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Old 05-19-2011, 08:00 PM   #1
SLWWRX
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Question Germany (Helpful tips please)

* Before I begin can we get a sticky on this thread (given there is enough information provided) I know I'm not the first person to ask for information on germany and tips for people moving to Germany. (just sayin) So if those of you in germany already have information please drop it all right into this thread!

Titles: (could be as follows)
Vehicle inspections
Driving tips
House hunting tips
Random things to know


****

Anyways, obviously I am moving to Germany (in August) and have more questions then I coud ever ask on here, but I would like to ask a specific question. Please include any random tips and suggestions if you would be so kind. (about anything)

1. I've heard alittle about winter tires, what the deal/policy/law with these? what kind of winter tires are we talking about here? (a link please) they'll be going on my wife's oldsmobile, Alero.


Thanks guys.
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Old 05-20-2011, 06:25 AM   #2
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Winter tires are required by law in the winter, usually from October to March. Winter tires means tires with the little snowflake on them, or M+S rated (mud and snow). You will also need a first aid kit and a warning triangle to get registered.

To be brief:
-excessive exhaust noise is prohibited. The military inspections for US service members may omit this part sometimes
-Your brakes must be tested, either through a brake torque tester or a road test
-Body rust will get you rejected
-If your vehicle is in disrepair, expect to get failed
I'd write more but I'm on my phone.
Drew
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Old 05-20-2011, 11:46 AM   #3
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Thanks Drew, anyone else feeling helpful?
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Old 05-21-2011, 12:10 PM   #4
franco_STi
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subydrewski pretty much nailed it. i'm downrange for the time being and won't be back till early next year, so i'll speak from memory.

i'd also recommend having a GPS, makes traveling, sight-seeing so much easier. you can only have tint on the back windows, you won't pass registration without removing them if you do have them.

for winter tires, studded tires are banned from being used here. when i did my registration, i bought the two year deal, so that my wife won't have to deal with inspections until i'm back. you can also get an international drivers license for 20 or 30 euro's i believe.

driving on the autobahn, if you aren't passing someone, stay in the right lane. you have two types of drivers, those who drive slow, and those who drive fast. so take the extra time to look in your rear-view mirror when lane changing/overtaking. the cars coming up behind you are usually going much faster so use good judgement.

can't help you with the house-hunting tips. military housing personnel help out those who live off post, so it's pretty much, pick a house that is approved.

random things to know. hmmm. the roads at night, from what i remember do not have light-poles, especially in the country, so be careful of wild-life. there are wild pigs and deer. also, one thing i've noticed about the economy, is that germans open later (than im used too from the states) and close early. i guess i'm used to 24hr operated stores/gas stations. as for late night/early morning time-frame, nothing good happens between the hours of 0000-0500. majority of assaults, alcohol related incidents/etc occur between those times.

now i'm only speaking from my experience and from the baumholder/ramstein/idar-oberstein area. experience, opinions, germany facts will vary from person to person.

i do love what germany has to offer, all the attractions, beer, but you have to drive/fly out to places to see them. ryan-air is what we use to travel to long distance places. hell my wifes neighbor took a trip to sicily just to eat pizza for 28 euro's round trip, so that should give you a general idea of how good the plane tickets are.

one thing i was briefed about, was to not stand out, for obvious reasons. my car doesn't have anything affiliated with the military, or the usa. decreasing your chances of becoming a target is highly encouraged. i will see if there's a military link for all incoming personnel that others may use as a general reference. if you PM me your address, i can have my wife mail you a 'Find-It' guide that is free and given to all incoming military personnel. it has everything you will need to know/find no matter what part of germany you are in. it has all gas stations/hotels/places where they speak english. it has auto-repair shops/car-rentals/hair-nail salons/spas. it's basically like the yellow pages but much more detailed.
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Old 05-21-2011, 01:10 PM   #5
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here's the online version of the 'find-it' guide.

http://www.finditguide.de/
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Old 05-27-2011, 09:40 AM   #6
wrxfr3ak227
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What part of Germany are you coming to, unit?
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Old 06-12-2011, 12:53 PM   #7
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I'm going to Schweinfurt, USAG schweinfurt is the unit? Sorry it's been awhile since I've been on this thread. and Thanks Jacket_man for the great info..

Winter tires, still not quite understanding this, do you guys just have a second set (which are winter tires)? or do you have to have them year round? what's the deal with these?

Thanks.
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Old 06-12-2011, 03:46 PM   #8
wrxfr3ak227
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You can get all seasons but the tread will wear out fast because you will use all year around. I would think most of us have two sets. One winter and one summer. I have an all season that I will use for winter but you SHOULD go full snow tire for winter which is safer but I just came up on these tires so I will use them till they are no good. I would prefer a full winter out here. Hope this helps and ignore the text below.... using that darn Nasioc IPHONE app.

Last edited by wrxfr3ak227; 06-12-2011 at 03:53 PM.
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Old 06-12-2011, 03:49 PM   #9
wrxfr3ak227
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Redo!
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Old 06-12-2011, 10:40 PM   #10
SLWWRX
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Talking Well then...

Yea, the nasioc apps suck, thats why I just use the browser on my dell streak phone, love it, totally going to miss my dell phone!

Umm well I just bought a jeep charokee, had to sell the wrx how much are the tires,(full winter) over there? I`ve been told to buy them over here and have them shipped with my house hold goods but I dont have the funds to do that, so what am I looking at with buying them them? 500.00-650.00?

I`m sure with them sitting un mounted during the summer, they would need to be replaced right or????

Thanks for you guys help and understanding, never had to deal with winter tires before...
how bad are the roads there during the winter, they keep them plowed for the most part, right, or am I just uneducated and assuming wishful thinking?

CELL PHONES: whats the best deal over there, to get a smart phone or rather a set of them with internet and unlimated everything, is that even an option? Whats the best way to call back to the states?


Thanks a bunch guys I owe each of you a large lager when I get there...

Thanks again
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Old 06-13-2011, 12:19 AM   #11
franco_STi
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i agree with above, get winter tires, not all seasons. i live at the bottom of a steep hill in housing and those with winter tires can get up much easier than those with all seasons. the winter tires actually perform an grip better in cold temps where as all seasons have a temp limit until it's just hardened, causing you to slide on a five mph turn. if you dont have two sets, one summer, one winter, you can order winter tires here.
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Old 06-13-2011, 12:19 AM   #12
franco_STi
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i agree with above, get winter tires, not all seasons. i live at the bottom of a steep hill in housing and those with winter tires can get up much easier than those with all seasons. the winter tires actually perform an grip better in cold temps where as all seasons have a temp limit until it's just hardened, causing you to slide on a five mph turn. if you dont have two sets, one summer, one winter, you can order winter tires here.
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Old 06-13-2011, 04:06 AM   #13
wrxfr3ak227
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Order your tires here on base, no extra cost just the normal price for what you get. As for a phone it depends on your amount of time here. I don't think they will need to be replaced for being unnmounted. I do the same for my Cherokee! I have a plan with everything and it's a smart phone so I have skype and stuff like that so contacting the states is free in ways and easier.
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Old 06-13-2011, 12:15 PM   #14
SLWWRX
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Three years I`ll be in germany and would really like my wife and I to have smart phones with internet and what not.... I`m going to miss my dell streak!

Any opinions on what company to go with or to look at?
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Old 06-13-2011, 04:44 PM   #15
wrxfr3ak227
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Plenty of providers but the two big ones are vodafone and t-mobile. I am currently using t-mobile but can't remember my plan amount. When I find out I will let you know.
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Old 06-14-2011, 04:05 AM   #16
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i've heard good things and bad things about both providers as usual. it really depends on your location. for example, where i'm stationed at, majority of my guys use t-mobile, where as those located in ramstein, use voda. i bought a pre-paid phone and just text, if i need to call when i'm out an about, i use the wifes iphone. if wrxf3ak227 cannot find the phone plans, i can have my wife find out and i'll relay msg.
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Old 06-14-2011, 04:13 PM   #17
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I can't really help with you military types but if you're a private citizen, I can probably give a few tips. I lived in Germany throughout the 90's and moved back about a year ago.
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Old 06-15-2011, 06:33 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arnie View Post
I can't really help with you military types but if you're a private citizen, I can probably give a few tips. I lived in Germany throughout the 90's and moved back about a year ago.
do you know anyone/shops that have experience in subaru's? specifically rebuilding motor?
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Old 06-15-2011, 01:00 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jacket_man_man_man

do you know anyone/shops that have experience in subaru's? specifically rebuilding motor?
absolutely. AK Motorsport. Owner Markus is probably the top Subaru engine builder in Germany. his customers come from all over europe. he probably has the largest collection of closed deck blocks in Europe. that's all he uses for his big power builds. custom porsche oil squirters too. so he can do a great, blue printed standard rebuild too if that's all you need. just remember European prices are much higher than in the us but his hourly shop rate is a bit lower than most since he's based in the old east Germany. He's worked on a few military guys' cars too.

he's imported a few of the top US built motors for customers and has been pretty disappointed with them.

Last edited by Arnie; 06-15-2011 at 01:08 PM.
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Old 06-15-2011, 02:25 PM   #20
franco_STi
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arnie View Post
absolutely. AK Motorsport. Owner Markus is probably the top Subaru engine builder in Germany. his customers come from all over europe. he probably has the largest collection of closed deck blocks in Europe. that's all he uses for his big power builds. custom porsche oil squirters too. so he can do a great, blue printed standard rebuild too if that's all you need. just remember European prices are much higher than in the us but his hourly shop rate is a bit lower than most since he's based in the old east Germany. He's worked on a few military guys' cars too.

he's imported a few of the top US built motors for customers and has been pretty disappointed with them.
does he have a web site or email? i come back in february, but have been ordering all supporting mods for my build. i hope he takes the VAT form so i dont have to pay the tax lol. i'd like to get a quote or guesstimate.
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Old 06-16-2011, 02:08 PM   #21
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http://www.ak-motorsport.de/start.php

not sure if he does the vat form. you can always ask. good luck.

Markus@AK-Motorsport.de
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Old 06-21-2011, 08:30 AM   #22
franco_STi
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arnie View Post
http://www.ak-motorsport.de/start.php

not sure if he does the vat form. you can always ask. good luck.

Markus@AK-Motorsport.de
thanks, but man he was right, they don't work for cheap lol. the starting price is more than a new forged block and internals that i'm about to get.
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Old 06-24-2011, 11:32 AM   #23
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yeah and you don't get paid in euros either. let me put it this way, an STi costs 49000€. not cheap to own this car here. I can't afford my own wrx here!
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Old 09-12-2012, 01:32 AM   #24
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Awesome thread! Thanks for the tips.
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Old 09-12-2012, 04:09 AM   #25
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Also DC Autoservice specialize on subi builds. They work on everything but they speciality is subarus! I also recommend another set of rims with winter tires for the winter is better than mounting tires for every season. Also don't get your feelings hurt is you are cursing on the autobahn at 100mph and a station wagon pass you on the left lane like you are standing still.
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