Back in 2005 we were making our annual pilgrimage to the Lake Artists’ exhibition at Grasmere Village Hall. A short distance past the King’s Head Inn at Thirlspot the car quietly died and by great good luck it had a enough momentum to take it along nicely and enable me to turn off into a lay-by and get parked. After some adventures with non existent phone signals I managed to get assistance at the Inn and got picked up from there by a man with a car transporter who took me back up to the lay-by where the poor old car was winched aboard and we all set off back to Stockton-on-Tees whence we came. We dumped the car at the FIAT garage, Cleveland Body and Paint, and got taken home by the driver after which he set off back to Cumbria.
The cause of the trouble was that the camshaft drive belt had somehow got stripped of many teeth – see the lower photo above – with subsequent damage to the valves – top photo. It all got repaired – and cost us a pretty penny – but the car subsequently took us a good many miles both in UK and on the Continent.
The mileage at the time of the failure was way below that at which the belt should have needed changing and we tried to get some compensation from FIAT, but needless to say, failed.
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