Please on the 90D - Make air suspension a separate option! - Do not roll it in as part of a package.

Please on the 90D - Make air suspension a separate option! - Do not roll it in as part of a package.

Our family had owned a 1993 C------r New Yorker with air suspension and it was great when it worked.
Around the 5 yr mark it developed leaks in the air system and the front end was drooping. Dealer replaced air compressor which was not the problem. Later replaced a line. Year later leak somewhere, drooping again.

Sadly I gave it to my brother in law who was going to have the suspension converted to coils.
Never happened and the car has been sitting for yrs.

As someone who buys a car to use it till it wears out. I do not lease "rent" a car or worry about the resale value. I buy it to own it, use it and like all great tech want as few problems as possible.

As I plan to keep my model X for close to 15 years I do not want to buy a car where the suspension is a wear item. Just a few comments from the blue collar crowd.

Clifford P.
Pittsburgh, PA.

romainiacWV | 25. November 2015

Agree with this.

EVino | 25. November 2015

I'm not discounting your experience, but I believe air suspensions made now are vastly much superior than those made twenty years ago.

socalsam | 25. November 2015

I have air suspension on my current model s. Frankly couldn't tell you if it's good or not. I'd buy my next car without it. Seems like a waste of money but I don't know otherwise. | 25. November 2015

I had a similar system on a Lexus LX 470. I came in handy in deep snow----once.
I don't want it in my 90D.

aesculus | 25. November 2015

Hmm. I was hoping the air suspension could come in handy on getting in and out of the car. Maybe not so much on the MX but more so on the MS since its normal stance is so much lower.

And what about better mileage with a lower profile on the highway? Doe the air suspension offering provide some automatic lowering of the car at highway speeds?

elguapo | 25. November 2015

@aesculus Yes, it lowers at highway speeds (based on how you set it). It is more efficient, but not markedly so. I have found the air suspension hugely helpful on steep driveways, annoying parking lots where the concrete at end of space is high and in the snow. It's also covered by the warranty, so not a big deal. Anyone buying these cars should buy the extended warranty anyway - small price to pay considering how expensive things can be to repair.

rossRallen | 25. November 2015

Go to the Model S forum and read threads on active air suspension. It will give you enough information to make an informed decision.

After going through every post, I decided that it would be a good thing to have. Ultimately, I didn't have a choice on the SigX, but I decided to buy it if it was optional based on evaluating all the user's comments.

The only issue in my mind is a passive suspension (springs and dampers) that should be very reliable and long-lasting versus an active system with sensors, air pump, valves, and four inflatable rubber bladders that provide the height adjustment and stiffness. As a mechanical engineer, I like "simple." Yet, I chose the active system.

You can decide for yourself.

rossRallen | 25. November 2015

@George: With rising sea levels, the active air suspension might come in useful in Florida. Just saying'.

I'm 225 feet above sea level, so don't expect that that will be a factor for awhile for me.

Race you around the parking lot?

rbucich | 25. November 2015

The active suspension in our S has been very handy in subtle ways. I can think of two steep driveways in particular that would make the car rub when entering and exiting (it's a long car). By raising the car in those specific locations, the car learns to anticipate them and raises the car on its own. We haven't rubbed at either location for well over a year now.

Some parking bumpers and curbs are also obnoxiously tall and will scrape the front of the care as well. Train it and it will avoid them.

Greater clearance on the X might make a it a mute point.

The air suspension on our 05 Allroad finally went out, I think we may have been lucky based on what I read online. But based on experience with the S, I'd still buy it on the X.

Tâm | 25. November 2015


If you are worried about repair bills, you should by Extended Service Agreement good for 100,000 miles or 8 years (whichever comes first).

I've been driving my Model S with Smart Air Suspension for almost 70,000 miles with zero problem. No leaks either.

It works all the time even when the car is off. If I move weight on/off the car, it would rebalance its height by itself due to change weights in different locations inside the car.

For those who prefer not to take advantage of Smart Air Suspension:

$5,000 Model S front bumper damage reported by @compchat because it got caught by a parking cement block:

@Djay's picture of Model S rear damage due to a parking cement block:

Tâm | 25. November 2015

Let's try the rear damage picture again:

NumberOne | 25. November 2015

For those who do not want the smart air suspension, there is always the 70D. I have a very steep driveway and need it. Since the car is already costing me more than $112k I would not appreciate any more 'options' Do not think for a moment that the car will be less expensive suddenly because of the suspension being optional. Also remember that the car lowers itself at highway speeds to increase range. The 257 Mile range is based on that. You will most certainly sacrifice some range by having standard suspension.

NumberOne | 25. November 2015

Coils generally come with shock absorbers, which invariably need to be replaced.. For reference, check CR ratings for C---r. Not saying the question is without merit, but the technology has improved somewhat and other high end cars have been using it without problems for many years.

PJJAVA | 25. November 2015

I'm with @EVino, I'm sure the current air suspension is far superior in current S's/X's, however I am likely going to lean towards the 70D because of the reduced risk of something else breaking long term and wasted $2500 I could spend towards auto pilot which I would actually use everyday. I'll take the 37 miles range hit and get a nearly fully loaded 70D for just about the same price of 90D with 7 seats. I'm hoping the 70D gets magically upgraded to a 75D (if Elon's deleted tweet is worth anything) by delivery time.

carlk | 25. November 2015

EVino is right. I don't remember ever heard an air suspension problem on the S forum. It's not just the ability to alter height but also will give you a more supple ride. I would just be happy to get it.

priustech | 25. November 2015

There were at least a couple of documented forum incidents about air suspension sagging onto a curb. There have a select few other incidents with air suspension. Probably good reliability, but no way to truly know until a greater percentage of cars with greater miles.

aljjr2 | 25. November 2015

I am not surprised about the C.....r. They were not known for quality or longevity.

I have had a Audi Q7 since 2007 with active air suspension and auto leveling. That means the SUV levels itself according to the weight distribution in the vehicle. I maintain it in the "AUTO" mode, so the suspension is continuously operable.

After 8 years, there is not issues with the suspension. I looked at the Tesla "skate" in the design center to see if the Air suspension had similar "beefy" components. It appeared to be as well-built as the Audi parts.

I like the air suspension features and will order the 90D or P90 when my turn comes.

Ross1 | 26. November 2015

page 12...clear there now | 27. November 2015

Does C.....r stand for Corvair? :-))

@rossAllen: I live 9 miles from the Gulf of Mexico. I will be pushing up daisies long before rising sea levels become a problem here. I'll leave that for my heirs who will be fighting for the MX, presuming that I live long enough to be able to lay out $105K for one. I don't want a 70D. I'm too old to wait any longer than I have to.

I still vote with the OP on this. I bought a 1974 Cadillac with adjustable air suspension in 1985. Don't ask why. The air suspension was DOA. No one knew how to restore it to life. Just sayin'... | 27. November 2015

Of course, if I have to get the air suspension to get the 90D, I hope it will also outlive me.

rossRallen | 27. November 2015

One of the secrets to long life is always having something good to look forward to. So, the 70D might not be such a bad idea. Or, the Model 3...

NumberOne | 28. November 2015

Just another thought to add. I feel that the Air Suspension (Smart of not is not relevant) will be useful for me personally because my 89 year old mother in law has trouble getting into both of the standard height cars I use to drive her around. Most SUVs are nearly impossible for her to get into, and smaller ones with adjustable seat height are easier but still not ideal. The Model S is low, so it should not be too hard to get in but getting out is another matter altogether. Of course the Model X is a few inches higher, but not having seen it, I will go with the Air Suspension. There are always benefits which we do not think of early on but which prove very useful as we discover them, (or potential problems that we do not see.) That said, I agree that the history of air suspension is not exactly perfect.

aesculus | 29. November 2015

@LeonardD: I agree and top of that I understand the ride to be better. After all the other statements Tesla made about making decisions such as the seats, charger, FWD's that are a necessary part of the design of the car, I am not sure why they just don't include the air suspension on every car.

But then we see the posts for people who don't want it (their choice) and this is why we have options. So optional is what it should be on every car I guess, along with third row seats, chargers, sound system, wheels ...

If they are really automated in the production of the cars it should not matter in the least.

And don't get me started why computer manufactures have dozens of models but still make you pick all sorts of options in the process. It crazy. Just pick a few body styles and let people choose the processor, display resolution, memory, HDD ...

Its an inventory nightmare to keep all of these models and it really does not help a customer choose. If anything its much more difficult.

carlk | 29. November 2015

Tesla proabaly kept air suspention out of the base model just to make the base price low.

Blueskies | 29. November 2015

What is the height range of air suspension on the X? I'd expect it to be higher on an "SUV" than the S.

Red Sage ca us | 29. November 2015

I do not know what the range of height is for the Model X, but the maximum height was reported by Car and Driver as 9".

NumberOne | 29. November 2015

@carlk Exactly what I am thinking. However, if people want it as an option that is what they want. I would have no problem with it being optional as long as it does not increase my cost. At over $100k I would expect some things to be included automatically, like leather seats and Autopilot.

cprzywarty | 29. November 2015

Thanks for all the comments on my thread. To be clear, I am a Tesla investor, long on Tesla. I put down my $5000 deposit ~2-3 days before the Model X reveal. My current 2005 Ford Escape hybrid will be 12 years old or so when my 90D hopefully is ready. I am figuring somewhere mid to late 2016 but only Tesla knows their production roll out/ramp up. I was one of the 1st 3 people in PA. with a Ford hybrid. I had to drive up to Michigan to get it as they were only sold in 6-10 states the 1st year they came out. I also have a first year 2007 Canam Spyder, 3 wheeler moto-cycle. If I had a dollar for all the questions I answered for interested people as I drove around on the Spyder the first year, I could have paid cash for the model X :^). A Canam Spyder has 2 wheels up front, 1 wheel in back. I also have $1000 deposit on an Elio Motors 3 wheel motor car. List price ~7000. It is an in line, enclosed, 2 seater, 3 cylinder ICE and may get over 80MPG highway if it is able to come to market. We shall see.

But back to Tesla. I want a 90D but only without air suspension. I would buy a 100D, also without air suspension, hint hint Mr. Musk. I am not interested at all in a 70D as another poster suggested but glad a 70D eventually will be available for users as it will lower initial price point to buy a Model X. I also plan to tow 4 ATVS in an enclosed trailer occasionally, so no amount of body lowering will improve mileage/range pulling a trailer but the larger 90 battery pack will. Or that 100 battery pack, hint hint hint Mr. Musk.

Yes I know shock absorbers are a wear item. I have installed more than a few sets of shocks, drum and disk brakes, rotors, exhausts, starter, plugs wires and coils, plugs, couple of water pumps and a radiator or two on the family cars back in my younger days. Even tried to rebuild the V6 engine on a 79 GM Grand Prix about 30 years ago but we won't go there. Had worn main bearings on a engine with 55,000 miles on it, oil changed every 3,000 miles on a car my dad bought new. Tsk, tsk GM. I have never had to replace a coil spring though. Replacing a shock(s) is simple and cheap and can be done by any mechanic compared to an air strut for a factory air suspension. Also is it the air strut or hose or fitting or the compressor? Nor would you have to buy an extended warranty for peace of mind but I admit I will consider it on my 90D just for the share amount of bells and whistles. Don't get me wrong, if I had the luxury of buying a new car every 3-5 years, get the air suspension. If you have the spare $1500 or more to fix your air suspension after 8,10, 12 years get the air suspension. If you are buying a Model X P, by all means get the air suspension. But as my best friends uncle use to say. "Or you can save 100% and just not buy that option." But only if it is a separate option. Bottom line, for the 15 years I plan on keeping the Model X the air suspension would need work based upon my past experience. Also my dad who passed 9 months ago, his last 3 cars were Lexus'. None of them had air suspension and they road fine with coils and are still in use by other family members.

I played around with the Model S choices this morning and they allow a 70, 85 and 90 with air suspension as an option. But I don't want a model S. Dam nice car but too low and I have owned a Mitsubishi Conquest Sports car, 4 cylinder turbo 5 speed which had a front air dam maybe 4-5 inches above road. Man I loved that car. My brother bought it new and sold it to me at a great price when his only child was born. That car was 17-18 years old when I sold it for $750 dollars with ~185,000 miles on it. I'm a SUV person now. Like the higher driving stance/ground clearance by default. We have a lot of road construction with raised man hole covers during repaving every few years not to mention pot holes and winter/road salt. As I said in my earlier post I will be keeping the Model X for at least 15 years. The only reason I opened this thread is I saw another poster list model X options with the 90D including the air suspension as standard.

Finally, I am so glad Mr. Musk is moving this planet kicking and screaming into the 21st Century, green renewable tech, electric cars, solar, SpaceX! My hats off to you Mr. Musk, you are doing the planet and future generations a great service. We initial lucky few model X purchasers have it easy, order, buy the electric car. Mr. Musk has to do the heavy lifting, design build, ramp up production, ect. But it is the kids and grand kids I am worried about. I fear even if we had 100 Elon Musks the kids are going to inherit a much hotter planet.

nrelia | 30. November 2015

I second optional air suspension on 90D, coils for me to bring down cost and avoid future breakdown issues

carlk | 01. Dezember 2015

I have not heard any S owner complains air suspension except for a few hard core drivers chose coil because it's stiffer. Air suspension does provide a better ride. I would think there is even more reason for the air suspension on an SUV because of its ability to change height.

cprzywarty | 03. Dezember 2015

Was looking at another post that included a spreadsheet of 70D, 90D P90D possible options and prices. If you can configure a 70D with an upgrade option of a 90D battery pack while still having the option on the 70D to Do/Not DO air suspension that would work for me. Even if Tesla makes 10% more or so on the battery upgrade option using a 70D-90D battery upgrade than if you started with a 90D which has the battery and Air to start with I would be happy.

Also, based on the spreadsheet (don't now how accurate it is) but good enough for estimating, there are other options I want which would boost my costs by $5000 or so. (winter/auto pilot/tow options etc.). I was hoping to get out the door for ~$110,000.00 with tax but now it is looking more like ~115,000.00 with tax. If I can save ~$2000.00 not getting the air suspension, gives some wiggle room on configuring an out the door price.

PJJAVA | 03. Dezember 2015

I'm with you @ cprzywarty. I too would really benefit from being able to upgrade from a 70 to a 90D with only the pack upgrade and NOT the air suspension. My numbers would also reach about $115k and my comfort zone is right around $110k with tax. Come on Tesla give us the option to get the 90D without air suspension.

MyXinTx | 03. Dezember 2015

I am a creature of comfort having been spoiled by years of Lexus SUVs with adjustable air suspension rides, currently with a Cayenne so equipped.

The ride when combined with 18" tires is about the cushiest you can get in a SUV without sacrificing control, and the adjustable option is handy when converting from highway to mountain driving with frequent turns to minimize body roll, at least in the larger LX 470. Otherwise it is merely a way to compare the settings.

Is it worth $2500 upgrade?? It really depends on comparing one with to one without air. The benefits mentioned for other reasons have their own value.

Bottom line, it cannot be added later, so if in doubt..Do...if you can financially. I have never heard of anyone complaining about having one, at least in this century.

Plus the Location Aware feature, using GPS to activate height control...How Cool Is That??? only in a Tesla

MyXinTx | 03. Dezember 2015

Also in the current thread "FRONT BUMPER GETS RIPPED OFF", there are multiple reports of bumper damage from curbs and parking lot structures. This alone may justify the cost for Air Suspension.

ian | 04. Dezember 2015

I'm pretty sure that gentleman in that thread has air suspension.