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It is not uncommon for the clutch actuator to become problematic on the Roadster. Even though it is exactly the same part as the fortwo 450, it is much lower to the ground and as a result is subject to more abuse.

The following are symptoms of actuator failure. However, other components may exhibit similar symptoms when failing. If in doubt, check! We noticed the following series of events on a Roadster 80 with a failing actuator:

  • Occasionally unable to engage drive, especially from first starting up
  • Slamming of clutch when changing gears
  • Clutch 'grab' when trying to pull away slowly
  • Three lines in gear display
  • Stalling

A new actuator can be ordered from your smart dealer with the following part number: SQ000 3226 V016 0000 00. However, they are around £200 new, so make sure that the old one has failed before you hand over your hard earned cash!

You will notice that this Roadster has lost its intercooler scoop. The cause of this may have impacted on the actuator. To change the intercooler scoop, see here.

To replace the actuator, chock the front wheels and jack up the rear of the car. The actuator is mounted to the bottom of the gearbox. To remove the actuator, free the three bolts with an E10 socket.

The actuator will fall under its own weight. Don't worry, providing the actuator pin has retracted, the actuator is not under any force.

The actuator has a cable connection which can be a bit fiddly to remove. On either side you need to squeeze the two tabs (indicated below) whilst pulling.

The actuator is now free.

Take your new actuator and offer it up to the car. You will see clean patches where the old actuator used to sit. Try to align the new actuator with these marks before tightening the three bolts.

Plug the cable back into the unit.

Actuator replacement is now complete. You may notice that gearchanges are not quite perfect to begin with. Allow the car to 'learn' over about 200 miles but if there is no improvement then you will need to get your clutch adjusted with a Star machine at your local dealer.

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