How to Soundproof a Car & Quiet Road Noise In 6 Simple Steps
How to Soundproof a Car & Quiet Road Noise In 6 Simple Steps
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Imagine stuck in traffic every morning going to work. It can be a nuisance, right? All the cars around you hooting, drivers shouting, pedestrians swearing and at the same time, you’re trying to listen to your favorite radio station but can’ hear a damn thing because of all the noises around you.
I know it can be frustrating. But luckily for you, there’s a way around. You need to soundproof your car in simple and easy steps. In this article, I’m going to show you how to soundproof a car in general.
Well, it’s important to note that soundproofing your car doesn’t mean that you won’t hear a thing from outside your car. You will be able to reduce outside noise leaking inside your car to manageable levels and also improve the clarity of your car stereo so that you can listen to your favorite music when driving to work.
You can use decibel measurement apps on your phone to compare the difference before and after car deadening.
How to Soundproof a Car in Four Simple Ways
Below are simple methods you can try to noise deadening your car from external sounds. These methods are simple, and you can do it yourself without the need of a professional expert.
1. Install noise-deadening foam mats
The floor of your vehicle is closest to your car’s wheels and axles and has a large surface area. So this means that any vibrations from the wheels is transmitted directly to the floor and amplified by the floor causing unwanted noise inside your vehicle.
A good way to soundproof a car floor and minimize the vibrations from the wheels is by installing a soundproofing mat also known as foam shield.
A good sound deadening foam shield will not only reduce car noise but also absorb all the vibrations. A good example and one of the best soundproofing mat you can get is Dynamat.
Dynamat is a bit expensive, and if you’re on a budget, I’d recommend you to check out these best Dynamat alternatives, cheaper yet efficient.
Dynamat installation process
Remove the existing floor mats in your car
Cut the Dynamat to exact shape as your existing car mats
Peel off the Dynamat backing
Stick the adhesive side into the car floor
Place back the original mats
Enjoy a sound deadened car
A word of caution is that Dynamat is very sticky. Avoid getting it stuck to your skin.
SoundSkins can be installed on your car doors, headliner, car floor and dashboard as well. Installing it on your vehicle floor is simple, and the same steps applied in Dynamat above will apply in this case. It’s thick, flexible, and resistant. See my complete SoundSkins review and one on one comparison with Dynamat.
Just like Dynamat Noico does a great job in deadening noise foam and is cheaper compared to Dynamat. (See full Noico Sound Deadener Complete review). However, regardless of whichever foam you use, the effectiveness will highly depend on how you cover the car floor.
I’ve discovered that most people only cover the driver footwells and passenger footwells, but in order to get the best soundproofing, you should cover every exposed surface of your car.
In the case of a van, you should also make sure that you cover the cargo area. This is because the cargo space area acts like a drum which amplifies the vibrations.
2. Replace the tires with quiet ones
Your car tyres play a big road in the amount of noise that leaks inside the cabin. They are the only part of your car that comes into contact with the ground. This means that every single vibration has to travel from the wheels and the transmitted to the rest of the vehicle.
Replacing the tyres can have dramatic effects on the road noise. When looking for road tyres that will soundproof your vehicle, there are important factors you should take into consideration.
ü Tyre size
Tyres that maximize the amount of rubber between the metal wheel and your car are the best for reducing car road noise. But before installing make sure you review your car manual to find out the maximum size you can fit on your vehicle.
Well, installing sound dampening foams can be a hard task. Well, you can buy them and have a professional install them for you. Alternative, you could also try car soundproofing spray. A good example is the Lizard Skin. The spray can cover the frame and the body of your car.
Lizard Skin noise deadening spray offers you two insulation benefits. The first one is dedicated to thermal insulation and the second one in reducing sound and vibrations in your vehicle.
4. Soundproof Car Doors
The third and the most important steps in soundproofing a car would to noise insulate your car doors. Most modern vehicles have thin doors with minimal insulation and therefore noise deadening the car doors will have a massive impact on the amount of road noise that leaks inside the cabin.
Insulating the doors requires some technical skills, and if you lack these, you might need to hire an expert. Soundproofing a car door requires one to unscrew all car door screw to expose the inside. Then you’ll need to stick a sound deadening mat to the door and cover as much area as possible. Lastly, screw the panels back, and it’s all done.
5. Try Reflective Insulation
If you’ve tried some sound deadening foam mats and you’d like to achieve an almost fully soundproofed status, I’d recommend you to complement the existing insulation with reflective insulation. (Read more about reflective insulation).
Reflective insulation helps block out external noise and is capable of blocking out 80% of the unwanted sound. Reflective insulation not only provides soundproofing benefits, but it also offers thermal insulation thus keeping you warm during winter months and also keep you cool during summer months.
Where to install reflective insulation
Reflective insulation should be installed underneath the sound deadening foam mat. The two products are meant to work together for the best soundproofing experience. To save much of your time, you can apply the reflective insulation and foam mats at the same time.
6. Buy a new stereo
Well if car soundproofing isn’t your thing, and would like to try an alternative, why not get a new stereo? I would recommend a stereo that’s louder enough to cancel external noise. A radio with some bass will help do the trick.
But please be respectful of your fellow drivers because more bass in your car translates to more noise problem to your fellow drivers, pedestrians, and residents close to the road.
3 Benefits of Soundproofing a Car
a) Reduce outside noises
Let alone engine and wheel noise, pedestrian, and other vehicles can be quite a nuisance. Not only these noises are annoying and irritating, but they can also harm your ears. Insulating your car will prevent all these distractions giving you the silence you need.
Everybody loves privacy. Soundproofing your car can genuinely help secure any conversation you have with anyone inside the vehicle. You can receive “classified” calls on loudspeaker without worrying about leaking vital information to those outside.
Additionally, you can listen to loud music even in noise regulated areas such as government facility or school because of a soundproofed car won’t leak noise outside.
c) Improve the quality of your car stereo
Sound is measured in Decibels. Now assume that the road noise that leaks inside your car is 80decibels and your car stereo gives 75 decibels. Listening to your favorite radio shows or music will be impossible because road noise surpasses car stereo.
Now assume you’ve sound deadened your car, and the noise muffled to only 30decibels, Your 75decibels stereo will be much clearer because it surpasses the road noise.
Final Thoughts on How To Soundproof A Car
I know how hard it can be commuting Monday through Friday on a busy road with all the traffic noise. I was like you a couple of years ago, but luckily I managed to deal with road noise and traffic noise for good. Above noise proofing methods will help you significantly reduce noise in your car to manageable levels.