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to those WITHOUT air suspension: do you scrape often, wish you had it?

Discussion in 'Model S: Driving Dynamics' started by gnychis, Nov 27, 2013.

  1. gnychis

    gnychis Member

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    I just moved to the Bay Area from Pittsburgh, PA and I am finalizing a Tesla order. One thing I've noticed out here is that you have very, very, deep water ways and gutters pulling out of parking lots, shopping centers, etc. Additionally, a lot of steep driveways that flatten out at a sharp angle. On the plus side, the Bay Area has no where near as many potholes ;)

    That said, to those of you without air suspension, do you find yourself scraping often? I'm sure there are a number of people on here that couldn't make a daily commute without it (e.g., due to their own driveway), but this question is for everyone else.

    Luckily, the Tesla has that black/grey plastic looking piece under the front bumper, that I'm assuming could be touched up relatively easily and will mask most scraping. I also fear air suspension failing at some point, and being a huge cost burden down the road. Touching up that piece of plastic is going to be cheaper than fixing air suspension.
     
  2. ZBB

    ZBB Emperor

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    I've had my non-Air 60 for nearly 6 months... I have never scraped on a driveway entrance or on a parking curb. My previous car (a Porsche Boxster) would scrape nearly all the time when backing out my driveway (but never entering; and the back-out scrape was in a non-visible spot fortunately)...

    As for parking, I've been very happy with the front clearance on the Model S. The way the nose lip sticks out, I was very worried. But I've noticed that the height is plenty to clear all but the tallest curbs. Haven't measured, but there's only one curb in a parking lot we visit occasionally where I need to be careful not to pull too far forward. But I'd have that issue with basically any car...
     
  3. Dreamin

    Dreamin Member

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    No air. Never scraped.
     
  4. mnx

    mnx 2013 P85

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    I have air and have raised the suspension once or twice since February. (and it sits lower than the standard car). Unless you have a super steep driveway or something, it's not worthwhile to get for the reason of being able to raise the car up.
     
  5. mknox

    mknox Well-Known Member

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    I would agree. I probably would have ordered it anyway, but a driving factor when I bought mine is that the standard suspension was not in production and I would have had to wait longer.

    I still worry about the low front nose, and usually try to back in where I can keep an eye on the curb with the camera.

    The only time I scraped my Model S was going in to my mother's underground condo parking with a replacement battery for her ICE. I forgot to raise the suspension. Fortunately the scrape is minor and way under the front lip, out of sight.
     
  6. Forty Creek

    Forty Creek Member

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    I do not have air suspension and while it has only been driven 5,000 Kilometers (3,100 miles), the car has never scraped. It doesn't 'feel' particularly low compared to my previous cars either. I believe the ground clearance on the Honda Accord was just 1/2 an inch higher (6.1 vs. MS at 5.6 inches).
     
  7. Ven Rala

    Ven Rala Member

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    No Air. Have not scraped the car in 6 months. Looking back, still don't think I would order it.
     
  8. efusco

    efusco Moderator - Model S & X forums

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    I have air suspension and am willing to bet I scrape MORE than you non-air heads! In standard mode we sit lower than the non-air and thus, unless you remember to adjust the settings, you are more likely to scrap parking stops and sidewalks. Also, even when I remember to adjust to a higher setting, 9 times out of 10 the suspension will lower during the time the vehicle is parked and when I back out I scrape the bumper anyway!!

    Lots of good reasons to have air suspension, but I think avoiding scraping curbs and parking stops is NOT one of them.
     
  9. Doug_G

    Doug_G Lead Moderator

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    My most common use of air suspension is to park it in a particular friend's driveway. It will definitely scrape if I don't use it. Other than that, only when driving very slowly through deep snow. (I'd use it for driving more quickly through deep snow, but they don't let you.)
     
  10. Shumdit

    Shumdit Member

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    Got it (had to on the p85+) and no regrets. I have a steep driveway into my work (so steep I had to spend about $4000 getting the transition modified so a couple of my other cars could be driven to work). I also like it when it sits lower. I find myself putting it in low when I stop just so it has the right stance while it's sitting in the parking lot.
    I know, VAIN!
     
  11. AMN

    AMN Member

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    #11 AMN, Nov 28, 2013
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2013
    Funny! I had our building owner redo the parking garage entrance twice - once for the 911TT, then for the Model S. 911TT with lower springs clears that steep entrance better than the Model S. Gotta love the short wheel base.

    To the original poster... You HAVE to have air suspension if you think you may need it. If you THINK you may need it, you likely will. I would not be able to take this car to work if it didn't have air suspension. It's obviously personal preference but I also like how it rides much better than the standard setup.
     
  12. wycolo

    wycolo Active Member

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    As a last resort hit the curb at as much an angle as possible to avoid damage. Seems to really make a difference. Next time hit HIGH several seconds beforehand (if you can remember).
    --
     
  13. jcaspar

    jcaspar Member

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    I choose coils for better handling and have not scraped yet. All the areas, including my driveway, that were impossible to pass with my stock height Dodge Viper (about 3.5" clearance) without scraping have been no problem with the Model S.
     
  14. Kermit

    Kermit Member

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    Have never scraped with standard suspension. The nose clears all parking blocks that I've seen, but I still try to avoid pulling that far forward. I also have a very low sports car that scrapes or bumps on everything. I did not want the complexity and long-term reliability issues of adding 4 electro-mechanical-pneumatic systems.
     
  15. SeminoleFSU

    SeminoleFSU Member

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    Standard suspension here, kinda regretted not getting it at first, but since it was standard equipment when my P85 was built, I got a discount for the amount making the car more affordable. Now that some time has passed (and I haven't scraped anything yet) I think I actually prefer it... especially after reading lolachamper's posts, seeing the camber issues, and also the latest now where the "low" setting on the highway has been raised.
    Do the coils, and don't look back. The car rides fantastic and handles speed bumps better than my 2008 MDX did. The suspension is the perfect balance between firm for sportier driving and soft when wanting to cruise... the standard suspension was one area (out of only a handful) that actually exceeded my expectations on the car.
     
  16. lloyds

    lloyds Member

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    There are certainly times I'm glad I have AS where I certainly would have scrubbed the bottom side upon entering driveways
     
  17. muleferg

    muleferg Member

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    Standard here. I'm Scottish. I don't wear rubber heels. Afraid they will give.:)>)
     
  18. seanmccutchan

    seanmccutchan Member

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    Standard coils here. I went this route for long term maintenance concerns, and I'm very pleased. I much prefer this setup with 19s to the P85+ loaner which had more road noise due to 21s and what felt like a harsher ride.
     
  19. Tacket

    Tacket Member

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    Standard here. Can't get up my in laws drive way. About the only time I need it. They've got a tree that sheds a lot over their drive way, so blessing in disguise.
     
  20. artsci

    artsci Sponsor

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    I have air and the only time I have raised the suspension is when the car is being serviced or transported on a flat bed, three times in all since last May. No issues with scraping on driveways or anything else.
     

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