How to Soundproof Your Car and Reduce Road Noise

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Picture this:

It’s the weekend and you’re getting behind the wheel to hit the open road. Honk honk goes another car rumbling along the motorway!

Road noises can be annoyingly loud.

Have you ever had to turn the stereo volume up to compensate for this? Or does it feel impossible to have a conversation in your car at normal speaking volume?

Well, I know exactly how it feels.

My husband Daniel, who is an auto-enthusiast, decided to take the matter into this own hands.

Using a bit of DIY trickery, we successfully reduced our car noise significantly.

If you stick with till the end—I promise you’ll learn how to make your car quieter inside.

Let’s dive right into it, shall we?

Things You Will Need: At a Glance

Sound Deadening Mat

Absorbs noise from car floor, doors, and the trunk/boot

Quiet Tires

They sport a perfect shape, groove-pattern, and soft rubber material that aids in noise reduction

Heat Wrap

Reduces exhaust vibrations, and also helps improve performance

Sound Deadening Spray

Reduce unwanted noise and vibrations in hard-to-reach places

Oil Additives

Lubricates the engine to ensure minimum friction and thus—more noise reduction.

1. Lay Sound Deadening Foam Mats On the Floor

Your car has a large surface area and since we know that surface area and noise are directly proportional—insulating the car floor is crucial.

The best way to insulate your car floor from noise is to lay sound deadening mats. These mats effectively absorb the vibrations that are being transferred from the wheels and axles. They block noise effectively and are easy to install. For the best results, I’d recommend you cover as much area as you can.

We personally used the Dynamat. The price is a bit on the higher end, but in our experience, it’s hands-down the most effective sound deadening mat. Here are a few budget-friendly alternatives to Dyanamat—if you must.

Here’s how you can install sound deadening foam mats on your car floors:

  • Firstly, remove the pre-existing mat from your car floor
  • Take accurate measurements of the floor and cut the material into small pieces based on the measurement using a sharp knife. Remember the golden rule—measure twice, cut once.
  • Peel off the backing from the mat to stick it to the floor
  • Press the pieces of mats on the floor so that it sticks perfectly on it

Viola!

You can now place the old mats on top of the newly installed one. Enjoy a more peaceful ride!

If you prefer video instructions, you can find it below:

HOW TO INSTALL DYNAMAT SOUND DAMPENING / DEADENING MATERIAL (RockMat, Hushmat, Dynamat)
How to Install Sound Deadening Mats in Your Car

2. Insulate the Car Door

You can insulate noisy parts like the doors and the boot of your car for a significant noise reduction.

Does your car have thin doors?

You might be familiar with the annoying noise it makes, especially while you drive through rough terrain.

Fortunately, there’s an easy fix to this.

Insulating the doors of a car is simple and can usually be done without the help of an expert.

Insulating the Doors of the Car
Insulating the Doors of the Car
Credit: www.aliexpress.com

Here’s a step-by-step procedure to insulating your car door:

  • Remove the inside panels by turning the screws of the doors using a screwdriver
  • Measure the dimensions you would need
  • Cut the insulating material into several pieces based on the measurements
  • Peel off the backing of the sound deadening material and stick it to the concerned regions
  • Fix the panels back by tightening the screws

That’s it!

Doing so should considerably reduce the noise coming from the doors.

3. Replace Your Old Tires With Quiet Tires

Tires are the only part of your car which is always in direct contact with the road. Hence, selecting the perfect set of tires is another key element in helping you deaden car sound.

The surface area that comes in contact with the pavement decides the amount of noise generated while driving. Hence, I’d recommend you go for narrower tires than broader ones.

But the tires that you can use will depend solely on the wheels. I’d recommend you to go through the manual to check for the narrowest tire that can be installed.

Look for tires with rubber coatings. Soft rubbers absorb the vibrations caused due to the friction between the tires and the pavement. This helps make your car quieter inside.

My husband Daniel, who is an auto-enthusiast, wrote this ridiculously detailed guide to help you choose a perfect quiet tire for your car. You might want to have a look at it—I promise its worth the investment.

If for some reason, you aren’t looking to invest in a new quiet tire, here are some tips to help you quieten your existing tire:

  • Drive at slow speeds. This reduces air circulation inside tires, and hence, less noise
  • Try to keep the tires inflated completely at the optimum recommended air pressure
  • Rotate, rebalance, and align the tires from time to time

4. Soundproof the Exhaust

We all have probably been there:

The exhaust of your car is so loud that we tend to this there’s some malfunctioning in parts of your car.

What could cause this, you wonder?

Well, exhausts may emit loud sounds due to the holes present in them. You can mend them easily by either applying epoxy or heat wrap.

Daniel personally prefers a heat wrap, because it not only helps reduce temperature and vibration but also promotes increased flow for improved performance.

We used this Titanium Exhaust heat wrap from Design engineering. It’s woven together using lava-rock composite and god, it looks pretty dope, too.

Here are some more tips to help minimize car exhaust noise:

How To Use Silencer in the Exhaust
How To Use Silencer in the Exhaust
Credit: www.dhgate.com

5. How to Soundproof Your Car Trunk

While looking to make the car quieter inside, people often neglect the rear side of the car.

You can easily install a sound dampening material on your own and cut down the noise considerably.

Here’s a step-by-step procedure to help you get started:

  • Firstly, remove all the objects kept in it along with the existing carpets laid on them
  • Take accurate measurements of the dimensions of the truck
  • Cut the insulating material in pieces according to the measurement taken
  • Peel off the backing of the sound deadening material and properly press it against the surface to fix them perfectly
  • Tighten the screws to place the existing covering back on the trunk
  • Place the existing mat on it and you are done!

Prefer video instructions?

Well, here you go:

Soundproofing a car - 4/6 Trunk
Soundproofing the Trunk

6. How to Soundproof the Car Engine

Car engines need to be well-maintained to ensure your vehicle runs smoothly.

However, the engine often emits loud noises due to constant friction. Hence, it needs to be oiled well from time to time.

Oil additives to the rescue!

The lubricating agents in the oil reduce friction, and subsequently, noise.

However, you should look for things such as compatibility and viscosity before you invest in one. Here’s a detailed walkthrough of how to select a great oil additive for your car.

Besides noise reduction, it also helps in dislodging the dirt, debris, and carbon deposits around the surface of the engine.

What’s not to like, right?

The Benefits of Using Oil Additives
The Benefits of Using Oil Additives

7. Spray Sound Deadeners

Sound deadening sprays contain ingredients like Mass Loaded Vinyl (MLV) sheets that work on the principle of reducing noise by absorbing the sound waves. It can also help effectively cut down a few decibels from your car interiors.

Do you know what I particularly like about sound deadening sprays though?

It can be applied to areas that are not easily accessible.

I personally recommend this sound deadening spray from Design Engineering. A single can covers approximately 20 sq.ft, so you can buy accordingly.

Here’s a step-by-step procedure to help you get started:

  • Firstly, remove any objects to help expose the surface where it needs to be applied
  • Remove rust completely so that the sound deadener spray can be applied perfectly
  • Now, spray the sound deadener on the region and wait for about 25 minutes to let it dry completely. Then again apply another coating of the spray. Three to four coatings should be enough to provide perfect sound insulation
Black Rubber Spray Body Undercoating and Deadener 4514 Martin Senour Paint
How To Use Sound Deadener Sprays

DIY Car Soundproofing: Frequently Asked Questions

1. Is It Worth Sound Deadening a Car?

Yes—definitely!

You get to enjoy a much better and relaxing ride.

It ensures that you do not have to increase the volume of your stereo. Conversations also become much more smooth and effortless if you have a calm and peaceful space and not a noisy environment.

What’s not to like!

2. What Is the Best Sound Deadening Material for Cars?

Some of the best sound deadening materials for cars are sound deadening mats for the floors, doors, and other parts. Sound deadening sprays also contain excellent sound dampening compounds like cellulose and fiberglass.

Oil additives contain lubricating agents such as zinc and phosphorus to reduce friction, and thus subsequently—noise.

3. How Much Does It Cost to Sound Deaden a Car?

The cost of soundproofing your car will greatly depend on the method that you have applied in doing the soundproofing.

It will also depend on the quality of products, the surface area being soundproofed, and whether you have taken the help of professionals or done it all by yourself.

On average, the cost of soundproofing the car will lie somewhere in the range of $70 to $450.             

4. What Can I Use Instead of Dynamat?

While Dynamat is pretty effective in soundproofing, the price is a bit on the higher side.

Here’s a detailed walkthrough of inexpensive but good Dynamat alternatives if you’re looking for something that is efficient but also easy on your wallet.

5. Does Undercoating Deaden Sound?

Undercoating serves a dual purpose.

First, it helps with interior noise reduction in the car.

Secondly, since it forms a rubberized coating, it protects the vehicle parts from getting damaged or rusting due to wear and tear.

It can be of various types such as rubberized, polyurethane, wax, or paraffin-based or asphalt-based undercoating.

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