No Power Going Up Hills

I have 97 Toyota Paseo - manual transmission. Engine light came on a little while ago, around the time I forgot to put the gas lid on before driving about a mile. Just including that detail in case it’s related, my concern is about a month after that, it’s now having problems going uphill. I live in Seattle, and my commute to work has some pretty intense hills, and when the engine revs and leaves an order (like something might be burning). It doesn’t even begin to overheat. It also seems to take a little longer to get to faster speeds (i.e., merging on to the highway).

Engine light and gas cap is probably not related to your current issue. How many miles on the car? What maintenance as far as plugs and filters has been done?

You can’t drive anywhere in the Seattle area without going up and down hills.

How about a little more information. What make model year and miles? When was the last time you replaced the oil and air filters, the spark plugs and plug wires? Does it seem any better on those 4 sunny days a month? Automatic or manual transmission?

Has the CEL (Check engine light) gone out and stayed out?

Have you been keeping track of the mileage?

The car spent 12 years in Seattle. Sounds like the clutch is done. Go to a parking lot or a quiet residential street and drive at about 20 mph in 1st. Then floor both the stop and go pedal. If you have good brakes, the car and engine should slow down together. If the engine keeps reving, the clutch is slipping.

Sounds like the clutch is done Good catch. That may well be the problem.

Yup! Most likely a worn-out clutch.
I think that Chunky Azian nailed it!