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Air Suspension Longevity and Frequency of Use

Frequent changing of ride height good or bad for longevity?

  • Bad - settle down there johnny

    Votes: 2 5.9%
  • Good - jack away

    Votes: 8 23.5%
  • Doesn't matter either way

    Votes: 24 70.6%

  • Total voters
    34
  • Poll closed .

peakay

Member
Jan 2, 2017
87
20
SoCal
Hi there,

We are new to the Tesla word and just got a used 2012 P85 with air suspension. Am really enjoying this feature and am pretty much raising it anywhere we go where there are high curbs or we go frequently and a little extra height is nice for ingress/egress.

Is there any info out there about longevity and frequency of using the ride height function? Is using it a lot bad or does it help? Sometimes its better to use things than let them sit static,

I searched for a bit but had trouble finding any info on this...feedback is appreciated.

Just saw the poll feature - thought I'd try it
 

Ames

Member
May 27, 2013
659
376
Abu Dhabi, UAE
The air suspension compressor is always working in the background making minor adjustments each time you get in the car and drive. For example if you are alone versus with passengers and luggage the system will make adjustments. When you get out of the car sometimes it adjust again. Even when you drive, if your passengers in the rear shift their weight from side to side it will make an adjustment to be level. IMHO your frequent use of this feature will not make much of a difference.

Once the newness wears off you will probably get bored of accessing the touch screen and jacking up the car, and chance it bottoming out; don't forget your battery is protected by a "ballistics grade" aluminum shield on the bottom of the car and a titanium shield protecting the front of the battery.
 
  • Informative
Reactions: sdorn and Andyw2100

Spyder14

Member
Oct 25, 2015
250
25
Bluffton, SC
Based on my other cars that had air suspensions, the only part or component that wore out was the rubber bag or bladder. Either due to age or use, the rubber developed a crack or small hole that caused the air to leak out while parked for more than an hour. Once I started the ICE car up, the compressor filled the bag/bladder & kept if full until the car was shut off. So there are potential mechanical issues that can fail (compressor, wiring, etc) but my only problem was one bag/bladder leaking.
 

mrElbe

Active Member
Aug 17, 2014
1,731
1,149
Stouffville, ON Canada
A similar air strut design was / is used by Mercedes with many bladder or seal failures. I hope the design used in our Teslas is a better quality design. No problems yet; knock on Aluminum. Well, I did have "Suspension needs Service" messages last week but that was due to a failed ground stud.
 

Kipernicus

Model S Res#P1440
Dec 2, 2009
1,255
136
Belmont, CA
Don't forget it is GPS aware, so whenever you go back to a place where you raised it, the car will remember and raise it automatically. There is a way to make it "forget" a location if it gets too annoying.
4 yrs no problems with my suspension.
 
  • Like
Reactions: cheshire cat

Lou in SoCal

Member
Nov 12, 2012
61
0
SoCal
After four years and daily use of the air suspension, never had a problem. Have a new Model S on the way and have air suspension on order. I think it's very useful in Southern California.
 

VirtualM

Member
Jul 17, 2015
23
20
UK
After 15 months, 19k miles and daily use front air suspension collapsed, during driving, leaving me stranded. The problem was front left shock absorber failure. The service centre was very quick in fix it but the recovery experience wasn't so pleasant. I think Tesla should improve the air suspension in such a way to prevent being stranded in case of total failure.
I will still order the car with the air suspension. ;)
 
  • Informative
Reactions: bhzmark

omarsultan

Active Member
Jun 22, 2013
2,501
5,106
Northern California
I have a 2013 P85 with 100K miles on it--air suspension has been solid--I don't mess around with it a lot--have auto-lowering set up and occasionally use it for steep driveways, crazy speedbumps, etc.
 

TSLA Pilot

Active Member
Mar 12, 2013
1,705
2,330
United States
A similar air strut design was / is used by Mercedes with many bladder or seal failures. I hope the design used in our Teslas is a better quality design. No problems yet; knock on Aluminum. Well, I did have "Suspension needs Service" messages last week but that was due to a failed ground stud.

Eventually they'll carry Tesla parts too:

About Us
 

Duckjybe

Member
Mar 29, 2012
815
189
Ontario, Canada
Just got back from 10 days vacation and our P85 rear end was almost sitting on the ground. Got in the car and raised and lowered suspension and all is back to normal. I suspect we have a slow air suspension leak at 156,000 km.
 

scottm

Legacy account
Jun 13, 2014
3,070
2,235
Canada
Can I retrofit active suspension to my 2015 S 85D?

Maybe, sure. There's aftermarket generic kits. But you won't have slick Tesla UI integration.
They come with their own computer to install to control the air, as a stand-alone system.

The ones in Tesla are made by Continental, if that helps.
 
  • Informative
Reactions: cheshire cat

scottm

Legacy account
Jun 13, 2014
3,070
2,235
Canada
After 15 months, 19k miles and daily use front air suspension collapsed, during driving, leaving me stranded. The problem was front left shock absorber failure. The service centre was very quick in fix it but the recovery experience wasn't so pleasant. I think Tesla should improve the air suspension in such a way to prevent being stranded in case of total failure.
I will still order the car with the air suspension. ;)

Did the wheel "bottom out" (rise up) into the car when the corner collapsed? Like, was the body rubbing on rubber, or worse, bent the metal?
 

bakerboy

Member
Mar 2, 2017
284
122
So. Cal.
I will be getting a 2013 P85 CPO w/ the "active air suspension" will I be able to raise and lower my MS? Or is it all controlled by the computer?
 

scottm

Legacy account
Jun 13, 2014
3,070
2,235
Canada
Don't forget it is GPS aware, so whenever you go back to a place where you raised it, the car will remember and raise it automatically. There is a way to make it "forget" a location if it gets too annoying.
4 yrs no problems with my suspension.

The way I make it forget is to press "standard height" at the same spot where the auto-raise just happened.

Next time you drive through that zone, it won't auto-raise.

And of course if you blow through an auto-raise zone at speed... nothing happens because the car is going too fast and it trips on the upper speed limit for the given ride height and just won't do it.
 

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