2012-2016 Tesla Model S Smart Dynamic Air Suspension

For almost 10 years, Tesla’s flagship Model S has taken the world by storm and brought electric vehicles to the mainstream, causing the industry to play catch up to the electric giant. While Tesla may be fully electric, they share the same standard components with their gasoline counterparts, like chassis, drivetrain, and suspension system.

When it comes to the suspension used on the Model S, some were built with a standard steel spring suspension, but the vast majority were built with a height adjustable and self-leveling air suspension system known as Tesla Smart Air Suspension. This system features sensors combined with programming in the vehicle to adjust the height of the suspension based on GPS location, speed, and driving conditions. Unfortunately, no suspension system is perfect and just like all the others it has its problems. Known issues range from the solenoid block under the frunk getting stuck and venting to the atmosphere or the air line running to the expansion tank rubbing against the other hoses and lines under the frunk, which could cause a puncture and leak in the system.

Another common issue is weathering. This can cause the rubber air bellow to dry out and potentially rupture. This usually happens towards the bottom of the air strut lip where it meets the rubber bellow. Weathering could also lead to corrosion and excessive rust in the control arms and ball joints, causing them to fail and hinder steering along with issuing damage to your air strut. This can lead to a visual indicator like your Model S sitting low to one corner or if your tire is scrapping against the wheel well. If there’s no physical damage you can notice but your air struts are still having a hard time staying inflated, then you can use what we call the “soapy water test.” Spray down your air struts, compressor, and anywhere else that could have a potential leak with soapy water solution and if you notice any bubbles forming, then that is the source of your leak.

A positive about the Tesla Model S is that it has a warning light for anything that could be going wrong with your vehicle. If it senses that there is an issue with the suspension system like the ones stated above, then you will receive an error light on your instrument panel that is a yellow vehicle with up and down arrows. This indicates that a fault in the air suspension has been detected and you should contact Tesla support, a repair shop that specializes in Tesla, or diagnose and repair the issue yourself. Another is a red vehicle with up and down arrows which indicates Jack mode is in use or that the air suspension is unable to change height or self-level. If you did not put the vehicle in Jack mode, then this light will also indicate a fault. If your Model S does go under Jack mode without your input, then it’s best that you DO NOT drive your vehicle.

Now that you have been able to figure out the issue, we here at Suncore proudly offer our support and will help you pick out the right replacements. We offer both new and remanufactured OEM air strut assemblies for the Model S. The latter of which are rebuilt using brand-new high-quality parts like air bellows, air fittings, O-rings, crimp-rings, and are equipped with Tesla’s original electronic components for optimal drive. Each one is tested to ensure quality, fit, and performance to OE Tesla specifications.

For more information on how we rebuild these air struts, check out what our developer engineer has to say in the video below and for any other questions head on over to the contact us tab and we’ll be there to answer anything you might need help with.