air suspension is it worth it? Will it cost you later in repairs?

air suspension is it worth it? Will it cost you later in repairs?

I am having trouble making up my mind,should I get the air suspension or not. I want a car that i can drive 10 years and hot have major problems like a 4-$6000 repair to the air suspension. What do you think? air suspension or standard.

jbunn | November 21, 2012

Well, there is no basis for comparison. All cars driven to date have air. So nobody on this blog can tell you what standard suspension feels like.

When we took our test drive, our "copilot" was pointing out the bumps and potholes, and directing my wife to run over them. Rode like a limo, cornered like a Datsun 240, accelerated like a rubberband shot off God's finger.

5 minuite ride, and I had my mind made up.

But remember all cars will eventualy require something. So get what you like, or what you need. I think the components are sourced from a well established company and integrated by Tesla. No reason at this point to belive they will be problamatic.

skystream3.7 | November 21, 2012


sergiyz | November 21, 2012

air suspension hands down
other than the quality of ride, an ability to raise the car on demand makes it truly versatile.
I haven't driven my other car (an SUV) since I've received my Tesla.
Air suspension is a pretty popular option or luxury cars and SUVs, it's nothing new and has been on the market for at least 10+ years, so you're not testing new grounds there.

sagebrushnw | November 22, 2012

GM had a terrible problem with air suspension in mid to late 1950's on cars that they offered it on. Replaced a lot of them with conventional coil springs. Lincoln had it available on some of their cars in the early 80's and onward. Have seen a lot of old Town Cars driving around "down on their wheels" after the air suspension gives out.

I have a friend with a nice 1997 Lincoln Mark VIII that the left front air suspension went out and it cost him about $725, and he thought that was a "bargain" at that price.

Brian H | November 22, 2012

Another good reason for thorough Tesla-style checkups.

jerry3 | November 23, 2012

The maintenance contract covers air suspension so it's a non-issue. The question is what the maintenance contract will cost after the first four years. Ideally it won't be more than the first four.

ke-we | November 26, 2012

I have had a lot of problems with the air suspention at my company car Mercedes ML. All four has been replaced before 5 years at the cost of US$ 5000,- each.

Family with Mercedes have also these problems.

I hope Tesla don´t use Mercedes parts on the air suspention!

olanmills | November 26, 2012

@ke-we, dang that's bad news since Tesla does use some Mercedes for the interior.

Captain_Zap | November 26, 2012

The air suspension will save me money because I can raise up the car and avoid damage to the front and underside of the car when navigating steep driveway entries, ramps, and old parking garages. I have used it for that purpose multiple times already.

I just wish it would not lower automatically until you reach at least 15 or 20 mph instead of 10 mph. We held up the line to get on and off a ferry by trying to stay under 10 mph before getting to the ramp.

Vall | November 26, 2012

In one of the test-drive videos, some know-all asked the copilot if they are using continental sourced air suspension, and the copilot confirmed. The guy knew because he had some friend testing it out in detroit or something. I believe that mercedes may be using also continental air suspension, probably tesla got a nice contract by being able to order all the parts they can with the prices that daimler gets. Or it could be something totally different.

dtesla | November 26, 2012


I was told by Tesla rep. that you can manually force the Model S Air suspension to highest setting via touch screen (And select Jack to defeat anti-leveling), and it will stay there for all speeds. Rep. also said the car will only auto height adjust when set in a lower setting.... Are you saying this isn't true, and S will auto adjust > some speed for all suspension settings (or were you speaking about a different car)?

BYT | November 26, 2012

@dtesla, no, the Jack Mode will not stay active for all speeds. From the guide it reads:

"NOTE: Don’t drive Model S after engaging JACK mode—this mode automatically cancels if you drive over 4.5 mph (7 km/h)."

Volker.Berlin | November 27, 2012

BYT, which makes sense b/c the jack mode not only lifts up the car, it also disables auto-leveling. It's really not meant for driving at all (hence the name).

Vall | November 27, 2012

does it still lower automatically above 10mph, even if you put it in high instead of auto? That would kinda defeat the purpose of having any settings different than auto. And if i remember from test drive videos, the tesla co-pilots said you can change the suspension settings when traveling below 20mph.

1688chow | September 10, 2014

i just hope it isn't from MB. My S500 had all 4 replaced and also the main air pump. Not Just One time but 2 times.

Anthony J. Parisio | September 10, 2014

I had the same Suspension on Audi A6. Not the quick firm recovery that I like. Others I know said in the long run problems do happen. Exple: car lowering over cubs when parked.

carlk | September 10, 2014

I believe it is from MB but probably a later version than ones on your S500. So far I haven't heard any problems reported.

RedShift | September 10, 2014

I have had my mechanic quote me 2500$ net for replacement, if need be. He does only German cars.

Tesla uses continental which is also used my MBZ.