I left work yesterday afternoon, and as I turned into the local High St, a hideous, high-vibration, hollow, metallic graunching sound emanated from up front - OMG!
I immediately stopped the car, thinking something catastrophic had befallen the (somewhat remapped) engine. A few weird noises here and there over the previous days - and now this - had me wondering whether my turbo had blown apart and entered the engine, or similarly, the swirlflaps
. A quick look under the bonnet revealed nothing much out of the ordinary to my relatively untrained eye, and I got on the blower to Ned at Autolusso (my car was actually booked in with him next Monday for some coilovers and I seemed to remember he had a recovery truck).
Well, Ned doesn't have a recovery truck any more, but he knew a man who did - Clive, at BlueDot Recovery (who used to work for Ned). Ned kindly arranged for Clive to drive from Hemel Hempstead to Borehamwood to come pick up this damson in distress (I was purple-coloured by now, as the rush hour traffic crawled past me). He arrived in good time and loaded me up on his lowloader with hydraulic 'bed' and power-winch which amazed me! He carefully strapped her on and off we drove to Houghton Regis, where Autolusso are. One of Ned's guys was still there at 6.30 and gave me the keys to a 147 courtesy car, and I left my baby in their car park.
So, today, the dreaded call finally arrived: Ned - 'are you sitting down, and how healthy is your bank balance?' Well, thinking that it was going to be expensive, I was already contemplating whether to continue with the new coilovers next Monday. I coughed loudly, and then Ned gave me the news...the bolt from an engine mount has fallen out, resulting in the engine leaning back and touching the subframe and driveshaft, and making that hideous, expensive-sounding noise. 'Is that all' says I. 'Yes' says Ned. PHEW!
Unbelievable! I guess if I had
carried on driving, serious damage would
have occurred. As it was, Clive's recovery charge was VERY reasonable (I would recommend him unreservedly) and some of the stories he told me about Ned during the drive to Autolusso made my toes curl too
So, a lucky escape for me, and a big thank you to Clive and Ned
And, how lucky am I, to have two of the best Alfa guys in the business - Ned at Autolusso and Jamie at Alfaworkshop - within driving distance of me?
And looking forward to the Eibach coilover kit and ARB kit next week!