Low gas mileage, occasional delayed starting.
Hello. This is a pretty general question but if some of you guys are good enough to answer it may save me trouble. I have an 89 Ranger (2WD, 4 cyl) I bought about a year ago. Doesn't leak or burn oil. Runs great, EXCEPT just every now and then when I start it, it takes 4 or 5 tries before it starts. Or maybe it doesn't start at all, then I wait a minute or so and it starts OK. Most of the time it starts right away, but every great now and then it takes it a while.
Plus, the gas mileage is not bad but not quite what it ought to be. It gets from 21 to 23 mpg on the highway. I had a 1990 Ranger previous to this, and it got 27 or so mpg pretty reliably.
So, are these classic symptoms of something obvious and I just don't know it?
89 doesn't appear to have mass air flow sensor, but my 90 did. Does that make much difference in gas mileage?
Have replaced all but the two of the spark plugs (those two really hard-to-get-at ones). Just haven't gotten around to those last two. Also have replaced air filter. None of that made any difference.
Tried to get it diagnosed at a certain retail chain auto parts store, but the dude couldn't makes sense out of what his diagnostic tool was telling him.
Previous owner rigged a straight pipe in place of catalytic converter. I plan to do the right thing and put a converter in; just haven't yet.
Any help is appreciated!