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Very Harsh Ride Quality in M/S

Discussion in 'Model S: Driving Dynamics' started by tccartier, Oct 3, 2017.

  1. tccartier

    tccartier Member

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    Picked up my CPO S about a month ago and have noticed after living with the car, that the ride quality "is terrible"!! I can feel every imperfection in the road, even the smallest blips in the road result in being jiggled in the seat accompanied by pressure wave booming in the cabin. (but that's another matter) The shock damping rates are so stiff that the suspension is pretty much "non compliant" on all but the biggest undulations in the road surface.

    Perhaps I'm expecting the car to be something it is not but at least for me it is NOT a very comfortable car to drive unless on the best roads surfaces out there. (such as smooth asphalt) ONLY!. Any other surface or road condition upsets the car terribly "along with my backside". I realize this is subjective to ones interpretation of a compliant ride but an wondering "am I alone on this"??

    '12 S-85 Signature "non performance" .. 19" wheels/tires with active air susp. "set to standard" and "never lower" based upon a set speed threshold. I specifically bought a non performance car with air suspension for comfort's sake. Turned out to be not so much!
     
  2. oktane

    oktane Active Member

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    Yes the suspension is terrible composed to compared to most luxury sedans. There is a lot of corner to corner instability when going over bumps and the car likes to oscillate in those directions. However it actually takes curves pretty well given the low center of gravity. I wish the car came with an active suspension like most cars in the price range.
     
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  3. 365gtb4

    365gtb4 Member

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    Check your tire pressure when cold and hot. AZ road temps can make the tire pressure increase dramatically.
     
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  4. bishoppeak

    bishoppeak Member

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    What did you drive before?
     
  5. Hotlobstah

    Hotlobstah Member

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    I have standard springs and it's everyone comments how smooth it is: "sooo quiet and smooth".

    Def check air pressure
     
  6. tccartier

    tccartier Member

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    Glad to know I'm not off the rails. And I too wondered why selectable damping rates were not included And yes agreed, the car can be tossed around quite handily in the corners, and being rear drive, having instant torque on tap along with regen "on the same pedal" makes corrections mid corner quite fun but it never let's me forget it's heft albeit low in the chassis. "Regen on entry" is nice too when the car is taking a set. But for daily use ... I'd like a more compliant ride :) Oh well. No looking back lol! and the car does so many other things well that it is an easy pill to swallow.

    Tires set to 45 psi. cold since delivery. I might do some experimenting and drop it a bit and see if it takes some of the edge off once I have more time to play with it, and observe the results / tradeoffs etc.

    Before I got my Volt in 2013 "which had a more compliant ride than my S", I spent about 15 years driving Lincoln Town Cars (hence the "TCCartier" screen name) Those provided damned near the best down the road ride comfort out there "at any price" By comparison my Model S rides like an ore car "much more nimble of course" but anything but smooth.
     
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  7. tccartier

    tccartier Member

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    In my experience the lack of an ICE with it's associated NVH can make a car "feel" smoother than it really is and the opposite as well. I too have had many tell me how smooth and quiet my S seemed to them, to me not so much smooth or especially quiet on worn and or uneven road surfaces etc. That said I would not trade it for anything else out there presently. (still grinning)

    Now if there were an MB S-5/600, or Caddy CT-6 or Lincoln Continental, BEV offering I might be interested! Or if I could get my hands on that prototype Rolls Phantom 102EX "just sayin" ;)
     
  8. animorph

    animorph Member

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    There are a few harsh ride threads. One of the interesting finds was that if your rear hatch is not snug against the rubber stops it will vibrate and cause excess buffeting in the cabin. That would be the first thing I would check. It might make a big difference for you..

    The S is definitely no Lincoln Town Car. It's sportier. And the air suspension is not really intended to smooth out the ride, just raise and lower the car.
     
  9. kort677

    kort677 Active Member

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    you have a '12, there are probably many miles on it, in addition to checking the TP you should have the suspension inspected, I suspect something is beyond it's useful life.
     
  10. tccartier

    tccartier Member

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    Yes, I've already adjusted the bumper stops , that's a given with any hatchback, no thread needed for that lol!

    Still thinking I need the Rolls-Royce 102-EX lol!
     
  11. tccartier

    tccartier Member

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    47,000 miles and change on my car. Suspension is tight , I'm a mechanic by trade. Have not wrenched for many years but do know my way around a car.

    My surprise is that the damping rates are so high. The CPO process never afforded me the opportunity to drive the car I was actually buying. I have driven other Model S examples about two years ago in Buena Park CA. I just remember a more compliant ride. Damping adjustment would be nice to have IMHO.
     
  12. kort677

    kort677 Active Member

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    the 12 was tesla 1.0 it is a rwd, was the one you test drove a rwd? the awd hold the road much better. I've owned both versions.
    I am not as well versed as you are in the mechanics but regardless of the miles it sounds as if some parts of the suspension are "tired"
     
  13. tccartier

    tccartier Member

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    Well we'll certainly keep an eye on it :) and the version I did drive was rear wheel drive at the time maybe it's just my 59 year-old backside that's tired and the car is actually doing okay LOL!

    I've got some experimenting to do. But overall having a blast with this car. The Tesla grin is going strong over here
     
  14. Cyclone

    Cyclone Cyclonic Member ((.oO))

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    FYI that all 2012s are Signatures and all Sigs are P85s, so you did get the RWD performance S vs. a RWD non-Performance S.
     
  15. Skateboardgolf

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    What?! That's waaay too high.
    Lower your tire pressure to 40psi, and you'll notice a night and day difference. Money-back guarantee.
    I have staggered 21" rims, at 40/42psi, and the ride is creamy and comfy.
    Good luck.
     
  16. arcus

    arcus Member

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    He has 19" wheels, 45 psi is the suggested pressure for those.
     
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  17. SomeJoe7777

    SomeJoe7777 Marginally-Known Member

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    Are your 19" tires the older GoodYear Eagle RS-A2 ? If so, and they're mid-life or towards the end of life, they could be a source of the harsh ride. Those tires are a High-Performance All-Season, which will not have the ride quality of a better brand and type of tire like the Michelin Primacy MXM4, which is a Grand Touring All-Season tire.

    It's also possible that you have aftermarket tires on the car (not likely since it's a CPO, but something I would check). Perhaps someone installed run-flats, which are known to have a very harsh ride.
     
  18. Jason S

    Jason S Model S Sig Perf (P85)

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    Re: tires, I've got the MXM4s and they are very nice and quiet. They break traction under acceleration a bit quickly but that's just part of the fun.
    Regarding the ride, it isn't cushy like a TC but it doesn't have the air pressure issues mentioned.

    Regarding the Sigs - Performance version was an extra $10k and many did order it like I did but an S85 Signature isn't that unusual. The suspension is the same either way. If it originally had rear facing seats the rear compartment does have more bracing, that's the only difference I can think of.
     
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  19. 12Pack

    12Pack Member

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    Indeed even after adjusting the hatch bumpers, the boom resulting from the (I assume) combination of stiff frame incl battery, and the light, open body structure can be annoying. I measure 84 db at 70mph on my daily drive, compared to 80db for the Range Rover diesel it replaced. So, yes, even though there's no engine noise, the boominess makes it louder while cruising compared to likely any luxury ICE.
     
  20. Cyclone

    Cyclone Cyclonic Member ((.oO))

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    Wow. I didn't know that. Thanks!
     

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