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PSA: Yes, you with the fancy air suspension. Use it!

DCEV

Member
Mar 25, 2019
845
560
Washington DC
I thought I could not drive my car any carefully than I do already but apparently not.

I was pulling out of a parking area with a slightly steep incline going down and I thought surely the car could handle it. Sure enough it could handle the incline without scraping anything but then at the bottom of the incline I had to turn left and now I know when you turn at the bottom of an incline the opposite side of the car goes down and now I have a scratch mark on the underside of the bumper. So mad at myself!

Super irritated by this as I could have EASILY avoided this by setting air suspension to VERY HIGH. The good news is that you can hardly tell there is a scratch when you are a few feet from the car because it is on the underside of the painted bumper but the bad news is that I know it is there so I'll be looking for it...

A bit of good news is that it looks like the Suntek Ultra Defense Paint Protection Film took most of the brunt of the scrape. I just wish the installer continued the PPF a few more inches so it covered the entire painted surface but since it was a single piece bulk wrap perhaps that wasn't possible.

I have an appointment with my detailer on Friday and we'll see what they can do. The first photo is of the fresh scrape and the second photo is after I blotted the Paint Protection Film with a microfiber towel with hot water. I don't want to mess with it any more and I'm going to see if they can remove the Paint Protection Film from just the scratched area in a straight line and redo that strip in a straight line. Would rather see a neat straight line there than scratched PPF.

Lessons learned:
  • If you have Air Suspension, USE YOUR AIR SUSPENSION! If you are ever in doubt, USE YOUR AIR SUSPENSION! Mole hill ahead: USE YOUR AIR SUSPENSION!
  • If you are installing Paint Protection Film, tell them to make sure the film covers the entire painted surface of the bottom of the bumper. I realize now how vulnerable that painted surface is. It could be asphalt from an incline or simply packed ice or snow in the winter. That painted bumper strip on the bottom is super vulnerable for scratches.
  • Speaking of Paint Protection Film: I would ask them to cover it once when they protect the front bumper and then add one or two more layers of SunTek Utra Defense paint protection film (or another super think film) about 3-4 inches in width in a straight line across the bottom edge of the painted bumper. With 3 layers, that would be 33 mils of protection and you can use those first one or two layers as a super inexpensive sacrificial layer that you can replace every year or so when you do a full detail. Without this sacrificial later of PPF, even if you have PPF and that bottom part gets scratched, now what? While the paint might be safe, it still looks like scratched PPF. It's a waste to have to redo the entire front bumper to fix just the bottom part of the bumper. Triple layer that bottom 3-4 inches of the front bumper in PPF.
  • If you are driving down an incline, understand that steering at the bottom of the incline lowers the side of the front bumper away from the turn. If possible, steer only when the front has fully cleared the bottom of the incline.
  • USE YOUR AIR SUSPENSION IF YOU HAVE ANY DOUBT OR CONCERN. Wish the air suspension could be raised with a voice command!
  • The last lesson learned is that Paint Protection Film is a great investment.
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DCEV

Member
Mar 25, 2019
845
560
Washington DC
And set it so it is based on location!

Actually that's something I find really annoying about the air suspension and a reason why until now I had resisted using it.

I once had to use the raised suspension setting in a parking lot and then whenever I drove past it, the car would raise the suspension needlessly and I could not click the "X" quickly enough to cancel it and remove that location.

There is no way to access all the GPS locations for raised air suspension locations.

I wish the auto suspension raise setting was "opt in" rather than having to "opt out" each time I use it. The place where this happened is a great example. I drive past this place all the time but don't want it to auto raise unless I actually pull into that driveway.
 

conman

Active Member
Aug 19, 2017
1,436
2,131
Melbourne, Australia
I drive past parking lots where I've set it to auto raise and it raises and then lowers. I've just learnt to ignore it, knowing it will do the right thing when I'm actually in the car park. Unless I'm doing launches or something, being unnecessarily in high doesn't seem to affect my driving adversely at all.
 
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DCEV

Member
Mar 25, 2019
845
560
Washington DC
I drive past parking lots where I've set it to auto raise and it raises and then lowers. I've just learnt to ignore it, knowing it will do the right thing when I'm actually in the car park. Unless I'm doing launches or something, being unnecessarily in high doesn't seem to affect my driving adversely at all.

You are right. I should just use Air Suspension whenever needed without being concerned about clearing the memory locations as much as had I've used Air Suspension out of habit doming down that parking ramp, I wouldn't have scratched the bottom of the bumper!
 

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