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Any long term owners in New England? Question on non-framed windows and air susp.

Discussion in 'Model S' started by greginfinity, Apr 2, 2015.

  1. greginfinity

    greginfinity Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2015
    Messages:
    12
    Location:
    Maine
    I know, long term is relative... two years max?

    Anyways, I am looking for people in our harsh environment that have had the car for a whole winter or two. The two things I am worried about in the Model S are:

    1) Non-framed windows. I absolutely hate that the car is designed this way. I get it for convertibles, but not hard topped cars. Even Subaru finally ditched this stupid design. Has anyone had issues with this in the cold/snow/ice? Any rattles yet?

    2) Long term durability of air suspension. I plan on keeping a Model S for as long as possible and since owning an A8L, I am not convinced that air suspension is worth the hassle. I know I have to ride in both to feel ride quality, but I am sure that long term the system will have issues. I rarely fiddle with the settings on the A8, and doubt there is significant aerodynamic improvements lowering the car in real world driving. I don't care about looks either (the car will be covered in salt half the year)! Thoughts?

    I can't wait to join the club, but I may keep saving my pennies for the next iteration...
     
  2. bluetinc

    bluetinc Member

    Joined:
    May 11, 2009
    Messages:
    682
    Location:
    MD
    Hi! I'm a bit south of you, but I've now had my S through 3 winters,

    1) The windows have been a pain a couple of times, Usually the door opens and then wont close (unless you want the window out of the track with force on it), and I have to run the heat in the car a few minutes to melt the ice on the window to allow it to drop an inch to close the door properly. We can get a number of freezing rain storms here and that's always been the cause of it for me. I've never had any issues with snow. Also, with the preheat function on the car, I think I could have eliminated almost all my issues if I had just had it heat up 15 minutes early.

    No issues with cold. None with Snow, None with rattles.

    2) I like mine to deal with speed bumps and dirt back roads camping. I haven't heard of any issues on anyone's car yet, but it's early. I can easily see why you might pass on this one.

    Whenever you decide to jump in, I'm sure you will love it. I've got a classic now, and it still makes me smile every time I get in.

    Peter
     
  3. EdA

    EdA Model S P-2540

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2011
    Messages:
    1,885
    Location:
    Massachusetts
    I got my car on 1/8/2013 so it's now been through 3 winters.

    I have had a window or two which didn't lower when pulling on the handle (along with some other teething issues since I had such and early car).
    These issues were addressed promptly by the service center.

    I have not had any issues with the air suspension. Back in 2012 the feeling was with the big battery it was worth getting the air suspension.
    And of course not getting it back then meant a 3 month wait. It does come in handy in certain driveways and construction zones from time to time.
    And when cleaning the car :)

    The auto-lower feature can be set to a certain speed, so unless you're avoiding a scrape, there is no user intervention.

    /Ed
     
  4. Cerie

    Cerie Member

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2014
    Messages:
    105
    Location:
    Connecticut
    I got my car Nov. 2014 but after this winter, I don't see how it could get much worse.

    1) The windows have been a non issue for me. My husband used to have a 5.0 Mustang and we never had issues with its windows either. There was one day where one of my mirrors didn't fold out when I started the car because it had rained and the water had frozen between the mirror and the little arm so I would recommend turning off the auto-fold mirrors for the winter.

    2) I have the coil suspension. Didn't want to deal with the long-term costs of maintaining air suspension and I did have a chance to ride in one with coils and one with air and didn't really notice a difference in ride quality although my husband and I are on the younger (not 30 yet) side of ownership age so maybe our backs aren't as sensitive. My dad is in his early 60s and did get the air though but that is more due to the fact that he has a pretty steep driveway.
     
  5. Cyclone

    Cyclone Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2015
    Messages:
    4,394
    Location:
    Charlotte, NC
    You may want to reach out to @tliving or his blog at teslaliving.net. He has the coil suspension for a year or so now and based on his blog posts and comments to questions, he is very happy with the coil suspension even when driving through heavy snow. It was his blog posts that then brought me here and made me seriously consider getting a Model S. :)
     
  6. tga

    tga Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2014
    Messages:
    2,199
    Location:
    New Hampshire
    What's the issue? I have 3 cars with non-framed windows (Subaru, Mini, 911), and I've never had any issues of any kind with them.

    Re air suspension: If you plan to keep the car long term (8-10 years or more), I wouldn't touch air w/ a 100-ft pole. Every one I know (myself included) who kept an air suspension car long term had expensive repairs to it. Just say no.
     
  7. Cyclone

    Cyclone Active Member

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    Charlotte, NC
    This is what has ultimately made me decide on coil vs. air. I have kept every car I had (except the one "lemon") for 8-11 years, and hope the Model S will be no exception. Plus, on the forums, while some people talk about ride differences, they mostly say the air comes into play changing the height of the car more than smoothing out bumps. Since I am coming from two decades of SUV use, I would want to keep the car mostly in high on air, which is roughly the same height as the coils. Since I do not care about lowering on the roads I drive on, it just makes sense to use coils. As a side note, having never had a car with air suspension, I guess I could say I don't know what I'm missing, but I have heard the same about expensive repairs from all my air-owning friends of other makes.
     
  8. Elric2176

    Elric2176 Member

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2015
    Messages:
    5
    Location:
    Boston, MA area
    I agree with the other posters on non-framed windows in general. I had them on an E36 M3 for 16 years and never had a problem.
     
  9. santana338

    santana338 Member

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2012
    Messages:
    333
    Location:
    Manchester, NH
    I've have mine for 2 winters now. No issues with windows but I keep mine garaged. I have the air suspension and I like it. I was planning to keep this car as long as possible (like I do for all my cars). So I guess I am going to be one of those looking at an expensive repair in the future. Oh well. The standard suspension wasn't available when I bought my car.

    In the worst case of a suspension failure I guess I could just park it and use it as a whole house generator...
     
  10. elecanuck

    elecanuck Member

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2014
    Messages:
    38
    Location:
    Hamilton, ON, Canada
    I've had mine through this winter in Ontario and parked it outside, no issues with the windows or doors freezing up, even at -38... I did pre-heat fairly aggressively though
     
  11. Cyclone

    Cyclone Active Member

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    Location:
    Charlotte, NC
    Yikes, that is cold! Does the car behave well if you left it out one or two nights in that cold without being plugged in? Just wondering if the Model S is feasible for when we go skiing.
     
  12. beeeerock

    beeeerock Active Member

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    1,372
    Location:
    Kamloops BC Canada
    As it's too soon to really comment on long term reliability of the air suspension, I suppose I can comment even though I don't have the car in my driveway yet!

    My history with European cars and air suspensions has been essentially negative. Not only are they extremely costly to repair, but very often tracing the problem is as big an undertaking as the actual repair.

    When I went through the options for my order, I looked at the price of the air suspension and balanced that with the possible benefits... and couldn't justify it for my own driving realities. I have never had an issue with my Benz (without air suspension) or my Alfa Spider when it comes to driveways, speed bumps etc... even snow (Alfa excluded from the snow comment!). The rollover curb and sidewalk at my house can cause the Alfa to grind, but only if I hit it perpendicular and with more speed than reasonable for entering a driveway!

    When I told my old Italian mechanic about my order and not taking the air suspension, his relief was obvious... he could tell me horror stories all afternoon about the problems he saw with air suspensions over his career... and it wasn't just in the 'old days' either.

    If the air suspension was cheaper than the coil system, I might have considered it... but I certainly didn't want it at the price premium quoted.

    I'm certain there are folks who would benefit from the air system and it may turn out to be a reliable option, but my requirements don't justify the risk! This is truly a 'your mileage may vary' subject. :smile:
     
  13. William13

    William13 Member

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2011
    Messages:
    943
    Location:
    South Bend
    Three winters in northern Indiana with about 100 inches or snow yearly reveals no problems yet with my early build Model S windows or suspension. I did buy the extended warranty due to the suspension. The air suspension and snow tires have prevented any problems with snow so far.
     
  14. mike-415

    mike-415 Member

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2015
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    70
    Location:
    San Rafael, Marin, CA
    I had them in a 330Ci coupe in Michigan, and they generally were OK. The few times we got ice storms, they froze in place and wouldn't dip to allow the door to open cleanly until I poured warm water on them. Here in CA, they are not an issue on the Tesla!
     
  15. mknox

    mknox Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2012
    Messages:
    8,556
    Location:
    Toronto, ON
    I've had my car since March 2013 in Southern Ontario and so have experienced two harsh winters and even a bit of snow/freezing rain back in early 2013 when I picked up the car.

    I'm with you on the frameless windows. I had some early water leak and wind noise issues that were addressed by my Service Center. They've been fine since. A couple of times when it was really cold, they didn't do the 1/4" drop when I opened a door and the glass caught on the rubber seal, but other than that, they have worked okay. No rattles but I don't think this design is as "sound tight" as a fully framed setup with better door to body seals.

    I have the air suspension mainly because the coil suspension wasn't an option when I got my car. I've driven loaners with coils and actually prefer the coil ride over air, but having said that I've had no problem whatsoever with my air suspension system.
     
  16. tliving

    tliving Member

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2014
    Messages:
    635
    Location:
    New England, USA
    Thanks @Cyclone.

    1) Windows - no issues here and I drove through this winter all winter long though the storms. Im not at a year yet, 11 months and 26K miles. Windows have been perfect for me throughout all weather.

    2) Suspension - Coils on mine. Just started a really nasty creak on the front right wheel that I'm going to call them on in the AM. Feels fine but sounds terrible. Otherwise i've loved the coils and each time I get a loaner with air suspension I walk away happy I didnt pay extra for it. I should note I live on a horse farm, the roads are pot holed terribly, there are frost heaves, steep grades into driveways around etc. And I drive a lot. I specifically didnt get the air suspension after having to shell out $2,800 for active suspension repairs on my old MDX after 180K miles. No more expensive maintenance for a feature I wouldn't appreciate thank you.
     
  17. PeterK

    PeterK Model S Owner

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2013
    Messages:
    1,148
    Location:
    Cambridge, MA
    After two years and a month, like others, no issues with the windows whatsoever, though it's usually garaged overnight. It's frequently out all day including all day and all night at ski areas.

    I like the air suspension, especially when combined with GPS to automatically raise the car near my driveway or particularly snow-covered street.
     

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