Q: hesitant when i press the gas. and rpms below 1k at idle and makes grinding noise when started

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When i start my truck i think it misfires or something because it will make a loud grinding noise and it will only go to 1k rpms barely at idle if it even stays on. I can only get up to 30 mph and even that takes some time. I cant make it up hills at all, and the cat. Converter gets red hot. Its really hesitant when i press the gas and when i let go it trys to die so i have to press the clutch to keep it on and thats barely even working at this point. The oil gage is on the other side of the needle if that matter. And a boot on the small hose connected to the air filter hose and the top of the engine had a hole in it so i cut it from the hole and put it back on. I have no idea on what to do and every mechanic said it would cost 1 to 2 hundred to do the test the think they need to do and im broke. Someone please help...

My car has 180000 miles.
My car has a manual transmission.

Hi there. From the description you have provided, there would appear to a combination of problems, going on with your vehicle. The grinding sound as you start the engine may be starter related and could be the result of excessive cranking. The engine misfiring and barely staying on, could be caused by a leaking fuel pressure regulator. Removing the vacuum hose to the fuel pressure regulator and seeing raw fuel would be an indication, replacement is required. The catalytic converter getting red hot, is an indication of excessive fuel entering the catalytic converter. The catalytic converter may be damaged/restricted at this point and could be part of the reason there is such a lack of power. The clutch barely working may be, time for clutch replacement. The oil pressure gauge needle on the other side could be, a faulty oil pressure sending unit. Replacement of components without proper diagnoses, can be expensive and time consuming without resolution. I recommend having your vehicle’s lack of power be diagnosed and repaired by a certified technician, such as one from YourMechanic.

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