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Should I Buy An MHD?

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Should I Buy An MHD?

It's fast becoming a daily question on forums and Facebook pages. Since there are a lot of them for sale and they aren't a popular model, the prices are getting very low. Low enough that people who aren't smart obsessives are considering buying one. It could just be that they want a small car, cheap car, something easy to park, something plastic that'll take a knock or something good on fuel.

MHD - The Problem

Instead of rewriting what I already have, have a look at this page.
This explains in great detail, the big problem with the MHD.

Should I Buy A Smart At All?

Before thinking about an MHD, you should consider if you want a smart at all.
It's probably not the car you think it is. Have a good read through this page.

Are All MHDs A Problem?


At the moment, the majority are fine as long as you replace the belt when required.
However, just because a car hasn't had a problem by now, doesn't mean it never will.
Also, the longer you have the car, the more likely it is to fail.

It's the luck of the draw.

In the same way that the majority of the people who have handled asbestos don't die of asbestos related illnesses.
Still doesn't make it a good idea.

If possible breakdowns doesn't put you off, maybe the driving experience will. Out of all of the smarts I
have driven, the non turbo 451 is the most soleless, life sucking, powerless thing I have ever driven.
If you want decent MPG, get the CDI. If you want quick, get the turbo model. If driven sensibly,
the turbo model will return a better MPG than the MHD anyway.

There really isn't a good reason to buy the MHD model apart from that it might be a lot cheaper than others.

Russian Roulette

Chances are, statistically, you won't shoot yourself in the head. 1 in 6 is good odds yes?
You still wouldn't play though would you?

What about if the odds were 1 in 20 of shooting yourself?
1 in 100?
1 in 1000?

No sane person would play those odds.
Looking at how many MHD's were sold and how many posts I have seen, I would guess at 1 in 50.

But This Person Said They Are Fine

That person doesn't see all of the facts. They just see their own car.
They don't want to admit that they bought a shit car without doing any research.
That would be admitting that they are an idiot. They'd rather just blindly believe their own narrative.


Do you really want to drive a car that'll continuously give you a nagging doubt that it could fail at any time?
No matter how unlikely the issue could be, why not just go for the model without that flaw?

I'm Ignoring You, I Know Better/Don't Care

Meh, that's up to you. I'm just here to give you the information you need to continue.

If you are in this particular world, I would recommend keeping a spare belt and required tools handy and
read the belt fitting instructions a few times for the fated time you are in a rush to get somewhere and
have to fit a new belt to a crowded engine bay, on the side of the road, probably in the pissing rain.

Failing that, if you are never in a rush and none of your driving is urgent, make sure you have a valid
breakdown service on hand and something to entertain you for the 90 minute average wait.

Remember to pack a waterproof coat or an umbrella as you shouldn't sit in your car.
You don't want to get soaked or sunburnt.

The Most Important Info

If you do buy an MHD. Within 30 seconds of seeing any error light appear, that car better be stopped and turned off.
Don't carry on driving "just to get home". You can do thousands of monies worth of damage.

Pull over and check the belt. If it's still on and looks fine, it's up to you if you carry on driving.

If you don't have a clue about cars. Pull over immediately (but somewhere safe), turn the car off and try to restart it.

If the belt has snapped, the car will make a whizz sound but won't start.
If it does start, it's probably OK but you should check it visually.

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