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: Q: Getting horrible gas mileage.

When you say you are getting horrible gas mileage, you do not specify how bad. If another shop says it is running ok then it may be OK. If you are getting a drop of more than 2 to 3...

Q: Plan on buying a 2007 impala SS with 124,000 miles on it. Would that be a good purchase?

Hi there. When it comes to buying a pre-owned vehicle, it is best to perform a pre-purchase inspection to make sure that the engine, transmission, drivetrain, and suspension is all in order and working condition. Also it is best to...

Q: Car won't go

If the vehicle is in drive and it will not move, then it may be a serious transmission failure. This is not uncommon on this vehicle. If the shifter feels a little looser than usual, then most of the time...

Related articles

Rules of the Road For Iowa Drivers
Driving on the roads requires knowledge of the rules, many of which are based on common sense and courtesy. However, even though you know the rules in...
How to Avoid Back Pain in a Car
If you have back problems, sitting in a car for an extended period of time can be excruciating. Even without back problems, you could experience discomfort and soreness from...
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.