From understanding the causes of tire noise to the 9 ways to reduce that god-awful skid-noise, this how-to-quiet-noisy-tires review has all the answers.
9 Ways on How to Quiet Noisy Tires
Though there are several ways to get rid of tire noise, there are basically 2 options to solve this problem.
One way to lessen the tires’ noise level is by dealing with the problem head-on.
The other way is to lessen the road noise made by your tires by installing soundproofing products in your automobile. Sounds impossible?
That’s why we’re here.
For this article, we’ll start with the more head-on approach. Then, we’ll lead to the soundproofing products you can install in your vehicle.
Direct Approaches to Lessen Tire Noise
1. The Way You Drive
One of the simplest ways to reduce road noise from your tire is by driving slower.
When used at high speeds, tires will make more sound because of the tire treads’ air circulation.
This is why the tires of race car drivers make a lot of loud sounds.
Driving at high speeds will also increase the wear and tear of your tire, which also leads to more noises.
Driving slower may be boring and time-consuming, but it’s still one of the cheapest and easiest ways to reduce road noise.
Next time you wonder why your vehicle is making a lot of tire noise, look at your driving speed first.
2. Pumping the Right Air Pressure
Every car is built differently. Cars also have different needs when it comes to air pressure for their tires.
Depending on their size, some cars need more air pressure compared to other cars.
If your tires are making a lot of noise, check on the pressure first.
A saggy tire will need additional pressure. An underinflated tire will produce loud noises because its exterior will have more contact with the asphalt when deflated.
Flat tires will also need pressure right away because driving with flat tires will be difficult and dangerous to control.
On the other hand, overinflated tires are also dangerous. The additional pressure will stretch your tire out and make its tread pattern fade quicker.
This will lead to more danger and risk in the future as the faded treads will lessen the friction from your wheels.
To change the pressure of your wheel, you would first have to know the pressure that your tires will need. You can find this number on a sticker on the driver’s side door.
Then you will have to check whether your tires are underinflated or overinflated.
For an underinflated wheel, you would have to use a pump to add pressure to your tires. You can find and use a pump in any gas station near you.
For an overinflated wheel, you would have to get rid of pressure by taking off the valve cap. You will then press into the center pin using a screwdriver.
If you find these steps difficult, you can always ask for help from the staff members working in the gas station.
Once your tires are correctly pressurized, they will be good to go for a nice quiet ride.
3. Rotating and Balancing Your Tires
Tire rotation is the moving of the tires of a car from one spot to another.
Professionals recommend that you rotate your tires every 5,000 miles. When you have your tires rotated, it is also a good idea to have everything else checked.
Tire rotation is essential because the wear and tear will be evenly spread across all four tires.
This is because each specific position on your car will need a certain amount of effort.
For example, the two tires on the front of the vehicle will need to give a bit more effort for traction, turning, or braking compared to the back tires.
When left unrotated, the front tires will be the first ones to get damaged, and eventually, they will be the first ones to make tire noise.
However, if the tires are properly rotated on time, all four tires will share the wear and tear, thus lessening the risk of uneven damage.
For tire rotation, you will have to go to a mechanic and ask for their rotation service.
You can choose between 3 options for rotating your tires: Rearward cross, X-pattern, and the forward cross. Choose the best option for your car to fix the sound problem of your tires.
4. Your Wheel Bearings
The main cause of your tire noise problem may not even be coming directly from your wheels.
It may also come from other parts connected to it, like wheel bearings.
A wheel bearing is a set of steel ball bearings held together in a ring called “race.” It helps minimize as much friction as possible while the wheels are spinning.
So, the loud sound that you hear from your tires may actually be coming from your wheel bearing.
Just like any tire, a wheel bearing can also experience a lot of damage from debris, poor lubrication, and wear and tear.
When a wheel bearing gets damaged or faulty, you will hear a humming sound while driving your vehicle.
In cases like these, you should go to a mechanic and have your wheel bearings checked.
If your wheel bearing is faulty, make sure to have it replaced by a mechanic to avoid any further noise problems.
Your mechanic will have to remove certain parts of your automobile first to replace a faulty wheel bearing properly.
Also, note that you do not have to replace all of your wheel bearings if only one is faulty.
After replacing the faulty wheel bearing, the mechanic will just put everything back together. Then you can finally drive without an annoying sound coming from your tires.
5. Replace Your Noisy Tires
Prolonged wear and tear will always cause your tire to become less than functional.
Among other things, this damage will cause a lot of sound coming from your tire.
Even if your tire is properly taken care of, it will only last for about 6-10 years. You will always have to have your tire replaced eventually.
So, having any damaged tire replaced is a sure way of avoiding road noise.
To know if you need to replace your tire, you will have to inspect your car regularly. Look for any damage your tire might have, like stuck debris, cracks, or broken parts.
When you see that one of your tires has some damage or is making noise, have it checked by a mechanic right away. Then, replace your current tires with new tires.
When choosing which new tires to use, know that some tires are more focused on lessening noise.
Some tires are made with sound deadening material. You can call these types of tires “quiet tires.”
If you want to replace your tires and lessen the noise they make while used, get quiet tires.
It has the same process as getting new tires, but it’s a bit more expensive because of a quiet tire’s higher price.
But, investing in a quiet tire is one of the easiest and most efficient ways to eliminate those tire noises.
For Those With a Higher Budget: Soundproofing Your Car
1. Soundproof Wheel Wells
The wheel well is the open area around the tires of your vehicle.
A plastic insert shields it, and it protects your car’s body from getting damaged from debris.
But, these plastic inserts are not good enough to reduce tire noise and wind noise.
To lessen the amount of noise wheel wells make, you can install soundproof material to the inserts.
One way is to add some layers to the plastic inserts. You can put some soundproofing material on the plastic inserts to lessen the noise coming from debris.
But, for extra noise reduction, make sure to remove the insert first before installing some soundproofing material on its back.
Another way to lessen these noises is by using soundproofing spray.
This method is easier and cheaper than installing soundproofing material. All you have to do is buy a can, then spray it on all your wheel wells.
Pretty cool, right?
You can also use the spray multiple times to add more soundproofing layers.
2. Sealing Your Door Seals
In any gap that air can pass through, noise can also pass through.
The job of door seals is to block out any gap or space in your car’s doors, which then lessens the amount of noise coming from your tires.
A door seal is made out of rubber; therefore, it’s flexible and durable enough to withstand doors for long periods.
Although, when the rubber gets worn out because of wear and tear, the noise will be present in your car cabin.
However, there’s nothing to worry about because there’s a simple solution to this problem. You will only have to replace your damaged door seal.
But first, you have to look for any damage that your door seal has. The damage can be in the form of cracks or tears.
If you see you have a damaged door seal, buy another door seal and then replace the old one.
For extra noise reduction, buy a bigger and more durable door seal. This will further prevent noise from coming into your car cabin.
3. Soundproof Your Car Doors
Though doors are heavy and durable, they can still be very noisy.
Their metal exterior makes it easy for sound waves to bounce off, thus contributing to the overall noise.
Because of this, your car doors may be contributing to the noises coming from your tires.
Luckily, the task of soundproofing doors is straightforward and inexpensive to do.
Like wheel wells, you can soundproof doors in 2 ways.
The first way is to install soundproofing material on your doors.
To do this, you will first have to remove your door panels until you expose the metal under them. You will then have to cut the material to match the design of your doors.
Once the shape is correct, you must use an adhesive to stick the soundproofing material on the door and put back the door panel you removed.
The second way is to use soundproofing spray.
For this, you only have to spray every metal part of your door, excluding the windows and door handles.
For this option, you can use multiple layers of sprays to have a better soundproofing effect on your doors.
4. Soundproof Your Floors
If you still hear tire noise even after soundproofing your doors, most likely, the noise is coming from your car’s floors.
To lessen the noise coming from your tires, you should soundproof your car.
There are many different ways to do this, but the best way is to add soundproofing material to your floor.
Adding an extra layer of floor mats and rugs will reduce noise since mats and rugs are good at absorbing sound.
You can also use soundproofing sprays to lessen the noise coming from your tires.
Take note: This is the least effective soundproofing method among all three.
Before using the spray, you only have to remove the seats and the mat of your car first.
Again, you can use the sprays several times to make several layers for better soundproofing.
What Causes Tire Noise?
To help you gain better insight about the noise from tires, we’ll help you understand the reasons that prevent you from having a quiet ride.
While there are a lot of factors that cause tire noises, these are the most common:
The Balance of Your Wheels is Off
Having unbalanced wheels will lead to more vibration in your automobile, leading to a noisier ride.
Unbalanced tires will also lead to more wear and tear, which adds to road noise from tires.
Your Tires Are Underinflated
Your tires are considered underinflated if the air pressure for each tire is low. If your tires are underinflated, they will produce more tire noises.
Your tires will flatten out, creating a larger area that will have more contact with the road. The larger the surface area hit on the road, the louder your tire noises will be.
Pointy Tire Tread Pattern
Pointy or knobby tire tread patterns give extra traction in muddy places for your vehicle.
While this is helpful in certain situations, this causes a lot of tire noise when used on the road.
The Size of Your Tires
As said earlier, the bigger or wider the exterior of your tire, the higher the road noise.
So, having wide tires for your vehicle will give you a higher chance of experiencing noisy tires.
There are a lot of different types of tires for different situations.
Standard road tires or highway tires use a simple rubber compound to soften and silence tires on the road.
On the other hand, snow tires, performance tires, and off-road tires offer different tire features. These features do not always help reduce tire noise.
In fact, these features are the main cause of tire noises most of the time.
Debris in Tread Blocks
Rocks, sticks, pebbles, and other debris get stuck in your tire grooves. These different types of debris prevent your automobile from having a quieter ride.
This is because the debris’ hard surfaces make a lot of sounds whenever they hit the road while stuck on your car’s tread blocks.
It would be best to clean your tires regularly to get rid of these debris.
These are the most common causes of tire noise. Now that you know the causes, you can figure out which method will best solve your problem.
There are a lot of ways to quiet your noisy tires.
After finding the main cause of the noise, make sure to fix the problem head-on depending on your car’s needs.
If that doesn’t work, you can add soundproofing material to your automobile. This process takes a bit more time and effort, but it is still an effective way to fix your noisy tire problem.