The Passat TDI: all 48 states, but how many MPG?

Some road trips are more epic than others, and I’m excited to announce that we have a pretty epic one planned. Today, two drivers, Wayne Gerdes and Bob Winger, depart from Volkswagen of America’s Herndon, Virginia headquarters in a 2013 Passat TDI® Clean Diesel. They’ll drive it 8,000 miles and pass through all 48 contiguous states over the next two weeks. The two friends are challenging the current Guinness World Record achievement for the lowest fuel consumption—48 U.S. states for a non-hybrid car*. If anyone can break the current record of 67.9 mpg in the Passat TDI, it’s Wayne.

He’s an automotive journalist and founder of, an online community dedicated to fuel economy. He’s set mileage records in more than 100 vehicles, including the record for lowest fuel consumption—48 U.S. states with ahybrid vehicle. Wayne will do most of the driving, but will share those duties with Bob, an electronics engineer with a history of energy and conservation projects. For the trip, the Passat TDI clean diesel will run on Shell ultra-low-sulfur diesel fuel and Continental PureContact® with EcoPlus® Technology tires, which help improve fuel efficiency. The car also has a Linear Logic ScanGauge II® for precise fuel economy measurements and a Motorola® Droid® RAZR MAXX™ HD smartphone to provide Guinness World Records tracking requirements. Wayne and Bob will be stopping along the way to share their experiences on our Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram channels, so check in to see when they’ll be driving through your state. You can also track their trip by following the #VWTDI hashtag.

Columbus area TDIClub GTG on Saturday, June 29, 2013

It's not really local to Cincinnati, but is at the home of a regular TDIClub member from just east of Columbus. Aaron (Growler)  regularly connects with a few of us in SW Ohio and is always wrenching on someone's TDI. If you are looking for a place to connect with other TDI owners, this would be a great opportunity.

TDIClub GTG at Aaron's (Growler) in Millersport, OH Saturday 6/29 from 9am until?? Food, Fun, Diesels, Diesel Nuts, and general good times.

All are invited, Please bring sides to share, Chairs to sit on and  stories to tell. Aaron from Boraparts will be there offering Malone Tunes, and deals on Parts (preorder and have it shipped to my place for GTG pickup). Paramedick Bruce is coming up from Kentucky. Frank Irving (Franko6 from TDIClub) is there to talk your ears off about Cylinder heads, Camshafts, and Injectors all day. I do have a low rise lift good for fluid changes (take all your old fluids home please) and Tire rotations etc.

The TDIClub and the generosity of people

It is during the challenging times when people know they are associated with the right groups and organizations. A couple groups I belong to demonstrated their true colors over the past few weeks. The TDIClub, a Volkswagen diesel car club of which our local CinciTDI is part, rallied around a long standing and giving member. Brian Johnson, known as "Oilhammer" on the forums, has been dealing with an onslaught of family medical and financial problems this past year. He has been a long giving and active member of the TDIClub and his expertise has been appreciated by all. A few friends (and vendors) in the club decided they might be able to lend a hand. I don't think anyone expected the caring to be so overwhelming, but the generosity and compassion of "good" people was amazing. Our local CinciTDI group was chosen to hold the raffle this weekend and shockingly saw a simple raffle of parts raise $13,125. Wow, it feels good to have helped out and be a part of this great group of caring people.

TDIclub Raffle for Oilhammer

Late getting this online, but a reminder the cutoff will be 2-28-13 at midnight EST

If you have been around TDIClub for any length of time you have heard the name Oilhammer.

Oilhammer operates in the original spirit of TDIClub and has selflessly given a lot to TDIClub as a technical expert, most recently as the developer for the fix of the B5.5 balance shaft/oil pump.

If you have ever benefited from any advice from CinciTDI, any of its gurus or nearly any howto on TDIClub you have been touched by Oilhammer.

Oilhammer's real name is Brian Johnston, I had the pleasure of spending some time with him at a few different TDIFest's. To say he is a stand up guy is only saying the minimum.

Despite all the good he has done, Brian has been going through a lot of hard times.

Several TDIClub members and vendors have setup a raffle fundraiser to help Brian out and you can cheaply win great service or parts from different vendors.

Impressive list of parts and services, especially if you need the service or part, why not take a chance?

Volkswagen teases US VW buyers with a performance oriented GTD Golf

According to Car and Driver, American VW buyers have a shot at getting the 2014 turbocharged 2.0 liter diesel powered Volkswagen Golf GTD. The new performance model will resemble the gas GTI, but offer a 184 horsepower and 280 lb-ft of torque diesel. Revs for this performance are incredibly low at not much above an idle -- 1750 RPMs. Transmission choices should be what is offered in Europe -- the six-speed manual and a six-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission -- but who knows .

GTD Interior

(Thanks for the link Tim)

CinciTDI winter Social GTG at Roosters


A handful of CinciTDI friends gathered on Saturday at Roosters in Fairfield Ohio with our Volkswagen TDIs and stayed warm inside most of the time for just a social get together (GTG). That's not to say a few cars didn't need a bit of "wrenching," but the temperature and wind chill would not have have made that a pleasant task – besides we only intended to talk and eat. 

Would a Volkswagen Crossblue Diesel Hybrid work for you?

Volkswagen is showing off a new DSG all wheel drive Diesel Hybrid this year at the 2013 auto shows and getting a fair amount of praise and criticism -- it is hard to make everybody happy. Some chastise the hybrid concept and others the unglamorous styling. Others see it as the SUV that they've been waiting for, but are doubtful that the price will be affordable. Who knows if VW will build it with the listed specs ... or whittle it down a bit to offer price point closer to "a people's car"  (doubt that's even possible). Volkswagen suggests that this is a "serious" concept and says  that “if it goes into production, the CrossBlue would flesh out the Volkswagen SUV lineup with a seven-seat midsize crossover that slots in above the Tiguan and below the premium Touareg.”

Here are a few specs to spark your interest:

  • VW's TDI clean diesel engine with two electric motors
  • DSG dual-clutch automatic transmission
  • Unique electric All-Wheel-Drive called "propshaft by wire"
  • Questionable 89 MPGe or 35 MPG as a hybrid fuel economy
  • Combined power is up to 305 horsepower with 516 lb-ft of torque
  • Estimated 7.2 second  0 to 60 times
  • Manual or automatic mode capable of running 14 miles on the plug-in chargeable 9.8kWh lithium-ion battery
  • Range is 661 miles on 18.5 gallons of diesel ... plus battery
  • Seats six in 3 rows with 12 airbags
  • 10.2 in touchscreen interface with user programmable instrument cluster


Autoblog wraps up their 2011 VW Jetta TDI test drive

The popular automotive site, Autoblog, wasn't overly complementary when it came to parting with a 2011 Volkswagen Jetta TDI after a 12 month 20,000 plus mile test drive. This current and slightly larger body style has been widely criticized for its "cheapened" feel and less than European driving characteristics. Autoblog drivers did however say positive things about the little diesel's fuel economy:

... we added up all of the fuel economy records in our logbook, divided by the number of fill-ups and came to this final observed number: 42.1 mpg. That's right, our average just narrowly bested the claimed highway economy number. And, to be honest, we could have done better if we actually tried. Many drivers noted fuel economy of over 50 mpg, with Editor Korzeniewski taking the cake with one 53.8-mpg run, which he achieved without even trying.