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Air Suspension Longevity and Frequency of Use

Discussion in 'Model S: Driving Dynamics' started by peakay, Mar 1, 2017.

?

Frequent changing of ride height good or bad for longevity?

Poll closed Mar 22, 2017.
  1. Bad - settle down there johnny

    2 vote(s)
    5.9%
  2. Good - jack away

    8 vote(s)
    23.5%
  3. Doesn't matter either way

    24 vote(s)
    70.6%
  1. peakay

    peakay Member

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2017
    Messages:
    47
    Location:
    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
     
  2. Ames

    Ames Member

    Joined:
    May 27, 2013
    Messages:
    527
    Location:
    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 x 2
  3. Spyder14

    Spyder14 Member

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2015
    Messages:
    251
    Location:
    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.
     
  4. mrElbe

    mrElbe Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2014
    Messages:
    1,257
    Location:
    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.
     
  5. MDR SEA

    MDR SEA 2015 Model S 85D...& loving it!

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2016
    Messages:
    84
    Location:
    Pac NW
    Can I retrofit active suspension to my 2015 S 85D?
     
  6. richrootes

    richrootes Member

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2014
    Messages:
    210
    Location:
    North Vancouver
    No
     
  7. Kipernicus

    Kipernicus Model S Res#P1440

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2009
    Messages:
    1,207
    Location:
    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 x 1
  8. MDR SEA

    MDR SEA 2015 Model S 85D...& loving it!

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2016
    Messages:
    84
    Location:
    Pac NW
    Damn!
    Thanks
     
  9. Lou in SoCal

    Lou in SoCal Member

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2012
    Messages:
    61
    Location:
    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.
     
  10. VirtualM

    VirtualM Member

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2015
    Messages:
    19
    Location:
    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 x 1
  11. omarsultan

    omarsultan Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2013
    Messages:
    1,489
    Location:
    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.
     
  12. TSLA Pilot

    TSLA Pilot Member

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2013
    Messages:
    543
    Location:
    United States
    Eventually they'll carry Tesla parts too:

    About Us
     
  13. Duckjybe

    Duckjybe Member

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2012
    Messages:
    736
    Location:
    Oakville, 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.
     
  14. jelloslug

    jelloslug Active Member

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    Greenville, SC
    Yes.
    Will it cost a massive amount of money to do it?
    Yes.
     
  15. mrElbe

    mrElbe Active Member

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    1,257
    Location:
    Stouffville, ON Canada
    Matter of fact when my Mercedes S500 air struts failed, I got the replacements from Arnott. Superior reasonable priced product and service. They even have a core return depot in Canada.
     
  16. bcampbelllds

    bcampbelllds Member

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2015
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    239
    Location:
    North Dallas, Texas
    I have close to 30k miles on mine and no issues. I set the auto lowering speed at 65 so it's not constantly lowering and raising when I drive around town.
     
  17. scottm

    scottm Active Member

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    Jun 13, 2014
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    1,990
    Location:
    Canada
    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 x 1
  18. scottm

    scottm Active Member

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    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?
     
  19. bakerboy

    bakerboy Member

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2017
    Messages:
    200
    Location:
    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?
     
  20. scottm

    scottm Active Member

    Joined:
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    1,990
    Location:
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    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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