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Advice on how to proceed after major transmission fault on 2004 450

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  • Advice on how to proceed after major transmission fault on 2004 450

    Hi All,

    This is my first post, If I've missed something important please let me know.

    I have a 2004 0.7 450 ForTwo just coming up to 50000 miles.

    Unfortunately it shut down yesterday on the M4 at Slough on my commute. I made it to hard shoulder and tried to restart car but got the three lines of death about transmission fault. Despite usual tricks like disconnecting battery and rocking car back and forth in reverse to try to drop it into a gear, the engine will not start and just keeps flashing the three lines.

    Against my better judgment in a pinch I had it taken to the nearest Smart service centre which was Mercedes Benz Brentford. I paid the 120 standard diagnostics fee and they've come back with a whole slew of non related things in addition to what might be causing the fault with the transmission issue.

    They've quoted it as "Possible Clutch actuator Motor but could Require Clutch".

    Just to get it moving again is going to be in the region of 1000 for Clutch Actuator, Release Sys (?) and possible Clutch + Labour, diagnostics and VAT.

    I really don't want to give up my 450, its been great for the last four years, and I don't wanna just scrap it if there is another option.

    I want to know if there are any Gotchas to watch out for if you try to do your own Clutch Actuator and or clutch? Does the gear box need retrained with an MB Star machine? Would it be drivable to a garage to get this done after fitting the necessary parts or is this impossible?

    I'm not adverse to getting my hands dirty and trying to do the fix myself with the help of a friend, and it's not my only car so I can take time to research options.

    Any 3rd Party smart places that think they can do this kind of job much cheaper I'm keen to hear from you.

    Also if anyone is interested in buying the car for parts I'm willing to entertain sensible offers too.



  • #2
    Hi Chris & welcome.

    Your best sources of info are & It's well worth spending the 10 to join evil's site, you'll save plenty from the info on there.

    As for independent garages, I'd highly recommend Rob at S2smarts in Watford. He is a real enthusiast & very knowledgeable.


    • #3
      Agree with Mr T - get it moved to S2Smarts.
      I'd be quite frankly shocked if they cannot get it sorted for a fraction of the cost that merc are quoting.


      • #4
        When mine did what yours did, the non start only happened when someone thought it a good idea to touch together the two battery connections (once removed from battery).
        New gear position sensor and gear selector motor and still the same until trailered to dealer for gearbox reteach (which wasn't straightfroward). Fine now.

        The codes should show if either of the above (or other) components require replacing.


        • #5
          Thanks Everyone.

          I've had a subscription to Evilution for a few years now and used it many times.

          From what I can tell they're wanting to start with a clutch actuator first - This seems to be easy enough to remove with the back near side jacked up. After getting it out I'll either get it reconditioned or try to source a second hand/new one (with a return period if possible). From what I can tell it would need calibrated after with an MB Star machine or mechanically calibrated too with a force meter to be optimum but it might be drivable at least to make it to S2Smart for the calibration.

          For now I need to get it transported from Brentford to Sydenham to the in laws driveway. Despite being covered by RAC to get from the motorway to Mercedes they won't honour picking up the car from a Garage they dropped at. They will do it for 85 + 2/mile which will work out to 115 which is still a lot cheaper than a local company quoting me 190 last night. If anyone has any recommendations for transporting it I'm all ears. I know its important to not tow the smart on the back wheels even if it is likely to be in neutral, so it needs a flat bed.

          Will keep you all up to date on the Saga.


          • #6
            A new clutch actuator can be had for circa 150 and will work without either of the methods you suggest. When mine fell off... an obvious symptom was the clanging of gears trying to engage - but unable to.
            I hired a trailer and borrowed a LandRover Discovery to move mine - though possibly the towing vehicle isn't available to all.
            Plenty are towed behind motorhomes with the back wheels turning - in neutral obviously.


            • #7
              Tow home with another car and a 16.50 tow pole from Toolstation. Buy trolley jack and axle stands. Buy Delphi DS150E so you can do your own diagnostics, run gear change learning or teach clutch drag point. Teaching drag point is not essential even if you replace clutch actuator but gear changes will be smoother if you do.
              Possible faults are wiring, clutch actuator, actuator rod punch through, gear shift drum angle sensor etc etc so best to check fault codes for clues.


              • #8
                I've a got Delphi DS150E & can't adjust anything on the clutch/gearbox!
                Our cars are 2001 & 2002 city coupes. Am I doing something wrong as i've spent hours sitting in my car looking for these options, especially the clutch teach & found nothing.


                • #9
                  If you change year to 2003or 2004 in Delphi you can adjust cluth and some more option, i do that on my Cabrio 450 year 2000
                  Last edited by Myggan; 18-08-17, 01:21 PM.


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Myggan View Post
                    If you change year to 2003or 2004 in Delphi you can adjust cluth and some more option, i do that on my Cabrio 450 year 2000
                    Thanks for that. I'll give it a try, fingers crossed as my clutch could do with being reset.


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