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Car dies when idling -mitsubishi eclipse 98

I recently drove about 300 miles. At the end of the trip I was in stop and go traffic and I had to keep the engine RPM’S high to keep from chugging and dying. (stick shift) Sounded kind of grinding. My GPS went out shortly before I noticed this happening, but rest of electrical seemed OK. wondereded if it could be a bad plug or wire or maybe timing belt problem. Any suggetstions before spending arm and leg on 11 year old car.

What sounded “kind of grinding”?

It would help if you said some more about the car. how many miles? How is the maintenance history? Up to date? E.g. when is the last time it got things like plugs, wires, air filter, fuel filter, etc.? If all of the basic “tune up” items on the car are not up to date, you should get them up to date. Is the check engine light on?