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Deciding on air suspension

Discussion in 'Model S: Driving Dynamics' started by BobbyG, Apr 17, 2016.

  1. BobbyG

    BobbyG Member

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2016
    Messages:
    12
    Location:
    Colorado
    I'm trying to decide if the air suspension is worth the cost both upfront and in future repairs should it need attention. I am not considering it for performance purposes. I don't live on a dirt road, nor in an area that has lots of blind hills. I do live in CO where the snow can be a factor and do have a sloped curb onto my driveway that will be an issue if I hit it too fast. I don't think we're passed the warranty period for any current MS's, so I don't know if anyone can comment on repair costs yet.
    • Are there MS owners who have air suspension and use the features regularly for other than performance reasons (e.g., lowering the car at high speeds)?
    • Are there MS owners who do not have it and wished they had gotten it for reasons they didn't consider at first?
    Thanks much for your thoughts.
     
  2. Caligula

    Caligula Member

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    Oct 14, 2015
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    600
    Location:
    San Diego
    I did not get it, nor do I wish I had. Yes I would appreciate the aesthetic appeal of a lower stance, however thats not worth the price of admission to me. Also, I haven't seen snow in over a decade, so theres that...
     
  3. FlatSix911

    FlatSix911 918 Hybrid

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    Location:
    Silicon Valley
    I had a Range Rover with an Air suspension ... major headaches and expense to repair ... never again.
     
    • Informative x 1
  4. patrick40363

    patrick40363 Member

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    Mar 25, 2014
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    Location:
    Cali
    I have a lot of sloped driveways where I live. I have the air and wouldn't purchase a Tesla without. You will wish you had it the first time you hit your driveway wrong.
     
    • Like x 1
  5. Forty Creek

    Forty Creek Member

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    Aug 27, 2013
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    Location:
    Carlisle, Ontario
    I do not have air suspension and have never missed it. Not once has the car 'bottomed out' under normal use (for me).
    I have had a couple of loaners with the feature and it only seemed to raise / lower the car a tiny bit. Hardly worth the money to me and I won't be ticking that box when I order my next Tesla.
     
  6. mspohr

    mspohr Active Member

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    Location:
    California
    I bought the air since we have a lot of snow and I wanted to be able to adjust for deeper snow. It works well and I use it regularly. Also good when you end up on a rutted dirt road. Nice that it also lowers on the freeway for better aerodynamics.
    I've also found that it is much smoother and quieter than coil suspension. The air suspension has hardly any mass compared to coil so is particularly good at filtering out higher frequency road surface noise.
     
  7. cjesurun

    cjesurun New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2016
    Messages:
    1
    Location:
    El Paso, Texas
    I bought a Tesla S in Dec of 2015 w/ air suspension-I think it is a great idea. You never know when you wish you had it. When I park the car and there is a curb that might hit the low hanging bumper-I can raise the level to clear the curb/concrete stopper. If you happen to hit the lower edge of the bumper-it might be expensive to fix. I like having the security of knowing that I can avoid damage to the front or undercarriage.
     
    • Like x 1
  8. Fanatic1

    Fanatic1 Member

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    Jan 16, 2016
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    Location:
    San Francisco Bay Area, CA
    I got my MS 85D around the same time. In Burlingame some of the road curbs are high so the passenger door would hit it. With air suspension I can avoid that kind of damage in addition to that from hitting those parking lot curbs.
     
  9. Larry93428

    Larry93428 Member

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    Feb 26, 2014
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    371
    Location:
    Cambria California, United States
    My first Model S had air suspension as does my second. I use the features regularly for other than performance - primarily for sloped drives and entries to parking lots and there is confidence on unfinished roads.
    Also, for me, there is the Gee Wizz factor. Wow! Springs are so yesterday.
    ~Larry
     
    • Like x 1
  10. Fanatic1

    Fanatic1 Member

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    Jan 16, 2016
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    Location:
    San Francisco Bay Area, CA
    Agreed. I leave the setting for lowering the car automatically for faster speeds for 100+

    Very useful for sloped driveways and the automatic settings based on GPS location is impressive.
     
  11. chipmunk

    chipmunk Member

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    Mar 21, 2016
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    Location:
    Orange County, CA
    My recommendation is that unless you need it for clearance reasons (or you want to view the James Bond Submarine easter egg in Fanatic1's profile pic), skip it. I don't have it. I feel like the air suspension feels less precise (based on my experience with loaners which had the same size wheels as mine). I would say it feels both more harsh and floaty. Just my two cents. Of course there are the maintenance considerations as well. If you do need more clearance, the difference in ride height is significant, and the fact that it remembers locations to raise is a pretty neat trick.
     
    • Funny x 1
  12. BobbyG

    BobbyG Member

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    Apr 16, 2016
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    Location:
    Colorado
    Wow! Talk about a split decision. One question that remains, although mentioned in one of the responses, is the after-warranty costs for maintenance/repairs. Does anyone have an idea what a trip to the service center for air suspension issues will cost on average?
     
  13. geovision

    geovision Member

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    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    I would say just give your local SC a call to get a rough estimate. I have air on my P85+ and used it several times for curb access on a few areas, and getting up some steep driveways with no issues.
     
  14. pdxrajiv

    pdxrajiv Member

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    Location:
    Portland, OR
    Our 2015 85D has air suspension for non-performance reasons - for being able to drive to trailheads on unpaved/dirt/gravel roads.
    I have not experienced any problems with it thus far.
     
    • Like x 2
  15. Chgd Up

    Chgd Up Sig 1004

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    Dec 18, 2012
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    Location:
    United States
    A few observations having put over 110k miles on air suspension and now about 1500 with out.

    1. Over 3 years I never had any mechanical issues.
    2. The air compressor is one of the few sources of noise on an otherwise almost silent car.
    3. Air springs are more progressive and give a smother ride especially over speed bumps it may be less precise however.
    4. Coil springs feel more predictable and slightly stiffer.
    5. The coils transfer more road noise from a rough road surface.
     
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  16. Jan85D

    Jan85D Member

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    Apr 6, 2016
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    Location:
    Belgium
    We have a lot of speed bumps here in Belgium. With the automatic adjustment based on GPS location its a great feature.
     
    • Like x 2
  17. tfboy

    tfboy Gimme the Caaaaaar!

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2016
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    Location:
    Reading, UK
    When I went out for my first test drive, it was a car on springs with 19" wheels. Felt nice and firm, still quiet, but did feel the road surface come through to the cabin a bit more than I expected - "for a luxury sedan".

    My second studio was on a car with ludi (I had requested to see the difference), and it had air and fitted with 21" wheels. Felt still rather firm, but on the way back to the SC, I decided to take the back roads which included humps. First few was on the standard setting, then switched to high to see the difference, and I was amazed at how smooth it felt. I agree with the ability to soften out high frequency road imperfections and also smooth out bigger deltas such as humps.

    I decided to keep the air option on my order.
     
    • Informative x 1
  18. tstafford

    tstafford Member

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    Nashville, TN
    I don't have it and have never missed it.
     
  19. Rifleman

    Rifleman Now owns 2 Model S's!!!

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    Nov 29, 2011
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    Location:
    Harrison Ohio
    I have 2 S60's, one with air suspension , the other without.

    I wish the both had it. When I bought the first one without it, I thought it was not a big deal, but after buying my wife's car that had the air suspension, I wish my car had it as well. The air suspension definitely provides a smoother ride.
     
    • Informative x 1
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  20. Lawtq

    Lawtq Member

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    Feb 8, 2016
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    Location:
    London
    I tried 19's on coils and 21"s on air.

    21" on air surprised me as they felt noticeable more comfortable and handled better due to to 21" wheels

    Could feel so much more Road and gravel with the 19" coils. I want that smoother ride, so 21" air it is, but damn that cost! Jesus christ of Nazareth
     

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