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Matt
Matt, Mechanical Engineer
Category: Car
Satisfied Customers: 21995
Experience:  BEng hons Mech engineering, in auto industry 22 years
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Recently bought a Smart Roadster Coupe, 2005 model. Driving

Customer Question

Recently bought a Smart Roadster Coupe, 2005 model. Driving home from Wakefield, it suffered a loss of power and the dial started flashing. This was on the A1 in the dark, very scary! I managed to coast onto the hard shoulder with the hazards flashing and the engine died. After a few hairy minutes, I managed to get the car started and made it back to Ipswich with two further recurrences of the same problem. I had a full service done on the vehicle but the problem persists. It seems that there are faults on the ECU. Does this sound right, and if so what sort of cost would be involved in getting it fixed? Many thanks, Martin.
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Car
Expert:  Matt replied 11 months ago.

Hello Martin

On any car if you get a check engine light or other fault light this typically means one or more of the sensors has failed or has a faulty connection.

The fault can be something quite simple and nothing that’s going to stop the car to something quite major that will reduce engine power and possibly stop the engine

The ECU senses this and may put the car into 'limp home' mode which typically limits the revs and the amount of power available. Usually the car is safe to drive for a short distance as the mode is intended is intended to get you home without incurring any engine damage

The quickest route to repair is to have the car plugged into a diagnostic machine which will read off the fault code stored in the ECU (providing the light is still on at this point) and indicate which sensor has failed or whether the fault is more serious.

You can do a very rough and ready check yourself by unplugging sensors one at a time and seeing if any of them change the driving condition which would indicate the most recently unplugged sensor is the faulty one. This method is not foolproof though and reading a fault code off is the better method.

Expert:  Matt replied 11 months ago.

Hi

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