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Air Suspension ride quality degrading?

Discussion in 'Model S: Driving Dynamics' started by stevezzzz, Sep 9, 2013.

  1. stevezzzz

    stevezzzz R;SigS;P85D;SigX

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    My Sig S has got 14,000 miles on the odo. It's a non-performance; air suspension; 19" wheels with original Goodyear all season tires. I believe the ride quality has been going south slowly for a while, now. It used to just absorb bumps with equanimity, without passing noise or vibration through to the passenger cabin, but lately it seems there's both more noise and less dampening: a more nervous ride, with some harshness that wasn't there originally, and a loss of grip when cornering in the presence of pavement imperfections. My tires are still in good shape with more than adequate tread, though they're due for rotation; tire pressure is the same 45psi I've always maintained.

    I suppose I may have been less sensitized to the suspension's quirks, coming as I did from an Acura RDX (which is known for its harsh ride quality), but I don't think so. Has anyone else sensed their air suspension's performance degrading with time? I'm not familiar with the air suspension's inner workings: what parts of the system might account for this? I've got a service appointment coming up for my 12-month inspection and I'd like to have some more ammo when I talk to Tesla about the problem.
     
  2. texex91

    texex91 Banned

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    #2 texex91, Sep 9, 2013
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2013
    Not in that short a period. Will be interested to see what they say. Drive the loaner around and see if there is a difference.
     
  3. Discoducky

    Discoducky Active Member

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    Steve, are you experiencing increased buffeting sounds going along with the ride quality degradation? I noticed in a loaner with non-air suspension that buffeting seemed to be way better with the windows opened at lower speeds (like 40MPH) as the air in the cabin seems to not be resonating like in my car. Just speculating but since the windows are down I don't believe the buffeting is tied to the frameless window seal.
     
  4. mknox

    mknox Well-Known Member

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    This is subjective, but my suspension has seemed somewhat "harsh" from the beginning. Compared to my former Cadillac CTS, it seems to "bang" over bumps and sometimes almost feels like it "hops" a bit. The CTS was perfectly smooth with just a muted "thump-thump" going over the same bumps. Cornering was better on the CTS too, but that may have been a function of it's AWD system and tires.

    Don't get me wrong... the Model S is not "bad" by any stretch of the imagination, and I wonder if some of this may be attributed to the higher tire pressures (a trade off for better range... which I'm willing to pay).

    I don't think mine has gotten any worse (or better) over time, however.
     
  5. steve841

    steve841 Active Member

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    About 8K miles for me ... and no complaints.

    I drove a loaner P85 with standard suspension and was quite happy to return to mine.
     
  6. FlasherZ

    FlasherZ Sig Model S + Sig Model X + Model 3 Resv

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    I had the opportunity to take a P85+ loaner, brand new @ 20 miles, for 800 miles while my car was being worked on. In fact, the P85+ was quite a bit louder than my Sig, even after 10k miles. I haven't noted an appreciable change.

    Have you gotten the rear hub nut change TSB done to your car? I believe some here have stated that stiffened things back up a bit.
     
  7. Beavis

    Beavis Signature 991

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    I had the same experience with a loaner. I was happy to get mine back since it was smoother and quieter.
     
  8. Volker.Berlin

    Volker.Berlin Member

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    You already checked tire pressure and tread. Have you verified that all lug nuts are tight (at the correct torque)? Just to make sure; if anything is strange with how the car drives, that's among the essentials.
     
  9. steve841

    steve841 Active Member

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    I can vouch for this statement.
     
  10. stevezzzz

    stevezzzz R;SigS;P85D;SigX

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    Thanks for the replies. FlasherZ and Volker.Berlin, I'll have to look into both the service bulletin and the lug nut torque: no idea, though the last people to touch the wheels were at the tire store that repaired a nail puncture, and they verified the torque spec with me in the middle of the job.
     
  11. ToddRLockwood

    ToddRLockwood Active Member

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    I wonder whether tire wear could be playing a role in this—not tread wear, but sidewall fatigue (if there is such a thing). Given the weight of the car, those sidewalls are doing a lot of heavy lifting, particularly with the 19-inch wheels.
     
  12. jerry33

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

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    This actually sounds more like the tires than the suspension.
     
  13. stevezzzz

    stevezzzz R;SigS;P85D;SigX

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    Hmmm. Very interesting...
     
  14. DanSB

    DanSB Member

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    I began noticing significant pulling under acceleration at about 5000 miles. Found new (tighter) specs for the lug nuts, bought my first torque wrench and tightened them all correctly. Seems fixed!

    i'm 4226. I am surprised Tesla didn't recall all cars sold with the previous spec to tighten the nuts. It's a not insignificant safety issue.
     
  15. Dreamin

    Dreamin Member

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    +1 Tires. Not suspension.
     
  16. ToddRLockwood

    ToddRLockwood Active Member

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    I had the exact same experience.

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