Rough ride

Rough ride

Has anyone tried to improve the rough ride of the 3 model, ie, shocks or suspension improvement? Love the car but it is a rougher ride than I expected

badaman | January 16, 2019

Yes, traded it for model S

Rt002k | January 16, 2019

What size wheels did you get? The more rubber, the softer the ride. Could also try to run on the lower end of the pressure range - but it will reduce your efficiency a little.

rxlawdude | January 16, 2019

The very early (e.g., VIN <3000) may have had suspension components that made for a rough/harsh ride. Tesla will update those to the newer suspension, which people report makes the ride substantially better without adversely affecting handling.

Magic 8 Ball | January 16, 2019

Your wheels are probably square, just speed up and it will smooth right out.

mabuck | January 16, 2019

The more rubber, the softer the ride. That's what she said.

Rt002k | January 16, 2019

mabuck - some prefer to feel the road more

Halbach | January 16, 2019

I think the ride and handling is fantastik. Tesla was targeting German sport sedans and it blows them away. If you are used to a Camry or Lexus, yes it is going to be a firmer ride but a much better handling car. What month build is your car Karen? As others have noted there was a change in the suspension to make it more comfortable...not sure exactly when the changeover occurred. What tire pressure are you running? Elon says to drop to 39 to improve ride quality.

CST | January 16, 2019

"Rough" ride? Do you have a flat tire?

M3phan | January 16, 2019

Some people like to reduce their tire pressure to 39 or 40 psi for a better ride.

ODWms | January 16, 2019

Not me. I’m at 50 psi, with the 20s (shortest sidewall height of the 3 options), and I find the ride — and handling — is great.

howard | January 16, 2019

The 18” winter tires help but it does have a slight harshness to the ride. I would like to dial the tires back to 36ish but don’t want to put up with the warning crap. It is not as good as my old A4 or my wife’s Q3.

lbowroom | January 16, 2019

I must say that I disagree that the car rides rough. However, mountain pass performance offers a comfort coil over package with softer spring rate than stock with improved damping and more travel. They are also ride height adjustable.

ODWms | January 16, 2019

I’d actually not mind if there were a way to dial in a little more stiffness at “those times” during sport mode. That would be awesome.

gballant4570 | January 16, 2019

I never had a smoother ride than I have in my Model 3 - many different cars/trucks over a 40 year driving time...... I've tried to make it a bit more of a "sport" ride, with varying success......

If you're looking for a smoother ride, you better stay home in your recliner. Not much to say other than that.

gballant4570 | January 16, 2019

Karendianegross, a casket buried 6 ft. deep stays real smooth....

lbowroom | January 16, 2019

It would be nice for a frame of reference to know what you were driving the day before you bought your model 3

lbowroom | January 16, 2019

WTF gb?

gballant4570 | January 16, 2019

A buried casket rides real smooth. Life is usually a bit more lively. A Model 3 is a real smooth ride. Want to get smoother? might be drastic....

howard | January 16, 2019

I am sure your Radio Flyers were all as a smooth as silk too. Never ceases to amaze and entertain.

alvinw818 | January 17, 2019

yup the 3 is rough. considering my 14 year old 5 series with original sport suspension (100k+ miles) and aftermarket 20's rode way smoother, which is mind blowing. i have 245/35/20's on the sport wheels but haven't really noticed much of a difference from the 19's.

spuzzz123 | January 17, 2019

You know I didn’t think it was rough until I started reading the forums and the handful of complaints about it. Then I think I let the power of suggestion get to me: I started to feel like the ride was rough over beat up Ohio roads. Then this week I got to drive for the very first time a 2017 model s 100d. Beautiful car with air suspension and the whole deal. There were a few things I envied about it, but suspension and handling was not one of them. I felt every jolt and bump almost as prominently as in the 3. Perhaps the biggest difference being in the 3 (with the sound system off) those bumps are significantly louder. Perhaps this mentally amplifies the sensation that it’s a “rough ride”

wiboater4 | January 17, 2019

The ride is fine the roads are what's rough. :-)

cfcubed | January 17, 2019

June 2018 (newer, "softer" suspension) RWD 18" Aeros (@42 PSI cold) here and hard to imagine anyone coming from recent mid-level to lux sedan considering Model 3 ride smooth by comparison.

IMO would not call the ride smooth/comfortable on roads that are not smooth, e.g. the pothole/patch meccas common around central NJ -> Philly. Love the car & happy w/its purchase but think most would agree ride is more sports sedan (w/o ride comfort settings), which is per its design goals. And, no, 39/40 psi cold doesn't work well here w/risk of temp swings triggering obtrusive tire pressure warnings @ 38/39 psi.

Think @rdavis said it well here in one of the many ride quality threads:
"... Let's put it this way... the Model 3 is going to be as smooth as the road is... if you have great roads you'll going to be incline to love it. If you have have horrible roads, you may not. A Camry is designed more to insulate those horrible roads... So where both the Camry and the Model 3 will feel great on great roads, the Camry may have a softer/smoother ride over horrible roads."

spuzzz123 | January 17, 2019

Oh wow, June 2018. Mine create March 2018. I wonder what I'm missing? Maybe I'll take a test drive. Anyone believe that its possible to have it upgraded to the new suspension, even if I have to pay something for it?

CST | January 17, 2019

I believe they changed the suspension around Feb.

ODWms | January 17, 2019

Great points, Spuzzz and cfcubed. I’ve mentioned before on the site, in my area the roads are pretty much excellent. I haven seen a pothole in probably 20 years, so I can’t rekate to the stories of flat tires and broken wheels (!) related here.

Likewise, the Tesla Model 3 being so “rough” and having such a “hard ride” is a completely foreign concept. Maybe if I traveled where there are more uneven, rough roads I’d feel the same way as some others, but even with my air pressures bumped up to 50 psi, the car feels great to me.

iflatow | January 17, 2019

Agree with cfcubed. Ride is as smooth as the road. Bumpy road - even small bumps=bumpy ride.
Here's something weird about tire pressure: I've been lowering tires down to 38 on my AWD, 18" tires. At first, the alarms keep going off. So I'd put a pound or two back in. Then take it back down. Now after jockeying these numbers after awhile, I no longer get an alarm at 38, where the cold weather has sent it. Perhaps an algorithm watching this?

cfcubed | January 17, 2019

Splitting hairs but IMO TM3 ride is not "rough" or "harsh", does great as the sport/firm suspension it was designed to be, better than some competing sports sedans in many opinions/reviews. It's MUCH better, for example, than my RSX suspension both before (bit bouncy) & after OEM A-spec upgrade (fairly harsh). Slightly more harsh, but less bouncy, than my VII Golf TSI (base). Overall prefer TM3 ride over both by a wide margin.

IMO notice & feel bumps more than popular & lux non-sport sedans & mid-size SUVs I've rented/driven/ridden in, as one would expect of a sports sedan (w/o adj suspension). Personally it'd take more to consider 3rd party parts to try to change ride, the suspension is noted as superior in design & unsure of warranty impacts.

WRT PSI / tire pressure warnings - Kinda given up trying to figure out exactly when warnings start & what it takes for them to clear. I've seen my own + screenshots of 41 psi in yellow/giving warnings that take 10+ minutes to clear (go black). The wife drives car more & got spooked by warnings enough, 42 psi cold min for me now.

charles.a.braun | January 17, 2019

Suspension upgrade is for cars built prior to Christmas 2017.

Mike UpNorth | January 17, 2019

Every time I see this thread I think

Rough riders, mount up
Ruff riders, the anthem

ModernTriDad | January 17, 2019

While reading this forum from August to November (11/27 delivery), I became worried that the ride was "rough" and that I wouldn't be happy giving up my Ford Explorer for a sporty Model 3 before the Smart Air Suspension was added as an option. I was pleasantly surprised at how comfortable the ride is. I took a road trip from NY to NC within days of picking up the car and had no complaints about comfort. We feel the road a little more than our Ford Explorer. When the new Model S/X refresh arrives, we may decide to "upgrade" to one of those and enjoy the even more comfortable air suspension.

Obviously ride comfort is very subjective, so I am not saying that anyone else should feel like it's not rough or too rough. There is also the issue that others have raised - tire pressure and suspension changes Tesla made during 2018. As a reference, my Model 3 was manufactured in October 2018 and my tire pressure is at about 41/42 psi.

aptwo | January 17, 2019

Don't diss OP people. The model 3 does have a rough ride, if you drive on shitty roads that is.

jdringold | February 26, 2019

As someone looking to buy a Model 3 I appreciate Karendiannegross's question.Edmunds review says the 19 inch wheel/tire combo is smoother and performs much better; I'm still making my choices. BTW, If I buy a Tesla do I have to be smug and condescending to people and state my experience as absolute reality, the way some people did responding to Karendiannegross? If so maybe a Tesla would be too expensive after all.

Magic 8 Ball | February 26, 2019

@jdringold You don't have to change your behavior but you seem to have knack for being condescending. Smugness is not a requirement.

spuzzz123 | February 26, 2019

Yes JDR by all means, make your decision based on the personalities of other owners.

jimglas | February 26, 2019

@JDR: You need to pay extra to be smug and condescending

Bighorn | February 26, 2019

Please wait for the Audi e-Tron.

RedPillSucks | February 26, 2019

I guess I don't see what the problem is. OP was worried about a rough ride. People gave their experiences to the contrary. Ride quality is subjective.

rsingh05 | February 26, 2019

@alvin - I had an older 5 series with M-sport suspension and while that was very smooth, the P3 with 20inch wheels is smoother still.

Perhaps your aftermarket setup was tuned for extra comfort?

ODWms | February 26, 2019

I’m in the camp of folks who say the ride is surprisingly nice. 20” wheels, low profile, performance tires and aggressive suspension was never like this when I was younger. Amazing!

RedShift | February 26, 2019

I had a 325i with sport suspension and has the best ride and handling compromise I’ve had the pleasure of driving.
My 3 rides brittle, but it’s not very harsh. Handling is superb.
I tried dropping pressures to 35 PSI. Ride improved marginally, handling worsened more noteceably. Now I’m back to 42 PSI on my 18” PEM wheels.

Tuning In | February 26, 2019

I hate how SUV's ride but some love it. Numb with lots of body roll. I love how the Model 3 rides, it's so dialed in. I can guess how SUV people feel about this car when they bought it. Hence, it's awesome to people who love performance cars, but disliked by people get freaked out when approaching 2/10ths.

ODWms | February 26, 2019

I’ve driven A LOT of performance cars over the years. I have never been into the Cadillac “floaty” ride feel, or anything even close. And this is even back in the days where that kind of ride was a thing.

So, to now have a 5 seater, 4 door family car that performs better than any of those cars ever did back then, but has a ride that is downright comfortable? I’m not only pleased, but amazed!

kcheng | February 26, 2019

"jdringold | February 26, 2019
As someone looking to buy a Model 3 I appreciate Karendiannegross's question.Edmunds review says the 19 inch wheel/tire combo is smoother and performs much better; I'm still making my choices. BTW, If I buy a Tesla do I have to be smug and condescending to people and state my experience as absolute reality, the way some people did responding to Karendiannegross?"

No, that's only if you want to join the Tesla Mafia, but first, you have to show your high school clique membership card. They don't want any grownups.

dbrauner | March 21, 2019

I really have to say I get a little tired of Tesla apologists. I mean, the "3" is my favorite car ever but there is a rough ride on many roads- the only time I've experienced this rough a ride in the past is when I needed breaks- the steering wheel vibrates. There is no cross traffic back-up alert nor blind spot warning when changing lanes, all of which come standard in much less expensive cars- etc... would I trade the car in? No I love my "3" but these issues do exist and I for one wouldn't mind them improving them.

maiklblinder2001 | March 21, 2019

it is rough ride on the not perfect roads, and i am coming from CTS 2nd gen with sport package and 328x e90 with sport package. Especially when temperature below 32 degree. It is my biggest complain so far, i really like my Model3 and planning to keep it for 6-8 years.... but ride could harsh sometimes

rsingh05 | March 21, 2019

@Karen - the 3 is a sport sedan in any configuration. Tesla doesn't advertise it as such but thats really what it is, and as such it will have firmer ride than most Honda/Toyota/Lexuses. That said, it is still more compliant than the sportier versions of the many BMWs I have owned, and that is quite an achievement Tesla's part.

The 18 inch wheels have more rubber but they also use higher pressure. I personally didn't feel they had a softer ride than my 20" 3P wheels, just a bit different.

I would look at softer aftermarket shocks springs if you really want a softer ride, or look at an S (new or used depending on willingness to spend).

mr.mark.tarver | March 21, 2019

I have the 20” performance tires and my ride is very smooth. Lots of pot holes and cobble stone street in Brooklyn

Kary993 | March 21, 2019

I also have 20" performance tires and here in San Diego during the rainy season our roads just turn into a series of pot holes everywhere. Even with those pot holes I find the ride to be very nice. I find the wind noise on the freeway to be more annoying.

ODWms | March 21, 2019

I have the 20s also (with 50 psi air, warm), and absolutely love the ride. To me, it’s perfect. But I’ve driven mostly performance oriented vehicles most of my adult life. Its what I’m used to.

Maybe some people are coming from more pedestrian/luxury (soft suspension) type cars. If so, I can see them thinking this ride is firm. For me, the suspension could be even tighter (higher psi tires even), and I would be perfectly fine with it.