Added the magnetic Nato Smart Mount to the BMW X5 35d

| February 14, 2017

A couple gifts I gave this past Christmas were magnetic Nato Smart Mounts for holding smartphones or even tablets in a car. After buying a first one for our Honda Odyssey minivan as a promo and liking it, I added several more to the next order as gifts. The final one I kept for my […]

AGM Automotive Batteries and what one can learn on hold

| February 11, 2017

The BMW X5 35d has been having issues starting when cold which seems likely due to a new Exide FP-AGML5/49 Edge Group L-5/49 Flat Plate AGM battery. I’ve gone great lengths to rule out almost everything other than the battery, and decided it must be a weak cell or defect in the new battery itself. […]

Getting a straw stuck up your nose can be painful …

| December 2, 2016

I’ve heard of getting a straw stuck up your nose … but this is ridiculous.

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 […]

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 […]

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" […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

A near perfect Fathers Day weekend: Cars, Sun, Family and Ribs

| June 20, 2016

We had another outstanding summer weekend weather-wise and enjoyed every minute of each day. I spent my Father’s Day afternoon working on the BMW X5 35d and installing a 2" hitch receiver (upcoming post). Getting all the snapped and clipped on trim off was the biggest hassle … but it is done. We enjoyed grilling […]

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 […]

BMW X5 35d update: Shedding some weight plus a new item

| May 28, 2016

It is amazing just how many exhaust parts find their way onto modern cars. They do a good job of making diesel exhaust clean, but the expensive and complex process is going to kill the internal combustion engine, in my opinion. I’m amazed at just how much "junk" I had to remove (above) in repairing […]

Still tinkering with the BMW X5 35d after limp mode ordeal

| May 12, 2016

Replaced the defective Throttle Actuator on the BMW X5 35d last night … unfortunately it did not solve the Limp Mode problem. Now to look further into the disconnected sensors after the ECU came back from Andrew Rodriguez and FixMyVW.com.    old | new

Downloaded iOS Carly for BMW app and ordered OBD adapter

| April 22, 2016

The saga of our poorly running 2010 BMW X5 35d continues while replacing component by component the SUV is inching back towards running condition. The most recent hiccup was a bit of a computer glitch after getting the ECU back from the tuner. I was hoping that as as soon as I powered everything back […]

Archive: Looking forward to seeing this at the 2016 TDIFest

| April 20, 2016

In an email exchange with Andrew Rodriguez of FixMyVW.com, he hinted that he’ll have a few new products up in Wisconsin at the 2016 TDIFest this Labor Day. One item that caught my eye was a billeted chunk of aluminum "goodness" as the marketeers say — he knew what he was doing sending it to […]

Newer cars are too complicated. What have I gotten myself into?

| April 16, 2016

What a mess of "tiny snakes" as my daughter call the the organized harnesses of wires connected to my cars ECU. I have to admit, I was taken back at the perception of a rats nest of connectors and wiring all tying into the BMW X5 35D’s computer. The air and water tight box under […]

BMW X5 35d weekend wrenching update

| April 4, 2016

In order to start working on the BMW X5 35d upgrades this weekend, I ordered a set of "star" sockets known as E-sockets. I picked up the larger set partially because I wanted the plastic storage box … and the Torx bits (already have "some") came with it — Amazon’s price with Prime shipping was […]

Downloading torrents and updating BMW Navigation maps

| March 20, 2016

  One cumbersome downside of driving older premium vehicles like our 2010 BMW X5 35D is that 6 year old technology might as well be 20 years old. The navigation software and maps leave a lot to be desired in today’s Internet connected mapping world. The current 2009 maps (above) have never been updated and […]

New downpipe and exhaust pieces arrived for the BMW X5 35D

| March 18, 2016

A few modified exhaust pieces needed to work on the BMW X5 35d arrived today from Canada. The welds look good, fitting for sensor "seem" to be in the right place and I’m hoping this expensive stainless steel will  last a long time. I’m opted for the version with the small catalytic converter to keep […]

Repairing the AC on the BMW X5 35d in the middle of winter

| February 10, 2016

My timing is probably not the best considering the temperature is in the teens this week, but since the BMW X5 35d is in the shop, I’m addressing as many “squawks” as possible. One of the known issues was that the air conditioning wasn’t working (paid less for the vehicle) … so after checking the […]

A long BMW X3 test drive — well, a loaner car

| February 7, 2016

While our BMW X5 35d is in the shop and waiting for a few parts, I was given a pretty nice loaner car or the weekend – X3 XDrive 28i. After buzzing around town for a coupled day, I must say that it is nearly a 10 in my book. I’m impressed with the styling, […]

First nasty winter drive of 2016 was not too bad

| January 14, 2016

This weeks trip back and forth from SW Ohio to NE Ohio was the first with slippery road and winter snow in 2016. There are sure to be a few more winter days this year, but glad to already be into mid-January. This drive was also the first winter driving for the BMW X5 35d. […]

New cars to admire–the 2016 BMW 7 series sedan

| December 22, 2015

While the up and coming generation ogles the impressive all-electric Teslas, I’m still attracted to gasoline and oil burners (aka: diesels) … especially the latest refined performance and luxury sedans coming from BMW. The 2016 BMW 7 series is particularly impressive, with its sleek lines and twin turbo V-8 engine cranking out 445-horsepower and 480 […]

A close call for this California BMW X5 SUV driver

| December 15, 2015

No this is not our BMW X5 35d … but it is my wife’s biggest fear. She has had several items fall off trucks or get kicked up from the road in front of her over the years. Usually it’s a cracked windshield or “thunk-thunk” as she bounces over lumber or whatever (alignment issues perhaps?) […]

Received this after TWO changes to our Liberty Mutual policy

| November 23, 2015

As I mentioned to my Liberty Mutual agent … “at least I know what my premiums are paying for – mailings!” It is hard to believe that removing Taylor’s car from our policy and adding the X5 could generate 14 multipage envelopes of policy information? That said, our annual auto policy renews in November… so […]

First road trip for our new-used 2010 BMW X5 35d

| November 7, 2015

  I took “Brenda’s” car on its first road trip this week without asking while making calls in NE Ohio – whoops?!?! It sure was an enjoyable car to drive … too bad it replaces her 1998 Toyota Rav4 and not my 2006 Honda Pilot. Jealously aside, I was anxious to see just what kind […]

More work than expected on the BMW X5 35d diesel

| October 26, 2015

I picked up Brenda's 2010 BMW X5 35d on Friday night and started tinkering with it this weekend (yes, my wife's — bummer! — but her 1998 Rav4 needed to be replaced). She absolutely fell in love with the panoramic sunroof (see below) and didn't seem to mind the “many” creature comforts either. There were […]

Got to love the Ultimate Driving Machine — BMW

| October 22, 2015

I’m fortunate to have a son, who even at 26, seems to enjoy and appreciate hearing his father opine and help hunt for new car. The two of us spent hours emailing back and forth, several weekends looking … and a few evenings after work test driving over the past couple of months … in […]

Continuing to search for Taylor’s next car

| October 21, 2015

Obviously helping (enjoying) my son Taylor look for “his next car” has not been good for me. I end up finding vehicles that I want rather than what HE needs. As my son-in-law mentioned, “you need to thin down your fleet” … so true! He has pretty much given up on economical and reliable, as […]

What about a diesel SUV … do I dare?

| October 19, 2015

While helping Taylor look for his next car, I ran across a higher mile (highway), one owner 2010 BMW X5 35d that needs a little work. I'm confident I can take care of the minor body work and paint … but nervous about the computer issues and non-working AC. After a little research on how […]

One hot diesel SUV: The 2014 BMW X5 M50d

| September 6, 2013

The newest BMW X5 diesel will be making its debut at the 2014 Frankfurt Motor Show in a few weeks and will turn a few heads; it is the most powerful X5 diesel BMW has ever built. The M50d is not planned for the U.S. but will make its 546 lb-ft of torque and 381 […]

BMW looks to bring a few more diesel to the U.S. in 2013

| November 7, 2012

We’re talking rumors here, but it did come from a slide at a source attending a BMW North America meeting. If you want to see those performance oriented and highly efficient diesel coming to North America, this is good news. 3 Series sedan diesel – first half 2013 3 Series Sport Wagon – second half […]

Looks like a 4-cylinder BMW diesel is coming to the U.S.

| July 14, 2012

Rumors have yet to be confirmed, but believe to be factual, that BMW will be adding a single or twin turbo 4-cylinder to their offering in North America next year. The 2.0L most likely will be offered in the 3-series which currently is available with a 6-cylinder diesel … a nice driving car by the […]

BMW M Cars get tri-turbo diesel – BBC Top Gear

| January 26, 2012

Hey BMW … how about bringing those all-wheel drive tri-turbo M diesels over to the U.S. BMW’s M Division may have started out with a raspy, fighty little petrol 3 Series, but today it stands for something more. Much more. Say hello to the birth of the 3.0-litre triple-turbo straight six diesel M car. BMW […]

Diesel passenger vehicles sales down 13% in September

| October 9, 2011

As the U.S. economy tries muddle along,  few new jobs are consistently being added to put Americans back to work. With confidence in the U.S. fiscal situation and our own personal finances low, it’s no surprise to see even new efficient “diesel” passenger vehicle sale struggle. According to the latest numbers, diesel passenger sales through […]

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.