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Parking with auto-leveling suspension

Discussion in 'Model S: Driving Dynamics' started by ROKN ZJ, Jan 5, 2015.

  1. ROKN ZJ

    ROKN ZJ Member

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    I've searched and there's a handful of threads about this but it doesn't seem to be considered as big of a problem I think it should be.

    Almost every time I park the Tesla over a parking stopper (curb) it levels lower and I scrape pulling out. Sometimes it's fairly bad and today my wife backed into a spot and actually pulled the chrome 'skid' off the rear bumper.

    What do people do to avoid this constant threat of body damage?

    Driving around in a higher setting doesn't seem to solve anything as it still levels lower.
    I haven't tried driving around in a lower setting to see if we would at least bump the curbs beforehand when parking and avoid getting stuck on top of them and dragging the car off.

    Raising the car every time you get in isn't a great option since it raises the back first pushing the front further onto the curb due to pivoting over the front wheels.

    Not parking over top of curbs isn't a a great option either because the Model S is so long and sometimes you have to pull in further to avoid being the vehicle that sticks out the furthest in a parking lot. (The Model S is 18" longer than a Ferrari 458 which I assume is so low it wouldn't clear a parking stopper).

    But is that it? Simply never park overtop of something? It's just a frustrating problem for me considering you can park safely and then come out to leave and find yourself stuck on top of a curb until damage in inevitable.

    I guess I simply wish there was a way to set a ride height and leave it there. I feel as though I have locked in a ride height but the leveling always seems to lower the car below that setting, so I don't know what else I can do.

    How do y'all handle this? Is it as simple as never parking over anything?

    Glancing at the settings I noticed the setting of what speed to put it in 'low' mode. It had it set to '100+' to no avail and now I've set it to 'never', but I doubt that will fix the settling problem. I guess I could try 'always' and drive around in low as stated above, but that brings up problem of driving over stuff on the road as well as high centering on steep driveways.

    This problem is my only frustration with the Tesla, although a big one, and makes me regret 'splurging' on the air ride suspension.

    Thanks.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Clarification: My wife backed into a spot safely, and when she returned later the car had lowered and pulling out of the spot pulled the chrome skid off.
     
  2. Todd Burch

    Todd Burch Electron Pilot

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    I never, ever park over these. Never been in a space where I stick out considerably when I do, either...but that could be a local thing. If a spot is so short that the car sticks out significantly, I'd say find another spot. But personally I've never had to do that.
     
  3. SweetP

    SweetP Member

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    I always raise before parking over suspected high curbs. Mine keeps the height and only returns to standard with increase in speed when driving off. Also it sets the automatic height for that location. If yours isn't operating that way you should take it in.
     
  4. jerry33

    jerry33 S85 - VIN:P05130 - 3/2/13

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    Always back into the spot whenever possible (it's safer anyway). Centre the car with the pavement markings using the wing mirrors. When the curb or marking is at the bottom of the rear view camera screen you are perfect.
     
  5. AmpedRealtor

    AmpedRealtor Active Member

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    My car re-levels itself after I exit, but it never lowers itself. I'd have it looked at.
     
  6. invisik

    invisik Member

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    I had to get in the habit of pulling in what seemed ridiculously not far enough at first. From there you can start to gauge your distance from the curb in different parking lots to get reasonably close. Seems to be the best way to deal with it. Sorry.
     
  7. Gizmotoy

    Gizmotoy Active Member

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    Mine has a built-in mechanism to avoid this: springs! They don't settle, and the ride height isn't high enough to park over these little curbs, so I've gotten pretty good at judging how far to pull in. Or you avoid the whole thing alltogether and back in. It must have been a REALLY high curb to scrape off the chrome in the back. It sits several inches higher than the front.

    There's not much you can do, though. There have been complaints about the car settling over curbs since the very beginning. All you can do is simply not park over them.
     
  8. Chipper

    Chipper Active Member

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    I, too, have had this same thing happen to me. The car definitely settles down on a stopper after a few minutes. I have even stood around long enough to watch it go down. I asked at the Service Center and was told this is "normal behavior". I have now learned to hit the brake pedal to "start" the car then wait for the suspension to pump up before departing. It is a solution, but not one I would think I would have to do every time. If you get a different answer from service I would definitely like to know about it.
     
  9. danielp

    danielp Member

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    I've tried putting it in Jack mode before leaving the vehicle which seems to keep it up.
     
  10. Chipper

    Chipper Active Member

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    SOOOO many ways I could respond to that comment but I am going to let every one of them pass!
     
  11. danielp

    danielp Member

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    You and me both! That is as clean as I could get it!
     
  12. Alysashley79

    Alysashley79 Member

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    When there are no other choices for me other than to park over the curbs. I begin raising the car as I'm pulling into the spot and therefore it's already high before getting to the. Curb. And then car remembers where I was when it raised so next time I don't have to worry.
     
  13. jerry33

    jerry33 S85 - VIN:P05130 - 3/2/13

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    Wow! That all sounds so complicated as opposed to just using the mirrors and camera and backing in.
     
  14. invisik

    invisik Member

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    2015_01_06_15_13_20_ProShot.jpg

    I parked at a gas station to get a quick sandwich this afternoon. Here's how far I typically end up parking head in.... I can gauge it pretty well now.

    -m
     
  15. randompersonx

    randompersonx Member

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    The answer is obvious, stop before the curb stop, not over it. If there is no other choice, back-in as the rear end is higher, but only do this if the curb stop is relatively short. Do not park on top of a tall curb stop either way.

    This is not a unique "problem" for the Tesla. The same issue exists for essentially all high performance cars, except you would scrape when you pulled in rather than pulling out with a standard coil. Many years of driving a Porsche has me doing this as habit.
     
  16. Kraken

    Kraken Member

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    install a front camera from Artsci. don't park over curbs. done.
     
  17. yobigd20

    yobigd20 Well-Known Member

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    Stop pulling so far in that you hang over the curb. Don't back in and park over the curb either. Fail to do this, and you may damage the car when the air suspension levels. It's that simple. Driver error.
     
  18. Burt Court

    Burt Court Member

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    Months ago I noticed the curbs at Superchargers were all scarred up and wondered what was causing it. Now that I have traded the model S for a model D I will be more alert thanks to this thread. Seems you have to back in pretty close to get the cord to reach the port.
    old geezer
     
  19. ROKN ZJ

    ROKN ZJ Member

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    The replies to back in are fairly frustrating considering as I stated in the post my wife backed in this instance when the curb caught the chrome skid. It was a sloped spot so the back end was angled down, and it was a tight parking lot. My wife and I have discussed this and I guess the answer is to never ever park over top of anything. BTW the chrome skid on our car wasn't actually even with the black skid that goes further under the back side (basically where a gas tank might be on a normal car) and this unevenness is what caught and pulled it off. We've never had a car with an automatic suspension (this was our first new car since 1999) so in the past if our cars fit over something it still fit when we got back.

    Anyway, thanks for the replies. I wish there was a way to simply stop this self leveling or have it always level up but alas...
     
  20. danielp

    danielp Member

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    There is - put it in Jack mode. Sigh.
     

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