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Active Air Suspension: Reliability?!

Discussion in 'Model S' started by gg_got_a_tesla, Jan 17, 2012.

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  1. brianman

    brianman Burrito Founder

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    Please take a look at the response to question 2 here: Responses to NAIAS questions.
     
  2. rlawson4

    rlawson4 Member

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    Thanks. I will.
     
  3. Robert.Boston

    Robert.Boston Model S VIN P01536

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    I hope that Tesla provides some data about the effect on energy efficiency from the "Lower" position at highway speeds. 0.79" (the difference between Normal and Low) is less of a difference than I would have thought.
     
  4. Kevin Harney

    Kevin Harney Active Member

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    More info from another thread....

    2. Active Air Suspension - When should we expect more formal information to be published about the height settings available, and so forth. The information has been somewhat vague on these points thus far. "Does the air suspension keep the car level with hard cornering?"

    Dynamics on how the active air suspense will handle when corning is to be announced, but I can expand upon the height levels. Manual Adjustments are as follows:
    Normal height = 6”
    High Level 1 = 0.90” taller; When the vehicle accelerates above 19 mph, the clearance adjusts back to Normal height.
    High level 2 = 1.3” above Standard and can be used for ascending a steep driveway or fording deep snow. Clearance reverts to High Level 1 above 10 mph.
    Low Level = 0.79” under Standard; Active Air Suspension will automatically lower the vehicle for highway driving to improve aerodynamics. Low Level is also accessible from the touchscreen for loading/unloading of passengers. When the vehicle begins driving the clearance adjusts back to Normal height.
    The suspension will also self-level the car. For example if you load a lot of weight in the trunk the vehicle will remain level.
     
  5. Tommy

    Tommy Member

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    Has anyone confirmed that the traditional springs and shocks will even be offered. I raise that point because the different battery weights would mean different spring/shock combinations. One show I watched on BMW stated they tried 7,000 different combinations to get the right ride quality. I can't imagine Tesla having the manpower to try 7,000 combinations and what ever number needed for the different weights. My point being the car may come with standard air suspension, however it is not "active" in the sense it will raise and lower or adjust to ride quality (soft, firm). The price point of $1,500 for all the components we see on the body on white chassis appears low and that points to another reason the "active" part is what the additional cost is for.
     
  6. gg_got_a_tesla

    gg_got_a_tesla Model S: VIN 65513, Model 3: VIN 1913

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    Interesting theory! Personally, I'm not too thrilled with air suspension, period.

    I'm very uninformed when it comes to automotive jargon, but, this is as per the currently published set of specs on the options page:

    And, this is from the features page:

    The picture there (even before the Active Air Suspension is discussed) seems to have the air suspension 'bellows'?!

    agility-and-grace_03.jpg

    Do these indicate one way or the other what the standard suspension setup could be? I guess we'll know for sure about the default suspension mechanism when Tesla releases the full list of standard specs.
     
  7. Norbert

    Norbert TSLA will win

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    These specifications are probably independent of the shocks used, meaning the suspension system is more than the shocks. According to one video, the beta(s) at the October event had air suspension (or, I guess, more specifically, air shocks, except that term seems never used). Personally I expect air suspension to be a significant (though not necessary) factor in driving experience.
     
  8. stopcrazypp

    stopcrazypp Well-Known Member

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    I would imagine they would use computer simulation to narrow down the options first, rather than actually trying 7000 combinations.
    It thought air suspension was an extra cost option, so I would think you can get traditional springs and shocks.
     
  9. zdre

    zdre 40kWh Model S, Model 3LR

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    This makes sense to me. Otherwise different battery packs may require different sets of springs and possibly shocks/struts. I would definitely want to be able to upgrade to higher capacity battery in the future without changing the suspension.
     
  10. gg_got_a_tesla

    gg_got_a_tesla Model S: VIN 65513, Model 3: VIN 1913

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    Good point about future swaps. To reduce production costs too, Tesla's probably better off going with air suspension across the board while providing the "active" aspect as the $1,500 option (gosh, that must merely be a software routine - think of the margin that Tesla'd be making on that option! :smile:)
     
  11. stopcrazypp

    stopcrazypp Well-Known Member

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    Assuming they use the same amount of cells, the difference in cell weight between the 60kWh and 85kWh pack is only about 25 lbs, well within passenger/cargo weight. The 40kWh pack will be the one that will be significantly lighter.
     
  12. zdre

    zdre 40kWh Model S, Model 3LR

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    Yes, I was thinking specifically about the 40kWh battery.
     
  13. neroden

    neroden Model S Owner and Frustrated Tesla Fan

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    #33 neroden, Jan 20, 2012
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2012
    Even if "inactive air suspension" is standard, it may well be that the pressures are set at the factory and sealed off permanently; the "active" one may have more actuators. So perhaps not just software.

    Edit: on the other hand, the models without the air suspension may just have rougher, less tuned rides. There's probably some amount of metal suspension present for safety -- passenger train cars have both an air suspension and a hard suspension, with the former for comfort and the latter for safety.
     
  14. KBF

    KBF Model X owner (formerly Cdn Signature Model S)

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    This reminds me of a Nikola Tesla quote, "If Edison had a needle to find in a haystack, he would proceed at once with the diligence of the bee to examine straw after straw until he found the object of his search. ... I was a sorry witness of such doings, knowing that a little theory and calculation would have saved him ninety percent of his labor."
     
  15. brianman

    brianman Burrito Founder

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    And here I thought you were going to say it's simpler to just set fire to the haystack and then use a magnet.
     
  16. loganss

    loganss Spaceman

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    I called a Tesla DC store rep today and asked what the standard suspension for the Model S would be and he said standard coils like in other cars. Inactive air suspension is not the standard.
     
  17. gg_got_a_tesla

    gg_got_a_tesla Model S: VIN 65513, Model 3: VIN 1913

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    Phew! Works for me! Hope the store rep is truly in the know.
     
  18. neroden

    neroden Model S Owner and Frustrated Tesla Fan

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    This, then, raises the questions raised before:
    (1) On cars without air suspension, is the metal coil suspension designed for a specific battery weight (so, changing batteries when replacement time comes == changing suspension)
    (2) On cars with air suspension, what degree of metal suspension is present if the air suspension fails (I'm guessing there's some; it would make sense to design the car to "fail safe", perhaps driveable but with a very low clearance).
     
  19. gg_got_a_tesla

    gg_got_a_tesla Model S: VIN 65513, Model 3: VIN 1913

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    Indeed. And, if they do have a metal suspension backup as discussed in (2), is that backup battery-weight-specific much as in the case of (1)?!

    I suspect that we outsiders are overengineering this thing :smile: For all we know, any metal suspension that they have in there must be a single config (across all Model S configs) designed for the 'worst case' with the 85 kWh pack paired with 5 "average" adult Americans (make that about a 1,000 lbs) and maybe, even, two "average" American 7-year-olds in the jump seats (about 130 lbs)!
     
  20. Norbert

    Norbert TSLA will win

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    Even metal coil suspension can have different settings (changeable by a service center). Not sure if that is common, though.
     

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