Question about 1991 Pontiac Sunbird

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Shifting problems/trouble starting cold

Sometimes when I first try to start my car I have to either give it some gas or put it is neutral and give it some gas. When the car first starts up it revs really high and usually eventually dies down, but not always. Sometimes if I let my foot off the gas it will die (while still in park or neautral while first starting.) The motor also shakes violently when first starting and especially if I put it in reverse and start to back up right after starting the vechical.
It also revs very high before shifting gears. The car only has drive (no overdrive.) The first time the high revs are obvious is around 35mph before it shifts. The next and most annoying time is when it nears 50mph. The revs get progressively worse until it shifts at 65mph. It had been giving me problems shifting into its last gears for a long time, but it never reved this high before shifting before.
I don't know how much it is related but the motor has been ticking ever since the timing belt went out and was replace several years ago. I'm pretty sure the ticking is coming from the top of the motor.
I have some ideas of what might be causing the problems, but would appreciate any advise anyone has. Also for the last few months the check engine light has been coming on and then turning off after 10 or so seconds (especially while driving in stop and go traffic of town, but not always.) I'm sure a diagnostic computer might be able to tell me what the problem is, but I can't afford to do the test and fix the problem, probably just one or the other. There are probably more symptoms, but those are the main issues

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Theres many things that can be the cause,instead of having people tell you to try this and that,change this and that,scan codes it will point you at problem area and start from there

Posted on Mar 02, 2009

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