Engine Performance problem
1987 Volvo 240 4 cyl Automatic 93172 miles
I have an 87 Volvo 240 with 93K miles on it. It's been kept up with regular service and is in good shape. In February of 2008 the complete exhaust system was replaced including catalytic converter. New belts and hoses in April of 2008. I live in Georgia and we recently went down into the single digits. I had the car inspected and properly prepared for the upcoming cold snap by my mechanic.
I went out the morning of the cold weather to warm up the car and it cranked with no hesitation. About 30 seconds after it cut off. So I gave it a moment and cranked it again. Again it turned over immediately with no problem. After letting it run for about 15 minutes I left for work and had absolutely no power. I also noticed a distinct short of " Sputtering" sound and noticable exhaust sound coming from near the front under the dashboard. I put the accelerator all the way to the floor and the transmission wouldn't upshift and the engine wouldn't do anything. I went around the block and came back home. The car will not get above 40 MPH. I crawled underneath and looked and the exhaust has no holes and has not come undone.
Took to the mechanic and he can't figure out what it may be. Any suggestions? A friend who knows older Volvos said it could be the catalytic converter.