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Snow and Air Suspension

Discussion in 'Model S: Driving Dynamics' started by Thalass, Apr 10, 2016.

  1. Thalass

    Thalass Model 3 reserved zomg

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    North Bay, Ontario, Canada
    Hey folks, I know this is an old topic. People have been asking about this system since day one. However I haven't seen much info about how the S handles snow, and specifically whether air suspension can help you get out of a jam after sudden snowfall.

    Some background: I live in Northern Ontario, and last week we had a good 20cm of snow during the day (after a week where the snow had pretty much melted entirely) and by lunchtime several people got stuck. Then at 4pm more people got stuck. My coworkers with trucks didn't have an issue, of course, but those with regular cars did. I was lucky, but I did get a bit of exercise helping others!

    So in the case of a Tesla with the active air suspension; would that extra few cm help?
     
  2. Villa-Lobos

    Villa-Lobos Member

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    Apr 4, 2016
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    Whitefish
    Don't know about the Air suspension but my 70D went up my driveway which is a 10 degree incline with 8 Inches of snow numerous times this winter a breeze. better than my big SUV!
     
  3. mspohr

    mspohr Active Member

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    I have an 85D with air suspension and we had lots of snow this winter which gave it a good test.
    Short answer... incredible (like everything else with the car).
    The car performed flawlessly in all snow conditions. It feels like it's glued to the road. I even intentionally tried to make it slip on one occasion where I was on a deserted road with 6" (15cm) snow and ice. I floored the go pedal and the car just calmly accelerated in a straight line under complete control. I then slammed on the brakes and it decelerated without slipping in a straight line. Just amazing.
    I raised the air suspension several times in heavy snow and to get over the berm at the end of the driveway and it worked well.
    I bought the air suspension specifically to get around in snow and I'm happy with the performance. I've also noticed that the air suspension is much smoother and quieter than coil suspension. Great handling in all conditions.
     
  4. Thalass

    Thalass Model 3 reserved zomg

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    Oh interesting. The roads up here are full of potholes, too. Especially at this time of year. Depending on the price for the Model 3 I might get that as an option. :D
     
  5. amallah

    amallah Member

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    Location:
    Monkton, MD
    All-season or winter tires?
     
  6. Steve2498

    Steve2498 Member

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    I had a good test when 8+ inches of snow fell overnight. I was in a parking lot which no one else had driven through yet.

    After clearing snow off the car, I started driving forward but the car kept telling me to stop because the height of the snow made it think there was an obstacle in front of the car.

    My solution was to raise the suspension to very high. I was then able to make fresh tracks through the parking lot with ease and no complaints from the car.
     
  7. Villa-Lobos

    Villa-Lobos Member

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    Whitefish
    For me all season radials Michelin
     
  8. green1

    green1 Active Member

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    The extra height will make a minor difference, winter tires will make a major difference.
     
  9. mspohr

    mspohr Active Member

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    You should always run winter tires if you expect to drive in snow. Much better traction. Lots of people seem to have very strongly held opinions on the "best" winter tire... try to find an "objective" review... TireRack gives you both user opinions (some value) and reviews (most useful).
    The height adjustment doesn't affect tire traction, it just lets you get over deep snow without it dragging on the bottom of the car... think of a turtle getting high centered so that his legs can't get traction.
     
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  10. Thalass

    Thalass Model 3 reserved zomg

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    I see. I'm new to this "snow" thing, so this year I went with winter tyres with little metal spikes in them. Good thing I'm in Northern Ontario where that's allowed. I need all the help that I can get. Ground clearance included. hahaha
     
  11. jerry33

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

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    Studs were for older generation tires when the technology wasn't as advanced as it is today. Studless is the way to go (assuming you choose X-Ice or R2).
     
    • Informative x 1

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