1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

How to drive an auto?

Discussion in 'General Mercedes-Benz Related Discussion' started by thespirit3, Oct 27, 2006.

  1. Peter G

    Peter G Senior Member

    Messages:
    177
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2014
    Location:
    Warwickshire
    Your Mercedes:
    2013 SL 350, 1989 Toyota Hilux, 1987 Fiesta XR2
    First thing this morning, after only one cup of coffee, I managed to drive my auto BMW all the way to my son's house, a distance of about 4 miles, left foot breaking all the way.

    I then switched to my manual Hilux pickup, which lives at his house because of parking space issues, drove it round for a while to warm it up, and then took it for its 09:00 MOT, which it passed with only a couple of minor advisories.

    After this I drove it to our local timber yard, picked up some nice quarter sawn oak, and dropped this at home. I then took the Hilux back to my son's house, picked up the BMW and drove home, left foot breaking all the way.

    Driving the two different vehicles was completely instinctive, nobody went through any windscreens, and no pedestrians were injured in the course of the mornings events.
     
  2. L John

    L John Senior Member

    Messages:
    2,819
    Likes Received:
    536
    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2013
    Location:
    UK
    Your Mercedes:
    W204 C350 Petrol Elegance
    The air bag wont go off for no reason, but if there's an impact and your arms are across the wheel, the airbag will push your arms into your face.

    Oh by the way, the airbag comes out with explosive force at around 200mph.
    People don't realise the force these things have, there has been deaths caused by baby seats fitted facing backwards wjth the babys head right in front of the [STRIKE]cannon[/STRIKE] airbag.
     
  3. EmilysDad

    EmilysDad Senior Member

    Messages:
    8,151
    Likes Received:
    1,906
    Joined:
    May 8, 2012
    Location:
    Bury Lancs
    Your Mercedes:
    ML350
    And then there are the short harrises that need the seat all the way forward to reach the pedals resulting in their face/head being very close to the wheel.
    IIRC years ago, a young girl in America was decapitated by the passenger airbag :(
     
  4. L John

    L John Senior Member

    Messages:
    2,819
    Likes Received:
    536
    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2013
    Location:
    UK
    Your Mercedes:
    W204 C350 Petrol Elegance
    They save lives and reduce injuries but they are lethal when used incorrectly.

    A woman I know (a fat shortarse, sorry if thats not P.C.), had a Ford Escort and was hunched up against the wheel so she could reach the pedals. Her boobs were practically rubbing against the wheel.

    She asked Ford to take the airbag out for her safety but they refused.
    She basically had a gun to her head threatening to kill her if she bumped into anything.
     
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2014
  5. nrg220

    nrg220 Senior Member

    Messages:
    142
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2010
    Location:
    Bucks
    Your Mercedes:
    220cdi Elegance Saloon
    At a zebra crossing I had my C220 in drive and I was on the brake when someone rammed me in the back, had it repaired and the gearbox is fine, good job I was on the brake as would have likely mown the two kids crossing, he cracked my bumper and the steel bar running across the boot was bent plus the panel underneath the spare wheel.

    His car I was surprised was a complete wreck at the front, a right mess
     
  6. GeeAy

    GeeAy Senior Member

    Messages:
    129
    Likes Received:
    7
    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2012
    Location:
    Notts
    Your Mercedes:
    2016 W205 C220 SE Exec
    Learned to drive in the RAF and my instructor demonstrated how in an ordinary family car with the prescribed lock to lock steering wheel ratio you would run wide on a corner when not using push pull.
     
  7. davemercedes

    davemercedes Senior Member

    Messages:
    2,950
    Likes Received:
    914
    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2012
    Location:
    Worcs
    Your Mercedes:
    2007 Merc 220 CDi Est Auto Av
    I totally agree with you. Nowadays Swmbo's car is also an automatic - it's a Renault 7-seat scenic; extremely comfortable etc. It's okay to drive and jumping out of my C Estate and driving it is fine: the foot pedal usage/positions are all instinctive (including what I do with my left foot). But what I do have problems with is the stupid little indicator switch and the wiper switch on the other side. Both of them are so tiny you end up taking your eyes off the road looking for them!
     
  8. Peter G

    Peter G Senior Member

    Messages:
    177
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2014
    Location:
    Warwickshire
    Your Mercedes:
    2013 SL 350, 1989 Toyota Hilux, 1987 Fiesta XR2
    You're right. Switching from auto to manual and back is not an issue, but the difference in the positions of the steering column switchgear sometimes causes some raised eyebrows.

    Why do the Japanese insist on having the indicator stalk on the right??
     
  9. turbopete

    turbopete Senior Member

    Messages:
    14,204
    Likes Received:
    317
    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2009
    Location:
    Spennymoor
    Your Mercedes:
    2010 '60' Ford Mondeo 2.0TDCi Zetec (sorry)
    we also had a customer like that when i was at the ford dealership. her husband asked us to remove the fuse from the SRS system. when we suggested it was not a wise move, in the interests of safety, he simply replied, 'well in that case, i will take the fuse out myself at home'

    it was at this point that the garage owner instructed one of the mechanics to remove the fuse for him (as this guy had been known to just pull EVERY fuse, then not know where they all came from!)
     
  10. davemercedes

    davemercedes Senior Member

    Messages:
    2,950
    Likes Received:
    914
    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2012
    Location:
    Worcs
    Your Mercedes:
    2007 Merc 220 CDi Est Auto Av
    Actually I'm of the age when the driving test included hand signals and as an L driver you had to do BOTH during the test (yes, really , but then it was over fifty years ago! Oh my gosh... I just realised... I'm old!

    Er sorry, my point was that back then, all British vehicles (i.e.: the dreaded Leyland Cars and Ford and Vauxhalls) had the indicator on the right because we drove on the left and you sat on the right and to give hand signals you used the window on the right, so it was a natural thing for the indicator to be on the right as well. The Japanese, who drive on the left, also had the indicator on the right and stuck with it. Meanwhile more and more cars in UK were built abroad and came with the switch on the left - and I'm sorry ...but back then I struggled to get used to that because it felt so unnatural! And TBH Japanese cars are correct.
     
  11. Ecab14

    Ecab14 Senior Member

    Messages:
    67
    Likes Received:
    1
    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2014
    Your Mercedes:
    E class/2014/220d
    Now on the right is the stick that controls the auto box. The left has almost everything else. Still can't find the ejector seat switch.....looking!
     
  12. The Pan Man

    The Pan Man Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,254
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2004
    Location:
    Warwickshire
    Your Mercedes:
    2008 E 500 A/G Classic colour combination.
    Just reading some of the newer posts whilst having a coffee. Two or 3 times a year I switch from the E500 to some manual hire car about 75 BHP manual, that does take a few days to adjust to, as for overtaking well forget it or wind it up a mile down the road.
     
  13. Naraic

    Naraic Moderator

    Messages:
    10,178
    Likes Received:
    811
    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2010
    Your Mercedes:
    2005 CL500.
    Like all sweeping statements...not necessarily correct. My wife's Rav4 has the lights and indicator stalk on the left...wipers on the right.
     
  14. geraldrobins

    geraldrobins Senior Member

    Messages:
    835
    Likes Received:
    61
    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2013
    Location:
    gloucester, UK
    Your Mercedes:
    C Class/2011/200cdi
    If I remember correctly when cars in this country switched from trafficators to indicators the switch was on the right and then in the late 60s early 70s the manufacturers went European.
    Presumably left hand drive cars have the indicators on the left?
     
  15. Naraic

    Naraic Moderator

    Messages:
    10,178
    Likes Received:
    811
    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2010
    Your Mercedes:
    2005 CL500.
    Manufacturers don't change the position of the stalks for different markets.
     
  16. Peter G

    Peter G Senior Member

    Messages:
    177
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2014
    Location:
    Warwickshire
    Your Mercedes:
    2013 SL 350, 1989 Toyota Hilux, 1987 Fiesta XR2
    I too am of an age that I had to do hand signals on my driving test. If I remember correctly you started the test doing hand signals, then, when the examinor was happy you knew what you were doing, told yo u to use the indicators.

    On my test, which I passed, I went to do the first hand signal and had forgotten to open the window!!

    Nearly broke my finger!!!
     
  17. Teflon

    Teflon Active Member

    Messages:
    26
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2013
    Location:
    Up North, UK
    Your Mercedes:
    E350 2013
    VW always had the indicator switch on the left, even when I was a kid 50 years ago. Just about every other make I ever saw was on the right for the UK market, but then again, we were poor and I never saw a Merc.

    Around the 80s they thought, "stuff the Brits, we'll do them all the same". Ergonomic studies say that the old system was best, since the (usually) less good left hand is now overloaded with indicators and gear lever, plus radio, heater, etc.

    The Japanese held out for a long time and continued to keep the lever in the correct place but it's so long since I drove one of their contraptions I don't know if they eventually capitulated as well.
     
  18. Myros

    Myros Senior Member

    Messages:
    2,728
    Likes Received:
    1
    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2004
    Location:
    in the great , grim 'oop north
    Your Mercedes:
    R107, S211, R170
    well, my 1985 107 SL

    and I suspect all the other UK , Japanese, and Australian spec RHD 107's , has the combi switch on the right of the steering column, and the ignition switch on the left. The mirror image of the continental lhd models.
    It is quite obviously transferred over 180 degrees by MB to cater for our 'tastes', as all the symbols on the stalk are upside down, and the rotation of the wiper switch is the opposite of the 'lhd' combi switch. The cruise control is over there as well, but that seems to be in the correct orientation and the symbols etc are the right way up.

    they probably did the same in w123's etc, but I haven't looked in one of those with this in mind.

    There is good reason to have the keys inboard of the wheel. A passenger could turn the ignition off if the driver had a medical emergency, for instance. it also makes them more difficult to steal through the driver's window when stationary at lights or in traffic.
     
  19. Naraic

    Naraic Moderator

    Messages:
    10,178
    Likes Received:
    811
    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2010
    Your Mercedes:
    2005 CL500.

    Maybe...but the controls on your 210 are the same lhd or rhd.
     
  20. Myros

    Myros Senior Member

    Messages:
    2,728
    Likes Received:
    1
    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2004
    Location:
    in the great , grim 'oop north
    Your Mercedes:
    R107, S211, R170
    so they are

    and my 202 and the 124 and the 220. it's probably better overall to be able to get into any Mercedes anywhere and find all the major switchgear easily to hand where you expect it.

    I miss the little green lamp on the end of the indicator stalk on my Dad's Morris Traveller. that was a nice touch.
     

Share This Page