Welcome to Tesla Motors Club
Discuss Tesla's Model S, Model 3, Model X, Model Y, Cybertruck, Roadster and More.
Register

Can Air Suspension Be Frozen From Ice/Packed Snow?

mxnym

Member
Mar 9, 2018
864
317
Bloomington, IN
In October, my air suspension was disabled and the compressor was replaced under warranty. Yesterday, I got stuck in some deep snow and didn't think to try to raise the suspension to get out, but got pulled out instead. This morning, I raised the suspension before backing onto an unplowed road, and it appeared to work, but I didn't feel it raising, so I'm not sure if it did. I tapped very high and the closed the screen, but decided to check since I didn't feel it raise. It showed that it was in high at that point, and it showed that it was raising to very high after I tapped very high again. I closed the screen again and started my drive, but decided to check to see if it had lowered to normal, and it showed it was in normal, but then the air suspension disabled message popped up on the IC. I've exceeded 50,000 miles since the issue in October, so I'm hesitant to schedule service if there's no problem (especially since I'd expect to be without the vehicle for a number of days regardless on account of any backlog), but I do need to be able to get back on the road. I have a head gun. Does anyone know if ice or packed snow could be jamming the air suspension and where I'd need to aim the heat to resolve such an issue? I've already cleared snow off of the parts visible above the wheels, but I'm not sure that's where I need to be looking. Afterwards, I disconnected the HV and the fusebox, then I reconnected the fusebox and HV, and there were sounds that may have been the air suspension trying to adjust, but the message popped back up.
 

Yinn

Active Member
Nov 15, 2016
2,091
1,873
Behind you
In October, my air suspension was disabled and the compressor was replaced under warranty. Yesterday, I got stuck in some deep snow and didn't think to try to raise the suspension to get out, but got pulled out instead. This morning, I raised the suspension before backing onto an unplowed road, and it appeared to work, but I didn't feel it raising, so I'm not sure if it did. I tapped very high and the closed the screen, but decided to check since I didn't feel it raise. It showed that it was in high at that point, and it showed that it was raising to very high after I tapped very high again. I closed the screen again and started my drive, but decided to check to see if it had lowered to normal, and it showed it was in normal, but then the air suspension disabled message popped up on the IC. I've exceeded 50,000 miles since the issue in October, so I'm hesitant to schedule service if there's no problem (especially since I'd expect to be without the vehicle for a number of days regardless on account of any backlog), but I do need to be able to get back on the road. I have a head gun. Does anyone know if ice or packed snow could be jamming the air suspension and where I'd need to aim the heat to resolve such an issue? I've already cleared snow off of the parts visible above the wheels, but I'm not sure that's where I need to be looking. Afterwards, I disconnected the HV and the fusebox, then I reconnected the fusebox and HV, and there were sounds that may have been the air suspension trying to adjust, but the message popped back up.

It's also possible you might have ended up moving the sensor the detects the suspension height as well. So if after you thaw it out and it's still doing it, refer to the instructions for the "lowering links" for the Model X to take a look to see if the sensor may have been affected when you pulled out.
 
  • Helpful
  • Informative
Reactions: VikH and mswlogo

mxnym

Member
Mar 9, 2018
864
317
Bloomington, IN
It's also possible you might have ended up moving the sensor the detects the suspension height as well. So if after you thaw it out and it's still doing it, refer to the instructions for the "lowering links" for the Model X to take a look to see if the sensor may have been affected when you pulled out.
I appreciate the advice, but I wasn't able to find instructions specific to X, only S (but I think one pgae said they were the same). From the instructions I found, it looks like the sensor is fixed in place by a bolt and wouldn't move unless damaged. Maybe I'm looking at the wrong thing or the S is different?
 

Yinn

Active Member
Nov 15, 2016
2,091
1,873
Behind you
I appreciate the advice, but I wasn't able to find instructions specific to X, only S (but I think one pgae said they were the same). From the instructions I found, it looks like the sensor is fixed in place by a bolt and wouldn't move unless damaged. Maybe I'm looking at the wrong thing or the S is different?

Take a look at this post: #3

1_original_link-png.563977


When I brought it up I meant to indicate to check it to see if it could have been damaged from snow/ice given that you were concerned with snow/ice jamming up the components. I could think of several situations where it might have popped out of the ball joint or be broken off to cause suspension errors.

I'm not 100% certain it is this but when dealing with potentially repairing an air suspension that may cost several thousand dollars...figured it was worth the suggestion.
 
  • Helpful
Reactions: VikH and mxnym

mxnym

Member
Mar 9, 2018
864
317
Bloomington, IN
Why not park it in a heated garage to see if it corrects?
Unfortunately, my garage isn't heated, it's not even insulated. It was actually above freezing yesterday, but not anymore this morning.
Take a look at this post: #3

1_original_link-png.563977


When I brought it up I meant to indicate to check it to see if it could have been damaged from snow/ice given that you were concerned with snow/ice jamming up the components. I could think of several situations where it might have popped out of the ball joint or be broken off to cause suspension errors.

I'm not 100% certain it is this but when dealing with potentially repairing an air suspension that may cost several thousand dollars...figured it was worth the suggestion.
That picture is way better than the ones I found. Either way, we were already on the same page, I just didn't know it yet.
 

mxnym

Member
Mar 9, 2018
864
317
Bloomington, IN
This situation is resolved, and it turns out that I was wasting my time disconnecting the 12V. The system tests the suspension again after sleeping. At lunchtime yesterday, I was still getting the error. In the evening, I spent quite a bit of time with my heat gun trying to get rid of as much snow and ice as possible. The sensors I could see were not broken, and I tried starting up the vehicle again with success after using the heat gun, so I'm back on the road. Also, apparently the suspension controls have changed in an update, because it's normal for tapping very high to only raise the suspension one position. It seems to me like the sensors would have broken if the air suspension moved while they were seized up, so I tend to think the air suspension was actually completely frozen, but that seems hard to believe. I suppose it's possible that the sensors would flex a little bit and then the error would prevent damage to them.
 

About Us

Formed in 2006, Tesla Motors Club (TMC) was the first independent online Tesla community. Today it remains the largest and most dynamic community of Tesla enthusiasts. Learn more.

Do you value your experience at TMC? Consider becoming a Supporting Member of Tesla Motors Club. As a thank you for your contribution, you'll get nearly no ads in the Community and Groups sections. Additional perks are available depending on the level of contribution. Please visit the Account Upgrades page for more details.


SUPPORT TMC
Top