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How to Soundproof a Car and Reduce Road Noise

Silent Home Hub How To Soundproof A Car

The more vulnerable your car is to noise, the harder it is to have a quiet drive.

Who wouldn’t want a peaceful commute before and after a busy workday?

For those who struggle with this, it might leave you pondering on how to soundproof your car.

You’d also be happy to know there are MANY sound deadeners for cars in the market. If you’re looking for the best methods to solve your car and road noise problems, we’ve done the research for you.

To get you started, here are all you need to know about soundproofing your car!

Table of Contents

5 Effective Ways on How to Soundproof a Car

Strong soundproofing involves blocking noises with thick walls to isolate sound. Completely soundproofing your car would need A LOT of added mass to lower the decibel rating.

It also ISN’T IDEAL to soundproof your car completely. Not only is it impossible, but it’s also hazardous to not hear sounds from the road. Especially if you’re close to another vehicle (or if another car is coming your way).

Noise reduction is the best way to go!

1. Using Sound-Deadening Materials for Different Areas of Your Car

There are many sound-deadening materials that reduce car noise by AT LEAST 50%. These products perform well enough for road noise to be inaudible.

Sound deadeners come with features to absorb loud noise and vibrations from your car. These sound deadener features don’t block noise as a whole, but they perform very well in muffling a lot of noise even the loudest parts of your car.

These materials are usually made of low-density and flexible materials. Unlike soundproofing, sound deadening a car doesn’t add extra weight to it.

If you’re wondering where to get started, here are some areas to consider when soundproofing your car:

The Bottom of Your Car

A car’s undercarriage is closest to the road’s surface. When driving, the car floor takes direct impact from the ground and rubble.

The ground causes your car’s floor area to vibrate, which emits loud noises. Cars have floor mats in place to make their interior comfortable and aesthetic. But because of its cloth material, floor mats are usually not enough to reduce the floor’s decibel rating.

Instead, there are damping mats that can help solve your car’s floor noise problems. These noise deadener mats are cell foam-type and light in density.

You DON’T have to worry about adding extra weight to your car when replacing your floor mats.

Unlike most standard car floor mats, these noise-deadening mats are:

  • Thick enough to soak up the loudest sounds from outside your vehicle. Sound deadeners do not block its entire sound, but they reduce road noise to its lowest level. This makes it possible for you to hear your car radio, sound system, or have a quiet conversation amidst loud traffic.
  • Damping mats also come with insulating materials to protect your car’s interior from heat. The best quality noise-deadening mats also improve your car’s audio quality.
  • Another thing you will find convenient about these damping mats is how EASY it is to install them. If you don’t want to go all through that hassle, we highly recommend these. Because they come with their own adhesive, all you have to do is peel and stick.

If your car floor makes a lot of noise in your car even with its floor mats, replacing them with damping mats would be a great option to start with.

Insulate Car Doors

Car doors have a thin and lightweight build. It comes with hollow compartments for its window, handle, and other controls.

They are also built with little insulation which makes it easy for outside noise to enter. Because of its thin exterior, dust or wind that passes along the surface creates wind noise.

When a car ages, it also becomes frailer. Its handle and hinges may also become a bit loose. This causes it to squeak or vibrate when driving.

To reduce your car door’s noise, what you can do is improve its INSULATION. A good way to insulate your car is to install foam insulation.

  • Foam insulation is like floor dampening mats based on its material and use. It’s made of butyl rubber with a foil constraint and adhesive.
  • Foam material is great for noise reduction and it soaks the vibrations emitted from your car door. A plus factor when insulating your car door is that it also protects the interior of your car from heat.

To fully insulate your car doors requires a lot of patience to install it right. After unscrewing your car door panel, make sure you get its EXACT measurements. This helps you to properly insulate the door’s interior, leaving no area uncovered.

If the road noise and wind noise from your door is too much for you to take, adding insulation would be useful.

Have a Soundproof Car Roof

The roof is one of the THINNEST parts of your car. Because of its thin exterior, a single drop of rain on its surface is audible for you to hear.

Like car doors, the roof comes with minimal insulation which means it doesn’t block much outside noise.

To make your roof quieter, sound dampening mats also function well for sound reduction. This adds a bit MORE LAYER to your thin car roof preventing road noise sound waves from entering.

Sound deadeners are also easy to install.

  1. All you have to do is to peel and stick the mat onto the entire roof area.
  2. Make sure you remove the padded area of your roof because it defeats the purpose of your mat.
  3. Before you install the mat, also clean its surface from any dust particles or debris. This makes it easier for the product to stick to your roof.

Sound deadeners are usually heat resistant. Adding insulation to your car roof also protects it from hot temperatures. Since cars usually tend to heat up, it also prevents your car from overheating.

Are you concerned about the loud noises coming from your roof? If so, installing sound deadening mats would be a great solution.

After installing all these mats to your car’s interiors, you’ll notice an INSTANT change in the noise you hear inside your car — and it’s something you can see on this video:

2. Soundproofing Noisy Tires

Your tires may seem very harmless, but they’re actually capable of being too loud. Driving on the road affects your tires because it creates an impact on the ground. 

This impact creates a type of noise called impact noise. The same noise you hear when a dish plate falls to the ground and everyone in the diner suddenly stops what they’re doing.

Whether it’s rough roads, rubble, or debris, your tires are the only ones that come in contact with the ground. Knowing how to quiet your noisy tires can go a long way in eliminating road noise!

Alternatively, you can also consider buying new tires that are designed to be a little bit quieter than usual:

  • Low-profile tires are great for aesthetic purposes. But keep in mind that because of its thinness, it doesn’t have enough rubber for cushioning. They also don’t absorb road shocks well. This causes vibration and loud noise from the tire’s metal wheel.
  • A good rule of thumb is to choose one that has MORE rubber. The more rubber your tire has, the better it absorbs shocks and sound waves from the road.
  • Another feature to look out for is the tire width. A wide tire is not ideal because it has more contact with the ground. This allows the tire to feel more ground and rubble which causes strong vibrations.

If you want to reduce tire noise by replacing your old tires with new ones, make sure you find one that has the perfect balance between both.

3. Making Your Exhaust Quieter

One of the LOUDEST parts of your vehicle is its exhaust system. If your automobile is aging, your exhaust system might emit loud noises. 

This could be due to its rusting or deterioration. It could also mean that your muffler is too powerful for your exhaust.

All cars come with their own mufflers to absorb engine sounds and vibrations. Over time, these get WEAKER and you might have to check or replace them. You might even have to learn how to make your exhaust quieter using DIY methods!

Alternatively, there are a lot of quiet performance mufflers that all reduce your exhaust system’s noise levels. These products come with their own sound-deadening material.

It comes with chambers, perforated tubes, or baffles to help control noise levels to the sound you want to achieve.

Quiet muffler qualities you should keep in mind are its:

  • Size
  • Type of muffler
  • Durability

If you want to choose the quietest muffler, it should have a wide opening for increased airflow.

A muffler that allows abundant airflow in its exhaust pipe also powers up your engine. This is good for fuel-efficiency.

Choosing a quiet type of muffler improves the noise levels of your exhaust and engine compartment. If this is what causes loud noises for you, a muffler can help achieve quietness to a level that’s comfortable for you.

4. Sound Insulation Under the Hood

Like the exhaust, the noise you hear isn’t always outside noise or road noises while driving. Your engine could be the culprit!

It would be best to insulate the sounds coming from under the hood:

  1. You can start by cleaning up any dirt, dust, and debris.
  2. Once things are clean and proper, cut the mats to the shape of your hood (make sure the measurements are EXACT to ensure you cover all areas)
  3. Next, stick the sound-deadening mats under your hood as cleanly as possible. Applying them in ONE GO would be ideal!

Engine/Ticking Noises

On the other hand, if you hear ticking or rattling noises under your hood, there could be something wrong with your engine or hydraulic lifters.

You can check out our article on How to Quiet Noisy Lifter Ticks for a complete guide.

5. Dealing With Car Speaker Rattle

Unlike the other methods, soundproofing your car speakers using sound-deadening mats won’t work.

There are several reasons why your car speakers rattle such as broken parts, loose items, dirty speakers, and even your EQ settings.

You’ll want to do a thorough inspection of your speakers and address each issue as much as possible. You could also just install a new stereo system instead if your budget fits!

Just check out our article on how to deal with rattling car speakers and you should be good to go!

What Is The Best Sound Deadening Material For Car Parts?

What Is The Best Sound Deadening

We’ve discussed many different ways on how to soundproof your car. All these are effective solutions to your entire car noise problem. But not all these areas are applicable to everyone.

Choosing a multi-purpose sound deadener for car parts can help you save more on costs. It also prevents you from buying duplicates if it works for many areas.

There are a variety of products all designed to absorb loud vehicle parts and road noise. But it’s important to choose one that suits your preferred quality and performance.

If you’re excited but don’t know where to start, here are some of the best products for car soundproofing in the market:

1. Sound Deadening Mats for Car Floors and Roofs

Dynamat

Dynamat is a top-notch and most popular sound-proofing mat for automobile floors. It’s known for its exceptional performance in reducing road noise. Its high-quality material makes it one of the best thermal insulators on the market.

A feature you will love about the Dynamat is how it improves your car audio quality. Because of its diversity of usage, this noise-deadening floor mat is applicable to other noise control problems.

The Dynamat comes with quality features to soundproof your car, although most people find it expensive. Luckily, there are other competitive alternatives to Dynamat.

Noico

Comparing Noico with Dynamat, Noico is a great alternative that costs less. Noico is a high-quality mat that’s effective in reducing outside noise.

Its sound-absorbing and heat resistance features make it a competitive mat against Dynamat when it comes to car soundproofing. Most users commend its performance for absorbing road noise well.

A key feature about Noico is how it’s applicable to any part of your car. It works well to reduce floor noise, but you can also apply this to the roof or trunk area.

Hushmat

Much like Noico, another great budget option compared to Dynamat is Hushmat.

It provides nearly the same benefits as Dynamat like excellent adhesion, noise reduction, and thermal insulation.

However, Hushmat has a thinner material, but despite this, it still provides enough density to get the job done!

2. Insulate Door Panels with Cell Foam

Noico

We’ve discussed how Noico is an alternative to Dynamat for vehicle floor soundproofing. Noico has a variety of uses. It also works well when applied to insulate your door.

Noico has sound-deadening and heat insulation materials, applicable for your door panel. If you’re looking to soundproof your floor and door, Noico would be good and cost-effective.

Second Skin Audio Door Kit

Second Skin Audio Door Kit is a high-quality sound dampening product for insulating vehicle doors. It’s an all-in-one bundle that has everything you need for door insulation to lessen the noise in your car.

Its material is a butyl-rubber foam material, which absorbs rattling, wind noise, and road noise. It also comes with annealed foil which makes it a good thermal insulator.

It’s one of the best vehicle door thermal insulators that improve the quality of your door audio.

3. Reduce Tire Noise With Sound Deadening Spray

Replacing all your tires into quiet ones might be costly. Luckily, there’s an easy way to soundproof your current tires and wheel arches.

Lizard Skin is a noise and vibration coating for your tires. It’s an easy-to-apply sound-deadening spray that provides a second skin for sound insulation and can reduce noise from your wheels.

Lizard Skin is different from Dynamat and other mats in this regard.

This liquid sound deadener can be for metal surfaces. By applying it to the metal wheel of your tire, it can reduce noise and vibration.

4. Use a Muffler for Your Exhaust

Among all muffler types, the turbo muffler is the quietest to get for your car. It has many chambers and glass packs allowing more airflow in your exhaust.

Using a turbo muffler creates a low-tone and deep sound from your exhaust system. With this type of muffler, you won’t have to worry about your vehicle being too noisy!

Is Soundproofing Your Vehicle Worth It?

Couple Talking Outside a Car

For Those Who Drive Cars

Noise-proofing your vehicle could be a life-changing experience. Especially to those who go through a noisy commute every day.

Soundproofing reduces the noise that enters your car cabin and doesn’t fully affect your audio system. Installing insulation and sound-deadening materials lowers the tone of your car noise. It also gives you a more peaceful drive by reducing road noise in general.

All areas of your car may not need soundproofing. Additionally, it might cost you to have your entire car soundproofed. This is why it’s best to choose the right product that covers many areas to absorb road noise.

For Those Who Drive Truck Cabs

Truck cab drivers could probably benefit the most in soundproofing their truck cabs.

Being on the road for HOURS can be exhausting, and ensuring you have the most peaceful experience can go a long way in making your long drives more bearable!

Soundproofing your truck cab cabin can improve your:

  • Conversations with your driving buddy
  • Music-listening experience
  • And if you have a baby on board, soundproofing will help drown out all the road noise from disturbing your child’s peaceful sleep!

Final Words

Are you now excited to get started on soundproofing? We hope this article helps you reduce your car noise problems.

Car soundproofing is definitely worth exploring! Most especially for those who are seeking quiet solutions for driving.


Changelog:

July 12, 2021 – removed 5 external links, removed 4 affiliate links, embedded 1 YouTube video

June 14, 2021 – updated article images, fixed and updated content, optimized content

June 11, 2021 – overhauled sections, added several new internal links

June 8, 2021 – added changelog, fixed and updated article formatting and content, added internal and external links

About the Author

andrea_adams

Andrea has always been bombarded by the hustle and bustle outside her home. Living in the city doesn’t get any quieter. The never ending noise from construction, traffic, and dogs barking on the streets day in and day out drove Andrea to a breaking point.

For 3 years, Andrea committed herself to studying DIY hacks, performing soundproofing experiments, and installing noise-free solutions. Now, she lives a quiet life free of the stress from noisy environments.

She hopes to share this knowledge so that others don’t have to endure the noise reigning in their ears and live a peaceful, stress-free life.