The computers in a smart are super sensitive..

But at least I got the 450 moved to the front of my condo.

Irritated by the fact that my precious 450 cabrio still cannot drive under its own power even after cleaning and adjusting the clutch actuator, I decided to do a battery swap as a last ditch effort. I swapped the battery of the 450 with the battery of my 451. The 450's battery came with the car and is supposedly new as of March 2018, while the 451 battery is as old as the car is.

Sure enough, the 450 woke up and the computers were stronger with this six year old battery than with one supposedly less than a year old. Unfortunately I let it sit too long and the alternator seized, so no start. Thankfully the rejuvenated computers were able to actuate the transmission, a feat that caused a “three bars of death” (basically a BSOD) on the other battery.


Meanwhile, the 451 seemed to run well with the 450's battery... for like 100 miles. I started getting U0103 codes then finally a three bars of death with a locked shifter, leaving me stranded at a store. Hmmm, that’s exactly what the 450 did to me back in April.

I disconnected then reconnected the battery and it allowed me to drive. However ABS, ESP, traction control, and brake lights are on (all active safety computers reporting errors), the speedometer doesn’t work, and it keeps dropping out of gear. The car was about to strand me like the 450 did but I did make it home.

Upon arriving home I disconnected the battery, reconnected it, then reset the transmission and other computers. All’s well now. The only problem is that my engine monitoring OBD tool no longer works without causing cascading system failures. Again, something that the 450 did. Hmmm.. As a final test, I swapped the batteries again. Sure enough, my tool worked without causing the car to think everything’s on fire.

Oh well, I swapped back in the iffy battery so I can at least get the 450 from the other condo building. In the most me thing ever, I strapped my now working 450 to my 451 and towed it to my condo. Once it gets a little warmer I’ll work on freeing the alternator. It’s not completely seized, so there’s hope.


I’m beginning to believe my 450's been parked all this time on account of a new battery that’s super poor quality. It holds a charge very well, but it doesn’t seem very stable. The 450's battery looks like something even cheaper than the cheapest Walmart battery and worse, it comes from an auto shop in the middle of nowhere. I wouldn’t be surprised if this thing is actually some ancient battery that’s been “refurbished”. Think for this 450 I’ll get an Optima like the other 450 has.

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