Even Brad Paisley owned a 1984 Chevrolet Cavalier

| November 27, 2016

Jay Leno’s Garage on CNBC is one of the automotive programs I record and one my dad would have enjoyed watching with me … too bad it is just a couple years late. Anyway, last week he had musicians who love cars on the program and country music star Brad Paisley shared his first car […]

A second temporary BMW 528i upper radiator hose repair

| November 8, 2016

Besides being distracted on Tuesday watching the general election news, a call from my son Taylor brought me back to reality. I scrapped my afternoon plans and drove down to Clermont County where he works to "try a second time" to make a temporary repair (the first one was Sunday night). There is a ridiculously […]

Our 1982 Mercedes diesel can see (in fog) again …

| October 24, 2016

As mentioned a few posts ago, I finally found an amber fog light on ebay to replace the broken glass lens. I was disappointed in the cost, but very pleased with the quality of the lightly used Bosch part. Forgive the bug splats (needs to be cleaned) but when the weather is nice, this 1982 […]

Changing a cabin air filter in an older Honda Odyssey minivan

| October 22, 2016

My daughter took her "leased" Juke into the Nissan dealership in Minnesota for a $25 oil change and while it was in the service bay, the service department recommended she do a few additional maintenance items totaling $1200 … "but we can do it all today for a flat $1000" (don’t you just love it […]

An old amber fog light for a Mercedes diesel is not inexpensive

| October 15, 2016

Ouch … the amber fog light in our 1982 Mercedes Benz 300D Turbodiesel shatter a couple weeks ago and I’ve been searching to find a Bosch replacement ever since. While looking on ebay, I was surprised not to be able to find a decent one for under $35 … that is a lot to spend […]

Transmission cooler hose? Once again, AAA pays for itself!

| September 29, 2016

While coming home from work at 9:30PM Tuesday night, Brenda called and said something didn’t feel right about our 2006 Honda Pilot. No unusual warning lights besides the "wrench" indicating we were due for an oil change, but the RPM were revving high. I stayed on the phone until she turn down our street and […]

Follow up video from Mr Godwrench and The Happy Church

| September 28, 2016

Thanks Tim for sending me the video from the Mr. Godwrench service day in Jackson, Kentucky (last week’s post). It was great to see the good times and teaching moments … both "hands-on" car maintenance and emulating what it is to have a Christian heart … and I’m sure it felt good for the givers […]

How much room do you leave between vehicles?

| September 25, 2016

A photo is worth a 1000 words — and this photo is a chilling reminder for those of us who travel regularly on the interstates. I purposely allow for more buffer than many when following a line of traffic (a car length for every 10 mph) AND in particular give semi-trucks even more breathing room. […]

Tim Ellison, a Christian entrepreneur that Walks the Talk

| September 24, 2016

We are humbled to call Tim Ellison of Mr. Godwrench our friend. A few years ago when he started his automotive repair business I knew his unabashed and outspoken Christian "modus vivendi" was attractive to me, so I quickly promoted his automotive services and did as much business with him as I could. Due to […]

Other European Diesels of Polluting More Than VW TDIs?

| September 23, 2016

Volkswagen isn’t the only automaker skirting diesel emissions laws—many automakers build cars even dirtier than VW. Source: Study Accuses Other European Diesels of Polluting More Than VW TDIs A study concludes that Volkswagen TDI diesel are among the cleanest of all the European brands. That could be the reason the Paris Auto Show are showing […]

The old Mercedes is out and about and starting a boat project

| September 18, 2016

After sitting quietly most of the summer, my friend Jeff needed to borrow a set of wheels for a week. He has intimately name the 1982 MB diesel the "old girl" and seems to appreciate her many quirks. Since it isn’t covered, there was a little dust, but she still looks pretty good to me. […]

Fuel economy on the BMW X5 35d diesel after modifications

| September 9, 2016

For those following the modifications and upgrades on our 2010 BMW X5 35d for most of 2016, below are the resulting fuel economy improvements, at least so far. This 5225 lb SUV (minus a few pounds) will never be a Volkswagen TDI fuel sipper, but I’ll take a 15% mpg improvement considering it also has […]

Many Volkswagen TDI Diesel Models May Never Return

| September 3, 2016

A sad day for those of us who appreciated the efficiency and longevity of a small VW TDI diesel. 🙁 Volkswagen won’t try to revive its position as a leader in diesel-engine technology in North America, says the recently appointed head of the company’s operations. The technology needed to bring the engines into compliance, along […]

Our 2010 BMW X5 35d clicked odometer to 150,000 miles

| August 27, 2016

On my drive home this week, our 2010 BMW X5 35d modified diesel rolled the odometer passed 150K (I know, they don’t roll like my old Mercedes anymore). Economy is not quite up to the 30 mpg highway that I have been hoping for, but I’m not complaining about 28 mpg "with an impressive power" […]

WSJ highlights a 1956 Packard Executive fit for a wedding

| August 24, 2016

The weekly "My Ride" article by A. J. Baime in the Wall Street Journal has become a sentimental favorite column as besides highlighting a Mercedes a couple weeks ago, did the same for a Packard this week. The story plots are almost always as unique as the  cars themselves … although this one touches a […]

My eyes are open for an Approved Packard Service sign

| August 17, 2016

A friend of mine, an automotive journalist, snapped this photo on his way across the country on Route 66 last week and I couldn’t help but crop and copy it for my blog – (above – thanks Wayne, not that you know I’m using your photo).  Although my garage shop is not quite ready for […]

The complex but impressive 3 compressor Audi TDI diesel

| August 16, 2016

Audi’s 2017 SQ7 diesel TDI takes a new spin on hybrid vehicles by incorporating an electric compressor in addition to the already impressive 2 compressors (turbochargers). I’m not sure at what point technology goes too far in adding complexity but improving performance, but this is one impressive TDI! (link and video illustration below)

Our BMW X5 35d loves cheap diesel fuel ;-)

| August 14, 2016

First let me qualify, this is the discounted United Dairy Farmers (UDF – Mobil) price for diesel … but I’m not complaining about $2.14 either (current Aug 2016 price). It isn’t like we need an excuse to buy milkshakes, but their summer promotion in discounts fuel is the little push I need to bring home […]

How To: Cleaning silicone sealant from a car window

| August 1, 2016

What a pain! Silicone all over the side of my Honda Odyssey. Have you have ever had to remove silicone sealant from a surface? It is not fun. Thankfully the majority of what was purposely or accidentally (hmm?) drizzled or wiped all over my minivan this past year in Florida was on the side windows. […]

Cars are breaking down at record rates

| July 25, 2016

Despite advances in automotive technology, roadside service calls to AAA were higher than ever last year. The causes were often new tech and new design. Drilling down a bit, AAA points to tires and keys above all else. The organization stated that cars less than five years old were responsible for a disproportionate number of […]

The Acoustic Function that lead to the VW emissions scandal

| July 23, 2016

The development of Volkswagen’s emission defeating device may have initially had the best of intentions, according to Road and Track. It started with engineers in 1999 who were working to quiet the diesel clatter on an Audi V-6 engine. They were  using "Pilot Injection" to inject an additional amount of fuel to a cylinder when […]

And you thought Airstream trailers had a classic style?

| July 14, 2016

For Volkswagen fanatics who like travel and camping, there aren’t many better ways to show  your VW love than a Dub-Box Trailer. These lightweight trailers are unique and beckon back to day when the roads were open and free … so as long as you have a few bucks for gas and were not in a […]

Found an authentic Hawk emblem for the Packard

| July 12, 2016

A week or so ago I posted a "to do" list item that I really should helped my dad with when he asked. He loved all old cars and in particular showing his off. I remember him asking if the Internet could be used to help search for  a missing a trunk emblem for his […]

The 2010 BMW X5 35d is finally ready to be my daily driver

| July 11, 2016

Spent a few hours under our 2010 BMW X5 35d this weekend to finish up the rust treatment and before reinstalling the shields and skidplate. The procedure was the same as I used on the old Mercedes 300D Turbodiesel, Skyco’s Oxypho, except the BMW only has a little light rust on the frame. I’m really […]

The engine bay of our BMW X5 35d has been put back together

| July 5, 2016

As mentioned on Saturday, the project over the July 4th holiday was to put the new plastic parts shielding the engine bay from the cabin air and water drains back under the hood of our 2010 BMW X5 35d. I’m not sure it quiets the diesel engine all that much, but should be an improvement […]

How much OEM BMW plastic can you buy for $200?

| July 3, 2016

Plastic is not cheap when it comes to engine compartment parts for our BMW X5 35d, although parts for most cars are all pretty expensive … but what other options are there? Since they just came in today (Saturday), I’m hoping to work one the car Sunday or Monday – we will see since Monday […]

Archive: Keeping my eyes open for a Packard emblem

| July 2, 2016

The 1958 Packard Hawk isn’t on the "to do" agenda for this summer, but when walking by it in the garage, it is difficult to not think about things that need to be done. One particular item I need to find is a gold "hawk" emblem just above the trunk lock mechanism (sort of like […]

Doggies in the Toyota window – Pre-4th of July

| June 29, 2016

What Volkswagen TDI owners need to know about the settlement

| June 28, 2016

As Volkswagen prepares to dole out $15 BILLION in a diesel emissions settlement for their cheating, here is what VW TDI owners need to know (Source: Yahoo Finance): Who can file a claim? Owners of certain Volkswagen and Audi cars with 2.0 liter diesel engines from model years 2009-2015 are eligible under the settlement. The […]

Legend Bob Riggles rolls his car with Jay Leno inside

| June 27, 2016

Whew … luckily no injuries.

Finally closing in on a 2010 BMW X5 35d worthy of driving

| June 26, 2016

It has been a much longer process to get our BMW X5 35d back to road worthy than I initially thought. When I bought the used diesel SUV last year, I knew there were a few things I needed to repair, as well as a few items I wanted to tweak. After tinking on our […]

A broken tool, a stuck part and fixing them

| June 25, 2016

In rounding out and connecting the dots in a couple previous posts, I’ll summarize with a short post and what happened. When reinstalling the brake caliper slides the other day on the BMW X5 35d, I snapped off my Craftsman branded hex socket when tightening down the slide. It was careless on my part as […]

Installed a 2 inch hitch receiver and flat 4-plug on the BMW X5

| June 24, 2016

I’m behind on my BMW X5 35d updates as the hitch installation happened over Father’s Day weekend and I failed to get the photos to my computer. The process started by peeling off the body moldings which have every combination of plastic locking tab. Suffice to say, I broke a few trying to figure out […]

VW to Pay More Than $10 Billion to Settle Emissions Claims

| June 23, 2016

Volkswagen AG has agreed to pay more than $10 billion to settle claims from U.S. owners of diesel-powered vehicles affected by the German auto maker’s emissions-cheating scandal, said people familiar with the matter.The $10 billion-plus deal would address owners of nearly 500,000 diesel-powered vehicles with two-liter engines that contain software capable of duping government emissions […]

Ever tested Sears Craftsman broken tool policy?

| June 22, 2016

The tools my dad had were for the most part Craftsman (Sears) … and the sockets and ratchets that I have are almost all Craftsman … and the set I gave to for Taylor are as well. Interesting thing … even though I have a couple broken sockets and ratchets, I’ve never tried to return […]

Ceramic Front Discs Brakes installed on the BMW X5 35d

| June 21, 2016

It was past time for brake maintenance as the wear sensor on the BMW X5 35d has been warning me to replace the front brakes for weeks. After a bit of research, I opted for the Power Stop (17-1294) Evolution-Plus Ceramic brakes and am hoping to reduce the dirty brake dust. I’m hoping for continued […]

An EGR Race Pipe mod for the BMW X5 35d diesel SUV

| June 18, 2016

Finally found enough time to remove even more items from the BMW X5 35d … this time it was to replace the EGR and the EGR cooler assembly with a "gorgeous" billet aluminum EGR Race Pipe from FixMyVW ccm. The photo on left below is fresh out of the package and below and on the […]

How will the Elio achieve 84 mpg?

| June 17, 2016

Another Elio Motors update detailed more on a variety of engineering points (my previous posts) … particularly on how the Elio will achieve the advertised 84 mpg. Powertrain – An Efficient Union of Technology and Efficiency The other system we’re checking out this week is the Elio’s powertrain, which will help the Elio run as […]

Neil Zurcher packs his bags for a final farewell tour

| June 16, 2016

It looks like a farewell “again” for Neil Zurcher from WLW in Cleveland. I remember ‘One Tank Trip’ from our 13 years in the Cleveland area as we often looked for things to do when our time off was short (well it still is!) His trips were a highlight of things to do when our […]

Excitement is building, but the Elio is not in production … yet

| June 14, 2016

The hardest part in putting down a deposit or investing way before a company is even off the ground is not the fear of failure, but the anticipation. Elio is doing their part to keep the excitement alive by sending out development photos, surveys and computer generated drawing. So far, they are doing most everything […]

Desultory - des-uhl-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee

  1. lacking in consistency, constancy, or visible order, disconnected; fitful: desultory conversation.
  2. digressing from or unconnected with the main subject; random: a desultory remark.