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

| June 29, 2016

Raspberry Pi security video and nearing the end for the Rav4

| April 12, 2016

We found out a couple things Monday … first, the Raspberry Pi garage camera seems to be working just fine after tweaking a few thing while experimenting in the house, albeit the video is a bit delayed (15 seconds maybe ???). So far so good with video … next to get some motion detection 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 […]

Rust is starting to take a toll on the 1998 Toyota Rav4

| March 24, 2015

While doing a little garage work this past weekend (removed snowblower from the John Deere) I crawled under Brenda’s dented and bruised 270,000 mile 1998 Toyota Rav 4 (Links 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6). Besides repairing an exhaust hanger and heat shield, I spotted a leak in the power steering and inspected a […]

Aging Toyota Rav4 door dings–what to do?

| November 23, 2014

For those of us driving older cars already having their share of bumps and bruises … we face a dilemma when a new door dent appears AND we see the person who did the “dinging.” That’s what happened to my wife the other day and she confronted the lady who’s door blew into Brenda’s Toyota […]

Be honest, you want to take an i-Road for a spin, don’t you?

| March 10, 2013

The all-electric TOYOTA i-ROAD makes its first global appearance at the 2013 Geneva Motor Show. With a width of only 850 mm, the i-ROAD can manoeuvre easily in urban areas. Turn corners smoothly with the i-ROAD’s Active Lean technology.

Comparing three efficient hybrid cars from Toyota and Ford

| March 1, 2013

An automotive enthusiast friend of mine, Wayne Gerdes, is a noted “hypermiler” and posted a well documented write-up comparing three of the top selling hybrid cars for a CleanMPG report. His efficiently conclusion is about what my gut would have told me when looking at the car profiles in his photo above … Toyota Prius […]

How long before all cars are hybrids?

| December 24, 2012

After catching up on a bit of automotive reading, I realized that improvements propulsion for cars is moving us toward hybrid vehicles and that there will come a day when “almost” all our day to day vehicles will have some sort of hybrid drive … be they battery electric or some other booster technology. Mentioning […]

The Rav4 fan motor gives up the ghost

| April 1, 2012

My wife’s aging Toyota Rav4 has been a totally reliable car since 1998 and it is hard to complain when a part or two needs to be replaced after quarter million miles. Thankfully the little SUV was designed in a way that accessing the fan motor was pretty easy, so a few screws to remove […]

Stylish design highlights the 2012 Ford Focus EV

| November 3, 2011

I’m at traditionalist when it comes to cars and am attracted to the rumble of an internal combustion engine and tactile sensation of shifting gears, preferably manual. But the world is changing and new cars have sophisticated automatics or are going gearless (CVTs) … and expect more and more cars with tiny engines to include […]

Volkswagen challenging Toyota: The new Passat vs. new Camry?

| August 24, 2011

What is it going to take to make VW the “new people’s car?” With a larger size and lower price, the American built Passat could give domestics and the favored Toyota Camry a run for its money. While the current fuel saving hybrid is not in VW’s powertrain, the interstate frugal TDI diesel is sure […]

Our aging Toyota Rav4 is almost back to acceptable

| July 26, 2011

After spending the weekend cleaning and “rebending” our Brenda’s bumped and bruised Toyota Rav4 into to some semblance of its former self … it now has a new piece of glass (opted for the $191.25 “real thing” rather than tacky Plexiglas). I can highly recommend Rich at Kiss Auto Glass for his quick service and […]

Toyota Prius v looks like an impressive family hybrid vehicle

| March 11, 2011

Truth be told, I could see myself driving the 2012 Toyota Prius v (Versatility) … but don’t tell any of my Volkswagen TDI diesel friends!   42 MPG City, 38 MPG Highway, 40 MPG Combined Second row seats slide, fold flat, and recline 45 degrees for comfort 34.3 cubic feet of cargo volume First-ever resin […]

When to bring in an outside death Panel for a car

| September 23, 2010

There comes a time when many of us are faced with the decision of whether to pull the plug on one’s … [pause] CAR. (admit it, you were thinking ‘spouse’) Brenda and I have been struggling over this issue for some time now and have nursed a beloved first generation 1998 Toyota Rav4 for over […]

What engine/fuel option will you consider for your next car?

| September 15, 2010

Earlier this month, the folks at TFLcar ran a non-scientific test where they compared three different fueling options in three different cars. All three vehicles are known to offer good fuel economy … but only one is fun to drive. 🙂 Unfortunately, the test doesn’t offer any high degree of accuracy due to the small […]

Maintenance weekend on 1998 Toyota Rav4 & Taylor’s rant

| May 9, 2010

My wife’s aging 1998 Toyota Rav4 has been a great car for 215,000 miles. We’ve had minimal maintenance over the years and although it is showing signs (and has been) of heavy use, it’s still running strong. The Rav4 has offered both my kids a good platform to “learn to drive” and has seen its […]

Volkswagen Jetta TDI meets the Toyota Prius ad

| May 27, 2009

I’ve been wanting to include this Volkswagen Jetta TDI ‘clean diesel’  television commercial for a few weeks now —  the “What’s your hybrid sound like?” answer makes me smile every time.

The VW Jetta TDI or the popular Toyota Prius

| March 2, 2009

In my circle of diesel loving friends I have rarely heard that people have difficulty in deciding between the well equipped 2009 Volkswagen Jetta TDI or 2009 Toyota Prius, but that isn’t always the case for those listening to all the media hype praising hybrid cars.  In case you are one of the few looking […]

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.