Q: Sluggish acceleration, excessive gas usage, transmission not shifting properly and real heavy exhaust smoking??? Repair costs???

asked by on

I own a 2001 Chevy Cavalier that I bought used. The car has over 250000 miles on it. The problems with it are sluggish acceleration, excessive gas usage, transmission not shifting properly and real heavy exhaust smoking. In roughly the last week I have added both oil and transmission fluid in the hopes of it running better. No change. Any ideas on the problems??? Or roughly how much on repair costs???

My car has 250000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

If the exhaust has been smoking heavily for some time, a plugged catalytic converter would possibly account for at least some of the difficulty you are describing. But, that diagnosis is speculative. You could do a quick check on intake manifold vacuum. If vacuum is "low", below spec, that can indicate too much exhaust back pressure. A more reliable test is to measure back pressure ahead of the converter. If the exhaust smoke is a shade of blue, the engine is burning oil which, if due to faulty valve stem seals, is readily fixable. If the oil is leaking past the rings, though, obviously the engine has to be rebuilt. If the smoke is black, too much fuel is being delivered. Transmission shift problems can be caused by simple faults (such as a plugged filter in the pan, bad shift solenoid or faulty TPS) but shift problems can also be due to serious problems requiring a rebuild. To cover the possibility that your car can be repaired economically, that is the repairs are not that complicated or involved, you can request an engine diagnostic - rough running/smoke and the responding certified mechanic will let you know what will be required to get the vehicle into reasonably good running condition. If you have further questions or concerns, do not hesitate to re-contact YourMechanic as we are always here to help you.

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. Sluggish acceleration, excessive gas usage, transmission not shifting properly and real heavy exhaust smoking??? Repair costs???

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: I want to know if i should buy this car for $700 or just wait it out.

If the vehicle only needs a new axle (CV driveshaft) and a new radiator, the price is only "average". However, if there are any other defects at all, particularly significant corrosion on the brake and fuel lines, at $700 you...

Q: My alarm keeps going off and car won't start after changing battery, what can be wrong?

Hello, and thank you for writing in. When dealing with alarm and starting issues, you are really dealing with a miscommunication with the alarm system. If you have a spare key, try using it to disarm the system and start...

Q: My motor sounds like it is forced.

Hello. It sounds like you have a transmission that is slipping from the description you are giving. Some things that should be checked when experiencing slipping symptoms are the low or dirty transmission fluid, clutch problems, failing shift solenoid, or...

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...
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...
What are the Car Pool Rules in Hawaii?
Hawaii is widely regarded as a land of vacation and relaxation, and as such, its scenic roads and routes are far better known than the state’s freeways. But, as with all...