Towing a Smart car

Discussion in 'Motorhome Chat' started by Howard H, Sep 15, 2016.

  1. Howard H

    Howard H Funster Life Member

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    Hi everyone , I thought I had every thing sorted for our first trip out towing our new (to us) smart car got the tow bar fitted yesterday , new number plate and was fairly convinced I knew what to do regarding how to set up the gearbox for towing but reading the hand book that came with the car says it should not be towed for more than 30 miles so my question is as I know lots of members on here tow smart cars and even the bloke I bought it of said he had towed it all over France , am I ok to tow it for longer than 30 miles ?
     
  2. NickNic

    NickNic Funster Life Member

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    Is it automatic or manual? There's a huge difference when it comes to towing, for any car not just the Smart.
     
  3. Howard H

    Howard H Funster Life Member

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    It can be both auto and manual transmission but has no clutch
     
  4. NickNic

    NickNic Funster Life Member

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    That makes it semi-auto which for the purposes of this is the same as auto.

    I don't know if there is something special you can do to a Smart but generally towing an auto with the drive wheels on the ground is a no no except in an emergency.
     
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  5. John Laidler

    John Laidler Funster

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    Last edited: Sep 15, 2016
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  6. Howard H

    Howard H Funster Life Member

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    Yes that what the previous owner told me so fingers crossed that will be ok(y)
     
  7. Jaws

    Jaws Funster Life Member

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    Smarts are actually fitted with a manual gear box that is electronically controlled ( apart from the new breed which are all odd and different ! )
    Make sure it is in neutral and thats about it really..
     
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  8. Howard H

    Howard H Funster Life Member

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    Thanks DBK that was a useful link and quite a lively thread I think (y)
     
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  9. John Laidler

    John Laidler Funster

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    It is a few years old though so I'm not sure sure if "best practice" advice has changed since then. Hopefully someone will come along soon to confirm or otherwise.
     
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  10. bobandjanie

    bobandjanie Funster Life Member

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    We had a Smart but put it on a trailer, had an old fiat on an a frame that was fine but not good in Spain.
    @Reallyretired is the best person to ask because he blew a gearbox on his Smart, he could give you a few tips. :) Bob.
     
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  11. davejen

    davejen Funster

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    Hi, Howard, yes you can tow the Smart , MOST IMPORTANT THING TO REMEMBER IS TO PRESS THE BRAKE PEDAL AFTER SELECTING NEUTRAL {IGNITION ON) this completes the circuit and ensure neutral is actually selected. I know from bitter and expensive experience!!!
    Cheers, Dave(y)
     
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  12. Howard H

    Howard H Funster Life Member

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    Thanks Dave,I will make sure I do that when I have done that do I turn the key back to the auxiliary position so the ignition lights go off but the key is not fully off ?
     
  13. simsy56

    simsy56 Funster

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    My Smart car handbook stated, 'do not tow wheels down for more than 30 miles at no more than 30 mph'. So it went on a trailer. Simple.

    Craig
     
  14. PeteH

    PeteH Funster

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    Smart Cars can indeed be towed wheels down. However you do have to make doubly sure that you have selected neutral. I towed one for many miles until the gearbox and engine destroyed themselves!!!. To this day I contend that the ONLY way it could happen is for me to have miss selected even though the indicator WAS most definitely showing Neutral!!!. AND the foot brake had been selected. WE had had issues prior with the gearbox indicator showing a Neutral and with the engine not starting. But assumed it was unfamiliarity?.

    Go to it and enjoy. But remember if you want to go to Spain etc; you need a trailer!!. The dumb continental barstewards cannot read the Treaty of Rome!!.

    Pete
     
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  15. davejen

    davejen Funster

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    If I remember correctly, it doesn't matter if the key is in the ignition as they don't have a steering lock. But I stand to be corrected on that. I seem to remember that I took the key out and locked the car whilst being towed, stops the chance of anyone getting in if stationary, eg at traffic lights for instance.
    Cheers, Dave
     
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  16. tonyidle

    tonyidle Funster

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    The Treaty of Rome has nothing to do with it otherwise we'd be able to drive on the left, obey our own speed limits, and point our headlamps wherever we wanted.
     
  17. Jaws

    Jaws Funster Life Member

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    What year, model and gearbox type do you have ?
     
  18. simsy56

    simsy56 Funster

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    I haven't got it now, sold it a few years ago but it was the Smart passion four 2, auto/man clutch less gearbox, and I think it was a 2004 model. Lovely little car, but I obeyed the book info, re towing.

    Craig
     
  19. PeteH

    PeteH Funster

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    Exactly!.(y) But the Spanish Plod cannot read!.
     
  20. Jaws

    Jaws Funster Life Member

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    Towed mine all over the place ! No issues at all:)
    That was actually my favorite Smarty.. and the one I modified most heavily.. Spent more than £3500 on mods and upgrades ( inc Tsunami turbo, a lot of head work, special cams, extractor zorst etc etc etc.. Oh, and a wrap that made it look like a shark.. complete with a fin ( BMW antenna ) on the roof !
     
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