Wed 14 Jan 2009
Long time no update! Where do we begin? The volksvegan recently had some major work done on her (again!) after we broke down in Grant’s Pass, Oregon on our way up to the barter faire in October. Luckily, we found a shop there to work on her while we rented a minivan for the faire. It wasn’t quite the same without our beloved van, but we still had a great time and sold lots of t-shirts, soaps, and jewelry at our booth. Seneca put in new glow plugs and clutch parts recently, so she’s running like a champ once again. We also had the injector pump rebuilt with synthetic seals so that biodiesel won’t be able to cause any more problems or clog the injection system.
After putting so much time and money into the volksvegan, we aren’t sure if we want to continue running such an experimental fuel. So for the time being, we’re sticking to biodiesel rather than wvo. It’s sad that this technology hasn’t been perfected enough to make it viable yet, but the engine is just too finicky (and expensive) to make it worth it for us to continue using grease. We’re now looking into ordering biodiesel from a local collective, and eventually making our own biodiesel from waste veggie oil!
And now for the big news: we are the proud new owners of another Volkswagen! We recently got a 2009 Jetta TDI named Loretta the Jetta! We had been looking for something to replace our little Ford Escort that had been racking up miles, and wanted another car that could run on biodiesel that was more efficient for short trips and everyday driving. After doing some research, we found that the most efficient diesel vehicle on the market was the VW Jetta TDI. Unfortunately, they are very difficult to find and waiting lists are common (I guess that’s a sign that they’re great cars) and the used ones were often more expensive than the new ones. But, with the help of my parents (thanks mom & dad!), Loretta was found in nearby Ukiah, and came home with us.
Loretta is spiffy, quiet, and boasts VW’s new “clean diesel” technology, which reduces 95% of all sooty emissions. The fact that Jetta TDIs can get up to 50 mpg and that a tax break was offered on the new diesels due to their efficiency and clean technology made Loretta impossible to resist. And even better, the ’09 Jetta TDI was awarded the Green Car of the Year award by Green Car Journal. She’s our dream car, and we love driving her on the curvy coastal roads of Mendocino.
Now that we have Loretta, we hope to save our ol’ volksvegan from racking up too many miles. We’ll mostly be using the volksvegan for trips when we need to haul large, heavy things (like when we move into a new place just up the road later this month) and when we go camping and to local festivals. There are certainly plenty of festivals around here where our little home away from home will come in handy! For everything else, we’re happy to have Loretta, and especially stoked about the great mileage she gets. So far we’ve been averaging in the high 30s in-town and the mid-40s on the highway. Look for Loretta zooming gracefully down Highway One!