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Beware Wheel Stops and sinking front suspension

Boeing777

Member
Dec 7, 2014
17
0
Punta Gorda, FL
2014 P85D. Bought it new, and immediately had it coated with ceramic sealer. $2000+. Professional window tinting. Only hand wash it with deionized water. (Building a case for how well I take care of this car)

Imagine my disappointment when parked at an airport, I slowly crept back from my parking spot (which I always choose to be away from other door dingers) I hear some lower body contact with the wheel stop curb. Thinking it was the chin spoiler, I stopped, pumped up the suspension to its highest setting, and slowly resumed my backing out. The next thing I know, my nosecone is laying on the ground and the entire front clip has torn away and is hanging tethered by the sensor cables. (Tesla calls this a "bumper cover"). As you can easily see, the wheel stop is an average height.

Upon further analysis, I believe the plastic underbody panel which wraps around under the car but is attached to the entire front bumper cover, somehow caught the forward edge of the wheel stop. When I stopped and pumped the suspension up, I should have inched forward slightly to release the plastic lip from the concrete barrier, and THEN resumed backing up. (But at that time, I thought only the chin spoiler was involved.) Ultimately, it pulled the underbody panel forward, deforming the nosecone and popping it out, and tearing the plastic "bumper cover" on the left side.

I'm in the Tesla body parts waiting line now, and the Tesla approved body shop says it takes forever to get body parts from Tesla. Clearly, this is poor design on Tesla's part, and no underbody parts should ever hang up on a standard concrete wheel stop, no matter what the suspension height is.

On the plus side, the new parts including paint and installation is $1650. FAR less than I thought. Probably because no aluminum was involved...only plastic.

My pride and joy has gotten its first damage. And, it wasn't a simple paint chip. Beware the wheel stop!
IMG_1362.JPG
IMG_1365.JPG
 

Doanster1

Member
Feb 14, 2018
879
463
Oregon
What is it with wheel stops that causes the car to think the front end it too high and so it needs to self-level down?! This has happened to me before as well so now I never pull in so far as to have any part of the front hang over. Can’t imagine there’s a sensor underneath the front cover, but clearly the car thinks the front is too high somehow.
 

Boeing777

Member
Dec 7, 2014
17
0
Punta Gorda, FL
What is it with wheel stops that causes the car to think the front end it too high and so it needs to self-level down?! This has happened to me before as well so now I never pull in so far as to have any part of the front hang over. Can’t imagine there’s a sensor underneath the front cover, but clearly the car thinks the front is too high somehow.

I really don't think that the car lowered itself onto the wheel stop through some automatic process. I think that the air suspension loses a little pressure without the compressor running which puts an already close underbody fascia even closer to danger. Furthermore, although I can't prove this, I believe that the fascia that evidently hooked on the wheel stop, was hanging ever so slightly below the rest of the car. When I stopped and reset the suspension to max high, I never went forward to "unhook" the fascia from the concrete. Lesson learned...now that we know this has happened to others on this forum, perhaps Tesla might modify the fascia part that is causing pain to otherwise happy owners. Unfortunately, too late for us early adopters.
 

Doanster1

Member
Feb 14, 2018
879
463
Oregon
I really don't think that the car lowered itself onto the wheel stop through some automatic process. I think that the air suspension loses a little pressure without the compressor running which puts an already close underbody fascia even closer to danger. Furthermore, although I can't prove this, I believe that the fascia that evidently hooked on the wheel stop, was hanging ever so slightly below the rest of the car. When I stopped and reset the suspension to max high, I never went forward to "unhook" the fascia from the concrete. Lesson learned...now that we know this has happened to others on this forum, perhaps Tesla might modify the fascia part that is causing pain to otherwise happy owners. Unfortunately, too late for us early adopters.
When it happened to me, it certainly was not because some air was naturally lost. My front wheels were TUCKED in the wells. I naturally didn’t notice until I heard that gawd-awful scrrrraping sound. :(
 

Ostrichsak

Active Member
Sep 6, 2018
3,290
3,221
Colorado, USA
I really don't think that the car lowered itself onto the wheel stop through some automatic process.
They do. Do some searching and you'll see many references to this warning to not park the front lip over curbs or sidewalks for exactly this reason as they can lower after being parked.
 

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