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"Air suspension needs service"

Discussion in 'Model S: Driving Dynamics' started by neroden, May 13, 2013.

  1. neroden

    neroden Happy Model S Owner

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    Well, exciting, my first actual breakage.

    Set the air suspension to "Very High" (before entering the grass field at the drive-in); it ran and ran without stopping, then declared "Air suspension needs service", the indicator light came on, and it announced that it was switching to jack mode. OK. After watching the movie, it decided to change its complaint to "Air suspension too high". It refused to reset to any other suspension level, though it appeared to be possible to turn jack mode off. It was complaining at me all the way back home ("Please drive more slowly"), which I ignored, because I had to drive at 55-65 mph with the suspension in whatever mode it was in. I will say it's a lot bumpier when the suspension fails, but it still drives fine.

    The "needs service" thing suddenly reset a few miles from home and the suspension appeared to drop to "standard", but I called Service anyway, since this is not so good. Neither the Norristown service center nor Fremont have answered their phones yet (which is honestly terrible service), so I'm killing time waiting for them to call back. Anyone else had air suspension failures yet?
     
  2. kinddog

    kinddog Banned

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    no, but this reminds me of a question that popped into my mind yesterday...

    i crested a hill on a back country road at about 60 and got air-borne. it was awesome. but in doing so, the wheels obviously came off the ground and there was a loud thunk, which must have been the suspension dropping?

    my question is - if we are not supposed to jack the car up without putting it in "jack mode", then wouldn't getting airborne also be just as damaging (if not moreso) to the suspension?

    i ask because i fly thru the air with regularity.
     
  3. Doug_G

    Doug_G Lead Moderator

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    kinddog, you crazy! :biggrin:
     
  4. neroden

    neroden Happy Model S Owner

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    Well, Fremont has called back, but all they did was take my information. Hopefully I won't have to repeat it all when I finally get an actual call back from an actual service center...
     
  5. jerry33

    jerry33 S85 - VIN:P05130 - 3/2/13

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    The difference here is that when you fly off the ground, all the wheels drop evenly (we hope), whereas when you jack up one side the system will try to level the car potentially causing damage.
     
  6. kinddog

    kinddog Banned

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    oh i see...

    okay thanks
     
  7. TMS_Red

    TMS_Red Member

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    Neroden, has there been any resolution to your problem? I am curious to know what has been the response time to your calls. I am having a horrendous experience with Tesla customer service in all aspects - finance, registration, delivery, general communication, so much so that I am thinking of forfeiting my deposit and walking away.
     
  8. neroden

    neroden Happy Model S Owner

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    Eventually reached service, by simply calling back the next day. Once I actually got someone at the Norristown service center on the phone, it went fine. He downloaded the logs remotely, and found that the air suspension had gotten stuck in "Extreme High". (He then said "I didn't know there was an extreme high.") He already had the problem description which I'd already given.

    He had me test the suspension adjustments, which are currently working.

    Then he ended up telling me that
    (1) he was referring the problem to engineering;
    (2) it was almost certainly a software problem, not a hardware problem
    (3) the car was definitely safe to drive even if it happened again, and I wouldn't be doing any damage to the system
    (4) to call if it happened again.

    Interdepartmental communication at Tesla is dreadful. But once you actually reach the person who actually can do things, things go well.

    I suspect many of the bugs I've reported will not be fixed unless I manage to get the phone number of the correct person in engineering who handles that particular module. Sigh.

    Anyway, in response to your more general question:

    The same is true for purchasing. As you may have noticed if you have followed this forum, I had a god-awful experience trying to get my paperwork (MVPA) done, trying to get the car registered, trying to get delivery scheduled, etc. The key was getting the name and phone number of the person who *actually handled NY registration and titling*, who also handled delivery scheduling for NY, and talking to *him personally*. After that it went much more smoothly. Oh, and they gave me the "old" MVPA, which I couldn't in good conscience sign. That problem required... emailing George Blankenship, who said "Here's the new MVPA", which was fine.

    Everyone I talk to -- at least everyone even slightly picky -- has similar stories about trying to get the car delivered. They all love the car dearly, though.

    Elon Musk very recently said something which makes me hopeful:
    "I'm an engineer, so service is not something that I naturally do," Musk said late on Tuesday. "But it's the right thing for the company and I think we have the opportunity to re-engineer service."
    Tesla CEO Elon Musk looks ahead to next round of changes - San Jose Mercury News
    Optimistically, this may mean that he recognizes that Tesla is not doing a good job on this stuff and that it needs to be fixed.

    Personally, I think the car was worth the hassle, but I would understand if you didn't. (I was swearing at gas stations and saying "I WANT MY ELECTRIC CAR" for five years. You may not have been.) I can't actually recommend purchasing the Model S right now to people. I've been telling them to wait until Tesla gets its communication problems straightened out, which I *hope* will happen in the next few months.
     
  9. Mayhemm

    Mayhemm Model S P85+ "Lola"

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    I've got 9 months to go, so hopefully that's enough time to iron out some of these bugs; both software and HR. :smile:
     
  10. Al Sherman

    Al Sherman It's about THIS car.

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    Everyone has their own comfort level. My advice is: don't walk away. There's no question that TM is experiencing growing pains in the service areas. All of my experiences have been with incredibly motivated people who really believe in the product and the company. I've never "walked" away literally, or figuratively (email, text etc...) from a Tesla employee without being stunned at how much they cared. I find myself wondering where they keep finding these awesome people. I'm willing to deal with the waiting for a call back thing if I finally get to deal with these kind of folks.

    Then there's the car. After 2 months of driving I can't imagine even considering any other vehicle. Bar none. And, in your case; the Red is stunning.
     
  11. mknox

    mknox Well-Known Member

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    I never actually tried adjusting my suspension until last week when I thought I'd put it in "High" to enter an underground parking lot with a steep ramp. It seemed to work fine, but I got some groaning and creaking-like sounds as it reached the new height. Reminded me of how my body sounds when I get out of bed in the morning and stretch :smile: I assume these sounds are normal???
     
  12. lolachampcar

    lolachampcar Active Member

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    Just to chime in late to the party, sure, Tesla is trying to figure things out. However, I have to second the comment that the feet on the ground could not be nicer or more helpful. It is the processes that are missing and that will come with time. You can put in place mechanisms for getting things done when those are not in place. It is much harder to take a group of people that do not give a _____ and turn them into nice, polite, motivated people. Tesla already has the people and the processes will come simply because the people are competent and care.

    - - - Updated - - -

    also, if you go to the MB forums you will hear all kinds of stories about the (E Class) air suspension and random "end of the world" error messages that just seem to go away on their own. I do not think Bosch has that whole system entirely de-weeded or the manufacturers are not following every last bit of design in guidance which leads to outlying conditions causing errors in rare cases.
     
  13. Vexar

    Vexar Member

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    Well, if that doesn't say Northern Virginia. Sheesh! Did you putty the doors smooth and paint it bright orange with the Confederate Flag stenciled on the pano roof?

    - - - Updated - - -

    I'd fill up your petrol vehicle one more time this week before you decide that. The Mid-West is experiencing over $4.20 a gallon right now because a couple refineries are shut down. I just did the math, and my wife's inexpensive compact car is churning through more than half its fair market value in gasoline every year. Gen 3 can't come fast enough for my household.
     
  14. SCW-Greg

    SCW-Greg Active Member

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    Exactly This.
    In spades!

    While I don't have my car just yet, I've driven it enough times to know... there is no other comparable spaceship, er car.
     
  15. JohnQ

    JohnQ Active Member

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    Nope, that's Southern VA. Of course, you can go take a look at the General Lee at a country store in NoVa on the way to Skyline Drive. Can't remember the name of the town.

    And there's nothing wrong with getting a little air under the tires every once in a while ... everyone has a teenager buried inside that needs to be let loose!
     
  16. TMS_Red

    TMS_Red Member

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    Thanks Neroden, Al Sherman and SCW-Greg for your comments. In my experience, I did not have a problem getting the names and phone numbers of the people I needed to speak to. The problem that I observed in dealing with all the people at Tesla is that they seem to "hide" behind voice mail. Nobody returns phone calls. I had to keep calling till I got the person. And when they promised to find out the answer to a question, they did not call back.

    Anyway, I decided that I was too emotionally vested in the purchase of the Model S and could not walk away. Well ... I pickup my car yesterday and it has been an incredible experience. I have owned many high performance cars but this vehicle is absolutely amazing. I noticed this morning as I was driving to work that I had a ear-to-ear smile on my face. I don't think I ever did that when I bought my Porsche 993 Cab or my Mercedes 6.9 (back in the 70s).

    Thanks guys.
     
  17. Doug_G

    Doug_G Lead Moderator

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    I think if the brakes are on when you adjust height, the tires try to slide on the pavement a little.
     
  18. neroden

    neroden Happy Model S Owner

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    #18 neroden, May 21, 2013
    Last edited: May 21, 2013
    I had (am still having) that problem too.

    This may partly be due to Tesla simply having too few employees, so that they can't keep up with their workload. That was definitely what was going on in sales, with one "inside delivery specialist" covering every state on the Eastern Seaboard from Georgia to Maine, which was absolutely ridiculous. I could not blame her for her failures, but I can blame her boss for designing a failed system which asked her to deal with the laws of fifteen states and DC, which is completely impossible for one person to keep track of. There is only one way to fix that: hire more people. Hopefully the capital raise will make the management willing to do that.

    It is the best car ever, isn't it? :smile:
     
  19. TMS_Red

    TMS_Red Member

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    Yes, no doubt it is the best car I have driven or owned.
     
  20. wycolo

    wycolo Active Member

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    > i crested a hill on a back country road at about 60 and got air-borne. [kinddog]

    If the hill is that steep how could you know the other side was not filled with livestock or big game??

    > if we are not supposed to jack the car up without putting it in "jack mode" [kinddog]

    Switched wheels using 2 jack method with no apparent complaint from the air system. Air system still works. Wheels needed to stay on same side of car. Forgot about 'jack mode'. Maybe its a front-back thing.
    --
     

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