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Suspension problems. OEM dampers are failing.

MrChoi

Member
Apr 29, 2019
61
13
California
Long story short my dampers on my performance model 3 is weakening. It's noticeably softer than my friends SR+ and the car oscillates over large low frequency bumps. I already took it to the service center but they "could not reproduce customer's concern." I have a high knowledge on suspensions and I know without a doubt that my dampers are failing. I also compared it with another person's performance model 3 and his was noticeably firmer.

The question is, what the heck do i do? The service techs has no idea what I'm talking about and keeps on telling me its "that's normal" or that "I'm driving too fast" and "the concerns you are addressing will happen with all cars at high speeds." They can't seem to understand or feel that my suspension is getting softer.

I'm already planning on ordering coilovers but do not want to be stuck with failing or failed oem dampers incase I need to swap them back.

Any advice?
 

MasterC17

Active Member
Dec 3, 2015
1,119
1,824
USA
How many miles do you have on your car? I am surprised to hear that you feel they are failing. Do you see any fluid leaking?
 
  • Helpful
Reactions: Brando

Uncle Paul

Well-Known Member
Nov 1, 2013
6,256
6,778
Canyon Lake,CA
Some performance suspension shops will have a shock dyno. They can test your shocks and compare them to OEM specs. Send the test results to Tesla technicial for their opinion.

New shocks will also have more stiction than after a few miles. They will feel "softer" but will actually be performing better by danpening out more smoothly.
 

lbowroom

Member
Sep 12, 2018
499
459
Orange County
As an expert, you know stiffness and damping are different things but you seem to be using them interchangeably after your op.

You're getting coil overs but you're afraid you may need to switch back, why would need to?

Also, once off the car it will be easier to verify damper performance.
 

MrChoi

Member
Apr 29, 2019
61
13
California
As an expert, you know stiffness and damping are different things but you seem to be using them interchangeably after your op.

You're getting coil overs but you're afraid you may need to switch back, why would need to?

Also, once off the car it will be easier to verify damper performance.

True that stiffness and dampening are different terms but when your dampers (AKA shock absorbers) weaken, the overall stiffness or firmness of the suspension is also reduced along with the capability to dampen the stored energy in the springs. To reiterate, I want to keep the OEM suspension that is not failing incase I need to swap them back for any reasons such as sending the coilovers for a rebuild or perhaps sell the car.

I'm not sure if Tesla will accept the shock dyno results or reimburse me to have it dyno'd. I also don't have a new set of dampers to test.

My friend do feel the difference and says "it feels a bit softer." He has the standard range plus. Just the people at Tesla can't feel that my car's suspension is softer. I guess I'll just have to wait a little longer.

The car only has 6200 miles. No visible fluid leaks but there are other ways a damper can fail.
 

MrChoi

Member
Apr 29, 2019
61
13
California
i would be super annoyed if I was sure the shocks were bad.

I'm pretty annoyed because I know they are either bad or going bad and tells me things like "Then all model 3's dampers should be bad." It seems like there isn't much to do at this moment so we'll see in the next few weeks or months. If any one is in the San Jose area I am willing to take you on a ride so you can feel for yourself.
 

MrChoi

Member
Apr 29, 2019
61
13
California
Went back to the service center. They're still telling me that its normal. If anyone is having suspension issues please let tesla know. I currently have an "engineering ticket" for this issue but i doubt they'll do anything other than gather data on who reports suspension issue.
 

MrChoi

Member
Apr 29, 2019
61
13
California
Sounds like you should just get the coil-overs so you can dial in the suspension way you like it.

Its not about preference in the suspension's feel. The problem is that the suspension (dampers) are getting softer which is a manufacturing problem. Imagine if I told someone to get a whole new paint job if they weren't satisfied with the scratches when their car was delivered.
 
  • Funny
Reactions: tccartier

Msjulie

Active Member
Jun 26, 2016
2,427
1,738
Monterey Bay Peninsula
Perhaps some with higher Model 3 examples could provide feedback on how well they age, but in general most of these are pretty young cars. Do we even know rebound and damping specs for what is used on Model 3 Performance cars?
 

MrChoi

Member
Apr 29, 2019
61
13
California
Perhaps some with higher Model 3 examples could provide feedback on how well they age, but in general most of these are pretty young cars. Do we even know rebound and damping specs for what is used on Model 3 Performance cars?

One thing the tesla service rep told me is that every model 3 built is different and that's why even if I brought them qualitative data on my problem, tesla most likely won't do anything since the service rep states the problem is "normal." They also said that even if I compared it with another Model 3 Performance the suspension will feel different. I never knew our cars were a custom made cars where each individual vehicle is different.

Anyways, the only data I have on the dampers are that they are supposed to be stiffer than the non performance models.

I considered taking the dampers to have it dyno'd to give them solid data but again, since each car is "different" I'll just be wasting my time.

If anyone wants to go for a test ride in my vehicle, let me know.
 

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