Date registered: Nov 2010
Vehicle: 1991 190E 1.8 auto; 1992 180E 5 speed
Location: Melbourne Australia
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Quoted: 5 Post(s)
W201 190E with ABS + Goodyear EfficientGrip = avoided ugly crash
Yesterday evening it was raining as I headed out to the hardware store in my trusty 190E 1.8. As I was driving along the street at about 50km/h, someone in a Holden (Opel) Vectra shot straight out in front of me from a side street on the passenger side of my car, not looking at all for traffic on the road they were turning into. It was so fast I did a panic brake and swerved simultaneously, the sort of thing that on that wet road would have gotten a car with no ABS and/or cheap tyres into a slide. Instead I felt the ABS doing its thing and the tyres biting the wet asphalt hard. We pulled up well short of the clueless moron in the Vectra, fortunately for my passenger who would have otherwise taken the brunt of the impact.
I was impressed with the way that the 23yo Benz, even with its skinny little 185/65R15 OEM-spec tyres, simply did exactly what my panic inputs to the brake and steering controls asked it to.
Last year I got brand new Bilsteins, new bushes, and a set of Goodyear Eagle EfficientGrip tyres for the 190. It hurt my wallet at the time, but not nearly as much as it would have hurt if I'd hit that other car yesterday. You can never underestimate the potential for things to go wrong, even in your local streets at moderate speeds.
(Meanwhile, I'm thinking of doing a defensive driving course to be able to react better next time and not rely on excellent brakes and tyres to save me.)