Friday, May 25, 2007

Consumers get what they want

In 1978, we decided to purchase a new car.

As is now, conserving energy was then the topic of choice. There were private wind generators, solar panels on the roof, underground homes and alternative ways to heat homes with wood. (Today, we continue to heat our 1977 built home with passive solar and a wood burning forced air furnace.)

It was with conservation in mind that we purchased a new, 1978 Volkswagen Rabbit. It was my mail car on the weekends and a family car the rest of the time. Although basic manual transmission, it had a well engineered diesel engine, which needed very little maintenance. The sound of the injected fuel took a bit of getting used to. We didn’t win any drag races. However, once it was rolling down the road in high gear, it had amazing power.

Twenty-eight years ago, we drove our Rabbit to Colorado on a family vacation and received 49 miles per gallon.

Today NPR had a segment on ways to get better gas mileage.

During the segment they talked about the 70s diesel engine and the fact it received very good gas mileage. I learned that the reason this car did not continue to flourish was it failed California’s emission standards. It probably could nave been modified at that time, but the public did not feel this little nondescript car was worth having. Beside, gas prices were not that high.

Enter 2007 and over $3.00 record gas prices and guess what? A cleaner running diesel engine manufactured by Daimler is on the market. The people on the radio show panel expect this engine to take a big share of the market in the near future.

It seems to me that companies supply what the public demands. In the end, it is up to us to lower the use of fossil fuel consumption.

NOTE: Friday, 7:21 pm

I've been off line all week. My internet connection was finally restored late this afternoon. Thanks for checking in. Linda

Monday, May 21, 2007

Happy 200,000 birthday, Sonoma

Dan came in from filling my truck with gas this morning and informed me I was going to have a key moment in my truck today.

Sure enough, I was only about six miles from the post office when it happened. I stopped the truck and took a picture. Something like this doesn't happen too often.

The has been a good vehicle for me. The only major repair has been a transmission overhaul. Of course numerous break repairs (Dan's speciality) and tires. Oh yes, there was that issue with the fuel pump. That was a little pricey.

All and all, it has been a good solid ride. The check engine light has been on for several weeks. Dan thinks it isn't serious. I hope he is right.