The only way to travel ... new VW Passat TDI

If you're thinking about a new midsize 4 door car ... be sure to test drive the new Volkswagen Passat TDI.

2012 Passat TDI

Our mileage has been pretty remarkable -- so far we're averaging just shy of 46 MPG, with a one-day high of 50.2 MPG (moderate speeds and only a few steep hills to climb) and a low of 42.6 MPG (low speeds, lots of hills). Based on what I've seen, I have no doubt that we could top 55 MPG on a long, level road with a 65 MPH speed limit...

LINK for the full story

October 2012 CinciTDI GTG

Adding a nice summary by Doogie from the Yahoo List (below), but for some great How-To detail regarding the Lower Contol Arm work, check this LINK.

Thanks Tim.  Wow, those LCA’s on your car were for sure worn out, but the sway bar bushings you could see daylight through them! J  I bet after your alignment it felt like a new car!  Your aluminum skid plate makes me feel like I should bite the bullet and get one asap!  Btw, I like getting dirty!  Makes me feel like I’m doing something!

Thanks to Eric for the quick ride down to the hardware store to get a replacement bolt.  For those of you who didn’t make it, Tim’s mega-muscle strong-arm approach to removing the bolt that holds the torsion-bar dog-arm-to-LCA was too much for the 10 year old bolt, and it snapped off after about ½ inch removal.(He’s such a BRUT!) Thankfully we didn’t have to deal with removing the remaining bolt, as it was stuck in the old LCA, which he had purchased a new one.  So, all we needed was a replacement bolt.

Eric took us down to the local hardware store, where a misplaced broken curb jumped out in front of us, and POP!  Busted a tire on his spanking clean 2012 Passat L  Tim and I were amazed at how much room that thing has, and were quit envious of it.  Feeling bad about the tire pop, we jumped right on it like an Indy 500 pit crew, and had it swapped out before Eric could say “WOW! Now I’m Glad I got the Road Hazard warranty!”  His beautiful little (big?) Passat only has 3000 miles on it!  Quite a little thing it is!

Ohio biodiesel - is the cost worth it?

Being slightly bias toward diversifying our petroleum use and encouraging U.S. based "grown" clean fuels, I do struggle with saving taxpayers of Ohio money too. It's a challenging call particularly when budgets are tight. On one hand, Ohio farms grow soybeans (offsetting the burning of hydrocarbons),  industries hire people to produce biodiesel and offset a few barrels of imported petroleum ... on the other hand, market forces keep biodiesel prices higher than using oil.

The Ohio Department of Transportation spent an extra $3.3 million during the last four years on biofuels, according to a state auditor’s report, but clean fuel advocates say the benefits far outweigh higher prices at the pump.

Since July 2006, ODOT and other state agencies have been required to fill their vehicles with blended biodiesel when available. Blended biodiesel is a diesel replacement fuel made with plant materials, usually soybean and corn. Last year, choosing biofuels over regular diesel cost on average an extra 36 cents per gallon, according to the report.

Ohio Auditor Dave Yost suggested state lawmakers loosen the requirement or scrap the mandate, which would save ODOT an estimated $800,000 per year, he said.


Volkswagen TDIs still dominate diesel sales in the U.S.

TDI diesels from Volkswagen are the only mid priced diesels available, so it is no wonder VW has 58% of all diesel sales in the U.S. As the new Passat TDIs become more available, expect their sales to nip away at the Jetta TDI dominance.

Allen Schaeffer, DTF's executive director, said in a statement that, "I expect clean diesel auto sales to increase further as several new diesel cars are introduced in the U.S. market in the next year."

Once those other vehicles arrive, we'll see how the market shakes out. Right now, it's pretty much all Jetta TDI, all the time. A while back, we spoke with Lars Ullrich, the director of marketing and business excellence, diesel systems North America, for Robert Bosch LLC. He told us that diesel Jettas made up 44 percent of all diesels sold in the U.S. last year, which makes the Jetta sort of the Prius of diesels in America. Last year, Volkswagen had 58 percent of all diesel sales in the U.S.


The one-liter VW TDI is slow, but slowing coming to market

According to the blogs, VW is test driving their XL1 Volkswagen TDI around Europe. Most reports are that while it is sporting looking and thrifty on fuel, it is a dog when it comes to acceleration. Something grandmothers might like -- 11.9 second to get to 60 mph.

xl1 vw tdi

The technical data Volkswagen released only allowed for speculation – catching the car during its road tests allows for a more concrete idea of what’s going on. The car has high-tech construction to remain super light, excellent aerodynamics, and a plug-in hybrid system. It’s got a two-cylinder TDI engine, an electric motor, a 7-gear clutch, and a lithium ion battery pack. All of this brings its fuel consumption down to 0.99 liters per 100km – a whopping 237 mpg – and its CO2 output is only 24 g/km (remember the EU guidelines for the next few years – 124 g/km for all new cars is the goal). Even though its fuel tank holds barely over a gallon of gas, it’ll still go 340 miles on a full tank.


Are VW TDIs still able to compete for efficiency?

One would think that with the shrinking gasoline engines, direct injection and thinner steel, alloys and plastic being use in the tin boxes today that the fuel efficiency list would hinder Volkswagen TDIs and their small diesels. Nope ... the TDI is still the best way to have a solid car and avoid the complexity of adding amp hours of batteries and electric motors -- EV or hybrid.

The 10 most fuel-efficient non-electrified cars you can buy
1. Scion iQ 37 mpg
2. Smart fortwo 36 mpg
3. Volkswagen Passat TDI (manual) 35 mpg
4. Audi A3 TDI 34 mpg
(tie) Hyundai Accent (manual) 34 mpg
(tie) Kia Rio (manual) 34 mpg
(tie) Kia Rio Eco (automatic) 34 mpg
(tie) Volkswagen Golf TDI 34 mpg
(tie) Volkswagen Jetta TDI 34 mpg (sedan and SportWagen)
(tie) Volkswagen Passat TDI (automatic) 34 mpg

via LeftLaneNews

Excellent VW How-To Towing information

Using passenger vehicles to tow is commonplace in Europe, and thus most Volkswagen vehicles are especially adept at pulling an extra load.  Bosal, a well known European high manufacturer, makes the OEM hitches for VW.  These hitches, along with those made by Westphalia, are considered the best in the world.  Their no-drill, bolt-on-frame design gives most VW passenger vehicles towing capacity over 3,000 lbs. The Bosal Hitch for MkVI Jetta and Golf is available from our partner,

The second challenge is wiring.  Most VW models to date use a European style wiring for the rear tail lights where the blinker, brake and running light are on separate circuits.  US trailers, however, use an arrangement that puts all those things into one bulb.  Hooking your Volkswagen to a US trailer requires an adapter to switch from the EU style circuit to the US style circuit.

The Beautiful Towing Harness

US Friendly, VW Plug-and-Play

Luckily for us many VW models include open plugs on the backside of the tail light specifically for trailer wiring.  This article will show you the parts you need to make an easy-to-find wiring adapter work with the OEM trailer wiring connections on your A4 platform VW, otherwise known as the MkIV Golf and Jetta…