If you are always on the road in your car, there’s a high chance that at some point you have been stuck in traffic. The revving engine of cars around you, traffic noise, trains and buses might be such a huge disturbance. It could also be worse if you have drivers around you playing music really loud.
So if you have ever wondered how to reduce road noise in your car. I have put together six key things to consider doing that will help you reduce road noise in your car. Keeping your windows up is always an option but trust me, it is no shield against the noise that’ll find its way in regardless.
After a sad experience, on my way from work with several car stereos blasting away while I remained stuck in traffic, with angry drivers horning, I decided that I’d have to find a means to reduce the noise that can come into my car. I started researching on things I could use to soundproof my car as I never wanted that experience repeated.
If you have experienced something similar to this or would rather not experience this at all, you should read below and try out some of the things I tried myself.
How Soundproofing Your Car Reduces Noise
You should know that noise can come from your car and also from outside your car. If you drive a pretty beat-up car, it might be difficult to hold a decent talk while driving down a bumpy path. Driving causes vibrations and this means there will be noise especially if you have a rusty engine and do not drive a well-cushioned car.
If you’d like to hear yourself while you talk or hear your radio loud and clear while driving, and also keep out any form of external noise, you should consider soundproofing your car. Although doing this may not completely drown out every sound you may experience on the road, it will however greatly reduce the degree of noise you’d have to deal with.
What’s more, if you drive one of those new well-insulated cars, you could effectively cancel out almost all possible sounds by doing this.
You Could Put in Some Soundproof Damping Mats or Sound Deadening Foam on Your Car’s Floor
The mass of your car floor is quite large if you have noticed. The car floor is also in very close contact with your wheels. As such, while you drive, your wheels vibrate and create some noise which further goes straight from your wheels to your car and this happens through your car floor.
You can, however, try to lessen this vibration that can come in from your car floor by installing some sound deadening mat. This will shield you from those vibrations and effectively lessen the noise you’ll have to deal with.
You should consider replacing your existing mat with these as even though your current mats might help collect dust and provide added comfort, they don’t lessen noise at all. I’d personally recommend you go for Silent Coat Car Deadening Mats (link to Amazon). This product can stick to your floor as they contain butyl rubber and have adhesive on one side and a layer of foil constraint on the other.
It is also made of foam and this helps reduce the some that may come into your car from your wheels. You can also opt for the Noico Sound deadening mat, as those are equally great. Both products are some of the best sound deadening mats you can find out there, but you should know that they are pricey.
Although if that noise bothers you, they should be worth it. However, if you’re on a budget and would rather not spend much on a car mat, you can look up some Silent Coat alternatives for instance Noico.
The noise that will be reduced may not depend on the product you get but how much effort you put into covering your entire car floor. This also depends on the kind of car you use. If you are looking to soundproof a van using these mats, you should cover the cargo part too. When installing your sound deadening mats in a regular car, it is best to put them in front if you do not want to install them everywhere.
The most noise filter in from the front of your car. If you want to install some at the back of your car, that is great too as this will further lessen any noise from the muffler. The process of installation is also pretty straightforward. All you have to do after getting these is start by taking off your existing floor mats, then, you may notice that the mats are a tad too big for your floor space.
If this is the case, you should use the mat you have just removed as a mould to cut out your sound deadening mat to a suitable size. When you have carved out the desired size, peel away the wrap on your new mat, then place them on your car floor and massage to prevent any folds or resistance.
You can place your normal car mat on these and enjoy your new-found silence!
You can add reflective Insulation to Your Soundproofed Mats
If after installing those sound deadening mats you find that the noise is still a tad too much for you, you should add some MLV noise barrier as these are denser and should provide some added comfort. I’d advise you go for Ruesious Sound Deadening Insulation Mat as this is the better choice for automotive use.
With an MLV barrier, alongside your sound deadening mat, you can reduce well over 70% of the noise that may come into your car. If you also go with the Ruesious Sound Deadening Insulation Mat, you will enjoy warmth in your car (especially during wintry days) as they contain closed-cell foam and vinyl. If you find that this product is too expensive for you, you can check out other reflective insulation.
The reflective insulation and soundproofed mat work hand in hand to help reduce as much noise as possible. You should put in the reflective insulation under the sound deadening mats. You should also consider getting these and installing them at the same time, instead of trying out the first option above and later adding this one as this should save you some time and effort.
Using Foam Insulation to Soundproof Your Car Door
Rather than soundproof your car windows, it is best to soundproof the whole door. Most of the doors that come with cars have little or no insulation. If you have ever taken time to check out what car doors are like, you will notice that the core is majorly a vacuum.
Soundproofing your car door will effectively lessen the noise you will have to deal with while driving. You should know that soundproofing your car would take a significant amount of your time and effort and you should be ready for a long ride as this is no easy task. You will have to loosen your door to get to the inside and you can do this by removing every screw on the inside.
When you have done this, you should be able to measure the amount of insulation foam you’ll be needing. When getting the insulation, you’ll be using, get one that is sticky as this will save you the stress of having to stuff the door; this may also mean having to remove the door entirely.
I’d advise you to go for Noico sound deadening mat as they are of really good quality. You should also get this Audio Panel Removal Kit as it will contain everything you will need to effectively carry out this arduous task. When installing the insulation foam, you should try to cover every part if possible but be aware of the locks, window devices and other parts that should remain movable.
As soon as you’re done installing these, you can screw your door back on and enjoy a peaceful ride whenever you are in your car.
Very similar to your doors, your car roof has little or no insulation. Also, as mentioned above, you can insulate your roof to lessen the noise that the wind may bring your way. By doing this, you should also be able to reduce the intensity of the sun beating down on you from your roof.
Some have even done it at outrageously cheap prices, as shown in the video below.
To soundproof your roof, you should use a sticky sound deadening material too. All you have to do is remove the fancy outer layer of your car roof very carefully as you’ll have to place them back on. You should then take account of the size of your roof.
Cut your sound deadening material to suit your roof’s size.
You should consider cleaning the roof first to ensure that no dirt might prevent your material from holding on perfectly. When you are done, you can place back your roof’s cloth headliner.
Getting a Quiet Pair of Tyres
Chances are if you drive a pretty old car, their tyres may be noisy. Seeing as your wheels are the only part of your car in contact with the road while you drive, you should consider getting a quiet pair of tyres as they will greatly influence the degree of noise your wheels will make.
You should however not just go and pick up any tyre which you think will work. There are certain things to take into account before you get a pair of tyres to replace your old ones with.
Size and Width: You should go for tyres that contain enough rubber between them and your metal wheels. A tyre that has minimal rubber between the wheel and itself will do little or nothing for the noise you are trying to reduce.
With newer cars though, where it has become a trend to have lean tyres and as such little rubber between the wheels, the noise from the wheel cannot be remedied as the tyres are simply not thick enough.
You can, however, look up the manual that came with your car to find out the biggest possible tyre size they can take. Another thing to consider is how wide your tyres are.
The wider your tyre, the more contact your wheels have with the road and this means you will experience more vibrations and as such, more noise. If your tyres and wheels are slim, you will have less contact with the road which means fewer vibrations and less noise. Again, you should use your manual to check out the thinnest wheels and tyres that can go on your car.
It is also important to know what tyre is most suitable for your kind of driving. Tyres come in varieties, some for speed, some for heavy load carriage and so on. If you use a tyre meant for heavy load lifting, but you don’t do any lifting, this could cause avoidable noise.
Before you pick out a pair of tyres, you should make sure that the one you get is a good fit for your car.
Things like aspect ratio, width, construction type, load index number, wheel rim number, speed rating and tyre noise rating should be conditions you consider before picking a tyre.
If you are replacing your tyres to lessen the noise you encounter on the road you should pay attention to the tyre noise rating of the new tyres you’re getting as well as all the other conditions mentioned above. If you do not drive fast, you don’t need tyres that do so there will be no point in getting one.
Get a tyre with a low load index number if what you drive is not a large truck as this will save you some noise. A tyre with a high aspect ratio is good for reducing noise as this means there is more rubber in contact with the road. With a carefully selected pair of tyres, you should lessen the noise that comes from your wheels when you drive.
A New Stereo System Should Cancel Out Some noise
If you’d rather not install some soundproof mats or would like to skip the stress of soundproofing your doors or having to replace your tyres, you can get in a new loud stereo system. You are probably wondering how sounds will help the noise you’re trying to reduce, but what you should know is that noise can cancel out noise.
I tried this once when a teenager beside me refused to turn down their radio while our cars were sitting so close together, stuck in traffic. I simply cracked my air conditioner, got my windows up and blasted an equally loud song from my stereo, “I’d rather pick the kind of noise I have to deal with!” I said to myself.
You can jam out the noise from outside your car by making some of your own, but hey, at least it will be one you decide on. You should get a system with high bass capability so you can effectively cancel out any possible noise from outside.
You should be considerate with how loud the music you blast is because as much as you’d rather not hear noise from outside your car, other drivers don’t want that too!
Why You Should Soundproof Your Car
If you find that noise gets you a little irritated, you should consider soundproofing your car. Any of the options you opt for above will significantly make your ride better regarding noise interference.
You should know that this does not mean that you will completely cancel all the noise that you will encounter on the road. If you own a camper van and plan a camping trip, then maybe a quiet fan is all you need.
Completely cancelling out all the noise in your car can be a risk in itself. It is not advisable as you get end up injuring yourself as you may not be able to hear other road traffic and any possible danger.
Most importantly, if road noise is such a huge nuisance to you, you should start shopping right now for the tools you’ll need to soundproof your car.
I hope you enjoy doing it as much as I did!