Any other 'lucky' breakdowns? (1 Viewer)

Apr 13, 2012
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Years ago I was driving in Mallorca in my Mk 3 Cortina, turned down a side street and could hear my engine bearings 'picking up'. I immediately switched the car off to prevent the motor destroying itself - the hexagon oil pump drive had sheared. A local mechanic 'knew' what it was and fixed it with a cut-down allen key - no damage to the engine(y)

A month ago my old V8 Jag suddenly lost all its water just as I was getting to work - you couldn't top it up, the water went straight through. I had recently been to Spain and back in it. If it had happened on the open road it would have been too late to stop the engine being destroyed. Turns out that there was a 2" long split in a rubber hose under the inlet manifold in the vee - impossible to see even with a camera. After the manifold was removed and new hose fitted everything back to normal - phew !
All done by a local independent Jag repairer - cost- £200 - bargain ! (y)

Any other lucky breakdowns?
 

TerryL

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Mar 5, 2010
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Borrowed my fathers Vauxhall Victor FD (remember them, great tank of a motor) to go to work when I was a cash-strapped youngster. It "stopped" halfway there and I called the AA on Dad's membership. Patrol turned up, diagnosed the problem and towed me round the corner to a small garage who fixed it for £8 before I needed to drive it home again later that day.

Snapped camshaft belt!

Mechanic said I was very lucky as they usually had to scrap the engine when this happened.
 

PeteH

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Nov 22, 2007
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No. The opposite in fact,:cry: Lent my Wolsey 6/50 to the (now) BIL. To take sister to a dance in Brid, (from Hull). Strict instruction CHECK OIL before return journey, (it had a crank oil seal leak and drank oil!). At 3am Myself and Father where out to tow the car in with, by then, No Bearings worth calling!!.:cry:. Ever tried replacing Main and B-E`s without removing the engine?. Just possible!, spent days on my back under the old girl.;)

Had lunch with them Friday,:rolleyes: Sadly he cannot remember much at all, just been diagnosed with Alzheimer`s.:( But he remembered that!(y)
 
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Barclaybasher
Apr 13, 2012
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No. The opposite in fact,:cry: Lent my Wolsey 6/50 to the (now) BIL. To take sister to a dance in Brid, (from Hull). Strict instruction CHECK OIL before return journey, (it had a crank oil seal leak and drank oil!). At 3am Myself and Father where out to tow the car in with, by then, No Bearings worth calling!!.:cry:. Ever tried replacing Main and B-E`s without removing the engine?. Just possible!, spent days on my back under the old girl.;)

Had lunch with them Friday,:rolleyes: Sadly he cannot remember much at all, just been diagnosed with Alzheimer`s.:( But he remembered that!(y)

I bought a 1950 Ford Zephyr - straight six

Car cost £10, engine had a knock

I stripped the crankshaft, replaced the shells, still it knocked

Turned out it was the layshaft in the gearbox which would have lasted

The next week all the big ends went - still got £10 for the car at the scrappers

The Wolseley...

Hey - he remembered it.....but so did you...
 

Kannon Fodda

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Feb 26, 2019
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15 years or so ago I had an oldish Renault Espace. Didn't get used much apart from when it was overloaded for scuba trips. 3 of us charged down the M3 to Poole to get the Ferry to Normandy, where we would spend a week expecting to dive some of the D-Day period wrecks. Booked in at the terminal and as I was about to pull away they said "what' that coming from your car". nice luminous green trail of liquid. Bye bye water pump :(

Fortunately I had AA relay. One of my passengers got their parent to drive down with their van, we swapped kit, and my car went back up with the parent via relay and onto a garage, repaired for my return. Meanwhile, feeling sorry for us the ferry company changed tickets for nothing, depsite the bigger van, and we wen't over the channel on the crossing 12 hours later.

The breakdown timing was very fortunate as I was too stingy to have any european breakdown cover. Something I've never risked since.

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tonka

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Jul 2, 2008
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I came back from Benidorm one summer and had an issue with the DPF sensor. Was on a go slow from Chartes up to Calais..
Went to bed and next morning the van failed to start. With my head under the bonnet a voice shouts "broke it Steve !"
2 of our Trade funsters had pulled in overnight.. Mark of CLS and Alan of DMS.. We got it started and i shot down on to the ferry, thought if i cant start when we land at least they will tow me off and i can call the UK breakdown :D

Managed to get home and a local garage fix. (y)
 

movan

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Yes Vic . I broke down in Cornwall once on a narrow road.. right next to a secluded beach .. All I could hear were the sound of gulls calling, the gentle brush of the sea on the sand, and in the distance music carried on the air as I took off my clothes and walked down the deserted beach to the sea .. Poldark appeared from behind a low lying dune and lifted me into his arms, carrying me back to my motirhome. @AntheaM said I'd had a breakdown but Poldark and I know differently.
 
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Barclaybasher
Apr 13, 2012
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It's good to dream Joy........

Especially those sort....;)

:lips:
 
2

2657

Deleted User
In 1968 as a student I was driving in my Ford 100E van from Hollinwood to Oldham after picking a mate up to meet with some others.

In those days the radiator hoses seemed to perish with alarming regularity and I always carried a roll of good quality insulation tape, not the plastic stuff available today, on this particular occasion the hose started steaming and I stopped besides a row of houses on Manchester Road.

I decided that topping up with water would get me to my destination, the Three Crowns in Oldham, so knocked on a house door in the hope of obtaining some water.

The door was opened by a man with the Ford logo on his overalls and unbelievably he had the very top hose that had ruptured, he even fitted it for me and would take no money apart from the cost of the hose, a true good samaritan.

In those days I would always stop if possible and try to help broken down vehicles with my very limited mechanical skills, but I always carried a tow rope.
 

Lenny HB

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Oct 18, 2007
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I remember leaving the caravan in France and driving into Andorra for the day. It was a Dhiatsu Fortrack, went off into the mountians 6000 ft up engine lost all it's water made it back down to a village found a garage the guy looked at if found the bypass hose between head and water pump was split, he told us well in sign language in the next village to go to the Renualt dealer. Renualt dealer was also a Dhiatsu dealer we found out when we got there. They got car straight in the workshop sat us down with coffees & soft drinks for our kids, less than an hour later all sorted for less than £30 & £15 of that was for the antifreeze.
 
Feb 2, 2015
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I am not sure whether this counts or not but..we were travelling home in our Honda Prelude a few years ago. The road in front was clear and i thought i would just play with the pedal and go for it. A car came up behind us and started to tailgate a little too close for my comfort. I put my foot down and it spluttered and missfired and so i pulled over. The fool behind went shooting by and approached the brow of the hill in front. Our car no word of a lie, picked up and we plodded onwards carefully. As we approached the top of the hill ...the guy who over took us and floored it, was seriously smashed up in a head on collision with a learner driver ! If we had carried on it would have been us ! Always belived in fate from that day to this!!

Kev and Carolyn
 

Lenny HB

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Remembered another one in 1968 in my old Morris Minor I was in London and the tie that stops the engine moving forward had broken and the fan blade punched a hole in the bottom of the radiator header tank.
RACbvan came by and stopped, in those days you could join on the spot and they would help you. So I joined he took me to a garage and a couple of tins of Radweld later and I was on my way. When I got home took the rad out and soldered it up and if course fitted a new tie wire.
 
May 28, 2016
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couple of years ago in the middle of nowhere in northen france our old 1986 hymer radiator fans packed up we managed to find a little garage. using google tranlate to communicate we managed to bypass the fans with a straight fused conector garage fixed spending a good couple of hours trying to fix when we asked how much charged nothing paid them a good tip seemed we still have a good relationship with our french friends bet it would have cost a packet in england and much shaking of heads................... Ian

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Aug 27, 2014
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Christmas just gone, on my Audi A6 it suddenly has no power steering - hose split somewhere, dumped all the fluid out. Late at night, only about 500 yards from home, so got home OK. Last time I needed the car before Christmas.

Had it recovered to an independent Audi garage on the 27th, turns out in replacing the power steering hose that a coolant hose was just about to go - where the power steering hose had dripped some fluid onto it, it had a big bulge in it. Seeing as how I drive all over the country on a regular basis, I count both of those as lucky!
 

Allanm

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I remember when I was about 7 or 8 going out in the car with Mum Dad and older sister. We were driving past a recently built children’s playground and I wished I could have a go on it. Just as we were next to it, the car broke down. Brilliant! Me and my sister got to play on the new equipment while Dad fixed the car.
 
Jul 13, 2008
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After two weeks touring in Spain my Suzuki GS850 broke down about an hour after docking at Plymouth, gearbox bearing went causing the big end to seize, I could hear a strange noise coming from the motor while blasting up the fast lane on the M5, pulled into the hard shoulder and it nipped up. No recovery at the time, but joined the AA who got me home the same day. I fully rebuilt the engine with a new crank in my kitchen....happy days.
FB_IMG_1558338875707.jpg
 
Jan 28, 2008
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mate of mine used to do devon to london in a porsche in the early hours of the morning at ridiculous speeds, got to the last corner by his home and the front wheel and suspension strut fell off
 
Aug 27, 2009
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I had an old van, the throttle cable broke on a dark wet night miles from home. I tied a length of string from the carburetor throttle spindle and fed it through the window. My throttle was hand controlled for the next 100 miles. It cut into my fingers at first so I wound it around a stick..(y)

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Oct 8, 2014
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One evening, I was driving my Sierra, and when as I slowed down as I approached my house, the engine died. I had enough momentum to get through my gate, and down the drive. I called the RAC and after looking at the car, the technician diagnosed a broken cam-belt. He said they would take it to a local garage.

The next day, about lunchtime, I phoned the garage to explain why my car had been dumped on their forecourt.

Their reply ..... "Thats fine, it was a broken cam-belt. It's been fixed and is ready for you to collect! "

You can't beat that for quick service, and a lucky escape.

Years later, I had passed the car onto my son, and he was driving it (fast I expect) when the cam-belt went again. He wasn't so lucky and the repair also included replacing some bent valves.
 

Bartyfixedit

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Years ago I was driving in Mallorca in my Mk 3 Cortina, turned down a side street and could hear my engine bearings 'picking up'. I immediately switched the car off to prevent the motor destroying itself - the hexagon oil pump drive had sheared. A local mechanic 'knew' what it was and fixed it with a cut-down allen key - no damage to the engine(y)
I had exactly the same failure on a mark IV Cortina. I was in my early 20s and late for a very important meeting. I was doing 90 miles an hour in torrential rain (the idiocy of youth).

Why, at that speed in those conditions, should I look at the dashboard? For some reason I did, looking straight at the oil light, and watching it come on. I was into neutral and tick over within two or three seconds of the drive failing. I probably had the engine off within another 20 seconds.

Similar story, I just replaced the little hexagon driveshaft with no engine damage.
 

PeteH

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Nov 22, 2007
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I had exactly the same failure on a mark IV Cortina. I was in my early 20s and late for a very important meeting. I was doing 90 miles an hour in torrential rain (the idiocy of youth).

Why, at that speed in those conditions, should I look at the dashboard? For some reason I did, looking straight at the oil light, and watching it come on. I was into neutral and tick over within two or three seconds of the drive failing. I probably had the engine off within another 20 seconds.

Similar story, I just replaced the little hexagon driveshaft with no engine damage.

Those engines where "Pinto" derivative. The hexagon shaft was always said to be a "weak" spot. And was regularly replaced with a section of "Allen" key, a much sturdier material.
 
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Barclaybasher
Apr 13, 2012
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In 1968 as a student I was driving in my Ford 100E van from Hollinwood to Oldham after picking a mate up to meet with some others.

In those days the radiator hoses seemed to perish with alarming regularity and I always carried a roll of good quality insulation tape, not the plastic stuff available today, on this particular occasion the hose started steaming and I stopped besides a row of houses on Manchester Road.

I decided that topping up with water would get me to my destination, the Three Crowns in Oldham, so knocked on a house door in the hope of obtaining some water.

The door was opened by a man with the Ford logo on his overalls and unbelievably he had the very top hose that had ruptured, he even fitted it for me and would take no money apart from the cost of the hose, a true good samaritan.

In those days I would always stop if possible and try to help broken down vehicles with my very limited mechanical skills, but I always carried a tow rope.

Reminded me of my 100e van

I knew there was something wrong but the van got me home - checked the oil - grey

Undid the sump plug - nothing came out

Next morning there was a perfect pyramid of grey sludge underneath.....RIP van

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Aug 27, 2014
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I know someone - and he is a lazy bugger (no it's not me :rolleyes:) - who had a gearbox leak on their car, one day it "fixed itself", according to him.

200 miles later - yes, you can guess the last bit......
 

Caggsie1

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Sep 2, 2013
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My hubby’s first car after passing his test was a Vauxhall Chevette. We decided we’d paint the wheels with hammerite, we were young and idiots, but at the time it looked cool. Anyway took wheels off painted and hubby put wheel nuts back on. Luckily we had to go to tyre place, they said he had put all the nuts on back to front! Lucky, as we were just about to do a 4 hour journey from north wales to his mums near Romsey, down south!
 

TheBig1

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many many years! since I was a kid
I have had a few incidents over the years but 2 stand out in my memory

Driving mum and dad in his austin princess, the wedge shaped one, i had not long got off the motorway when the front suspension collapsed and the nearside front wheel fell off. It had weird fluid suspension and the nearside strut basically exploded, losing all the fluid on the road. The car was a write off especially as my dad wouldnt trust it again

Second one was when i was doing a favour for a mate whilst he was on holiday. Driving his brand new van collecting from various casinos and hotels in central Bournemouth. I was just pulling away in a side street that joined a very steep hill, the engine stalled and wouldnt start. Just then an old mini came rocketing down the hill, swerved into the side street and crashed into the building in front of me, just where i would of stopped to turn onto the hill. Turns out the brakes had failed on the mini at the top of the hill and the young girl driving was so terrified that she forgot how to drive. After checking the girl was ok, i returned to the van and it fired up first turn of the key and no more problems
 
Jan 22, 2013
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I went out and collected a broken down Renault 16 Auto that had a broken timing chain, as the old Renault has the engine arse about face it means removing the complete engine and gearbox to get to the chain,
The owners gave me the keys and logbook and walked home, as he wasn’t prepared to pay for the repairs so said scrap it,
Had a bit of a brainwave! Removed the carpet from the bulkhead, used a bolster chisel and cut out an opening, making the timing chain accessible,
Fitted new chain and tensioner and welded up the cut panel, nearly set it alight :D and that car lasted three years before I sold it for £100
That’s what I called cheap motoring,
 

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