A Carlisle mechanic spent two hours nervously dismantling a courtesy car to find a customer's pet python.
Gary Dickson, who works at Lloyd BMW in Kingstown, removed the seats, centre console and part of the dashboard on Tuesday to locate the snake.
Eventually he found the 3ft-long python wrapped around the handbrake assembly. Unfortunately, it had died.
The garage said it might charge BMW under warranty for the work, on the grounds of a hissing noise in the car.
Gary Bingley, dealer principal at the garage, praised the mechanic for carrying out the unpopular task.
He said: "It was very difficult to get a volunteer to find a potentially live python.
"In the end, it was a rank issue and the senior man ended up with the job. I think he was as surprised as anyone when he actually found it.
"Initially we thought it was a joke, but when we realised the customer was serious it dawned on us that the snake could have been anywhere - in the engine, heater system, boot, door linings.
"It took four or five hours to put the car back together again and another hour to calm the staff down. But we'll put the whole thing down to experience."
After losing the snake, which was being transported in a box, the customer left the car outside overnight.
It is thought the python died from exposure to the cold.