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Softer than Comfort

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Old 04-04-2014, 07:15 PM   #1
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Default Softer than Comfort

I've noticed that that I can really feel the road when I'm driving, even in comfort mode. As far as I can tell my suspension system is working properly. Is there any tweak that I can do to get a smoother ride?
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Old 04-04-2014, 07:55 PM   #2
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I don't think as far as suspension wide to get it softer than comfort. Looks like you are rolling on 19s so without going to 18, I don't think there is anything you can do. Check your front end because if you have a worn control arms, they can also cause harsher ride over bumps.
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Old 04-04-2014, 07:59 PM   #3
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+1; assuming suspension in order, 18's (in A/S's) are your only practical move
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Old 04-04-2014, 08:41 PM   #4
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Is there a noticeable difference in ride quality between comfort and dynamic modes?

If not then your dampers are in limp mode which means they default to the highest stiffness level.
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Old 04-04-2014, 11:23 PM   #5
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Default I'm switching from 19 to 18 wheels when they wear out

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I've noticed that that I can really feel the road when I'm driving, even in comfort mode. As far as I can tell my suspension system is working properly. Is there any tweak that I can do to get a smoother ride?
I tried the 17" with 55 series - too soft.

I think the 18" with 50 series will be good, but the speedometer will be wrong.

255x18x45 will be better, but I don't know how much better. The low 40s are too harsh IMO. Hate them.

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Old 04-07-2014, 09:00 AM   #6
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Try as I might, I cannot tell a difference in ride quality in dynamic. Car goes down an inch or so and it looks better so I leave it in dynamic, but feels the same.
No suspension fault codes in VCDS.
I wonder if any gurus know off the top of their head, is there a way to check if the shock/suspension stiffness in VCDS (measuring blocks, etc)? Or does the car just ride stiffer because letting out enough air to lower it results in less compressible air in the air spring?
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Old 04-07-2014, 12:22 PM   #7
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Shocks are stiffer in Dynamic. Actually they get stiffer the moment you switch the dial. Even before any air gets out from airsprings.

Airsprings are stiffer too for the reason you posted, so they need stiffer shocks to prevent bouncing.
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Old 04-07-2014, 01:33 PM   #8
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I guess my "butt dyno" isn't as sensitive as it used to be...
If you come across where in VCDS the variable shock valve switching is reported (so I can verify mine works - although that'd set a code, I suppose), feel free to impress me further, Misha!
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Old 04-07-2014, 02:50 PM   #9
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If no codes then check suspension fuses and relays etc. you could also try testing what the voltage is at the electrical connector on the top on the strut. Zero volts is full damper stiffness/limp mode. The greater the voltage, the softer the damper. So check for a voltage change along with changing the modes.
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Old 04-07-2014, 02:56 PM   #10
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+1

You can also disconnect dumper harnesses and check your "butt dyno". Good for kidney stones too.
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Old 04-07-2014, 03:28 PM   #11
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I've improved ride quality significantly by doing the following:

I've noticed my ride tends to get harsh despite selecting comfort mode. What seems to make a significant difference is switching to Lift during slower speed driving and then after a several min of full Lift mode, switch back to Auto or Comfort. Not sure if the air suspension simply has more air in the bags or the dampers become more responsive, but the ride improves quite nicely. Not mushy or harsh, but nicely compliant with good road feel and stability. Just the way I like it.

Perhaps this is an early sign of the air shocks failing (87K miles), so until then this trick is working very well for me.

Anxious to hear if others have a similar experience.

Personally, I can feel the difference between Comfort and Dynamic immediately and its much more of a sense in the seat or your core than anywhere else. But there is a difference without doubt. My passengers claim they may feel something but it rather vague. For me it obvious but I have the wheel so that may be the difference.

Also, running factory 19", with Sport Suspension and lowered about ~10-15mm via Ross-Tech, this combination will make the ride stiffer (harsher) than factory or non-sport set ups.
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Old 04-07-2014, 04:42 PM   #12
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Just to throw this out there, plenty of talk about failure of the airbag part of the strut assembly. Does the possibility of the strut (dampening aspect) itself failing to perform come into play here? 60,000-80,000mi out of a set of struts seems to be the norm.
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Old 04-07-2014, 05:15 PM   #13
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Just to throw this out there, plenty of talk about failure of the airbag part of the strut assembly. Does the possibility of the strut (dampening aspect) itself failing to perform come into play here? 60,000-80,000mi out of a set of struts seems to be the norm.
I have read the shocks do not wear out. Have replaced activevshocksvon the front end of two Suburbans.,The Delco shocks definately wear out around 100,000 miles. These may last longer.
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Old 04-07-2014, 06:28 PM   #14
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I know this is obvious but tire pressure can make a big difference in ride. Tires inflated to the door label "full load" PSI will provide a harsher ride than if set to the "normal load" PSI as recommended in the manual. I've found this to be true on all my cars, especially in my air suspension allroad where the difference seems to be even more pronounced.
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Old 04-07-2014, 07:20 PM   #15
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Pressure inside air bags depends only on the load and stays same for all height settings for the same load. So, air springs are stiffer when there is less air, lower setting.
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Old 04-07-2014, 07:27 PM   #16
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Default Lift Mode

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Originally Posted by Galco View Post
I've improved ride quality significantly by doing the following:

I've noticed my ride tends to get harsh despite selecting comfort mode. What seems to make a significant difference is switching to Lift during slower speed driving and then after a several min of full Lift mode, switch back to Auto or Comfort. Not sure if the air suspension simply has more air in the bags or the dampers become more responsive, but the ride improves quite nicely. Not mushy or harsh, but nicely compliant with good road feel and stability. Just the way I like it.
So, I am running 19" wheels and keep them inflated to close to max. I would imagine that running 18s would make a difference but I prefer the look of the 19s. I can notice a very significant difference between comfort and dynamic which is one reason that I say suspension seems to be working properly. The reason I quote you is because I was wondering about "Lift" mode. I assumed this mode wasn't designed for driving in. Another point in fact is that I notice the road more so in the morning on the first few minutes to work which lends some credence to the "pump up" theory with lift mode. I'll give that a shot on my way to work next time.
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Old 04-08-2014, 05:15 AM   #17
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If you notice a ride quality difference then your system is working normally. However you mention that you have the tyres inflated at close to max. That's your culprit right there. Why do you need them so hard? The max pressures are for if you regularly carry 5 people, a trunk full of luggage and/or spend long periods of time at high speeds (I.e 100mph+). For normal use the pressures should be much lower and as per the info inside the gas cap cover. For 18" "normal duty" it's 33psi front, 30psi rear. Heavy duty is something like 38F/42R. I tried it once and it really killed the ride!

I'll have to look to see what the recommended 19" pressures are.
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Old 04-08-2014, 10:51 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dvs_dave View Post
If you notice a ride quality difference then your system is working normally. However you mention that you have the tyres inflated at close to max. That's your culprit right there. Why do you need them so hard? The max pressures are for if you regularly carry 5 people, a trunk full of luggage and/or spend long periods of time at high speeds (I.e 100mph+). For normal use the pressures should be much lower and as per the info inside the gas cap cover. For 18" "normal duty" it's 33psi front, 30psi rear. Heavy duty is something like 38F/42R. I tried it once and it really killed the ride!

I'll have to look to see what the recommended 19" pressures are.
I actually started inflating them to max because I was noticing some oddness in the ride quality with them running lower. It went away when I inflated them to max. What I find strange about this car is that they have different recommended inflation levels depending upon who is riding in the car. I would expect the car to have an auto inflate/deflate feature for that. Do they expect me to stop at the filling station to adjust my tire pressure every time I bring my family along?
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Old 04-08-2014, 08:29 PM   #19
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Most cars have different recommended tyre pressures for optimum ride and handling for different load and speed duties. You should set your pressures for the conditions you usually run the car. How often you want to adjust them is up to you. For me I run them at the lowest recommended as usually only 2 or 3 people and no luggage in the car. If I go on a road trip with a car full of people and luggage then I will up the pressures as recommended.

However in the USA since the Bridgestone/Explorer debacle manufacturers generally recommend one higher pressure to cover their asses.
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Old 04-09-2014, 04:15 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DiagnosisUnknown View Post
I actually started inflating them to max because I was noticing some oddness in the ride quality with them running lower. It went away when I inflated them to max. What I find strange about this car is that they have different recommended inflation levels depending upon who is riding in the car. I would expect the car to have an auto inflate/deflate feature for that. Do they expect me to stop at the filling station to adjust my tire pressure every time I bring my family along?
Yes, you have to manually set the proper tire pressure based on load, no car has the capability to increase or decrease it for you.
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