the engine under acceleration, and more obviously, oil spatters over the back of the car. There's only two ways that oil can disappear, it's either burned or leaked.

Note: this applies usually to the Fortwo 600cc and 700cc, and the Roadster models. The diesels and mitsubishi based engines are not usually affected by oil consumption problems.

Causes of Oil Consumption

1) Top Breather Pipe.

The top breather pipe allows excess pressure to exit the crankcase, but with this top breather either blocked, or the one way valve broken, pressure builds in the crankcase and causes oil consumption to rise.

2) Leaks

If it's leaking, you'll soon spot it, there are some common oil leak points in smarts, the crank bearing oil seals are common place leaks, as are the dipstick oil seals. You may also get an oil leak around the sump, though it's less common. It should be fairly easy to see an oil leak, place some cardboard under the back of the car and leave it there overnight, you'll soon spot where it's leaking from.

3) Oil Control Rings

The piston has an oil control ring, over time this gets clogged and stuck in it's grove within the piston, this allows excess oil to stay in the cylinder and be burnt as part of the combustion cycle, which leads to other problems eventually like burnt valves.

4) Valve Stem Seals

The valve stem seals stop excess oil entering the cylinder via the valve stems, these do wear over time, and can become a cause of oil consumption. This is most noticable as a plume of blue smoke at startup as it allows oil to pool and enter the cylinders on startup.

5) Turbo

The turbo bearings can leak and cause excessive oil usage, it's not very common, but it can be a cause. It can either manifest itself as black smoke if it's being burnt in the exhaust side, or blue smoke if it's being burnt in the cylinders. Changing the turbo is the only cure.

Prevention

There's virtually nothing that can be done to stop this, some smarts are better than others, so it's pretty much luck of the draw which one you get. Though I personally believe that changing your oil more regularly than the service intervals will make your engine last a lot longer. I believe you should be changing your oil at 5,000 miles. If you have a Brabus, or highly tunes smart, you should be changing your oil at 3,000 miles. It may seem expensive, but in the long run it should go a long way to protecting your engine.

Cures

There's only one long term cure for excessive oil consumption, and I'll come to that in a minute, but there are some things you can try that will prolong the inevitable.

1) Change your oil grade.

Usually your car will be running on 0w40 or 5w40 oil, should it start using more, it's recommended to change to a 10w40 oil.

2) Change the top breather hose

If it's blocked, it can cause excess oil consumption

3) Try an engine additive.

There are some engine additives for high milage engine that say they'll stop oil consumption, I've tried Wynns, and it did work, for about 2 months...

4) Change the valve stem seals

This isn't that common, but if you're still seeing plumes of smoke on acceleration it may be worth getting these done.

5) Engine rebuild

This is very common, according to a poll currently running on my site, near enough 50% of the respondents have had an engine rebuild. Usually it involves changing piston rings and getting the cylinder head refurbished, expect to pay £600 to £1200 for an engine refurb.

6) Turbo change

While your engine is getting rebuilt, get them to test the turbo for cracks and play in the bearing shaft. Better to get it done while your engine is being rebuilt.

Conclusion

The smart engine is a small engine with a lot of power for it's size, you need to change the oil more often than service intervals recommend, and you need to factor into the running costs of your car that at some point, usually between 40,000 and 80,000 miles your car's engine will need rebuilding.

I recommend smartdoctor.co.uk for rebuilds as he fits a new cam chain kit which some rebuilders don't do.

Discuss this article in our forums.

Your text here
I've been using 10w40 and it is still using it. That's a pretty big list I'm hoping it can be repaired easily and relatively cheaply.
I also have the splatters up the back of the car.....I'm absolutely gutted
After reading all that they do not seem such a 'smart' car to own.
Fluffykins

Good clean (Steam clean) then underneath with a torch, preferably up on … Good clean (Steam clean) then underneath with a torch, preferably up on ramps.Just a thought - the oil cap and dipstick are on tight, aren't they?



Dont steam clean it will shrink even more also i stopped reading after I bought a smart car!
I'm male and I don't need a car to prove my masculinity, anyone who thinks otherwise are just mugs in my opinion.I just need a car that is supposed to get me from A to B and cheaply. I had heard from a smart car forum that a rebuild costs around the region of £600 which is cheap when it comes to rebuilds.
master_chief

It's got nothing to do with proving your masculinity and everything to do … It's got nothing to do with proving your masculinity and everything to do with proving your femininity!



Listen, if you've got nothing better to do then you must be a sad person. All I have to say is that it is a car with an engine and four wheels. No big deal. A car is a car. End of.
Wild guess but is the filter tight? If the smokes not coming from the exhaust but from the oil burning off it shouldn't be that much to fix imo.

Let people take the mickey all they want I have driven round in my sisters smart for a while and I thought it was great fun and cost pennies to run.

The car doesn't make the man....
Taken outside OP's home earlier:

http://www.kittyhell.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/09/hello-kitty-smart-car.jpg
That's not mine it's a left hand drive. Next?
brettytopbanana

That's not mine it's a left hand drive. Next?



Touchy!
http://www.motifake.com/image/demotivational-poster/1010/smart-mercedes-smart-car-crash-dumb-demotivational-poster-1287587801.jpeg

If you dont want it after all this is one suggestion to get rid for scrap metal
all smarts use a little oil with the turbo if you love it fix it I love my 2002 LHD RAG TOP SMART look after it and it will look after you
im male and drive a smart car to because its super cheap!!! you said it was a 53 left hand drive was that right? is it an import? because as far as im aware they stopped doing LHD at 51 plate and all 02 on were RHD mine is 02 and RHD. As mentioned earlier they dont have a drain plug on the sump which means you cant empty the sump properly, sludge then builds up and causes problems. I found a company called smart tune who sell a new sump with a drain plug for around £60. smarttune.co.uk/pro…/32. what i did was when it went in for the next service i asked if they would mind fitting it for me. They did it free of charge as it was easier for them to change it rather then try and pump the oil out. Now when i need an oil change i can just drain it from the plug. Also worth remembering that because the engine is only a 600cc you kind of need to double the mileage to give a better estimate of how much work the engine has done. hope this helps and good luck.
Got a problem When I turn the key to the on position ignition comes on but then when I turn key to the start position the fuel and the temp dots start flashing and a line comes across the gear selected window and a fuse keeps blowing and engine starter does not turn. Have checked starter which is ok, and engine is not seized, Any ideas?
brettytopbanana

Would that cause the oil to drip from other areas of the car? It seems to … Would that cause the oil to drip from other areas of the car? It seems to be bad just after it has been driven it doesn't seem to constantly be leaking although it probably is.



So what was the cause of the oil leak?
What is it with all the epic 3yrs and 6yr thread bumps lately?

Thinking of buying a smart roadster which has a code problem which when the key is out of ignition for more then ten minutes car won't start.any idea of cost to repair ?
cookies1

Thinking of buying a smart roadster which has a code problem which when … Thinking of buying a smart roadster which has a code problem which when the key is out of ignition for more then ten minutes car won't start.any idea of cost to repair ?




350
cookies1

Thinking of buying a smart roadster which has a code problem which when … Thinking of buying a smart roadster which has a code problem which when the key is out of ignition for more then ten minutes car won't start.any idea of cost to repair ?


leave the key in

not like anyone in their right mind is going to steal a smart car
I am really concerned about the toxic fumes that are constantly in the car... I had the muffler checked and now have had it extended as it was too close and fumes were being sucked into the car but the smell is still there... my wife won't ride in the car as she gets a head ache... the fumes have defintely permeated the interior .. and even if we leave the door and windows open it won't go away.
Ad717amo

I am really concerned about the toxic fumes that are constantly in the … I am really concerned about the toxic fumes that are constantly in the car... I had the muffler checked and now have had it extended as it was too close and fumes were being sucked into the car but the smell is still there... my wife won't ride in the car as she gets a head ache... the fumes have defintely permeated the interior .. and even if we leave the door and windows open it won't go away.



Block up the vents with expanding foam.
Ad717amo

I am really concerned about the toxic fumes that are constantly in the … I am really concerned about the toxic fumes that are constantly in the car... I had the muffler checked and now have had it extended as it was too close and fumes were being sucked into the car but the smell is still there... my wife won't ride in the car as she gets a head ache... the fumes have defintely permeated the interior .. and even if we leave the door and windows open it won't go away.


can I ask when you last had a bath?
actually I think the engines are a lovely little unit and very easy and cheap to rebuild if you know what your doing,the 700cc for instance produces about 60 hp at around 6000 rpm that is a decent power output for the size and rpm limit,it needs good synthetic oil and regular changes and working crankcase breather pipe/valve to help the oil control rings from gumming up,if you compare the engine to a modern motorcycle four cylinder four stroke of similiar capacity-and only Rev one of them to 6000 you will find that 60 hp at that rpm is hard to find,they need huge rpm to make the power so the little smart engine is in a good state of tune and power output for the capacity,with a set of valves and seals,a light bore deglaze and new rings and con rod bearings and timing chain kit,and crank breather which you can get for £300 it will run sweet as a nut again for another fifty thousand miles,use good oil and change regular,they are great
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