Thanks for the reply.
A picture would be appreciated for reference.
I read about the cylinder rod issue before I bought the car so was prepared, and promptly secured it with a cable tie.
I've driven the car for 2000 miles with it like that and its been fine.
Drove it to work and back one day and was completely fine, then I go to drive it the next day and it was a suddenly a bag of crap; changed 'just like that' overnight. No warning or prior symptoms to indicate otherwise.