I have a 1985 Mercedes 300Turbo Diesel. I love this car. It only has
161,000 mi. on it, and I expect it to go for at least another 150,000.
I recently moved to Portland, OR from a Suburb of San Francisco. I have
a very steep winding driveway, and it is often wet. THE CAR DOES NOT WANT
TO GO UP THE DRIVEWAY. I have no idea what to do. Either it's not powerful
enough, or it's to large, or the tires aren't sticking or something! It's
very frustrating. This is my first car, and I don't want to sell it...but
it seems rather pointless to keep a car that can't even make it up your
If anyone can PLEASE help me with this I would greatly apreciate it.
If there's anything that I can do to make this car get up the damn
driveway I want to know. I absolutly love this car, and I don't want this
to be it.
Also...if anyone knows about how fast a TurboDiesel is supposed to go
I would like to know. I have had several people tell me that there's
something wrong with it because it won't go much past 80. Thanks so
Interesting. Can we assume that you could tell if the tires are
spinning and that you've lost traction? If that's the case, the drive
way is too steep- sell your house and keep the car.
Otherwise, try backing up the driveway- reverse gears are usually
lower than first gear.
Either way, you've either got a really sick car or a really steep
Sounds like a incorrectly timed injection pump or
one seriously tired turbocharger! You said you
recently bought/acquired it? Ask the seller if any
work had been done on these areas,that is if they
answer the phone! Call from another number!
OP said Portland. Which , like San Francisco, is more or less sea level,
varying by a few hundred feet. What blows my mind about this, is - If
you're used to driving in San Francisco, what does a "very steep" driveway
look like? As far as I recall, ALL of San Francisco is very steep. Except
Which leads us to another possibility. San Francisco can be hard on
transmissions. Of all the pieces on the 300s, the auto tranmission is my
least favorite - someone once called it a very beautifully engineered copy
of a very ugly Oldsmobile transmission. It would be real helpful if you
could describe the problem a bit better.
Turn off the radio, roll down your windows and listen as you go up the
driveway - do you hear tire spin? If so, you know why you were able to get
the house - no-one can get up the driveway without four-wheel drive.
Or does the engine still rev with no tire-spin noise as the car comes to a
stop - if so, suspect the transmission is getting tired and is slipping.
If, on the other hand, the engine slows to idle speed as the car slows to
a stop, the tires are gripping, the transmission's not slipping, you're
just not making enough power. Which, as your top speed is about 80 is a
possibility - the turbo-diesels in good tune will blow past 80 pretty
comfortably, and really should have enough low end torque to climb most
If you hear tire slipping, there's still one other possibility. Steep
winding driveways under rainy conditions often get a thin layer of silt
runoff on them - which is slippery. Clean the driveway.
The reason I asked about the altitude:
The 617 turbo diesel engine has a restricted air intake with the turbo
impeller in the hole. If you go up Donner Summit on I-80 and stop at the vista
point, you cannot
start again up the hill. You have to go back down and get a running start. With
the air being thin
and the restricted flow, the engine will only idle. Getting a running start and
having boost gets
you up the hill.
The non-turbo 617 does not have this problem.
Come to a full stop at the driveway entry and shift into L. That will
engage 1st gear and hold the transmission in that gear. If that doesn't
do it then have a professional M-B mechanic investigate it.
The top speed is about 100 mph - on a flat road with no headwind - 100
mph is about the max.
If your car can't get beyond 80 mph then there's a problem - could be
minor or that the engine is past it, but at 161K miles that's unlikely.
Could be as minor as the throttle linkage needing an adjustment i.e.
when you "floor it" the linkage isn't at its full throttle stop on the
injection pump (engine) so the engine is getting only say, 75% throttle.
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