Radiator fan switch stopped working (as did the replacement) leading to constant overheating.
Faulty valve on the interior heater matrix leaked radiator coolant into the passenger compartment - adding to the overheating problems.
When the heater valve was finally replaced, the temperature regulator handle on the dashboard snapped off and was never replaced.
Gasket seal between the engine cylinder head and the exhaust manifold blew.
The relay behind the dashboard which supplies power to the ignition circuit was mounted on its side. Consequently it did not work well, and frequently delayed the ignition coming on for up to a minute after turning the key.
The car was run with tubes inside tubeless tyres (no possibility of finding correct tubular tyres) leading to frequent blow outs as the inner tubes regularly cut themselves to shreds.
Petrol cap allowed water into the tank, resulting in the carburetter float bowl regularly filling with water, thus no carburetter idling.
Fuel pump failed.
Headlight wipers and associated cleaning jets (possibly items added by UK importers and not original spec?) worked only sporadically. When they did, they threw cleaning liquid everywhere but over the headlights, usually over astonished passers-by.
Rear windscreen wiper motor and spray jet worked only intermittently.
Bottoms of both front passenger doors fell off as a result of rust.
Brake fluid boiled when going down a severe mountain pass (probably my fault for not changing the fluid regularly enough).
The front seats of UK-spec Ladas were cloth, and surprisingly comfortable over long continental journeys. The same cannot be said for the back seat, which was too upright and angular for real comfort. However, my elderly parents appreciated it, because they found the seats easy to get in and out of.
The Lada's petrol and oil consumption increased appreciably at cruising, ie motorway speeds, making it a thirsty option for long distance work.
The Lada needed more, and more frequent servicing than its Western European rivals. Some of the advantages of the cheap purchase price were offset by garage bills.
Despite the Lada's image as a cheap car, the price of spares was not noticeably cheaper than those for basic level Western European cars, and the parts were usually less reliable.
During the time I owned the Lada, UK dealerships were closing down fast. It became an increasing problem to find spares - at any price. Things seemed no better in France and Belgium (where the car also had its share of breakdowns).
The Lada gave me the perfect excuse for being late for anything and everything - everyone expected it to break down on the way.
People treated the Lada as a joke, and were always keen to hear stories about the latest breakdown. It was a great ice-breaker at parties.
Owning a Lada taught me a lot about how to deal with, and ultimately to avoid, roadside breakdowns, and in particular how to keep the juice running through electrical circuits.