High RPMs, low power, and sometimes can't accelerate. on 1997 Mercury Tracer

This car has given me no problems since I got it back in March of 09 other than the e-brake cables not working :( Now that it is freezing in Pittsburgh, I am experiencing a few problems and any and all suggestions are welcomed! The car starts fine but runs very very rough until it is driven for about 15-30 min. It sometimes does not want to accelerate although the RPMs are going up, and then I take my foot off the gas, sometimes have to put the car in reverse, and I can drive ok after that. This seems to be esspecially bad in VERY cold temperatures. Also, I cannot make it up any hills with a medium-large incline, although I have better luck making it if I have a momentum going without having to stop. This is also worse in colder temperatures. When going up a hill, the car slows down, I go maybe 3-5mph if that, and usually I have to stop and reverse to a place where I can turn around and find another way to get to my destination hill-free. As I drive, the RPMs will go up to about 4000, but I may only be going 25-35mph. I take my foot off the gas for a minute, The RPMs drop, then I'll get up to like, 40-50mph and the RPMs are back up to 4000-5000 again....and I continue to repeat that process. I have considered that possibly my tranny is going...but when it shifts, it seems to be doing so pretty smoothly. Perhaps that just me being naive though, hence my screenname :) Just some background: The car has 147000 miles, I am due for an oil change, Just added some tranny fluid about 2 weeks ago, I know I need a EGR gasket, and I have never changed the air filter since I got the car. Thanks for the help!!! It is much appreciated!

by in New Kensington, PA on January 03, 2010
1 answer
ANSWER by on January 03, 2010
First place to start is here, you most surely have some Check Engine Light Codes for at least some of the problems, and get a new Air Filter ASAP by all means http://repairpal.com/check-engine-light