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  1. #1

    Default Newbie owner of Smart forfour 454 2005 Pulse 1.3 Pulse semi-auto

    Good morning!

    I'm a new Smart owner and really enjoying it so far

    I have a few questions that maybe you kind people can help me with.

    2005 Pulse 1.3 semi-auto, 33k, only one documented service at 13k in 2011. Engine oil, filters, brake pads and aux belt changed Feb 2017. I bought it 3 days ago for 1600.

    This is the first semi-auto car I have driven and I must say it does take some getting used to. I find myself preferring to change gears 'manually' instead of leaving it in A.

    Also I experienced a known issue - when shifting from A to R, I sometimes get the dreaded '0'. However, I read that if you shift from A > R without quickly (i.e not stopping in N) then it's fine, which is true in my case.

    I've noticed a few things:

    1) When changing from A>R, R>A, A>N etc.. you can hear a very slight crunch/clunk as the gear engages. The sort of sound you'd hear when putting an older manual car in reverse gear too quickly. Is this normal?

    2) The car was navigating speed bumps fine, however towards the end of the day, whilst navigating the same speed bumps at the same speed and angle, with the same load, I heard a loud metal scrapping noise as the car was coming down from the speed bump. It sounded like the mid-car exhaust was scrapping the speed bump. This morning I checked the tyres and the underside of the car (without a jack) it was too difficult to see but in general it all looked fine, i.e nothing was hanging down. I then took it for a drive over the same speed bumps - and the sound was gone.

    3) Considering the car has next to nothing previous services, is there anything else I should service?

    4) Any other words of wisdom I should take on board?!


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Somewhere on the Wirral

    Default Re: Newbie owner of Smart forfour 454 2005 Pulse 1.3 Pulse semi-auto

    Welcome to ForFour ownership! ;D

    To address your questions directly:

    1. That is most likely the clutch actuator you can hear. The cars automatic gearbox is not a traditional auto with a fluid and a torque converter but is essentially a manual with a automatic clutch, which uses a mechanical actuator to release/engage the clutch. This is called a AMT (automated manual transmission). The noise you are hearing is most likely that.

    2. Sounds like it could be the middle section of the exhaust. I'd advise jacking the car up anyway (there is a suitable jack in the boot, under the floor).

    3. Given the list stated already and the mileage, I'd possibly consider changing the spark plugs as well. Does the last documented service show this as an item? Smarts are traditionally serviced by letters, so A (a minor service) and B (a major service) so from the description, it sounds like a A service is done.

    4. The car has a creep function which, I find anyway, to be very quick and makes parallel parking a bit of a faff.

    As a 1.3 AMT owner, I can advise that using A around town is "okkkk" but it is fairly dim witted and much, much, much better on the motorway. Kickdown is fantastically addictive and once you sail past 3400rpm, the valve timing changes and becomes more alive sounding. Conversely, around town, I can toddle along in 6th gear at 30mph whilst in manual mode, very quiet. I'd also advise leaving the car in gear when stationary at lights (put the handbrake on, lest ye fall foul of the creep) and in R when switched off.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2016

    Default Re: Newbie owner of Smart forfour 454 2005 Pulse 1.3 Pulse semi-auto

    The fact that you hear a crunch may mean it needs the clutch adjusting. This is also reinforced by the fact that if you do it quickly you get R but if oyu do it slowly or do it from N instead of D you sometimes get 0.

    Teaching the clutch requires diagnostic equipment. If you fill in your location there may be someone willing to do it for you if you do not have the right diagnostic stuff.

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