Taking a BMW X5 35D to the track – Thanks Andrew!

| June 20, 2017

My Volkswagen TDI and BMW Diesel friend Andrew (proprietor FixMyVW.com) to his BMW X5 35D to the track in Atlanta this past weekend. He posted the run on YouTube and since his “tune” and exhaust is what I put on my 2010 BMW X5 35D … it did getting me pretty excited. Published on Jun […]

It seems inevitable gasoline and diesel taxes will go up

| June 13, 2017

There was a time when I thought I could count on Republicans who now control the House of Representatives, Senate and Whitehouse in Washington DC to reduce taxes — how naïve of me. The latest going around is how "gasoline and diesel taxes haven’t been increase in years and how they need to go up […]

The Volkswagen TDI diesel scandal timeline and summary

| May 14, 2017

My take after reading the informative Volkswagen Diesel Scandal timeline article published in the New York Times a couple months ago was that the stricter diesel engine emission standards imposed by the U.S. EPA forced Volkswagen in a corner. With the prospect of losing business, they opted to "cheat" in order to continue selling their […]

Could it be a phantom electrical leak or just a bad battery?

| April 30, 2017

The BMW X5 35d is still without a new battery as the replacement batch is still not available to ship. I’m hoping the new mid-May date for delivery will not be postponed again. Last week just as I was running out the door for the airport, the car would not start again. Seemed to have […]

Our 2010 BMW X5 35d is now officially a great road trip vehicle

| March 18, 2017

We’ve taken a enough longer road trips in the 2010 BMW X5 35d now to officially declare it an outstanding road car … no surprise really. The driving characteristics of this 5000+ pound SUV are enjoyable since the handling is tight, interior space excellent, ride comfort “so-so” and highway power substantial. I don’t really want to […]

U.S. approves first fix for 70,000 Volkswagen TDI diesels

| January 6, 2017

After the initial wave of buybacks, phase 2 will be to fix the 2015 diesel Volkswagen Beetle, Golf, Golf SportWagen, Jetta, Passat and 2015 diesel Audi A3 by updating software and adding a diesel particulate filter, diesel oxidation catalyst and NOx catalyst. VW will now be able to resell diesel vehicles that they repurchased once […]

Diesels are not Done

| January 1, 2017

Much has been made of the death of diesel after the VW cheating scandal … but there is still room for debate and a need for diesel vehicles – innovation benefits diesel as well as EVs. Electricity has potential in passenger vehicles, but in its current state of innovation, it falls short to the Diesel […]

Disgruntled Volkswagen TDI owner not happy with buyback

| December 21, 2016

Now that Volkswagen TDI owners have to accept the performance debilitating modification or return in their diesel cars in for compensation as the settlement enters the "compensation phase." Some have been stripping parts off their cars prior to turning them in. Joe Mayer, in Cincinnati has take that a step further … and stripped "the […]

VW to Fix or Buy Back 80,000 Emissions-Cheating 3.0-L TDIs

| December 20, 2016

The vehicles affected include the Volkswagen Touareg, Audi Q7, and Porsche Cayenne Diesel.

Generator, Curtain, Solar and overheating diesel on Encore

| December 11, 2016

Wrapping up a weekend trip with a few photos tinkering aboard Encore. Some needed cleaning and a few improvements were the items on the agenda. First up, I semi-fitted the new generator cage for the Honda EU2000i. I welded the aluminum up in the summer/fall and hope that once bolted in place it will keep […]

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 […]

More repairs and parts. The John Deere 330 diesel this time.

| October 17, 2016

Actually this repair is long, LONG overdue. A decade or so ago when I was heavy into running biodiesel, a sticky batch of fuel ended up in our John Deere. I really never hesitated to run about anything in this little Yanmar diesel engine, but the biodiesel was a mistake. The solvent nature of the […]

John Deere 330 Diesel 10K Generator project update

| October 13, 2016

After doing a little maintenance and replacing the front tires on the John Deere 330 last month, I finally finished the simple 10K generator setup and wired up a new longer power-to-house cable. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to come up with a mount that makes it easy enough from my wife to connect the generator […]

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 […]

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 […]

Replacing tires on the John Deere lawn tractor

| September 5, 2016

One of the home/yard updates last week were new tires on our 30 year old John Deere 330 diesel lawn tractor.  It has been a great small tractor and the 16 HP Yanmar diesel has performed flawlessly year after year. I’ve rewired and “plumbed” (rubber hoses with Viton) the fuel system do to an electrical fire a […]

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" […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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

Maintenance on my old Mercedes Benz 300D Turbodiesel

| April 26, 2016

Since I’ve been driving the 1982 Mercedes Benz 300D Turbodiesel most of the late winter and spring this year, I’ve been racking up the miles and am due for a full fluid and filter change. Tonight was the night and after 4 filters (2 fuel, 1 oil and 1 air) and 8 quarts of oil, […]

Calculating the Costs to Society of the VW Scandal

| January 10, 2016

The U.S. Department of Justice lawyers on behalf of the EPA are probably sleeping and dreaming dollar signs … a still unknown number but calculations mentioned in the WSJ top $45 Billion. They have an opportunity to capitalize on Volkswagen’s willful disregard and purposeful installation of “defeat devices” on Volkswagen, Audi and Porche TDI diesel […]

When was the last time diesel fuel was $1.90/gal?

| December 17, 2015

I detoured to stop my dad’s house in Sidney Ohio on my way back from NE Ohio on Thursday night while driving the ’82 Mercedes 300D Turbodiesel and was shocked to fill up for only $1.90/gallon. When was the last time diesel fuel was priced at these levels? Amazing … but can’t imagine it can stay this […]

Replacing a Volvo Penta raw water pump on our sailboat

| November 25, 2015

As mentioned last week, the Volvo raw water pump (840557) aboard Encore was beginning to drip. This usually indicate a little corrosion (cough, cough) and leakage around the seal closest to the impeller. Instead of sending the pump out to be re-built for $165, decided to purchase a new Johnson “direct replacement” (10-24707-01) pump ($350) […]

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 […]

EPA, Volkswagen Spar Over New Emissions Claims

| November 3, 2015

When there is blood in the water, it’s a feeding frenzy. Just as we Volkswagen diesel advocates were thinking “maybe” the company would come up with a fix … then the second shoe dropped. This news includes more diesel vehicles, this time the 6-cylinder TDIs adding Audi and Porsche diesel SUVs. According to earlier comments, […]

My 2015 TDIFest swag arrived this week

| October 28, 2015

It has been a while since attending a TDIFest, but each year I do help with the finances and bookkeeping for a popular Volkswagen diesel car club. One of the quirks of the TDIClub is that it is based out British Columbia, Canada and yet our annual “fest” is held in the U.S. The 2015 […]

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 […]

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 […]

The Mercedes Benz 300D Turbodiesel after a winter slumber

| April 1, 2015

For those of us who love diesels, the sweet sound of an old Mercedes Benz diesel idling is indeed a beautiful mechanical sound. Below is a very short clip of my 1982 300D Turbodiesel waking up after the winter of 2015 hibernation. Really it is just a filler post since it is a busy week […]

The best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry

| March 22, 2015

Last year about this time I had mentally decided that Brenda and I would be cruising the Bahamas aboard our sailboaat Encore in March 2015, but as “life happens” those dreams were not meant to be. As the year progressed, both of our surviving parents had health concerns requiring more of our attention, Encore started […]

More work than expected on the Volvo diesel

| March 3, 2015

“Nothing that's worthwhile is ever easy” wrote Nicholas Sparks; that must be true since getting Encore's Volvo diesel back in shape is testing my patience and finances (but then we're talking about a boat, so that second part is a given). Thankfully I have a very experience diesel mechanic who keeps one boat here in […]

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.