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Info guides and mods

Paddles Stopped Working

If your paddleshift has stopped working or is temperamental then here are a few tips

Modification Details




Paddleshift Faults

A paddleshift fault will usually come under 1 of 3 main faults.

1 - The paddle(s) do nothing
2 - The paddle(s) sometimes work
3 - The paddle(s) sound the horn

The paddleshift works on a resistance differential system. A set voltage is sent to the steering
wheel and the return voltage is measured. The horn, up paddle and down paddle have different
resistances so the car can easily work out what of the 3 functions were being used.

What Causes The Fault?

Every electrical component has a built in resistance as standard, even the connecting wires.
Resistances change slightly depending on the temperature too so the design of the
resistance differential circuit has to take into account a slight possible change.

However, components such as connectors and switches can become contaminated with
corrosion or oxidisation through arcing. Both of which increase the resistance of the item.

Eventually the resistance increases to the point were it is outside of the set parameters.
Then the paddles stop doing anything. If the resistance changes enough it can cause the
paddleshift, when pulled singularly or together, to sound the horn.

So, What's The Fix?

The switches and connectors need cleaning to bring their internal resistance back down.
The best stuff to use is a proper switch cleaning spray. Don't use WD40.

Image

Old Style 450 Paddleshift Wheel


The old style paddleshift wheel has square openings where the paddles emerge.
A bolt is removed from under each paddle arm to remove them. Underneath the removed
paddle you will find a spring and a switch. On this model of wheel it is usually the switch at fault.



Spray in and around the switch with switch cleaner. Press and release the switch
a load of times to allow the cleaner to work into the switch and clean the contacts.

New Style 450 & Roadster Paddleshift Wheel

The new style paddleshift wheel has D-shape openings where the paddles emerge.
The paddles just pull off to show the workings underneath although generally,
in this model, you do not need to remove the paddles to fix the fault.

You can, if you wish, spray the switch and cicuit board under the paddles with a switch
cleaner spray, refit the paddles and pull them a load of times to clean the switch.



However, generally it is a problem with the connector under the dashboard.

Fortwo 450

The connector is usually just above your shins.



You will find a white and a black connector (both circled above) and 1 of them will be connected
to a white connector. Pull the connection apart and clean both with switch cleaner spray
before pushing them back together. 9 times out of 10 this will fix the shifting fault.

Roadster

This one is generally harder to locate as it's hidden above the fuse boz (SAM unit).
Lower the fuse box and have a look towards the back for a black plug in a white housing. More photos here.




You will find a white and a black connector (arrowed above) and 1 of them will be connected
to a white connector. Pull the connection apart and clean both with switch cleaner spray
before pushing them back together. 9 times out of 10 this will fix the shifting fault.

Fortwo 451 Paddleshift Wheel

So far there have been no reports of paddle failure on this type.

If you have bought a paddleshift steering wheel and the paddles don't work, it could be the wiring.
Smart altered the wiring when they face-lifted the 451 in September 2010. If you fit a pre facelift wheel
to a post facelift car or vice-versa, it will not work until you swap the 2 wires over. This is detailed here.

Forfour Paddleshift Wheel

So far there have been no reports of paddle failure on this type.

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