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Model Y Suspension and Ride Comfort Options

adam61

Member
Jun 1, 2020
5
1
Texas
I have a 2020 Model Y Performance with 21" Uberturbine wheels. I actually overall like the ride, but my wife absolutely hates it. I am looking at getting a 2021 Model S and my wife would like the Model Y, but I have to do something about ride comfort to get the buy-in. I don't want to spend a ton along with the high cost of a New Model S, but need to solve the problem.

1) I've let 2psi, and then 3 more psi out of the tires, I noticed a slight improvement, but not enough to really solve.
2) I know some say switch to smaller wheels with some extra sidewall on the tires. What wheels are suggested? How does this impact ride comfort for those who have done it?
3) I see there are a couple of coilover suspension options. I don't need any extra functionality, just a bit more forgiving ride. How much is installation on this and do I need to do it on top of wheels and tires? I'm worried cost is getting crazy at this point.

What else have others done?

She loves absolutely everything about the 3 from tech, size, storage, speed, look, other driving dynamics, etc. It should be a great fit if I can get the ride comfort a bit more forgiving without breaking the bank. I know the air suspension on the Model S would fix this, but I'm mean and greedy and want it for myself ;)
 
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Redekw

Member
Mar 8, 2021
13
16
45241
I have a 2020 Model Y Performance with 21" Uberturbine wheels. I actually overall like the ride, but my wife absolutely hates it. I am looking at getting a 2021 Model S and my wife would like the Model Y, but I have to do something about ride comfort to get the buy-in. I don't want to spend a ton along with the high cost of a New Model S, but need to solve the problem.

1) I've let 2psi, and then 3 more psi out of the tires, I noticed a slight improvement, but not enough to really solve.
2) I know some say switch to smaller wheels with some extra sidewall on the tires. What wheels are suggested? How does this impact ride comfort for those who have done it?
3) I see there are a couple of coilover suspension options. I don't need any extra functionality, just a bit more forgiving ride. How much is installation on this and do I need to do it on top of wheels and tires? I'm worried cost is getting crazy at this point.

What else have others done?

She loves absolutely everything about the 3 from tech, size, storage, speed, look, other driving dynamics, etc. It should be a great fit if I can get the ride comfort a bit more forgiving without breaking the bank. I know the air suspension on the Model S would fix this, but I'm mean and greedy and want it for myself ;)
Unplugged Performance has some comfort springs (stock height) that are supposed to soften the ride. About $2K less than their coilovers. I have some on order. In 8-12 weeks, I'll let you know if it improves the ride.
 

Dagobah

Member
Feb 5, 2020
15
1
Dallas, TX
I've read posts here that the stock 19" wheels give the most comfortable ride and least likely to result in pinch flats when hitting potholes.
I've got the 19" wheels at 41psi and it's still a very bumpy ride.

I'd really love to see some side by side testing. Ex: What makes the biggest impact per dollar
  • Lower psi
  • Different tires
  • Lighter wheels
  • Smaller wheels, bigger tires (ex 18" martians)
  • Comfort springs
  • Comfort coilovers
 

jcanoe

Active Member
Oct 2, 2020
1,734
1,723
Maryland
I've got the 19" wheels at 41psi and it's still a very bumpy ride.

I'd really love to see some side by side testing. Ex: What makes the biggest impact per dollar
  • Lower psi
  • Different tires
  • Lighter wheels
  • Smaller wheels, bigger tires (ex 18" martians)
  • Comfort springs
  • Comfort coilovers
How many miles on your Model Y/ The suspension of my Long Range Model Y softened up a bit after 2500 miles. Everyone assumes that dropping the tire pressure will provide a better ride but my experience is that raising the tire pressure of the OE Continental ProContact RX tires from the 42 PSI that Tesla specifies on the door pillar to between 43 to 44 PSI improved the ride of my Long Range Model Y. With the extra 1 to 2 PSI the ride feels a bit more cushioned. Didn't cost nothing.
 

Dagobah

Member
Feb 5, 2020
15
1
Dallas, TX
How many miles on your Model Y/ The suspension of my Long Range Model Y softened up a bit after 2500 miles. Everyone assumes that dropping the tire pressure will provide a better ride but my experience is that raising the tire pressure of the OE Continental ProContact RX tires from the 42 PSI that Tesla specifies on the door pillar to between 43 to 44 PSI improved the ride of my Long Range Model Y. With the extra 1 to 2 PSI the ride feels a bit more cushioned. Didn't cost nothing.
I'm just under 1k miles. Car actually came with 46psi (cold) and I lowered to 41. I'll see if increasing helps at all.
 

Exelion

Member
Feb 21, 2021
94
102
Los Angeles, CA
  • Lower psi
  • Different tires
  • Lighter wheels
  • Smaller wheels, bigger tires (ex 18" martians)
  • Comfort springs
  • Comfort coilovers

From the lowest cost to the most expensive:

-Lower PSi on 19" Apollo (Gemini's) wheels. I've dropped mine down to 38 PSi and it only helped a tiny bit. Ride is still rough, suspension still feels like it bottoms out on everything but the tiniest bumps.

-Different tires. I haven't read this helps much on ride comfort as much as it decreases range & braking distance (the latter which is a good thing) and gives superior grip.

-Comfort Springs. Only one company I know makes these so far. I hope they help.

-Non-adjustable Comfort shocks. Nobody makes this yet. I'm hoping someone does!

-Adjustable comfort shocks. see above.

-Complete comfort shock and spring set. Nobody makes this yet. See comfort shocks, above.

-Lighter 19" wheels. a few lb's shaved doesn't seem like it will help as much as the two immediately above. Aftermarket rims aren't cheap.

-18" wheels WITH 235 55R 18 tires. This shaves a lot of weight per wheel, increases range, and opens up the tire selection immensely (like Michelin Defenders!). Tires are cheaper too! I'm hoping to see more people with these. I wonder why Tesla didn't go with this wheel/tire size, but I think they leaned more towards performance when they made their decision.

-Nonadjustable comfort coilovers. This is available for the Tesla brother, the model 3. I hope this gets made for the Y.

-Adjustable comfort coilovers. Very expensive. Reviews exist, and seem to be extremely positive. This is the reason why I think the highlighted above, would be good too. I'm highly considering these but haven't purchased, not because of cost, but because of unavailability AND lack of other above options.

The Model Y has only been out for a year, so I'm hoping as time progresses, people will step in and fill in the holes above with good product. Right now we' only have choices of inexpensive but don't work well vs. really expensive (and unavailable!). Forum pages are chock full of complaints, and there's rumor that even Tesla is changing around the suspension with the newer model Y's. This is a really good indicator of a high demand for these products.
 
Last edited:

vtplm

Member
May 9, 2018
77
77
Irvine, CA
-18" wheels WITH 235 55R 18 tires. This shaves a lot of weight per wheel, increases range, and opens up the tire selection immensely (like Michelin Defenders!). Tires are cheaper too! I'm hoping to see more people with these. I wonder why Tesla didn't go with this wheel/tire size, but I think they leaned more towards performance when they made their decision.

I think part of this might be because of the load rating on the wheels and tires. The y is significantly heavier than the model 3. There a whole thread on putting the 18 aeros on the model y and analysis of recommended load distribution.
 

Noflash

Member
Aug 11, 2020
52
18
Denver
There are a few that have gone with 18" Martian wheels (example pic below, not mine). I was prepared to spend the $2k for the inductions, but no way now. I'm going with the Geminis. If the ride quality is acceptable, I'll powder them black. Otherwise, I'll get the 18" Martians for $2k.

martian 18 model y 2.jpeg
 

2101Guy

Active Member
Jan 6, 2020
1,427
1,232
USA
Unplugged Performance has some comfort springs (stock height) that are supposed to soften the ride. About $2K less than their coilovers. I have some on order. In 8-12 weeks, I'll let you know if it improves the ride.
are these a brand new offering? Anyone else have them yet or you will be one of the first? Contemplating a set myself
 

52 16 57 39

BioDiesel & Electrons
Nov 20, 2020
207
170
Tacoma, WA
I do not think springs will fix the ride duality. Springs just hold the weight of the car at a particular ride height.

Shocks/dampers are what will chance the ride quality. So coil overs w adjustable compression / rebound settings - or just new shocks all around (which do not exist yet from what I know).

When aftermarket shocks become available - I will certainly look at them for my MYP
 

RawwrBag

Member
Jan 8, 2021
5
9
Seattle
I've got the 19" wheels at 41psi and it's still a very bumpy ride.

I'd really love to see some side by side testing. Ex: What makes the biggest impact per dollar
  • Lower psi
  • Different tires
  • Lighter wheels
  • Smaller wheels, bigger tires (ex 18" martians)
  • Comfort springs
  • Comfort coilovers
This is what I'm looking to get answered too. Lots of things I can spend money on. Lots of subjective experiences and personal preferences. The only constructive thing I can add is that I tried to measure the effect that PSI had and decided it wasn't measurable. I drove the same 30MPH arterial with 46 and 41 PSI and came up with this:


Otherwise I have to spend a fair amount of money to try these various things. For each you can find like 2 or 3 reviews that are as comfort-biased as I am, which doesn't really seem like enough to base a decision upon. At some point there will be more reviews and more data. Or maybe I'll just try them all and end up with a graveyard of expensive car parts. If I can avoid selling the car with an upgrade, even a $4k upgrade, that'd be great.

I want this car to be more comfy so there isn't coffee splashed all over the front and I don't get a sore neck driving across town. I'm old + Seattle has garbage pavement. It's a family driver for us. I keep it in chill mode and it wouldn't bother me if it handled like my 1996 Sentra. That probably sounds sacrilegious to a lot of Tesla owners, but I have a different set of circumstances than ya'll!
 

PNWLeccy

Member
Jul 11, 2019
874
702
Seattle
This is what I'm looking to get answered too. Lots of things I can spend money on. Lots of subjective experiences and personal preferences. The only constructive thing I can add is that I tried to measure the effect that PSI had and decided it wasn't measurable. I drove the same 30MPH arterial with 46 and 41 PSI and came up with this:


Otherwise I have to spend a fair amount of money to try these various things. For each you can find like 2 or 3 reviews that are as comfort-biased as I am, which doesn't really seem like enough to base a decision upon. At some point there will be more reviews and more data. Or maybe I'll just try them all and end up with a graveyard of expensive car parts. If I can avoid selling the car with an upgrade, even a $4k upgrade, that'd be great.

I want this car to be more comfy so there isn't coffee splashed all over the front and I don't get a sore neck driving across town. I'm old + Seattle has garbage pavement. It's a family driver for us. I keep it in chill mode and it wouldn't bother me if it handled like my 1996 Sentra. That probably sounds sacrilegious to a lot of Tesla owners, but I have a different set of circumstances than ya'll!
Seattle roads are truly abysmal. Sometimes I'll have an errand to run on the eastside and can't believe how nice it would be to have a smooth ride like this all the time.
 
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srlawren

Member
Aug 3, 2020
554
358
Vancouver, BC, Canada, Eh?
The only constructive thing I can add is that I tried to measure the effect that PSI had and decided it wasn't measurable. I drove the same 30MPH arterial with 46 and 41 PSI and came up with this:


@RawwrBag I'm not sure I totally "get" this graph... what is the force (net force) being applied to?

Regardless, just looking at the red vs. blue lines, it seems there is no clear "winner" from these two inflation level options, since the higher force seems to flip back and forth between the two over time (when they even noticeably diverge).
 

RawwrBag

Member
Jan 8, 2021
5
9
Seattle
@RawwrBag I'm not sure I totally "get" this graph... what is the force (net force) being applied to?

Regardless, just looking at the red vs. blue lines, it seems there is no clear "winner" from these two inflation level options, since the higher force seems to flip back and forth between the two over time (when they even noticeably diverge).
My methodology was pretty dumb. I used an iPhone app for accelerometer data. I placed the phone in the same place on the seat, under my butt. I exported it to CSV and into a spreadsheet. From there I calculated the resultant force of the 3D force measured by the accelerometer. (F = √(Fx^2+Fy^2+Fz^2)). Then I applied a low pass filter to remove vibrations and other noise so the graph clearly showed low frequency events such as hitting a divot or pothole. I removed gravity so that there wasn't a Y offset on the graph. So the net force is supposed to represent G-force applied to the butt of the driver of the car. In other words, when I hit that bump around 12 seconds, I briefly felt about 0.1 G's. I'm not a physicist or anything so I have no idea if this is the right way to do the math.

I came to the same conclusion you did. FWIW, it doesn't feel any different to me either. For the places the graphs diverge, maybe autopilot took a slightly different path over the terrain. The speed was rock solid though or the events wouldn't have lined up.

TL;DR in my wannabe scientific experiment, the zero dollar fix provides zero additional ride comfort.
 

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