Sorry for the delayed response - been a busy couple of weeks!!
So I got in touch with the garage I bought it from and, to their credit, they were very helpful and arranged for someone to pick up the car and take it to them so they could diagnose why it failed.
Next day got a call to say the car was ready for collection!
Amazingly there was no damage to anything inside the engine. No bent valves or pistons or rocker arms! Apparently the garage have had a handful of these engines that have had the Cambelt go (not really sure what to make of this comment!), and generally they don't seem to cause any damage internally! Seems the TBi is perhaps a non-interference engine?
The reason the Cambelt went was due to the tensioner! It had apparently failed and made the belt slip off the teeth. I asked to see the part which was clearly broken. I don't really know how the tensioner fully works mechanically but the moving part that interacts with the belt had managed to come out of its internal housing so was no longer being held in position. (sorry for the poor diagnosis). Ultimately the tensioner gave way. The dealership assured me that they changed the tensioner when they changed the cambelt and waterpump in the presales service and that Alfa Romeo parts have a 12 month warranty so the dealership didn't feel that this was their responsibility and there was no go back through to Alfa Romeo. As a 'good-will' gesture the garage didn't charge for the new tensioner and halved the labour time, but this still came to £500 for the new cambelt kit and they changed the waterpump again while they were in there. I reluctantly paid under protest, so some good fun and games to be had trying to claim back this cost... There is no way the tensioner should of failed after 25K miles so I shouldn't have to foot the bill!
Anyway, having got the car back, it doesn't seem to be running as smoothly as it did before. e.g. it idles on 1000 revs instead of 750 and is working to stay on. In fact when I started it on Tuesday, after already driving for half an hour with no problems, the engine had a heavy shudder and it was really struggling. The engine warning light came on and told me to get the engine checked. I drove quite literally up the road needing to give it some gas for it to not struggle and turned it off. Turned it back on 5 minutes later and it was back to how it was before, (not before the Cambelt slipped), but no engine warning light. Drove another 150-250 miles with the engine idling high but no real problems, though I came to start it Friday morning and... nothing. The starter motor won't turn over - took a video the second time I tried.
The electrics carry on crunching/processing after I take the key out for about 2 minutes which doesn't sound very good at all, so I don't know if its the electrics or the starter motor.
Has anyone else had any similar issues with the electrics. I dont think this is related to the cambelt problems I had but could it be? The car has been faultless until the cambelt came off. Now I've got problems with the engine struggling and now it won't turn on
Any guidance would be greatly appreciated!!!
Thanks in advance!