For many, a long quiet drive can be the ultimate get-away – a relaxing and unwinding experience that offers a break from home, work, and chaos. However, if your tires are way too noisy, that peaceful experience may not last long.
If you’re having similar troubles, today we’ll be discussing various ways to reduce noise from tires.
Although sometimes the only solution is to get a new pair of wheels, these pointers might provide a suitable alternative.
What Causes Loud Tire Noise?
Standard highway and passenger tires are manufactured using a rubber compound that keeps the ride smooth and quiet. However, some tires are simply loud from the beginning.
For example, snow tires, performance tires, and off-road tires are manufactured to achieve different goals and function optimally on various surfaces.
So even though they have specific features to support their uses, they don’t offer noiseless rides under regular driving conditions.
But if your wheels have just recently begun to make unsettling sounds, you might be wondering: what’s causing this increased noise from my tires?
Answering this question is the first step to figuring out a possible solution, and avoiding this problem in the future.
Reasons why your tires might be making loud noises:
Thick Tread or Crooked Tread Patterns (Humming Noise)
These tires are noisy by nature and produce a significantly loud hum, classic to that of a large pickup that’s driving down the street.
This humming is actually the result of the tire’s tread catching and crushing air pockets at exceedingly rapid rates.
Higher Surface Area (Humming/Rubbing Noise)
The wider the area that’s in contact with the ground, the nosier the tires will be.
For instance, performance tires are wider for enhanced traction, but they also make a lot of noise, since a larger surface area is in contact with the asphalt.
The same goes for underinflated tires. Since they flatten out more, they create a wider contact area with the road and thus create more noise.
Out-of-Balance Tires (Squealing Noise)
Unbalanced Tires tend to produce significant vibration, resulting in an extremely noisy ride. Also, unbalanced tires wear quicker, potentially decreasing the overall lifespan of otherwise good tires.
Tires That Require Rotation (Squealing Noise)
If your tires have not been rotated for some time, this could also be a cause for loud noise and unpleasant vibration during rides. It also adds additional wear and reduces the overall life expectancy of your tires.
Similar to the above-mentioned point, if your tires haven’t been rotated, balanced, suspended, or aligned in a while, their tread might be wearing unevenly. And this also results in excessive noise.
Moreover, the unevenly worn tread can cause one tire to become significantly louder than the rest. This creates excessive vibration and makes the noise problem worse.
As a result, there will be unwanted stress on your vehicle.
Debris Stuck within the Treads
It’s quite common for pieces of rubble such as pebbles, gravel, sticks, etc., to become stuck in the tread of tires.
And when the tires are rotating while driving, these little pieces continue to hit the ground repeatedly and rapidly, causing the tires to create much more noise than they normally would.
Are Noisy Tires Dangerous?
Unnecessarily noisy tires can be a potential nuisance and distraction for others drivers.
Moreover, since the problems associated with noisy tires often result in reduced life expectancy of tires and cause excessive wear and tear, they can compromise the safety of the driver and the vehicle.
How Can I Make My Tire Sound Quieter: Top 8 Ways to Reduce Tire Noise
Now that we’ve covered the reasons for tire noise, let’s move on to the ways this problem can be prevented.
We’ll share with you the top 8 ways to make your tires quieter.
1. Install New Door Seals
Doors are large entry points for sound to leak in. And that’s what door seals are for – they block excess noise.
But with repeated opening and closing, these tight weather-stripping seals get worn out and are crushed to the extent that they aren’t large enough to perform effectively.
An inspection of the weather-stripping might reveal damage, cracks, crushed regions, tears, etc.
The solution then is to install new rubber weather draft seals that will help restore your vehicle’s perfect state of calm and quietness.
There are two options here:
- Simply install an additional, larger seal. Most luxury vehicles are equipped with this standard setup.
- Replace the current weather-stripping by removing it with a razor knife. The new weather-stripping comes with an adhesive support that makes it easy to install where the old one previously was.
2. Get Your Tires Rotated for Better Wear
Rotating tires means switching the tires around in a particular sequence to ensure even wear.
This pattern changes based on what type of drive your car is meant for: front-wheel, rear-wheel, or all-wheel.
Tires should be rotated after every 5,000 to 6,000 miles. For an average driver, this should be about 4 to 6 months.
3. Soundproof the Floor of Your Vehicle
Since tires are located directly under the carriage, it’s obvious that most noise comes up from the floor of your car. And to some degree, this noise is inevitable.
But there are ways to fix this problem.
You can significantly decrease the noise that penetrates your vehicle by adding soundproof material to its floor.
Top products you can use for car soundproofing:
Dynamat and FatMat: these rolled soundproofing materials both have great sound-proofing characteristics, and are specially meant for minimizing noise inside a vehicle. Rolled soundproofing materials have an adhesive back that sticks them to the metal surface of their car’s interior.
Mass Loaded Vinyl (MLV): if you want to increase the effectiveness of the above products, you can add a layer of MLV. MLV requires an additional adhesive spray which is sprayed on and then left for sufficient time to stick before replacing the mats and seats.
For installing your Dynamat, MLV, or for applying the sound deadening spray, you will firstly need to remove your car seats and mats/carpet. Don’t worry; the carpet will fit right back after you’re done.
Cut each piece of the soundproofing material so that it fits exactly into the area it is installed in.
Automotive Sound Deadening Spray: this is designed to provide the same effects as rolled soundproofing materials, but is faster and easier to apply and is simpler to get into all cracks and nooks.
Automotive Jute Carpet Padding: jute insulation provides superior sound absorbance and also minimizes heat transfer. Car manufacturers prefer to use natural jute fibers since they are durable, eco-friendly, and lightweight.
4. Keep Tire Pressure in Check
As mentioned, underinflated tires create more noise because a larger area of the tire is in contact with the road.
Ensuring your vehicle’s tires are fully inflated is among the simplest ways of noise reduction. And as a bonus, this will help improve gas mileage as well!
As a general rule, check the pressure of all four tires each month, particularly when the tires are cold, or if your car has been parked for many hours or days.
5. Replace Your Tires with Quieter Ones
As we mentioned before, some tires are quieter than others, while some are just built to be noisy. In the latter case, your best bet can be to replace the current tires with a pair that delivers a quiet ride.
Now, this may not be the most cost-effective solution, but it is in fact the most effective way to reduce tire noise.
There’s a new range of acoustic tires that offers the quietest rides possible.
Popular brands include the Pirelli Noise Cancelling System (PNCS) found in Pirelli P Zero Nero tire and Michelin Tires Acoustic Technology found in Michelin PILOT SPORT 4S.
6. Replace Tires When Required
The lifespan of well-treated tires is about 6 to10 years. In order to minimize the noise created due to treadwear and ensure a smooth and comfortable ride, you should replace your tires within this time frame.
Regularly check your tires for damage including cracks, rot, missing areas of tread, and anything that might be stuck in the tires, such as a nail or screw.
7. Reduce Your Driving Speed
The tires of a fast-moving car make significantly more noise because of the larger amount of air circulating through its treads. That’s why chronic high-speed drivers often complain of this issue.
By reducing your vehicle’s speed, you can potentially reduce the volume of road noise your vehicle is making.
8. Thicken Your Wheel Wells
A wheel well is the open area around your car’s wheels. It is covered in a thin plastic that does stop dirt and rubble from being thrust into the vehicle’s body but isn’t very helpful when it comes to stopping noise.
So for reducing incoming noise that leaks through the wheel wells, you can apply a sound-deadening substance to them. There are two ways you can do this:
- Apply a single or double layer of the soundproofing material on the outside of the plastic insert to help stop some noise. You can use Dynamat that’s also been mentioned above. For additional sound reduction, you can remove the insert and also cover the rear with soundproofing material.
- Apply a soundproofing spray to the wheel well. For improved noise reduction, use multiple coats of the spray. It’s also quite durable and prevents debris and pebbles from damaging the tires.
What To Look For In A Quiet Tire
You must’ve figured out by now that reducing tire noise is a science.
For this purpose, tire designers carefully adjust tread patterns to change harmonics and disrupt airflow. Moreover, sizing and rating are also taken into consideration.
Here are some things to look for if you want to get quieter tires:
- Uninterrupted, circumferential ribs with straight grooves between them
- Smaller blocks and narrower tire sizes
- Reinforced shoulder stabilizing tread blocks
- Varying tread block shapes featuring a multiple pitch pattern
- Smaller hash marks within grooves for disrupting air flow
- Softer rubber composition
As you can see now, there are various reasons for tires to become noisy, but thankfully there are many solutions to help manage and minimize the issue.
After reading this article, we hope you’ll understand what’s causing your tires to become noisy, and hopefully one of our solutions can help you fix the problem!