Problem with my 1996 Ranger XLT
Hey everyone, I am trying to figure out what is wrong with my Ranger. Yesterday while driving to San Francisco I noticed that my engine was running pretty high (closer to 3,000 RPM than 2.5 where it usually stays (I just had my torque converter replaced not too long ago, it would regularly run that high when it wasn't working right though) and it sounded pretty loud while I was driving. The other thing that I noticed yesterday was that my rear would feel like it was drifting and refusing to really turn with the front when I made right turns on things such as curves in the road and such. I need new tires and shocks, which I was planning to get done next week anyways, but I don't have much money so I wanted to make sure that wasn't the main problem. Also, when I was idling later last night I noticed that the engine was running incredibly loud, almost like it sounded like it was going to blow up, and I would hear a rattling sound (from the muffler?) when it did that. I hate to say it, but I know nothing about cars in general and very little about my truck (I'm just not into learning about that stuff, although I probably should be) so I have no idea what to do. Any suggestions on what it could be or where I should take it to get it looked at? I used to take it to Pep Boys but learned what a horrible experience that could be, but would other places like Les Schwab or Big O Tires be any better? I go to college where I live so I'm not really from here and don't know of any good local car shops or else I'd take it to one of them.