Aux belt cnap caused cam belt to slip - dead 166 - now what to buy?
Sunday night - driving along - accelerating out of a 30 zone and suddenly it sounds like I have picked up a load of stones in the offside front wheel arch, but the stones don't appear to be falling out. 5 seconds later, the engine cuts out.
It turned out that the aux belt had snapped and started lashing about and ultimately found its way into the cam-belt cover and became trapped between the belt and one of the pulleys. The cam belt was still in place and looked good, but 24 bent valves later I am now left with a 166 for scrap.
Both the cam belt (and other bits) and aux belt were replaced about 3 years ago (26K miles) but after a dead alternator last year I am thinking that the non-specialist garage who replaced it overtightened it or something. What is strange is that there had been no warning of the aux belts demise.
So my advise is to have a look at it every 6 months and only ever have work done by a garage familiar with the marque.
It was a 166 3.0 Sportronic Lusso (with all the toys apart from the sun roof).
I am now left with a dilemma - what to buy to replace it. I was thinking of getting into some debt and buying a 3.2 GTV (I previosly replaced a 3.0 GTV for the 166 and miss it terribly) but I would need an additional car for the family. The price of another 166 seems hard to beat (and the broken one would be a supply of parts) but maybe I should look for a smaller, cheaper and more practical car (the wife had scratched the 166 in a few places already) and then invest in the GTV later in the year (when the credit crunch is less crunchy). I was thinking of a 156 2.0 Selespeed Sportwagon or maybe a Q4 2.5 model.
Any suggestions anyone!