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Air suspension settings

Discussion in 'Model S' started by gowthamn, May 11, 2017.

  1. gowthamn

    gowthamn Science

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    Last year tesla made few changes to when the settings can be changed. Where can I find the latest possible settings?

    I want to know at speeds can the settings to changed to what height?

    Also, wanted to know if air suspension improves road noise and comfort?
     
  2. steve841

    steve841 Active Member

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    Just open the settings ... its right there in the menu.

    The only option at speed is auto lowering
     
  3. HankLloydRight

    HankLloydRight Fluxing

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    It does not. It only affects ride height.
     
  4. DrivingRockies

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    Low/very low do ride rougher than standard. Model X. DS confirmed when I thought I was crazy.
     
  5. sorka

    sorka Active Member

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    Just the opposite. The lowest setting is the softest with the slowest spring rate. Removing air pressure from the air bags is how they lower the car on the suspension. The lower the car, the less air, the less pressure, the softer the ride.

    The downside is you increase negative camber and tire wear.
     
  6. sorka

    sorka Active Member

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    Just another note. Most don't know this because they probably assume that every car in this price range includes some sort of electronically actuated compression/rebound adjustment in the shocks. And they'd be right for assuming that most cars in that price range do.

    But the Tesla doesn't. There is no ride firmness control via shock adjustment. There is only height adjustment which does effect ride harshness a little, but nowhere near the level of being able to open up shock valving.
     
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  7. jddssc121

    jddssc121 Member

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    Yup... I keep having to explain this to people. Auto leveling suspension + manual height adjustments (which is all the Tesla does) have nothing to do with ride quality. It's all about ground clearance and keeping the vehicle level, that's it. It's nothing like dynamic suspensions that Audi/BMW/GM/etc offer....

    Only caveat there is when the vehicle is in "very high" it's HARSH going over speed bumps. But that's an effect of having the bags filled to max capacity.
     
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  8. gowthamn

    gowthamn Science

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    In the tesla Models S configuration page, it says it improves ride comfort, so I am confused.
     
  9. JohnnyG

    JohnnyG Weee!

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    Having SAS vs springs improves ride comfort while driving at cruising speeds. You can't leave your Tesla in High or Very High at cruising speeds.
     
  10. pilotSteve

    pilotSteve Member

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    ^^ THIS! Yeah if Tesla offered this (ride adjustment as well as height) I would BUY THAT on my next vehicle.
     
  11. JohnnyG

    JohnnyG Weee!

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    This isn't entirely true. I'd highly recommend anyone with interest to research the design behind adjustable air springs. The pressure change is negligible. What you are changing is the volume. So long as you still have travel (not emptying the bags or over inflating), the ride will be the same. The pressure stays fairly constant. The volume increases or decreases as air is either added or removed from the bags.

    The reason for improved ride comfort with air springs, isn't necessarily because air is inherently better... it's because you can maintain constant travel and spring rate while loading down or unloading the total weight. Also, it maintains a constant level whether you have the trunk loaded with lead blocks or not. This maintains proper handling which equates to safety.
     
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  12. Yinn

    Yinn Member

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    A good example of this is Porsche. They separate their PASM (Porsche Active Suspension Management) which actively changes dampening rates of their shocks vs their air suspension systems.

    The one caveat you put in is due total suspension travel. The ride quality does actually change through the range, but is not as apparent due to the limited range of adjustment on a Model S. They're much more apparent on a Model X. They just don't change due to dynamic adjustments (via magnetic fluids as an example) as in other cars. The highest/lowest settings restrict the total up and down travel, which limits the amount of road harshness that can be absorbed. That translates to a different ride quality.

    These again are much more apparent on an X. The lowest setting on an X is the harshest in my opinion. On an S, you really have to pay attention to notice the full differences, but compared to a coiled car; there definitely is a difference in ride quality. In my opinion, an air suspension car is more comfortable. A coil S rides like an air S set on the lowest setting.
     
  13. sorka

    sorka Active Member

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    It is absolutely true but only to a small degree which I already disclaimed in my post above. The pressure does change, if it didn't the volume wouldn't change either. In fact, you have to lower the pressure quite a bit just to get a change height. The reason why the perceived difference is not that much is because the biggest change in ride comfort comes from decreasing compression and rebound dampening rates. But it does make some difference and it is noticeable between the lowest and highest setting that you can drive at.

    There are already several threads where folks have claimed their "too" stiff suspension was already fixed by ride height adjustment in cases where their height was 1" above the proper calibration.
     
  14. gowthamn

    gowthamn Science

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    Ok, so no point in buying the option if comfort is the only goal. I don't have to increase the height due to obstetrical or anything.
     
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  15. Yinn

    Yinn Member

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    At normal settings I still find the air suspension more comfortable than a coil suspension S. So while it's not advanced as some other systems, there is a comfort difference.

    *We don't have air on our S, and we do wish we had gotten it.
     
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  16. bob_p

    bob_p Active Member

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    The ride may be more comfortable with SAS. But, while height is adjustable, there isn't an adjustment on the comfort setting (like setting the suspension to "normal" or "sport").
     
  17. TexLaw

    TexLaw Member

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    I think you got a little confused by the derailing tangent. Most folks feel that air suspension is more comfortable than coils. However, with regard to air suspension, adjusting ride height does little or nothing for comfort (unless you are at Very High, which is less comfortable).
     
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  18. JohnnyG

    JohnnyG Weee!

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    This is basic engineering paired with physics. It's a great topic to go do some design research on. I, myself, typically don't deal in perceived differences, seat of the pants, feels like, or any other unsubstantiated data. It requires a specific minimum air pressure to support the weight of the car. Once this pressure is achieved (assuming the air bag is not already expanded to the limit of it's optimal max volume shape) additional air primarily adds to the volume. The minute amount of additional air pressure is attributed to what's needed to change the shape of the bag as it nears max volume shape. As long as you aren't going to the extremes which starts to limit your total travel, the ride quality remains the same because the spring rate stays nearly the same. Spring rate plays just as much a factor in ride quality as dampening rates do. Again, you don't "have to lower the pressure quite a bit just to get a change height". The RAM1500 is a prime example of this. It's driving modes can adjust ride height by as much as 2.5". According to conversation with their engineers, the difference in spring rate between their lowest setting (Aero Mode) and their highest setting (Off-Road 2 Mode) is only 10%.

    All that said, if Tesla is pushing their bags to the extreme, and significantly reducing travel to achieve these extremes, that could definitely cause things to feel harsher. The biggest reason people most likely "feel" that the ride is harsher at Very High, could be simply do to the slow speeds they are moving at that setting. At slow speeds, the suspension tends not to move as much, which means that it doesn't absorb as much of the ground impact. At the Low setting, there is a perceived stiffening of the suspension by some, which makes it "feel" harsher to them. The mind is an amazing thing to convince, even when we have data to prove otherwise.
     
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  19. jmsurpri

    jmsurpri Member

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    I spent all of the first year of ownership with my car on Standard essentially riding as if it was on High because it wasn't calibrated correctly. My car was almost an inch higher, and the rear was higher than the front. If you check out my posts you will see I've been complaining about stiff/harsh ride since day one. Recently service performed a height calibration, and the harshness went away. I used to feel every little pebble in the road. When I had passengers, the car was embarrassingly stiff. That extra inch of air in the bags makes a huge difference in ride quality.
     
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  20. paperjohn

    paperjohn Member

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    I raise my 2016 90D to very high for the one mile gravel road with speed bumps and pot holes to get home. Very noisy, and "harsh" (to quote a previous statement). It was so noisy, with deep rumble and clunking sound over the gravel at 8-10 MPH I had the service center check it out. What I found was rear wheel drive cars are quieter in this situation and it is normal for all wheel drive. The car drives very smooth and quite at normal speeds on paved roads.
     

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