A Fluidampr Harmonic Balancer for the BMW X5 35d

| December 6, 2019

One of the engine components known to fail prematurely on BMW diesels is the weighty harmonic balancers on the 6 cylinder crank shafts. Perhaps the park is designed with the vibration rubber material that degrades or perhaps it is just the constant hammering of the diesel engine that is hard on the original design? In […]

Tesla unveiled the highly anticipated Cybertruck #video

| November 23, 2019

Tesla’s version of a “pickup truck” is being offered as a “green” alternative to America’s appetite for a consumer truck. Ford continues to dominate with it’s F-150 with Chevy and Dodge nipping at their heels. For some reason, we Americans want a pickup truck even though few use their dressed up beasts to haul anything. […]

Ever see a two wheeled VW Beetle? Let’s ride …

| October 30, 2019

There are few limits when it comes to loving Volkswagen Beetles – how about a 2-wheeled bicycle version? Pretty creative.

Learning about automotive manufacturing and Digital Buck

| October 22, 2019

One thing about waiting for a start-up car company to build a car is that I’m learning a lot more about the automotive manufacturing process. Nowadays, many of the parts are manufactured by suppliers to the automotive industry and then assembled. The same will be true for the unique Elio Motors three wheel tandem seating […]

Simple mount in BMW X5 35d for Amazon Echo Auto

| October 12, 2019

It isn’t easy to see this little magnetic bracket I made to hold my new Amazon Echo Auto low on the dash of the BMW X5 35d. I opted to make a little aluminum bracket that straddles the pushbutton switch blanks to the right of a few other buttons. It is fastened with automotive trim […]

Did this dad get that automotive anchor symbol wrong? #humor

| October 6, 2019

Saw this on one of my Facebook car groups and couldn’t help but posting on Twitter!

Tech Friday: Loving the new Amazon Echo Auto in my car

| October 4, 2019

Last week, Amazon authorized my invitation and gave me a promo code for the Echo Auto Alexa device for the car (it was a long wait, but they did discount to $24.99 for invitation holders). For the passed several months I’ve been using an Echo Input (no speaker) in my BMW X5 35d in an […]

A 1974 Volkswagen Karmann Ghia: The 2nd car I ever drove.

| September 17, 2019

After receiving for my learner’s permit (at age 16 in Ohio the 1970s), my family took a long summer vacation out west. One of the stops was to visit a long-time work friend of my dad’s who lived just outside of San Francisco in Los Altos. One of the cars he had was a bright […]

Snoozing while a Tesla autopilot is in self-driving mode?

| September 10, 2019

If you are an innovative automotive manufacturer (ie. Tesla) or just a citizen who doesn’t want more government intrusion or regulation, then behavior like this needs to be stopped or prevented in the first place. I appreciate having my freedom and don’t want a bigger nanny state, but I know when seeing this kind of […]

Mercedes Benz W123: The Greatest Car Ever Made? #TBT photos

| August 29, 2019

Have I mentioned that I enjoy driving my old Mercedes Benz 300d Turbodiesel? 😉 “On January 29, 1976, Mercedes unveiled a new midsize car to replace its long-serving W115 model. Known by its internal designation as the W123, the car’s sober good looks and size seemed like a logical evolutionary step over the outgoing model. […]

So love driving the “Old Girl”- my 1982 MB 300d Turbodiesel

| August 24, 2019

On Friday, with August temperatures abating a bit, I decided drive the “old girl,” as my best friend Jeff refers to my 1982 Mercedes Benz 300d Turbodiesel. It is not rare that I drive our “EMP car” since it was my daily driving for a couple years, but now I do it far less frequently […]

The 2006 Honda Pilot served us well for 14 years #TBT

| August 22, 2019

This is not the Throwback Thursday #TBT photo I would recommend using when listing a car for sale, but the 2006 Honda Pilot we said goodbye to this week did have a few minor battle scars (1, 2, 3) and occasionally a little something that needed to be cleaned off (salt above and sometimes LoveBugs). […]

Our 2006 Honda Pilot replacement – A 2010 Acura RDX

| August 21, 2019

We have always shuffled our “fleet” (as my son-in-law calls it) and strive to keep the loss through depreciation on vehicles to a tolerable level … while still driving reliable vehicles. Thankfully our current and recent vehicles have served us well and regularly hit the quarter million mile mark before we retire them. In my […]

Another Volkswagen in the family – Taylor’s 2019 VW Alltrack

| August 18, 2019

Taylor‘s new 2019 Volkswagen Alltrack – 8/15/2019 After a fantastic week with Annalyn here in Cincinnati, Brenda and I are in recovery mode.  I’ll need to spend a little time getting back to my emails and piled up work but I plan on archiving a few photos from the week (in a day or so). […]

Was it that long ago? My BIODZL Volkswagen Jetta TDI #TBT

| August 15, 2019

Has it really been over 15 years since I was commuting back and forth from NE Ohio in my 2003 Volkswagen TDI (and filling up with biodiesel or seeing my car image on other peoples’ blogs?) Yes it has been awhile. After posting about a friend’s new Volkswagen Atlas (Tim Hunter sent me a new […]

Tech Friday: Overcoming Paywalls with the help of Pocket

| August 9, 2019

Currently, I pay for a few subscriptions. Some pricey (Wall Street Journal, Barrons, etc) because I avidly read them. Others, like monthly magazines, I continue to pay for and rarely get around to reading, especially online only subscriptions. Several others, I occasionally receive a link or click on one from those annoying “reader apps” that […]

Content by Netflix and Amazon and filming Hillbilly Elegy

| August 5, 2019

While Brenda and I wait for the new season of our favorite book-to-television Amazon Prime’s “Man In The High Castle” series, we (or should I really say “she”) got hooked on the popular binge watched series “Stranger Things.” It is amazing how our television habits have changed in this past decade? Gone are the weekend […]

Volkswagen is winning us back and easing bounteous warranty

| August 1, 2019

CinciTDI GTG at our house August 20, 2008 – Throwback Thursday #TBT It has been a while since posting anything on Volkswagen or to the TDIClub forums; I’m likely I’m still sore over their “dieselgate” failure and the company giving up on diesel cars in North America. Still, I’m drawn to VWs and their excellent […]

Falling back on fiberglass and autobody skills for house repairs

| July 30, 2019

The summer of 2019 around our house has meant more repairs and maintenance updates than usual. This means weekends have been busy with house projects and in also finding and hiring help to complete the updates that are too overwhelming for this one “aging” guy to handle on his own (although my 60th birthday celebrations […]

An old newspaper clipping and a great summer job #TBT

| July 25, 2019

When talking about the wide spread damage in the Dayton area by a tornado earlier this year with the guys putting on our new gutters (Raspberry Pi cam picked up one of the guys’ legs and tweeted it to me) …  I mentioned that I once did some tornado repairs in my hometown. I couldn’t […]

Tech Friday: There is a problem with live GPS rerouting

| June 7, 2019

A pitfall in real-time GPS mapping services is that, although they “can” highlight road construction and closures, they are not always accurate or give appropriate advice for detours or “route arounds.” This was apparent on a 16 hour drive back from Florida (see comment) and more recently for a road closing leading to our development […]

The Love Bugs are back and bugging Florida residents (and me)

| May 9, 2019

Although the Love Bugs didn’t seem quite a bad driving through Florida this past week as they were a few years ago (added old photo for ThrowBack Thursday #TBT), they still managed to annoy me aboard Encore and messed up the Honda Odyssey. Thankfully there were also several heavy thunderstorms when driving and since I […]

EVs are making inroads – Drew is now a Tesla Model 3 owner

| April 28, 2019

It was the long awaited delivery day for Drew (and Katelyn) as came down from Perrysburg/Toledo to pick up Annalyn AND his new Tesla Model 3 in Cincinnati. I was pretty excited for him and couldn’t wait to actually sit in one. I love the technology and it was so impressive that it almost has […]

Replaced the rear shocks the Honda Odyssey this past weekend

| April 16, 2019

Besides finishing the painful tax filing this weekend, I replaced the rear shocks in my 2002 Honda Odyssey  “work-wagon” and Florida vehicle. It is still the lowest mile vehicle we have, but unfortunately, it is showing its age … especially the rusting undercarriage. Still, it runs well and is reliable … knock on wood. I’ve […]

Gender roles and a repair estimate for our Honda Pilot

| April 13, 2019

Even in today’s gender-neutral world, there are duties, either said or unsaid, that married couples still assign to each other. One of them in our house assigned to me is taking care of our automotive issues … especially the ones nobody really wants to do. One of this past weeks’ tasks was to take our […]

For the thrifty: Do you know the best day to fill up your car?

| April 10, 2019

According to Gasbuddy.com as reported in a Fox News article, the best day to fill up your car will depend on where you live … BUT in general, “fill up earlier in the week when the traffic is a little quieter since there is more volatility and higher prices later in the week." The ideal […]

Is an EV is in my future? Gas Fuel taxes are going up in Ohio.

| April 4, 2019

It looks like Drew’s Tesla Model 3 will arrive just in time (he is currently waiting for delivery), in order to avoid Ohio’s additional 10.5 cent/gallon gasoline tax hike? This new increase will boost Ohio’s gasoline tax it to 38.5 cents per gallon; it is expected that Ohio’s governor will sign a bill which just […]

Good times and memories with a great friend for #TBT

| March 21, 2019

My friend Jeff Pitts has been my closest friend ever since our college years at Ohio Northern University (also the only guest blogger so far). Besides college, he was on my bachelor party trip, years and years of hiking and camping … including a great trip to the Canadian Rockies with my son Taylor, who has […]

Ohio gas taxes and a book by Kristin Tate – How Do I Tax Thee?

| March 7, 2019

I do miss browsing in bookstores … something our family would regularly do Sunday after church … and something my daughter and I would do “in the good ol’ days” when I would visit her in college. I suppose there are still a few bookstores around to enjoy, but nowadays I read what is recommended […]

Just a little diesel automotive #humor to end the week

| February 22, 2019

Normally, I don’t forward emails or reposted viral images on social networks … but as a diesel car guy and TDIClub and BMW forum reader … I couldn’t resist including this as a humorous response to recent Democratic Socialists promoting their ambitious 10-year Green New Deal to combat climate change (still shocked Bernie drives this van?) 😉 […]

Spectacular 12 car crash in lap 191 of #Daytona500

| February 17, 2019

Impressive safety advancements in car safety as a crash near the end of the Daytona 500 wiped out 12 cars. All drivers were fine and red flagged race has Toyota cars leading strong Ford and Chevrolet Cup cars waiting for a restart with 9 laps to go. A long slow ending … but great 2nd […]

Obituary: John Harold Haynes, founder of Haynes Publishing

| February 13, 2019

For those of us who grew up working on cars pre-Internet, the Haynes Manuals were one of the “go-to” sources on how to fix automobiles … or at least a particular brand and model of car. Last week  John Haynes, the founder of the publishing company, passed away at 80 years old. Although I also […]

What will higher diesel fuel cost mean for the economy? #inflation

| February 5, 2019

The prediction that diesel fuels will rise (“double in price” – note the last minute of the interview) is bound to impact the price of goods. Everything is shipped using diesel fuel, be it on ships, trains or trucks, and with those prices rising significantly, consumers will be paying. On the personal side, those of […]

“Poor Packard” – the old Detroit plant continues to degrade

| January 28, 2019

It seems there is no end to suffering in the rustbelt when it comes to legacy automotive companies like Packard. The deteriorating Detroit plant which has seen years of neglect saw one more nail pounded into its coffin … the crosswalk collapsed and was cleaned up in January 2019 (photos above). The iconic name and […]

BMW water injection and how it works to make +50 hp

| January 17, 2019

One of my favorite YouTube channels is Engineering Explained and in this video car guru and mechanical engineer Jason Fenske explains just how BMW used water injection to increase power at full throttle and high manifold pressures. Great stuff. And if this kind of "automotive engineering stuff" interests you and you like aviation like me, […]

Appreciating a heated garage after the first big winter snow

| January 15, 2019

With a “heavy snowfall” that amounted to about 10 inches before melting a bit, I was thankful to have put the snow blower on the tractor last week.  It was about the wettest snow I’ve ever tried to blow and that’s saying something since I’ve been removing snow with the John Deere 330 since the […]

Learning about the Packard Twelve leaves me curious #TBT

| January 10, 2019

While reading a few interesting older blog posts at Consumer Guide, my Twitter friend Tom Appel (@Car_Guy_Tom) post got me thinking about the strange company that seemed to be trying to revitalize the Packard car brand. The company built a prototype some years ago and by attending a few shows, generated some attention with the […]

Read between the lines – When will ElioMotors begin production?

| January 6, 2019

Last year, the chit-chat from Paul Elio was that production of the Elio was scheduled for the end of 2019 … far longer than any reservation holder had anticipated. I’ve remained confident and have ignored the doubters … but likely because I’ve put on an artificial blindfold to remain positive – who likes  admitting they […]

Waiting to put the new battery in the Mercedes 300D Turbodiesel

| December 20, 2018

Who knew something as simple as ordering an Mann air filter ordered from Amazon would delay getting the Mercedes Benz 300D Turbodiesel back on the road? I order a new battery “online” with free delivery since it was $20 cheaper than picking it up at the auto parts store (crazy!) and figured since I had […]

Fuelly.com fuel economy update: 2010 BMW X5 35d #diesel

| December 18, 2018

Here’s a “near the end of the year” update on my 2010 BMW X5 35d with a few modifications. Quite a bit more power, but probably not much of a fuel economy improvement. Nevertheless, it is a heavy SUV and I do tend to drive a bit above the speed limit. Unfortunately we’re back to […]

The AutoCraft Gold battery in the Mercedes 300D lasted 7 years

| December 16, 2018

If you can get 7 years out of a car battery, that pretty good. I usually start watching them in my daily driver after 5 years, but this hefty 950 cold cranking amp AutoCraft Gold battery doesn’t have to work everyday … although sitting might be even harder on a lead acid battery? In any […]

HowTo: Improving a plastic latch on the 2010 BMW X5 35d

| December 13, 2018

The design of the storage lid and latch on my2010 BMW X5 35d SUV leave a lot to be desired and now that I have new NON-run flat tires, I’m actually using the space under the rear deck for the temporary tire … so it was time to fix the deck lid latch. The plastic […]

The "looks like new" temporary second-hand spare tire arrived

| December 12, 2018

The final piece of converting our 2010 BMW X5 35d from run-flat tires to normal tires is now complete … a temporary spare. Unfortunately, I’ve lost much of my "under the rear floor" storage area (below), but have the security knowing that I have a spare tire and the tools to change it. The only […]

The 2010 BMW X5 35d has a new set of tires to start winter

| December 6, 2018

The set of run flat tires on the 2010 BMW X5 35d were pushed about a long as I dare … since even my "risk tolerate" son said, "Dad, you really need to get those tires replaced before the snow." He is right of course since I lecture him about "good tires being cheap insurance." […]

BMW 528i Rear Window Seal and Variable Timing Solenoid

| December 5, 2018

My son Taylor has been putting off replacing the rear window seal on his 2008 BMW 528i for too long but before the snow starts again decided to come over after work to put it in. It was surprising that this task was easier than expected, considering just how much I dislike fiddling around with […]

Granddaughter pleasure and driving with Waze GPS Navigation

| November 21, 2018

I upgraded to the stock display in my 2010 BMW X5 35d SUV last year to the Avin Android based Nav PLUS and it has worked well as a navigation display … but is way too sluggish so I won’t recommend it … although it might be the older chip and OS. Recently, I noticed […]

Learning about the odd hood ornament on my Packard Hawk

| October 18, 2018

For years I’ve known the odd hood ornament on my dad’s Packard Hawk (above) was not accurate or something that was original to the car, but had no idea where it came from?  Last week after an online chat and a little digging with a car-loving friend of mine, we did a little digging and […]

What a good looking car – 1982 Mercedes Benz 300D Turbodiesel

| October 13, 2018

A friend from a Facebook group posted a 1982 Mercedes Benz advertisement with a W123 beauty – I thought it looked pretty close to my ‘82 MB 300D Turbodiesel. Nice! When the W123 went out of production in 1986 it had surpassed the Stroke Eight as the bestselling Mercedes-Benz with more than 2.5 million cars […]

IF Elio Motors builds my car, what about trim levels?

| October 4, 2018

Yes … I’m still waiting on my Elio. I can’t say that I’m confident they will ever roll off the factory assembly line, but since my deposit is likely already gone one way or the other, I’ll try to remain positive. This week’s Momentum, the Elio Motors newsletter for customers, discussed their philosophy on “trim […]

Porsche is ditching diesel for good

| September 24, 2018

Porsche announced Sunday that it would focus on hybrid and electric technology and will no longer make diesel-powered vehicles. The announcement comes five months after a senior manager at Porsche in Germany was arrested in connection with an investigation into diesel emissions rigging by Porsche’s parent company, Volkswagen. Just 12% of Porsche’s global sales came […]

Volkswagen will be keeping one customer and making new ones

| September 23, 2018

According to my very pleased Volkswagen driving daughter, she’ll likely stay committed to the VW brand IF they continue to appreciate her as a customer. She was one of the first owners of the new 2018 Tiguan last year and has been very pleased with the first year vehicle. The performance, including regular 30+ mpg […]

Twitter is still my social network of choice for interacting

| September 15, 2018

A shocking number of Twitter impression for a simple Volkswagen Beetle update I posted yesterday – well over 100,000. I do use Twitter regularly to share and comment a variety of topics, but rarely have tweets generated more than 10,000 looks or a handful of retweets and likes (on the other hand, my blog’s Google […]

Obit: Actor, director and "Bandit" Burt Reynolds dead at 82

| September 7, 2018

Of course my reference by including "The Bandit" in a tribute post to the passing of Burt Reynolds has a lot to do with how I remember him; he died after a heart attack on Thursday 9/6/2018 at age 82. The highpoint for me in remembering him was the making of the Smokey and the […]

Chasing vacuum leaks in the Mercedes Benz 300D Turbodiesel

| August 22, 2018

It is probably something one should get use to with an older Mercedes Benz, but it can be frustrating and tiring to say the least — that is fixing vacuum leaks. The 1982 MB 300D Turbodiesel is a great car and has a limited number of electrical components compared to newer vehicles. That in turn […]

What did you call the 3rd rearward facing seat in a station wagon?

| August 16, 2018

I believed we called it the "way-back" … in both our Chevy Caprice Classic wagon and our Oldsmobile Custom Cruiser. The Olds looked very similar to the wagon in the photo! (from a collection of photos that Generation Z might not understand)

A couple of old Mercedes Benz diesel vehicles for the garage?

| August 15, 2018

As much as I enjoy working on, owning and driving my inexpensive W123  diesel 300D project car (swapped junk for it in May of 2013), I’d love to have a Mercedes Benz diesel of the same 1970s-80s era with a little more collectability? I spotted a couple cool MBs this week, although I am not […]

Brilliant yet simple idea for reaching loads on your car roof

| August 7, 2018

I just love good ideas. Here is one that I grabbed off of an ad on my iPhone that uses the car door pillar “loop” to hold a machined aluminum hook attached to a step. The simple step is used to reach items strapped to a roof rack or car top carrier. It would be […]

It would be nice if ElioMotors communicated like Magfast

| August 2, 2018

I have, and do, support a few crowd funded projects — I’ve placied preorders taking on risk and see it as taking a small scale venture capital risk (without much reward). A couple bigger investments have been Elio and MagFast. The latter posts weekly, and relatively personal updates via YouTube video, on how the process […]

With all the political animus, I debated this sticker on my cars

| August 2, 2018

Perhaps it is a sign of the times, but with all the political hate and violence over someone expressing their first amendment point of view, I had to second guess myself in wanting to add my NRA renewal stickers to my cars. In the end, I added them to the old Mercedes and BMW X5 […]

Oil leak panic for the Mercedes Benz 300D Turbodiesel

| July 29, 2018

Whew … I was worried on Friday while driving the old 1982 Mercedes Benz for a reasonably close business call as I noticed oil leaking everywhere. My first concern was for an engine seal or gasket since there was so much oil dripping under the car. As a babied the car home, I feared the […]

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.
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