Merge without fear in your 240D

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Merge Without Fear in Your 240D

Switching from a Volvo 240 to a Benz 240D was a step up in weight (2800-3300 lb) and a step down in power 110->70HP, which says a lot. These simple tips will deal with what is likely the most intimidating part of the change to a 240D, a freeway merge.

1. Speed is your friend, and the 240D stops faster than it accelerates. Carry speed through the cloverleaf, and minimize the difference between your speed and traffic when you get there. Remember your have more control over the velocity difference if you have to slow down instead of speed up to merge.

2. Don't tailgate. If the person right in front of you decides to merge from a standing stop, you are too, but with less power. 100-200 feet of following distance lets you carry speed until the way is clear for you to accelerate and merge.

3. It can go fast, just not that quickly. A few things will help: Don't be afraid to put the accelerator of the floor and leave it there. Shift down too, don't be afraid to use all 4400 or so RPM at your command.

4. Plan ahead. With most other cars you have the ability to make up a 10-15 MPH difference pretty quickly, so you don't think about finding your hole in traffic and matching speed with it until the last few seconds. Since you can't do this so much in the 240D, look for your hole in traffic way ahead, assess the traffic in front of you an how they are merging in. Look ahead and line up with things and get your speed up as soon as you can.

There, after a few months, you won't think about it at all, and wonder what everyone else needs that 200 HP for.