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2017 Model S air suspension damaged after tire service

Bongju

Member
May 20, 2017
9
10
Huntsville, AL
My 2017 Model S was damaged after Sam's Club replaced two tires. I have used this Sam's Club several times with no problems. They service Teslas and use a four point lift for Tesla service. However, on this visit the technician used a flat lift. When they lowered my car the air suspension was disabled and the rotors on the front two wheels were rubbing the inside of the rims. I called Tesla service and they recommended powering off and rebooting the MCU, but the suspension remained disabled. I had the car towed to my Tesla SC and they will transport it to a Tesla authorized body shop for an estimate.

Has anyone heard of similar problems after using a flat lift? I'm worried about battery damage.
 
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Doanster1

Member
Feb 14, 2018
910
478
Oregon
What do you mean the rotors were touching the inside of the rims??? That doesn’t make sense. The wheels are mounted to the hub/rotor assembly. The rotor does not move up or down separately from the wheel. If the suspension was not working and was too low, the tire would be rubbing the wheel wells/arches?
A flat lift/quick Jack style lift doesn’t touch the suspension as already stated. If anything, the tech may have accidentally snapped the height sensor arm, but again, the wheel would be sunken into the arches, not the brake rotor. Unless someone totally screwed up mounting the wheels...
 

Bongju

Member
May 20, 2017
9
10
Huntsville, AL
The attached picture shows the part that is scraping the lower rims on both front wheels. When I drive the car a few feet forwards or backwards, I can hear scraping on both rims.

On the MCU display, the suspension is shown as disabled and jack mode is grayed out. The suspension seems to be set to high since wheel wells are much higher than the front tires.
 

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Robotpedlr

Supporting Member
Dec 17, 2017
342
390
Seattle
I ALWAYS put my S into jack mode for the tire guys. There's no way I'd assume they know how to do it or would.

Doesnt it come out of Jack mode as soon as you start driving (When the tech drives into the bay)? I always made sure I ask the guy actually working on the car, if he knew how to put it in Jack mode...but always worry about it.
 

Robotpedlr

Supporting Member
Dec 17, 2017
342
390
Seattle
I agree I should have enabled jack mode, but does it matter when a lift is used?

That is exactly when it matters. Unless the lift, lifted the car from the tires (like a drive on lift someone would use to see the undercarriage or change oil in a normal car), But if you are having tires changed, they are lifting the car (not the wheels) and your suspension tries to compensate for the wheels hanging.... that is where things go bad
 
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SSonnentag

Rocket Scientist
Apr 11, 2017
1,719
2,173
Arizona
Doesnt it come out of Jack mode as soon as you start driving (When the tech drives into the bay)? I always made sure I ask the guy actually working on the car, if he knew how to put it in Jack mode...but always worry about it.

I enable it after it is in the bay. With the double plus ungood cold going around it's easy, since Discount Tire has the customers drive their own cars into the bays anyway. :)
 
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Doanster1

Member
Feb 14, 2018
910
478
Oregon
The attached picture shows the part that is scraping the lower rims on both front wheels. When I drive the car a few feet forwards or backwards, I can hear scraping on both rims.

On the MCU display, the suspension is shown as disabled and jack mode is grayed out. The suspension seems to be set to high since wheel wells are much higher than the front tires.
That would be the lower control arm. There’s usually very little room there to begin with so if you’re scraping on both front wheels, I’ll bet the suspension is stuck *past* the Very High position, which is causing the lower part of the arms to pivot downward. Does it look like your car is a 4x4 Dakar Rally car right now? :)
I bet the SC can reset things easily and get you going in no time. Prob pull the fireman’s loop for a true hard reset.
 
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sdmack

Member
Dec 28, 2019
91
77
St George, UT
Is this - the need to place the car in jack mode - commonly known by tire shops? Are there many other makes/models which have similar requirements?

sometimes it is difficult to babysit these shops. One time I brought my trailer into the shop, and during the discussion I was having with the service writer howto lift it, and being assured that they will do it correctly, the techs had already lifted it - the wrong way.
 

Merle

Member
Apr 5, 2019
155
125
Tahoe
Is this - the need to place the car in jack mode - commonly known by tire shops? Are there many other makes/models which have similar requirements?

sometimes it is difficult to babysit these shops. One time I brought my trailer into the shop, and during the discussion I was having with the service writer howto lift it, and being assured that they will do it correctly, the techs had already lifted it - the wrong way.

Having jacked up a few cars, SUV's and even Tesla's ...

If the shop doesn't know how to do it correctly, they shouldn't do it. The owners manual lays out exactly where the jack points are. On an SUV, it's the frame (forward and back), cross member (left and right) along with the transaxle components (pumpkin). Tesla's get eight spots in total to lift a vehicle with four of them being the tires themselves.

Some vehicles have skid plates installed, whether it's steel, aluminum or even a plastic guard. Obviously you don't jack up the vehicle anywhere here.

Other vehicles have "pinched" metal seams on the frame. You obviously don't jack up t he vehicle here, though it would be on the frame!

And of course, there are bolts sticking out, such as on the transaxle components or the axles themselves. Don't use that.

Point is, a bit is common sense - but if the shop doesn't know, then they don't do it. Costco had a policy for years of not touching Tesla's for tire changes. Even today, they (Costco) won't deviate from the standard tire size either (within reason) and will send the owner along their way.
 

sdmack

Member
Dec 28, 2019
91
77
St George, UT
If the shop doesn't know how to do it correctly, they shouldn't do it.

Yes, that’s the crux of it. But to behave like that is to admit that they do not have the knowledge, and that is very hard for them to do. And when you bring evidence of the damage they’ve done, they do their best to avoid responsibility.
 
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2101Guy

Active Member
Jan 6, 2020
1,433
1,235
USA
thing is, the issue doesnt happen all the time. I had a quick jack in my garage, and when painting my calipers, forgot to put into jack mode and lifted her up fully off the ground. Had zero issues.

Thats not to say I SHOULDNT have put it in jack mode. I just forgot..and well, nothing bad happened. (That time)
 
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Bongju

Member
May 20, 2017
9
10
Huntsville, AL
I have an update. My car was towed to a SC last Monday but since I reported scraping they immediately sent it to a Tesla authorized bodyshop. They put it on a lift to inspect the suspension and could not find any problems. They next took it for a test drive and could not recreate the scraping noise. The MCU controls for raising the suspension and jack mode are now working. They speculate that when the car was raised on a lift properly the problem resolved itself. They also verified no damage to the battery.

I am picking the car up this afternoon.
 

KalJoMoS

Member
Aug 11, 2019
319
189
EETN, EST
The attached picture shows the part that is scraping the lower rims on both front wheels. When I drive the car a few feet forwards or backwards, I can hear scraping on both rims.

On the photo you see the balancing weight attached to the rim is in contact with the lower control arm. I suspect that the rims are not OEM and as of that the new balancing is now not correct - you have lost all the inner weights on the front wheels.
 
Last edited:

Bongju

Member
May 20, 2017
9
10
Huntsville, AL
Thank you. The rims are original but the tires are new. The problem was introduced when Sam's Club installed the new tires. The bodyshop said the lower control arms are no longer in contact with the rims. I will have the tires rebalanced as soon as I pick it up.
 

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