No Wonder They Lost The War(s)

My plan this afternoon was to go and set up a new bank account to handle the dollars that my Kind Readers are going to support me with, and buy a few groceries from the Kroger across from there.

“Hello, Tiggy,” says I to the VW.  “Ready to go on a little trip?”
“Sorta.”  Some miles go by.  “Nope, sorry, let me show you my check engine light, and if that’s not enough, I’ll throw in a little juddering and unresponsive throttle.”

125,000 lousy miles, lovingly looked after, and it does this to me.  (see title)

I just made it to Mike The Mechanic (actually Chris, but that lacks the alliterative impact) who, when I described the symptoms, gave a merry laugh and called his wife to book that trip to the Bahamas.

Even better, I’ll only get it back next week, as they’re as busy as Hunter Biden in a whorehouse with a wallet full of taxpayer money.

Which means that for the foreseeable I get to chug around in Sputum:

Not that I mind, though, although it does mean that I will have to ferry New Wife to and from The Job.  Or just stay at home, drink gin and growl at my screen.

Wait:  what was the first option again?


  1. It truly is a first world problem when your exotic German car is in the shop and you have to get by with your exotic Italian car.

    1. [looks up “exotic European car” in the dictionary]

      Nope, not there, either of them.

  2. You’re in Texas now, Chevy Ford or Dodge. Jeez, for an immigrant you sure don’t assimilate very well.

    I’ve worked on VW’s from the 60’s. Duct tape and baling wire will keep them running, but dear Lord the painfully poor engineering design! Doesn’t sound like they got any better since.

    1. “Chevy Ford or Dodge”

      Thanks, but I’ve had an F-150, a Suburban and a Taurus, and the VWs I’ve owned* have beat them all in the reliability stakes.

      *three Jettas, two Tiguans.

      1. Kim,
        I have to agree with you. Had a Ford Contour that lasted maybe 100k and a Taurus that was dreadful. We’ve stuck with Toyotas and been very pleased. My wife comes from a large family so name a brand or model and between friends and family someone has probably driven or owned one. The older Toyotas were much better. The missus had a 2005 Camry manual transmission that had 315k on it before we bought another one. Sadly she was the middle car in a three car accident so rather than have the body work done we traded for a 2014 Camry automatic that is running well.

        One of the missus’ Uncles had a Dodge pickup that passed everything but a gas station. He replaced it with a Tacoma I think.

        Good luck with your VW. I hope you get it back soon and it runs well for you.


  3. Kim, you are I think both retired and not as old as I. It is never too late to pick up new skills. Get a VW compatible Foxwell OBD/VAG analyzer. They are relatively cheap and will pretty much tell you exactly what is going on.

    Then you take the codes and go to town with Youtube. 99% of the issues are easily repairable unless the timing belt breaks, that is the one BIG eff up by VW. Wish they had never abandoned the gear drive or chain driven timing.

    I think I am on my 7th VW (two in the barn) and do pretty much all repairs.

    Learning how to TIG weld at the moment – self teach/learn with online resources then practice. Keeps one off the street . Sadly there are few gun ranges around here as that would be my other fun hobby.

    1. It is never too late to pick up new skills.

      The only new skill I want to pick up is this “cunnilingus” thing that everyone’s getting excited about.

      1. I can speak highly in its favor. Does take a bit of practice, but I’ve not heard any complaints.

        1. It’s not difficult to learn. Once you get past the smell you’ve got it licked.

  4. Oh shit, I have owned a bunch of Kraut cars, VW 58′ Beatle, a 64 Square Back when I lived in Krautland, later several, 3, Audi 500’s including a Turbo which was a most fun car and I also had a 300D Mercedes and a 380 SEL, kind of nice cars and when those kraut cars went whacky the repair prices on them we way out of sight, last one I had was the 300D which I traded of a Toyota RAV4 in the mid 1990’s, best trade I ever made because that little vehicle lasted me over 12 years until I bought my Ford F-150 in 2009 which I still have and with some maintenance I will keep for for a lot more years. My dear wife has her Toyota 2000 4-Runner which still works rather well for her in town car and they were both paid for over a decade ago. We don’t have bells and whistles or seat warmers but the a/c runs and the vehicles run and that’s what they are supposed to do.

    Good luck with your car and hope it turns out well.

    1. The kraut cars were always hard to repair, twice what a domestic would be bu they were good rides and much better with the lovely English stuff I used to have, not for the ride but the repair.

  5. I’ve owned lot of cars in the 44 years since I got my license. Five of them were European:
    1975 SAAB 99
    1973 Capri (German-made)
    1979 Rabbit
    1995 Audi 90 Quattro
    2005 VW Passat.
    If I were asked to draw a Venn diagram of my European cars and the five most unreliable cars I’ve ever owned, it would be just one circle. My tin foil ’88 Festiva was a paragon of dependability compared to any of those. Nowadays I drive Toyotas and never even contemplate the idea of having a problem.

  6. I have had better luck with European cars. The Chevy Monte Shitlow SS would throw a Check Engine code every 3 months. I was happy when the wife totaled it. I couldn’t get 12k miles out a transmission in the Buick. The Caravan did not have all the bolts tightened in it and things kept falling off where I limped it to 75k miles. The Volvo had 188K on it and everything worked until the daughter got T-boned by a jackleg in an LTD. The 15 year old car was totaled and she broke a nail. The Lexus was a comfortable car but was a slug on performance and got crappy fuel mileage. The Mini was a maintenance nightmare once the warranty went out and it was the first car that I had bought new I got rid of with less than 60k miles. The Ford Fusion was OK until Ford reflashed the ECU and made the car unreliable – the second car with less than 60k mile that was dumped. I then got the last year before redesign with a proven 20 year old motor design Audi SUV. We will see…

  7. If you buy a post 1990 German car you’re planning to keep past the warranty period, you’re a glutton for punishment. Same goes for any fruit of UAW labor. Unless, I guess, you’re a hobby mechanic.

  8. I bought a Honda CRV the year they were introduced (1997) when stationed in Hawaii. Had it for 21 years and gave it to my daughter to drive while in college. When she graduated last year I gave it to my nephew in Colorado. It has 288k miles on the clock and aside from a faded paint job and cracked rubbery bits, still runs well. Replaced the timing chain twice and belts, hoses and a couple of bumpers.

    Utility wise, my 2014 Ford Transit Connect XLT cargo van is the best vehicle I’ve ever owned. 28mpg, will haul anything except dirt and gravel, and has the half million mile Ford four banger.

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