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Electrical guides and mods

Light Stalk Fix

Many people have reported problems with intermittent exterior lights which can usually be traced back to a dodgy light stalk.

Modification Details


The first signs of a malfunctioning light stalk is it feels hot and the lights won't illuminate first time or can
flicker (not to be confused with the warm up cycle on newer smarts). The electrical grease inside the stalk
is supposed to stop any arcing when the lights are switched, initially this works well but ,over time, the the
grease moves. This allows arcing to occur every time the lights are switched off. The arc causes spark erosion
on the contacts and you get a small patch of burnt metal which doesn't conduct electricity.

Cavan contacted me in 2018 to say that his headlight stalk even started smoking!

The increased resistance of the stalk can cause the fuse to blow as well.

Originally there was a recall for this problem so it's worth trying to get smart to sort it,
also if you have warranty left go and let smart do the honours.

If, like me, you wouldn't let them touch your car, you can sort it out yourself quite easily.
There are two methods to fixing it, a quick way and a proper way.

The Quick Way

Disconnect the battery or the connector to the light stalk.
Using a knife, take the plastic cap off the end of the stalk.


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