Sorry if this is the wrong place..
Bought my 2000 Fiesta in August last year, first car so didn't expect much from it. 69K on the clock.
Straight away ditched the copper pipes where the HCV was and put a cheap one in, battery went shortly after, got a new one of those too. Flushed the coolant (it was brown!) and changed oil and filter. Got the squeaking alternator belt changed too, but didn't stop the squeaking.
All was fine until I got stuck in Birmingham traffic (after about 30 mins on the motorway), car overheated and only kept running by me having the blowers on full, sunroof open, me sweating like a pig! This was December by the way.
Noticed a pool of water in the number 1 spark plug pit (near the thermostat) so was planning to get the stat & gasket checked and changed. I then realised how low I was on oil and coolant and after driving for a month or so, regularly topping up both, I got someone to change the head gasket. He was nice enough to put a new fan switch in (fan works and comes on), clean up the valves, new valve stem seals, new plugs (one was in a couple of pieces) and discovered there actually wasn't a thermostat in the car, so put one of them in too.
All is well right?
No, the alternator belt had lost a rib by this point and decided to shred itself on the M6 after I got into stop-start traffic (again after about 30 mins of motorway driving), car overheated but I'm pretty sure the head gasket is still in one piece.
Got a new belt for free as the old part was still in warranty (6 month old) but was told that it could have been the water pump seizing that finally killed the old belt. Also need another HCV as its stuck open.
I have also noticed that if I drive for a while without changing gear then the clutch gets very heavy for the first few pumps of the pedal.
The car seemed a little down on power and struggled a lot more than before, get to about 40-45 in third and wasn't having any more. There was noticeably more vibration when idling too, and today after a drive up to temp (including better performance - 50-55 in third) and then 10 mins in the shop it didn't want to start. Turned over well but needed some gas to get it going, and then down the road felt really low on power. I have always managed to start without issues.
Now I'm getting a little paranoid that my water pump is faulty or that there's other parasitic loads somewhere that's draining the car's power. I have a fair bit of confidence in the repair work too. Now on about 76'000 miles.
Any suggestions what it could be? What to look for and how to check?
Much appreciated guys!!