Are you tired of not being able to carry on a normal conversation while you drive? Have you had to turn your car stereo volume up to 11 in order to listen to your tunes? Then today’s topic is for you as we tackle car soundproofing and various strategies you can take to put an end (or at least reduce) excessive road noise.
The Most Important Step in Car Soundproofing
Tires are without a doubt the most important upgrade you can make if you’re looking to quiet road noise. Over time, tires go through heat cycles. As you drive, they are constantly in a state of getting hot and then cooling down. As a result, even with high quality tires, the rubber gets harder. This harder rubber is less pliable and will result in additional road noise. It’s possible that a tire that appears to have a great deal of tread life left, may have reached the point where it’s producing additional road noise.
The added bonus is that swapping out tires will not only help with road noise but can dramatically increase your car’s handling.
The DIY Approach to Car Soundproofing
Ok, so you don’t want to invest a $1,000 in a new set of tires but you still want a quieter ride. Don’t worry, there are things you can do that fall into the DIY approach (which after all is what we love). The first suggestion would be to make use of sound deadening foam.
Installation is pretty basic as most of these products come with self adhesive on the back. You can start with installing the product strategically in places such as underneath your floor mats and seats.
These products are generally very effective but the amount of sound deadening you’ll achieve is going to depend on three main factors:
1.) What’s producing the sound and the level of noise (Quieting road noise is one thing, trying to stop a squeaking ball joint is entirely another. But that’s a good thing as you want to hear certain sounds so you can get the car repaired.)
2.) Whether you’re able to use the material in the correct locations. (For example, if your rear tires are making the noise, soundproofing under your front floor mats won’t be super effective)
3.) The amount of material you use as well as the product selection. (The are unfortunately some really poor quality products on the market. Buyer beware.)
We tried out two separate products when we did a test project. The first was Noicos Sound Deadening Mat and the second was FatMat sound deadening foam. I wish I could tell you that one was head and shoulders above the other but they both worked pretty well. I can recommend both products.
But Wait, There’s More
If you want to go the extra mile when it comes to car soundproofing, you can also install reflective automotive insulation. These products are installed underneath the foam and surprisingly help you achieve additional soundproofing. The only added step will be to purchase some sort of spray adhesive to secure the insulation in place (unfortunately, no self adhesive options here). Once the adhesive is dry and the insulation secure, simply install the soundproofing foam over top of it.
While it might seem odd to be using this type of insulation for soundproofing, they really do have sound deadening properties and as custom built vans have become more popular the manufacturers have started to highlight this.
Your Mileage May Vary
I want to end today’s post with an important reminder. We attempt to present what has worked for us when it comes to soundproofing and provide you with options. But the only way to know for sure what will work for you is to take the various strategies and techniques and apply them to your own situation. Soundproofing is very situational and often takes a bit of trial and error to get it right. But as you learn more, you’ll begin to develop a solid skill set and be better equipped to handle any challenge that comes your way.
Let us know if you have any questions or if you have any other soundproofing topics you’d like us to cover. Share your thoughts in the comments section.
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