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Air suspension and battery scrape

Discussion in 'Model S' started by tmarcc, Mar 5, 2017.

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  1. tmarcc

    tmarcc Member

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    Lesson learned: even a Tesla with air suspension set to "very high" may still be lower than other sedans.

    I was entering a driveway (pic attached) that wasn't particularly steep imo, with the air suspension set to "very high", and scraped what I think was the bottom of the battery. It was a sickening sound that seemed to eminent from the bottom middle of the car.

    If you look at the picture, it seems that the bottom of the car scraped on the part of the driveway with the row of decorative brick, which created a little "peak" with relation to the level of the gutter and the rest of the driveway. There were other cars already non-SUV parked in the driveway that didn't have a problem. I'm afraid of what I'd find under the car, but it seems to be driving normally.

    Sigh.
     

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  2. Sparky

    Sparky Member

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    Aug 13, 2012
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    Glendale,CA
    I feel your pain. On my first day of ownership, I scraped the rails of the pack along the left underside entering my own driveway.
    Air suspension was one feature I did not sign up for.
    Cost of AS the time: $1500.
    Cost of fixing driveway (after I beat up the bricks with a sledge): $2500.
    Cue image of my smiling wife, sighing, shaking head.

    No issues with the pack and I've bottomed out a few times since.
     
    • Like x 1
  3. jerjozwik

    jerjozwik Member

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    yep, hit my rocker rails like... a month after delivery. horribly configured high slope driveway with a rainwater drain basin on the other side. oh well... tis but a flesh wound.
     
  4. jmsurpri

    jmsurpri Member

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    Are you sure you didn't scrape the flaps that are in front of the front tires? That driveway doesn't look too steep especially for very high setting.
     
  5. wycolo

    wycolo Active Member

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    Always enter at as far from a 90 degree angle as is convenient. This can really make a difference and might allow you to use HIGH which I believe allows deeper suspension travel than VERY HIGH.
    --
     
  6. No2DinosaurFuel

    No2DinosaurFuel Active Member

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    The driveway doesnt look too steep. Also note the air suspension takes a while to reach the highest settings. So dont assume when tap it, the car is at its highest settings. Especially when you start at normal settings because it needs to get to high settings and then highest.

    Edit:
    After looking at the picture it does look like it will scrap. That is because the insides of the driveway dips so yes any long car will most likely scrap. Your only option is to flatten that area for the sake of all cars.
     
  7. Pezpunk

    Pezpunk Member

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    That's weird ... driveway doesn't look scrapeable to me. I keep my car in the 'low' position all the time and I haven't even had trouble with driveways or speed bumps. Did you hit it going fast or something? At 'very high' I don't see how there's any way you could have bottomed out.
     
  8. No2DinosaurFuel

    No2DinosaurFuel Active Member

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    It is like a mountain. Both sides dips. The sidewalk side dips and once you pass the peak and enter the driveway it dips. So yeah it will scrap regardless if you have air or not. From thr picture it is hard to tell but pay particular attention to the grass area and you can tell it dips in the driveway side too.
     
  9. SMAlset

    SMAlset Member

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    I'm sure you gritted your teeth on that when it happened. Was this a friend's driveway? From the picture I still wouldn't think it would be a problem if you were in the middle of the driveway. We ordered SAS on our S (will arrive soon) as we have numerous speed bumps in town and in some of our shopping centers. Plus our driveway is elevated from the street. On my current car I take it slow when coming home and don't have a problem. My husband however sometimes approaches it faster and has bottomed out in the same car. Wondering how our Telsa will handle it. Could your tire pressure also be a factor?
     
  10. tmarcc

    tmarcc Member

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    Yeah it's pretty much like a little mountain, with valleys beyond the gutter and lower driveway.

    I definitely waiting until the car reached "very high" before proceeding. A relative in the car eith me warned me that he had scrapped the front of his BMW sedan in that driveway. I rather smugly explained it was ok, since my Tesla had air suspension just for that purpose, and my car would be fine especially if I took it really slowly. Wrong!

    I definitely hit something *behind* my front tire. I had assumed it was the bottom of the car, specifically the battery. Maybe it was the pack's rails.
     
  11. Uncle Paul

    Uncle Paul Member

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    Looks like you have enough firewood to get you through the winter : >)
     
  12. CHG-ON

    CHG-ON Still in love after all these miles

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    That driveway doesn't look nearly steep enough to cause a problem. I traverse one much steeper than that all the time. I wonder if your suspension did not actually raise.

    The one thing I always do when I have a doubt is to approach the driveway at a 45 degree angle. It helps to lessen the angle of departure.

    One time I actually drove off a curb in standard height. A total spaz move. I thought it was the exit. Duh. I raised the suspension and got off of it and I had no damage at all. The battery pack is built like a tank.
     

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