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Warning lights a plenty

So, I was warned that my exhaust manifold needed remachining, but
figured I'd get around to it later. Well, went on a long trip to Lake
Tahoe (elevation/long climbs) and the Check Engine light would go on
at high revs. I assume this is because the engine management system
noticed a pressure loss as exhaust gas wasn't going to the turbo under
full pressure. I also got an intermittent Coolant Warning when going
up steep hills. The manual says to add coolant or that I have a faulty
coolant gauge. Checked it, added some water, but didn't see any
problem signs. 

Unfortunately, the journey was 450 miles round trip, the later half
with a canoe strapped to the roof. 

Candidly, am I an idiot for driving the car in this condition? Though
I didn't have a choice, and the car is in the shop now, is there
anything I should have investigated? Like fouled plugs? 

Sheepishly signing off,
'89 200QTW
PS check out my FUCHS! 

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