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About Shydog

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  • Location
    Germany / Mexico
  1. How do you turn off the Mainenance Service Wrench? I have tried this Link and neither method works.;men=servicing The Link talks about timing but I have tried everything. Exactly 10 sec. Within 10 sec. Within 4 sec. Exactly 4 sec. Within 10 sec. and exactly 4 sec. etc. I have tried the forementioned with my foot on the brake, off the brake, in reverse, in first gear, emergency brake on and off. Is there are third method? I don't want to go to the Dealer for this because he probably won't fix it anyway without changing the oil on the thing. The car is an early 451 (built in the Summer of 2007) if that makes a difference.
  2. Hey Mike T. If you're going to the Mercedes Museum, arrive when it opens and plan on spending the entire day. It's not something you can see in 4 or 5 hours. While you're in the area, you may want to visit the Porsche Museum also. It's small but free. If you're driving back to Würzburg and have the time, make a left on the A6 toward Mannheim and visit the Sinsheim Technical Museum. Also, don't expect to average 160Km/h on the Autobahn (especially in a French car ). I drive between 160 and 200 yet I'm hardpressed to average much over 100 because of the many speed restrictions and traffic. Early Sunday morning is the best time to travel because trucks are not allowed on Sunday except with special permission.
  3. Yeah they are 15mm. I had to go out and buy a 1/2" Drive 15mm socket only to remove the wheels. It is best to change the lugnuts to a 17mm head size.
  4. The cheque is in the mail? Great! I hope this isn't one of the three biggest lies.1. The cheque is in the mail2. I'm from the government and I'm here to help you3. I promise I won't .................... uh, well, you know
  5. In Germany, I'm paying 220€ for 6 months on my 2001 Audi S3 and an additional 80€ for my 2003 Audi A2 FSI. If I have no claims, the insurance company is required by law to periodically reduce my rate. In Mexico, my Wife and I pay ca. US $600 for our 2007 VW Polo and 2008 Smart Pulse for 6 months. Both Countries have privacy protections which make it illegal for the government to share driver's records with insurance companies.
  6. My Wife and I have no children nor will we ever. Last week, we planted a tree in our garden. How much Carbon Offset money are we entitled to?
  7. Fuel economy standards are not the answer - a simple gas tax is. If a tax of say, US $.50/Liter were imposed and adjusted for inflation, freedom of choice would not be taken away. However, with Americans thinking that cheap gas is a God-given right, politicians pass restrictions which will take place in the future so no one needs to change or think about anything now. If States want to set their own emission standards, then they need to put their own houses in order first. I have a few relatives and friends in California and its claim of greenhouse gas concerns is just that - a claim. Yield signs are almost non-existant as are traffic circles. Traffic lights function throughout the night and there are Stop signs everywhere - sometimes in the middle of the block. On Interstates, drivers are not required to keep right so they travel in whatever lane they wish causing a lot of unneeded conjestion and State workers continue to drive around in fuel guzzling vehicles - most of the time alone or with one other person. Also, vehicles are taxed on their value instead of their encroachment on the environment. The owner of a Smart pays more taxes than someone driving an SUV, truck, Buick, etc. with a lower market value.
  8. The Smart seems like most other cars while driving. It actually feels larger inside than either my Audi S3 or VW Polo. The only difference is that there is not much ahead of the windshield or behind the seats. It stands a bit taller than most cars, is easy to maneuver in traffic and very easy to park (finding a place to park is only easier for a motorcycle). Potholes and badly surfaced roads are handled by the Smart no differently than any other car - only the time period between the front and rear tyres running over something is shorter. I'm not sure why you would be zig-zagging in your travel lane unless you are trying to avoid those potholes but you can if you want. I do have a bit of a problem with the blind spot caused by the C pillar. Normally, convex mirrors solve this problem but on the Smart, the mirrors are not convex enough. I have to move my head slightly and look out the right or left window to get a full 360° view. I also have difficulty seeing the curb when I back into a parking space. If the mirrors were more convex and aspheric, the car would be easier to drive in traffic. I think cars in the States and Canada are not allowed to be sold with convex driver's mirrors so those reflections would be even worse. Another irritation I have is with the seats. The passenger seat does not go as far forward as the driver's making it difficult to vaccuum the carpet behind. Also, the seat-back releases are on the inside and not the outside of the seats. This makes it very hard to fold the seats completely forward and/or return them to their normal position. I'm not all that thrilled with the transmission either. I've accepted the fact that it's slow to shift but I still have a problem going from reverse to 1st gear. If I release my foot from the brake a fraction of a second before I shift into 1st, the transmission doesn't recognise the movement and stays in Neutral. I then have to press the brake again, shift into Neutral and then into 1st. As far as you purchasing a Smart - don't buy anything you can't afford to lose. It's better to struggle and save now than provide yourself immediate gratification, struggle, worry and be unable to save. Put money away each month and you'll not only save interest and insurance charges but you can make a little bit with your savings account. In a couple of years you can pay cash for a new Smart - or 13000 Table Dances in Zapotlanejo Mexico.
  9. Yeah. I think the grill is a Mexican thing. The grills in Germany are black.
  10. My Wife and I bought our Smart Pulse last October. It's easy to drive and park around town and good on the highway. On the Autopistas, the car is pretty weak going up a grade with the air conditioning on but with the air off, it easily runs up to its top speed. It's not as economical as I had hoped but MUCH better than anything else available in America. There is an interior squeak in the left rear I nor the Handler can find and I have minor issues with the mirrors, rear-fog switch and quality of materials used on the inside. Overall, I am happy with the car.
  11. How accurate is the speedometer? The car is limited to 145Km/h but I have had mine up to an indicated 160.
  12. I saw this system at the IAA last year. What I don't like about it is that the motor start-up is actuated by the brake pedal -not the accelerator.
  13. My Wife and I do not have children. Does that entitle us to receive Carbon Offset money for each child we didn‘t have? If so, then we didn’t have 10 children.
  14. Although I intend to enjoy the unrestricted speed in April when in Germany, I am afraid that a 130 km/h limit is coming, and soon, so I look forward to the ill-handling/unsafe German cars that will result So what you‘re saying is that if a Limit were passed, German cars would be the same as French cars are today? Actually the pressure for a 130Km/h Speed Limit has abated somewhat thanks to pressure from various organizations and the fact that the claimed CO² savings is about as credible as a Congressman‘s vow of monogamy. It‘s too bad freedom can be legislated away so easily if no one speaks out. Oh, and as of this past Thursday, you can add my neighbor to the long list of people who think French cars are steaming piles of manure. The day before he was to leave for Mazatlan, another wheel bearing failed - this makes three on as many corners of the car. While he was at it, he decided to replace the front brakes - for the second time in 70.000Km. His Renault (isn‘t that French for Ugly?) has also had ongoing problems with the instrument cluster which the Dealer unsuccessfully attempted to repair several times before the warranty ran out. The speedometer function then took a permanent leave-of-absence. Couple these problems with interior materials wearing thinner than life with his teenage daughter and body and paint quality on par with that of an old Kennedy For President campaign button and this car is becoming really used-up. Coming from a Country which thinks of cars as nothing more than appliances, French cars are victims of their own environment. With stringently enforced, ridiculously low speed restrictions and drivers seemingly only slightly more skilled than those in the US, traveling by car is as agonizing as doing aerobics to Kenny G music. If the French really wanted to reduce CO² emissions, they would eliminate all those Toll Stations on their Autoroutes and add more interchanges so one wouldn‘t have to drive kilometers out of his way if he misses his exit. They could also improve their road signs and manage their intercity traffic better. More bicycle routes in cities and between towns would also help. In other words, copy Germany. The French could also swallow a bit of their „All things French are the best“ attitude and copy German automobiles as do car makers of Japan. The French would probably increase their sales and they wouldn‘t obviously be restricting those non-French vehicles which produce more than an artificially set CO² limit. Besides, with 2 people added to the Earth‘s population every second, how many hours do you think it will take for their plan to be offset? What this program doesn‘t do is help France face competition from cheap, well-built Suzuki‘s, Hyundai‘s and Toyota‘s - particularly Toyota if they ever decide to produce their cars in Germany. These makers do everything better plus their cars do not have that French styling which could only be appreciated by Steve Wonder and Ray Charles. If the French were truly playing fair, they would tax CO² per gram emitted and not above a limit which favors their Country. And why haven‘t they touched on the biggest emitter of CO² in the transportation arena- Air Travel? With a round-trip from Rennes to Nice emitting more considerably more CO² per passenger kilometer than an Audi A6 3,0 TDI, shouldn‘t the legislators be considering a tax on the CO² passenger jets produce flying within France? Oh, I found the following information on the Internet. Maybe Edouard Delamarre-Debouteville never received his due credit because no one could spell his name. I‘ll be back in Germany the middle of April so if you are traveling the A6 out of France toward Mannheim and want to stop by the apartment, I can give you some maps and information of things to do in Germany - mostly car oriented.  The very first self-powered road vehicles were powered by steam engines and by that definition Nicolas Joseph Cugnot of France built the first automobile in 1769 - recognized by the British Royal Automobile Club and the Automobile Club de France as being the first. So why do so many history books say that the automobile was invented by either Gottlieb Daimler or Karl Benz? It is because both Daimler and Benz invented highly successful and practical gasoline-powered vehicles that ushered in the age of modern automobiles. Daimler and Benz invented cars that looked and worked like the cars we use today. However, it is unfair to say that either man invented "the" automobile. 1680 - Dutch physicist, Christian Huygens designed (but never built) an internal combustion engine that was to be fueled with gunpowder. 1807 - Francois Isaac de Rivaz of Switzerland invented an internal combustion engine that used a mixture of hydrogen and oxygen for fuel. Rivaz designed a car for his engine - the first internal combustion powered automobile. However, his was a very unsuccessful design. 1824 - English engineer, Samuel Brown adapted an old Newcomen steam engine to burn gas, and he used it to briefly power a vehicle up Shooter's Hill in London. 1858 - Belgian-born engineer, Jean Joseph Étienne Lenoir invented and patented (1860) a double-acting, electric spark-ignition internal combustion engine fueled by coal gas. In 1863, Lenoir attached an improved engine (using petroleum and a primitive carburetor) to a three-wheeled wagon that managed to complete an historic fifty-mile road trip. (See image at top) 1862 - Alphonse Beau de Rochas, a French civil engineer, patented but did not build a four-stroke engine (French patent #52,593, January 16, 1862). 1864 - Austrian engineer, Siegfried Marcus*, built a one-cylinder engine with a crude carburetor, and attached his engine to a cart for a rocky 500-foot drive. Several years later, Marcus designed a vehicle that briefly ran at 10 mph that a few historians have considered as the forerunner of the modern automobile by being the world's first gasoline-powered vehicle (however, read conflicting notes below). 1873 - George Brayton, an American engineer, developed an unsuccessful two-stroke kerosene engine (it used two external pumping cylinders). However, it was considered the first safe and practical oil engine. 1866 - German engineers, Eugen Langen and Nikolaus August Otto improved on Lenoir's and de Rochas' designs and invented a more efficient gas engine. 1876 - Nikolaus August Otto invented and later patented a successful four-stroke engine, known as the "Otto cycle". 1876 - The first successful two-stroke engine was invented by Sir Dougald Clerk. 1883 - French engineer, Edouard Delamare-Debouteville, built a single-cylinder four-stroke engine that ran on stove gas. Delamare-Debouteville's designs were very advanced for the time - ahead of both Daimler and Benz in some ways at least on paper. Deboutteville had also created a carburetor for running on liquid (petroleum) fuels. The outstanding things about his engine were: Coil-and-battery ignition, with a sparkplug. Mechanically operated overhead intake and exhaust valves. High compression ratio. This engine was put in a three-wheeled vehicle that was destroyed in an accident. Undaunted, Deboutteville built a four-wheeled car with a two-cylinder engine. This design figures in the 1884 patent. The vehicle was a modified horse-drawn wagon, but the new engine was noteworthy for its: Pistons with rings Provision for air- or water-heating of the carburetor Air- or water-cooling of the cylinders Speed control on the intake manifold Exhaust muffler Progressive clutch It is certain that the car was built, but the evidence that it ever ran is weak. You'll look in vain for any mention of a test drive in local newspapers. Deboutteville's patent went unnoticed. It was never exploited at all. A great pity, for Deboutteville's proposed car was extremely well thought out. He had solutions to all the basic problems, but he had to give up his experiments to concentrate on making a living. Instead of developing the car, he removed its engine and put it to use in the factory. He became a manufacturer of industrial engines, but had nothing more to do with automobiles. 1885 - Gottlieb Daimler invented what is often recognized as the prototype of the modern gas engine - with a vertical cylinder, and with gasoline injected through a carburetor (patented in 1887). Daimler first built a two-wheeled vehicle the "Reitwagen" (Riding Carriage) with this engine and a year later built the world's first four-wheeled motor vehicle. 1886 - On January 29, Karl Benz received the first patent (DRP No. 37435) for a gas-fueled car. 1889 - Daimler built an improved four-stroke engine with mushroom-shaped valves and two V-slant cylinders. 1890 - Wilhelm Maybach built the first four-cylinder, four-stroke engine. Engine design and car design were integral activities, almost all of the engine designers mentioned above also designed cars, and a few went on to become major manufacturers of automobiles. All of these inventors and more made notable improvements in the evolution of the internal combustion vehicles. The Importance of Nicolaus Otto One of the most important landmarks in engine design comes from Nicolaus August Otto who in 1876 invented an effective gas motor engine. Otto built the first practical four-stroke internal combustion engine called the "Otto Cycle Engine," and as soon as he had completed his engine, he built it into a motorcycle. Otto's contributions were very historically significant, it was his four-stoke engine that was universally adopted for all liquid-fueled automobiles going forward. (Learn more about Nicolaus Otto) The Importance of Karl Benz In 1885, German mechanical engineer, Karl Benz designed and built the world's first practical automobile to be powered by an internal-combustion engine. On January 29, 1886, Benz received the first patent (DRP No. 37435) for a gas-fueled car. It was a three-wheeler; Benz built his first four-wheeled car in 1891. Benz & Cie., the company started by the inventor, became the world's largest manufacturer of automobiles by 1900. Benz was the first inventor to integrate an internal combustion engine with a chassis - designing both together. (Learn more about Karl Benz)  The Importance of Gottlieb Daimler In 1885, Gottlieb Daimler (together with his design partner Wilhelm Maybach) took Otto's internal combustion engine a step further and patented what is generally recognized as the prototype of the modern gas engine. Daimler's connection to Otto was a direct one; Daimler worked as technical director of Deutz Gasmotorenfabrik, which Nikolaus Otto co-owned in 1872. There is some controversy as to who built the first motorcycle Otto or Daimler. The 1885 Daimler-Maybach engine was small, lightweight, fast, used a gasoline-injected carburetor, and had a vertical cylinder. The size, speed, and efficiency of the engine allowed for a revolution in car design. On March 8, 1886, Daimler took a stagecoach and adapted it to hold his engine, thereby designing the world's first four-wheeled automobile. Daimler is considered the first inventor to have invented a practical internal-combustion engine. In 1889, Daimler invented a V-slanted two cylinder, four-stroke engine with mushroom-shaped valves. Just like Otto's 1876 engine, Daimler's new engine set the basis for all car engines going forward. Also in 1889, Daimler and Maybach built their first automobile from the ground up, they did not adapt another purpose vehicle as they had always been done previously. The new Daimler automobile had a four-speed transmission and obtained speeds of 10 mph. Daimler founded the Daimler Motoren-Gesellschaft in 1890 to manufacture his designs. Eleven years later, Wilhelm Maybach designed the Mercedes automobile. *If Siegfried Marcus built his second car in 1875 and it was as claimed, it would have been the first vehicle powered by a four-cycle engine and the first to use gasoline as a fuel, the first having a carburetor for a gasoline engine and the first having a magneto ignition. However, the only existing evidence indicates that the vehicle was built circa 1888/89 - too late to be first.
  15. There are exceptions to anything. In Germany, France is known as a maker of cheap throw-away cars - the quality of their materials is poor and their comfort is acceptable only if you are going in a straight line at speeds not more than 150Km/h. As for reliablilty - my friend's wife HAD to buy another French car because the Citroen Handler was the only dealer who would accept her 5 year old Peugeot 205 with a blown motor as a trade-in. She paid less than 4000€ (a similar VW would have cost her about 3000€ more) for a 3 year old Citroen which last week had to have the front suspension repaired. France has not developed their tax scheme to exclude German makes. It only most effects German auto makers. French car manufacturers have the least to lose with this law. Germany also has a displacement tax on its vehicles but it doesn't favor German brands. Perhaps the Germans should pass a law requiring all vehicles to be driven at a speed no greater than the country's Speed Limit in which there were produced. It could be argued that since France has a Limit of 130Km/h, then their cars must be unsafe at speed above this. You can bet French vehicle sales in German would fall and France would be crying 'Foul'. By the way, it was Karl Benz in Germany who invented the first practical automobile powered by an internal combustion engine.