Oh woe is me, oh woe is me .....

Here it goes, my 156 - will I ever see it again???

So what happened? I just pulled up at a junction and .... nothing .... nada .... zilch.

And that was the last thing the engine did.

One broken cam-belt, and a 2.5l V6 24 valve engine is lying in the workshop.

The first quote for repair was £6,000 (not from an Alfa dealership) - given that the car is only worth about £5,500, we were getting ready to cut our losses and throw it away (which seemed a bit of a waste for a car we bought for £24,000 6 years and 56, 000 miles ago), but luckily, a friend of a friend (a mechanic seriously into Italian cars) heard about it and is rebuilding the engine for us for a lot less.

If you drive a 156 2.5 V6, note that the service intervals for checking the timing belt are 36,000 and 72,000 miles - given that ours went at 56,000, after the 36,000 check was done by an Alfa dealership.....it might be worth getting it checked far sooner than the book says - I wish we had.

If this has happened to you, please will you e-mail us to tell us on deadengine@alfa156.co.uk....we have a feeling we're not alone.....and I'm sure Alfa would appreciate the feedback!

Thanks to everyone for their support and stories so far - we'll keep you posted ...