Q: Car losing gas mileage and not much power

asked by on

My car has been continually losing gas mileage. It started getting 20+ mpg and now it is only getting 18 mpg. Every week it is getting steadily worse. The engine has no miss. I tried using a can of injector cleaner two weeks ago, but it did not help the problem. My house is 15 miles from town and I started taking back roads so that I could drive slowly to make the gasoline last longer. But that plan hasn't been working either. Another problem is that my car does not have much power; it has been sluggish this summer since it was given to me. Perhaps I should cut off the catalytic converter and run it straight to the exhaust pipe without the converter. Yet, another problem is that the brakes are making noises and they also bind. The transmission shifts in a strange way and 1st gear feels like it is slipping a little. The 2nd gear is quick, hard, and jerks (sometimes it jerks me forward). I recently had a problem with a dead battery and yesterday I found that the cables were loose, so I tightened them. I am hoping to do the repairs myself and would you please tell me on which area I should start?

Hello there, thank you for asking about your 1989 Buick Reatta. Vehicles lose both mileage and power over time - especially after 27 years! The only way to combat this is by keeping up on your maintenance and repairs. A well tuned vehicle will perform better in every way. If the brakes are making noises, the pads are probably worn out and need to be replaced. There’s a good chance the rotors need to be replaced, too. If the transmission is slipping, first check the transmission fluid level (this is done with the engine running and at operating temperature). If the fluid is full, then one of the internal transmission holding devices has failed, and the transmission will either need to be rebuilt or replaced. I know you said you want to do the repairs yourself, but I recommend having a professional look over your entire vehicle and tackle some of these issues. A technician from YourMechanic can come to your home or office to do these repairs and inspect why your gas mileage is decreasing.

Was this answer helpful?
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details
  1. Home
  2. Questions
  3. Car losing gas mileage and not much power

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Fair and transparent pricing

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: Whistling noise when shifting gears

Hello there, thank you for asking about your 1989 Buick Reatta. Your gas mileage will vary depending on what kind of driving you're doing. It's possible the first week you did mostly highway driving, while the second week you stayed...

Q: Exssesive fuel consumption

If you are suddenly having poor fuel mileage then you should also have a Check Engine Light illuminating. The light will most likely be indicating a problem with a sensor like an O2 sensor or a mass air flow sensor....

Q: Need to know the real miliage on this car I just brought

Hello. Each time the car changed hands (was resold) after 2012, any title that was issued would have had the "then" current odometer reading documented. If you search these records (in Ohio, for example, such a search is free online...

Related articles

What Causes Hoses to Leak?
While the largest part of your engine is mechanical, hydraulics plays a significant role. You’ll find fluids at work in a number of different areas. Your car's fluids include: Engine oil Transmission...
How Long Does a Heater Control Valve Last?
Keeping the right amount of coolant in a car is essential in keeping the engine at the right temperature. Failing to have the right amount of coolant or even bad elements...
P2103 OBD-II Trouble Code: Throttle Actuator Control Motor Circuit High
P2103 means there is a fault with the throttle actuator control motor circuit, likely due to a defective electrical component or part.