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 […]

Catching up on a few more Encore projects from last week

| February 9, 2015

When I was down working on our sailboat Encore last week (helped my friend Mark on Zola), I must admit it felt good to be in shorts and flip-flops for a couple days. The weather was sunny but not necessarily hot … but perfect for boat work. Primarily the goal was to meet up with […]

More work on the boat — the Volvo diesel among other things

| February 4, 2015

While walking out to the boat in the evening, I glanced down to see an odd looking object floating and then sinking in the water next to the dock. Sure enough a quick LED light from the iPhone illuminated the Manatee “sleeping” just beneath the water. The purpose of this trip was primarily to meet […]

A hardware-aholic is when you buy hose clamps by the pound

| January 29, 2015

I’m the prime example of a “hardware-aholic” because I needed to replace a couple stainless steel hose clamps and ended up buying over 3 pounds of used clamps. I know grocery and clothes shoppers do it, but my weakness is hardware … and perhaps tools. My recent eBay buy was a perfect example of single […]

Looking forward to Land Rover SUVs with diesel engines

| January 24, 2015

The auto shows across North America are in full swing for the winter of 2015 and while keeping an eye to what is coming is always interesting, there are a few quiet stand outs that have peaked my interest. The capable and respected (AND fairly expensive) Land Rovers have always been interesting, but in the […]

Fuel prices– What is wrong with this picture?

| December 23, 2014

A local convenient store today in Liberty Township, Ohio … December 23, 2014. As a Volkswagen TDI and Mercedes diesel car guy … there is something wrong when the spread between regular unleaded gasoline and diesel fuel is this much – over $1.50 difference! Ugh … back to driving the Honda Pilot, at least for the […]

An update on my dad and his not so friendly visitor

| December 13, 2014

Wow … just couldn’t believe the lower gas prices this week as oil continues to tumble down under $60/barrel. The abundant supplies and inventory along with the recession in Europe and slowdown in China has really put pressure on world prices. I’ve seen news photos of gasoline selling under $2.00 out west and while driving […]

Can I hold out for the 2016 Volkswagen Crossover?

| December 11, 2014

The U.S. built 2016 Volkswagen Crossover, teased way back in January 2013, may well be the replacement for my aging 2006 Honda Pilot that already has 200,000 miles – I’m not sure I can wait or whether the styling will change by then? It is starting to look like VW may give buyers a choice: […]

Flat tire and shocking blowout on the Mercedes 300D

| November 30, 2014

While buzzing up the interstate in the old Mercedes Benz 300D Turbodiesel, I noticed a slight mushiness and then a boom. After I unloaded a full trunk of junk onto the side of the road, while the snow was blowing (ugh!), I made a tire change that would have made NASCAR pit crews proud. Unfortunately […]

North America to see the VW 4Motion AllTrack as a 2016 model

| November 22, 2014

  Volkswagen announced their AllTrack concept to a warm reception back in early 2012, but to me they seem a bit slow in getting it to the dealerships. Finally though, we are getting closer, since it looks like the bolstered Golf Sportwagen will be in the U.S. as a 2016 model. For Subaru Outback and […]

Dodge Ram 1500 EcoDiesel awarded Green Truck of the Year

| November 14, 2014

The Ram 1500 EcoDiesel is the 2015 Green Truck of the Year announced by the Green Car Journal. It is the most fuel-efficient truck in the U.S. beating out four other trucks, including another Ram – the 1500 HFE. The other finalists included Chevrolet Colorado, GMC Canyon and the Ford F-150. The magazine made the […]

Clean Diesel Technologies granted new Spinel™ patent

| November 5, 2014

Diesel exhaust treatment technology has vastly improved diesel engine emissions over the past decade along with ULSD fuels, but the technology is costly primarily due to rare earth metals. According to a press release yesterday, Clean Diesel Technologies, Inc $CDTI announced new proprietary Spinel™ technology will replace the use of platinum type metals in catalytic […]

My new cologne–Old Diesel

| October 23, 2014

After our 16 hour drive on Wednesday from Cincinnati to Florida, Brenda and I were welcomed by our liveaboard friends Mark and Dar with a cold drink. They had already turn on our refrigeration making it convenient to repack a few items from our cooler box into the galley. I sure appreciate them keeping an […]

Why North Americans will like clean diesel vehicles – Range.

| October 1, 2014

The Volkswagen Golf TDI looks to be delivering smiles for 2015

| September 8, 2014

New York Times auto guy Lawrence Ulrich seemed to be please with Volkswagen’s new 2015 Golf TDI … But no crossover, and no hybrid for that matter, can do what I managed in the new diesel-power Golf TDI: 60.6 miles per gallon over 75 highway miles along the Jersey Shore. That’s my personal highway m.p.g. […]

Added a new fuel filter to our John Deere 330

| August 11, 2014

  One of the small projects this past weekend was to replace the plastic disposable fuel filter on my John Deere 330 a new inexpensive diesel fuel filter (less than $10). The new filter has a glass site tube and fits my modified fuel lines. The element inside this small filter is replaceable (3 for […]

New Volkswagen Seven-passenger CUV to be built in Tennessee

| July 14, 2014

  As hinted a few times before, Volkswagen has now officially announced that it will be building the new “yet to be named” seven passenger CUV  in Chattanooga, TN. The attractive American-sized crossover will help VW compete in the popular SUV/CUV market come 2016. Many VW enthusiasts (and potential new customers) with growing families have […]

Thinking about Volkswagen TDIs again. Thanks Tim! #sarcasm

| July 8, 2014

  Although it may seem as if our garage of family Volkswagens has dwindled in recent years (we’re down to Taylor’s GTI), I’m still thinking “seriously” about the new Golf Sportwagen IF it comes equipped as rumored in early 2015. Hopefully decision-makers are paying close attention to about every VW TDI enthusiast that I know (including […]

Settling into a comfortable routine of visiting with my dad

| June 28, 2014

Bob Evans with my dad has been almost weekly routine for over two years now – we started going when my mom moved to Dorothy Love, for what at the time was planned rehab. After visiting mom, I’d take dad out to eat — and and if he didn’t have other coupons, it was often […]

Gas prices rise as Memorial Day kicks off summer driving season

| May 23, 2014

I’m probably not the only one noticing the annual Memorial Day jump in retail gasoline prices kicking off the summer driving season. Yesterday most of the  stations locally (north of Cincinnati) bumped prices up to $3.85–plus per gallon for regular grade fuel. Thankfully on the drive home, I fueled up the old Mercedes 300D for […]

A Volkswagen TDI concept based on the 2015 Golf Sportwagen

| April 13, 2014

According to the folks at Autoguide, Volkswagen will be following the  VW Jetta Sportwagen with Golf SportWagen in 2015 and is teasing us with a diesel variant. The new TDI concept proposes an all-wheel drive 2.0-liter powerplant called the EA288 diesel. This new diesel would offer 10 more horsepower over the current diesel and could […]

A final goodbye to Katelyn’s VW Jetta TDI

| March 29, 2014

Good news … but sad news today. My daughter sold her 2001 Volkswagen Jetta TDI and it left with the new owner in Columbus today; hopefully it will mean as much to him as it did to her. The little diesel TDI is the only car Katelyn has ever known and it took her from […]

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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