VW TDI woes. Ford Focus. And a busy start to the week

Posted By on November 8, 2011

towingjettatdiMy daughter called to tell me her dependable Volkswagen Jetta TDI wouldn’t start. So far it has made it through high school, college, med school and to her medical residency without letting her down. Unfortunately it just cranked and wouldn’t start this time. I attempted to diagnose over the phone – having her check for bubbles in the fuel line and looking for a stuck anti-shudder valve, but unfortunately the little diesel engine just cranked without firing.

towingjettatdi2I put the call into one of my Columbus TDI gurus but he was unfortunately tied up … so I took a half day off yesterday and zipped up to Columbus armed with a new fuel filter, my battery charger and a few tools. Unfortunately the shorter day got the best of me and a quick filter change did not solve the problem. Since Marysville was only a short trip to the northwest, I opted to have the car hauled ($115 – ouch) to Jon Hamilton’s garage to figure out the problem and while there get the timing belt scheduled as well. Unfortunately at a paramedic, he is working a 24 hour shift and won’t be able to get to my daughter’s car until the end of the week … but at least he is squeezing me in.

Location of the A4 VW Jetta TDI anti-shudder valve and linkage

As for the Ford part of this post …

fordfocus_sideft fordfocus_rear

I left my Honda Pilot with my daughter and rented a small 2012 Ford Focus until her car is repaired … and on my way home was impressed both with the Sync to my Palm Pre and the excellent fuel mileage – at least what th display was showing. Mind you, I was on the interstate and not necessarily driving above 65mph. (not bad, although I might do a real physical test since I have a road trip coming up this week – image below)



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  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.
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