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Speed bumps vs underside

Discussion in 'Model S: Driving Dynamics' started by BobtheV, Aug 9, 2013.

  1. BobtheV

    BobtheV Member

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    As I plan on getting an MS one thing worries me: the car is very low slung, even with the optional air suspension. How does it do with sharp and high speed bumps?

    BobtheV
     
  2. ckessel

    ckessel Active Member

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    It scrapes over them like any sports car.

    FWIW, I haven't found any I can't clear on the highest suspension level.
     
  3. phat78boy

    phat78boy Member

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    I don't believe it sits any lower than other sport cars or sport sedans. I would go with the active air suspension. It will allow you to raise and lower the car should there be areas you need that option. Also, as with any low sitting vehicle, taking bumps at an angle helps too.
     
  4. Banahogg

    Banahogg Member

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    For anything that looks especially high, I put the suspension to "high" and haven't had any problem. I've hit bottom on a couple of steep curb cuts when I didn't think or have time to put it to "high".
     
  5. Rodolfo Paiz

    Rodolfo Paiz P85 "Plug and Play"

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    It's about the same height as other cars, I think, plus the bottom is completely flat so there isn't anything to "catch" on bumps. I have had zero problems. And as others noted, with the air suspension you can always raise the car further if needed.
     
  6. jerry33

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

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    No problems for me either.
     
  7. jomo25

    jomo25 P4398

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    There's a speedbump near my daughter's daycare that is esp. high. If I don't raise my suspension to high, it will scrape. I learned that the first time i went over it. It's not a nice sound, painful even. (I think its worse, even jarring, because the car is so solid and the battery structure is so tied to the car so, when it hits, you feel it not just hear it. On other cars, it may not be a structural part of the car that scrapes, like with the MS.) I've thus learned to always raise it to high now and it has no issues with it.

    And for the record, i hear many other cars going over it scrape. So, its no worse than many other cars from a clearance perspective. but if you are worried, get the active suspension and you will be much better off than most of the sedans and coupes on the road today.
     
  8. Doug_G

    Doug_G Lead Moderator

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    I've never had to raise the Model S for a speed bump; at most I've just had to slow down. I've had to raise it for a friend's driveway, though.
     
  9. kendallpb

    kendallpb Model S: P 8061

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    I have the air suspension and thought I'd need it for a few sharp speed bumps (not the main reason I bought it, though), but I've only used it like that once, and it turned out I would've been fine--another time I didn't raise it on that particular bump and I did not scrape. I'm sure I'll find a bump or two that needs it raised; I haven't yet, though, fortunately.

    Now those stupid parking spots with pieces of cement...some of those seem downright high, so I try not to overhang. Once I raised myself to avoid possibly scraping (I wasn't sure if it was touching, when I came back).
     
  10. liuping

    liuping Active Member

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    I still have not decided on whether or not to get the active suspension. I need to decide soon. I think this and the final color choice (blue or Grey) are the last bits I need to decide on.

    I sounds like many people have rarely, if ever, actually needed it for speed bumps. But what about driveways? Is it something I can live without or am I going to be kicking myself if I don't get it?
     
  11. jerry33

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

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    A sharply angled driveway can cause scraping. No problem with air. I've needed it in one driveway that I've been in.
     
  12. NoMoGas

    NoMoGas Member

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    I absolutely recommend getting AAS for a host of reasons including resale value, the driveway you speak of and depending on where you live, the roads. I put it as one of those things that if you can afford it, you'd rather get it and not need it then not get it and wish you had.
     
  13. dsm363

    dsm363 Roadster + Sig Model S

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    If you know of very steep driveways you will encounter often, might be worth getting. It may be something that requires more service over the long term than a standard suspension from what others have said but it makes for a nice ride.
     
  14. liuping

    liuping Active Member

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    I don't really encounter many steep driveways, so that's not a big issue for me.

    When you say "it makes for a nice ride", does that mean you can actually feel a different int he ride/handling when it's lower on the freeway, etc? I was under the impression that it did not really effect the suspension other than raising and lowering the height

    From what I've read, it seems to be one things that is more likely to fail, and that is something that bothers me. If I'm not going to use it much, it might not be worth the increase in the long term maintenance of the car. It could end up costing much more the than initial $2250

    - - - Updated - - -

    I'm more of a keep it for a long time guy, so resale does not usually factor in to my choices

    I'm a little afraid of getting it and not neededing it, then having it fail 4 years in for $3000-$4000 in repairs. I'll be kicking my self if that happens. If I get it and use it, I'll not be so upset it costs more to maintain.
     
  15. deonb

    deonb Active Member

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    #15 deonb, Aug 10, 2013
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2013

    My house is below street level, so there is a ramp up from the street to the sidewalk, then a level 4-foot sidewalk, then a ramp down to the house. Worse, the curb doesn't have a cutout ramp to the sidewalk.

    With the air suspension set to standard the car will scrape severely on multiple spots when it goes over the sidewalk. Without the air suspension I would have definitely had to rebuild my driveway and argue with the city to get the curb changed.

    We have a frequent visitor coming by with a Camry and that doesn't even come close to scraping.


    It's a bit painful that some of the loaners don't have air suspension. If I ever had to get a low-end loaner for several days, I wouldn't be able to charge it.
     
  16. purplewalt

    purplewalt Active Member

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    I use it for my parking garage at work, slight scrape on the upward ramp out at night.
    I use it for visits to a friend's house, very steep driveway, even scrapes rear end fins backing out sometimes set at highest setting.

    MOSTLY use for head-in parking to raise care's nose over concrete parking curb stops and standard high curbs.
    Lower front edge of car is highly vulnerable to concrete, better to raise above than to touch and scrape: TRUST ME ON THIS.

    If you are planning to keep the car a long time, then get and extended warranty, and have TESLA Service Center repair it should it cause problems.
     

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