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Pete
Pete, Mercedes Mechanic
Category: Mercedes
Satisfied Customers: 27156
Experience:  Over 15 years experience as a Mercedes dealer technician
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I have a 2009 Smart Car with 172,000 miles. Recently I

Customer Question

I have a 2009 Smart Car with 172,000 miles. Recently I noticed a vibration through sterring wheel and is getting progressivly worse, seems like a major bearing failure in drive train. My local mechanics are baffled. Vibration only when gears engaged and movig, when I put in neutral - no vibration while coasting. Hoping to avoid taking to Mercedes due to high fees. Any suggestions much appreciated.
Wiley ***@******.***
Lake Wylie, SC 29710
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Mercedes
Expert:  Pete replied 1 year ago.

Hi my name is ***** ***** I will be happy to assist with this today.In some cases I may need more info to assist better.I apologize for any delay.

Can you tell me what was checked/tested for this issue here and if anything was replaced to try and correct the issue?

Let me know so we can continue,thanks Pete.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
no corrections made, unable to identify problem
Expert:  Pete replied 1 year ago.

Does it change at all when accelerating or decelerating or when turning side to side?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Haven't turned side to side - although a while back I did detect more vibration when turning sharply a a low speed - vibration rate depends on rpm - not as noticable at higher speeds - again when vibrating and putting in nuetral, vibration ceases.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Are you still there?
Expert:  Pete replied 1 year ago.

O.k.,this wouldnt be a wheel bearing issue here and doesnt sound to be the exhaust hitting the engine or body as the vibration would still be present when in neutral.From what you have described here this vibration sounds like an internal mechanical component in the transmission at fault.This may be an internal bearing fault or internal transmission gear fault needing replaced that only vibrates when under load or in gear.If this is an automatic transmission the most common cause that I have had to replace in the transmission for this fault here is the transmission torque converter itself as it starts to act up/fail internally mechanically causing this issue here.

The transmission will need to be inspected further to locate the source and if the current repair facility cannot locate it then this may take a transmission repair facility to look to see which component internally is causing this needing replaced.In some cases the transmission may need removed for inspection and repair.

If more help is needed, use the reply tab to continue our conversation. If no further assistance is needed, kindly rate my service.You can rate at any time and we can continue to work on your question as this will not close out your question.Keep in mind in some cases it can be difficult to fully diagnose or help repair your vehicle without seeing it and I work on delivering the best possible answer from what I see to work with.

Thanks Pete

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Would you recommend taking to Mercedes or a Transmissiom shop - if so who?
Expert:  Pete replied 1 year ago.

The absolute best place would be a Mercedes dealer as they have the best knowledge and repair info as well as any correct special tools needed for your model here.If you take it to a transmission repair facility make sure they are a reputable transmission facility in your area.I dont know any myself in your area to recommend unfortunately as I am not located in your area.Any Mercedes dealer should be able to diagnose and repair this issue here.They may cost more but is the best option to have diagnosed and repaired properly the first time.

Let me know if you need anything else and feel free to rate my help here.

Thanks Pete

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Talked with garage and he thinks its more of engine issue rather than transmission - like it is missfireing - although all cylinders are fireing - not sure but strongly suspects.
Expert:  Pete replied 1 year ago.

If the check engine light is not on or flashing at all I dont see this as a misfire.The computer is set up to either flash the check engine light off and on or turn it on when the engine is running if there is a misfire.And a misfire will occur in neutral as well.

If the check engine light is on or flashing then it can definitely be a misfire needing checked into and repaired but if not then I still suspect a transmission issue that needs checked into and corrected.

Let me know if you need anything else and feel free to rate my help here.

Thanks Pete

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
The check engine light stays on - catalytic converter - I'm in SC there for meaningless. My garage has a limited tester.
Expert:  Pete replied 1 year ago.

If the catalytic converter is broken internally it will rattle and in some cases can cause a vibration.I wouldnt rule this out.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I contacted you in hopes of correcting without going to Mercedes who will chargee me $120.00 plus to plug in tester - and then who knows cost of repair - is a 2009 smartcar with 172,000 worth the cost of repair?
Expert:  Pete replied 1 year ago.

Unfortunately without seeing and checking over and testing the vehicle myself it is difficult to pinpoint the exact cause from here.That is quite a few miles on this model here but I have seen some run over 300,000 miles in some cases.If it ends up being a transmission fault and needs a replacement you could be looking around $2500 to $3000 to have replaced so the decision is up to you on how far you want to go on this and how much the vehicle is worth to you.If it is in great condition besides the mileage then it would be worth repairing if left up to me but if it is in poor condition with several issues when you may re think on spending that kind of money on repairs and possibly trade it off.

Without seeing it to pinpoint the fault this sounds like a transmission component causing this here but I wouldnt rule out the catalytic converter at fault.Most common is the transmission torque converter needing replaced.This may run around $1800 to have replaced in some cases cheaper all depending on who is doing the repairs.

Thanks Pete

Expert:  Pete replied 1 year ago.

You can inspect under the vehicle yourself as best as possible for any loose or damaged exhaust components contacting the body or engine cradle needing corrected as well as tap on the catalytic converter to see if it rattles,if it does then it needs replaced and can be the cause here.

Thanks Pete