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Volvo shuts off

My 1981 Volvo 242 (manual trans) has been intermittently doing some funny things over the last year. The problems take two forms:

1)Sometimes, I am driving with my foot on the gas, and all of a sudden its like I’ve taken my foot off the gas… but I haven’t. The car stops accelerating and the effect lasts for a second or two, then resolves. This happens 3-4x/wk.

2)Other times, the car will simply shut off. It does not choke and die, it just shuts down at once. When this happens it cannot turn back on for around 5 min. It usually happens when I am at a light, but has happened when I have been at speeds of up to 30mph (3rd gear). This happens 2-3x/Mo.

The repair shop has been unable to replicate the problems, but it seems to me that they are becoming more frequent. Problem number 1 occurs more commonly when the car is cold.

Any ideas?

Have you checked the coil?

I’m a little car illiterate - can you elaborate?
thank you

The coil sits on the driver side of the engine. There is a single thick wire going from the coil to the top of the distributor cap. The other wires on the distributor cap, in turn, connect to your spark plugs. On my 1983 245 DL the coil was a constant problem. It can lead to the sort of symptoms you’re describing – the car just shuts off randomly and then suddenly starts back up again. It’s cheap and easy to replace, but get one from a reputable parts place.