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Old 02-14-2003, 11:27 AM
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Location: California
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Diesels on the Autobahn--How fast can they go?

Just wondering....are they in the slow lane? The manual says to add 6 psi if driving over 100 mph in my 300SD. What is the top speed for it?
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Old 02-14-2003, 11:37 AM
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The pressures in the manual and the fuel tank door are MINIMUMS anyway. You should add a few pounds under any conditions.

I have found 35 on the rear and 32 on the front works well on all my MB's.

As far as the Autobahn goes, on the open sections where there is no speed limit, around 100MPH is sort of standard cruise speed. Running around 160kph to 180 kph (100 to 115MPH) you will have some cars passing you. Occasionally you will have a really fastmover pass you.

Driving on the open sections of the German Autobahn is about as much fun as I can have with my clothes on. The downside is that eventually I have to come back here and drive with all the folks that have never been really taught how to drive on the Interstate. The people running the speed limit in the left lane DRIVE ME CRAZY!

Good luck,
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Old 02-14-2003, 12:24 PM
'82 300TD-T
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: SoCal
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hey larry,

i'm sure you must have HOV (car pool) lanes where you are. here in l.a., those lanes routinely hit 80 to 90 mph in some spots.

but when you come up on someone doing 65, or worse 55, you then realize why we're known as "The Drive-By State."
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Old 02-14-2003, 12:32 PM
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Location: Wakefield, RI
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Looks like someone saw the History Channel Autobahn special...

If ya didn't see the special, you need to!! Amazing that the Germans can have a road system like this, the money and the discipline to use it correctly and still have lower fatality statistics that the US. For years I have said stupid drivers should be pulled from their cars for imbecillic moves, beaten mercilessly, fined and tossed back into their cars. If it shameful that we allow drivers education to be a ridiculous formality with the crowning achievement being parallel parking. RT
When all else fails, vote from the rooftops!
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Old 02-14-2003, 12:41 PM
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RT, How will that help... ? Don't put them back into their cars... put them on the bus and crush their cars...
How about those people in the left lane going SLOWER than the speed limit....?
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Old 02-14-2003, 12:54 PM
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I have not seen the special, I wonder if they will rerun it.

I more or less learned to drive on the Autobahn in '69, '70 and '71. I had been driving a car for a few years, but that's when and where I developed my freeway driving habits. I have been very frustrated for the last 30 years or so since back in the US. In the last few years I have worked a good bit in Europe and quite alot of that in Germany which has made my driving in the US even worse. In the year 2000, I drove about 5,000 kilometers total throughout Germany and about that many more through other parts of Europe.

There is a very valid reason for the differences between driving in the US and Germany. The main reason is that a German completes more hours of instruction to drive a car than an American must complete to get a license to fly an Airplane. In the US, there are strict requirements for a drivers license, you have to be at least 16 and your heart must be beating.

The many hours of driving instruction in Germany accomplishes two things. To begin with it truly teaches these people how to properly drive and share the roads with others. They take a very lengty test drive including high speed Autobahn driving. This not only provides efficient travel on the Autobahn, but also in the cities. When the light turns green everyone steps on the gas at the same time, so city travel goes along much quicker and more efficiently.

Secondly, it is a really big deal when a German gets their drivers license. You will see clipped off neckties in the bars. These were clipped off at their drivers license celebration party and hung on the wall. This is much the same as when my shirt tail was cut off when I first soloed in an airplane. Because it is such a big deal, and treated as a priviledge rather than a right, they don't want to disobey the traffic laws and lose their priviledge.

The Autobahn driving is not as good as it was 30 years ago for two reasons; there is more traffic and the drivers from the old East Germany are now sharing the roads with the true educated German drivers. Aggravating this even further is the European Union that makes it no big deal for someone to just cruise into Germany from surrounding countries. The border gaurd shacks are now all locked up so, going from say, The Netherlands to Germany is just like crossing the state lines in the US.

Even with all this degradation of the driving on the Autobahns, as compared to a few years ago, it still has driving in the US beat by about 10 to 1 IMHO.

Have a great day,
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Old 02-14-2003, 01:24 PM
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That special has been on several times before. They will usually show the same program several times in a week or so at different times. "Check your local listings".
They have very strict laws over there about who drives in what lanes, and you will get pulled over for going slow in the wrong one. How I wish THAT would be enforced in this country!
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Old 02-14-2003, 02:06 PM
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Come to archaic South Dakota. The only compensation is that on I-90, there is only one car per quarter mile. However, if it is going slowly, it WILL be in the left lane. It seems to be a regional thing, however. When I see a car from Iowa, I automatically back off an extra few car lengths because there is no predictability.

In LA in the sixties, I'd commute daily on the San Diego Fwy from Inglewood to Canoga Park. At seventy MPH and five-wide, and bumper-to-bumper, it may have seemed like a madhouse but I never saw an accident. I thought everybody was supposed to drive that way. When someone signalled to make a lane change, there was an immediate accomodation made by the vehicle next door and everyone continued smoothly along. Seemed that everyone had their eyes open and were conscious of the whole situation instead of just in front of their own bumper. I can't say the same for much of anywhere since then. CA included nowadays. If you want to change lanes in LA now, be prepared for a drive-by shooting if it involves anyone else being asked to accomodate at all.

Like, Larry B., I'd rather fly. At least those in an airplane have been given a bunch more instruction.

When flying jets in the AF, we were required to be thinking waaaay ahead of the plane. Things happened far before the ability to react unless one was prepared.

Not only do we notice folks not aware of the world around them,,,,
I'm not sure that some are really present in their own vehicle.

I investigate accidents for a living. Need I say more??
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Old 02-14-2003, 03:10 PM
scott 98
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When I lived in Germany I had a friend who was a Porsche mechanic and former race car driver. He took me out on the autobahn in a brand new (at the time) 911 turbo. He had it wide open at 295 kilometers/hour or 180 m.p.h. It was so loud you had to scream to talk. I remember the wind noise being so loud that I thought the windshield was going to come crashing through the car. I also took a picture of the speedometer to prove to all my friends in America just how fast some Germans drive. The best part of it all was that it was completely legal.

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Old 02-14-2003, 03:44 PM
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The feeling of speed is NOT a linear scale. I've run up to about 220kph (about 135MPH) and it feels fast, but there is a huge difference between the feeling of 220 and 250. I've been 250(about 155MPH) with someone else driving and the difference from 220 to 250 is incredible.

Have a great day,
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Old 02-14-2003, 03:44 PM
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Just this morning:

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absolute bliss.

Fastest in diesel 108 in a 116 300 SD taxi in Munich.
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Scariest driving 100mph in a Renault Twingo on the autobahn between Munich and Stuttgart (12" tires) (on my honeymoon so I had to show off).

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Old 02-14-2003, 04:14 PM
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I have an ideosyncratic theory about the safety records of the Autobahn:

Everyone is driving fast enough so that they are just a little bit scared (that's when they stop accelerating even if their car has some speed left), which rivets their attention on the task at hand. The same might apply to the LA freeways in the good old days, except that the primary source of fear would have been the crowding rather than the speed. I haven't been able to spend more than 20 hours total on the Autobahns, but I never noticed any drivers pointing out cows or crops or barns to their passengers, as one sees all the time in the Great Plains states, where the interstates should be virtually accident free, given the visibility and room, if only people would focus on their primary task.
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Old 02-14-2003, 04:31 PM
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I certainly agree that special attention is an element, but I don't think fear is the reason. I believe it is the typical German obedience coupled with rigorous driver training.

The German people are obedient by nature and upbringing. In the past generations, the ones who were not obedient were taken out of the mix by either the Kaiser or Hitler.

My $0.02,
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Old 02-14-2003, 04:55 PM
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Originally posted by rickg
They have very strict laws over there about who drives in what lanes, and you will get pulled over for going slow in the wrong one. How I wish THAT would be enforced in this country!
Amen to that. I tried educating some of the people driving slow in the left lane by flashing my lights, but that has some drawbacks. It's illegal, often interpreted as a sign of aggression instead of education, and quite frequently, does not get any message across, i.e. the driver keeps doing what he/she's doing as if brainless and/or asleep. So I usually end up passing them on the right.
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Old 02-14-2003, 05:15 PM
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In Germany it is indeed illegalte to stay in the left lane and not let a car pass. The odds of getting pulled over for this, or most anything there are not very large. There are not police everywhere as you might think. People there simply obey the law for the most part. Again, not only are they obedient by nature, but they do not want to lose the priviledge to drive because they invested so much to earn the priviledge.

Have a nice day,
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