Driving is a large part of most of our days, whether it’s for work or leisure. An often ignored part of the driving experience, and one of the major factors that can detract from your enjoyment of it, is noisy tires. In this guide, we will take you through some tips and tricks on how to quieten and reduce the road noise levels from loud tires.
How to Quiet Noisy Tires
1. Soundproof the Floorboard
The floor of the car can sometimes transmit excessive road noise from the tires to the driver and passengers and can range anywhere from a consistent hum to a loud droning, depending on the condition, speed, and make and model of your vehicle.
An effective way to deaden that sound is by soundproofing the cabin (also known as the floorboards) of your car. There are several options available to do that, which are detailed below.
Rubber Soundproof Mats
Butyl soundproof mats, such as these Siless 80 mil 36 sqft Car Sound Deadening mats work on all types of vehicles from compact cars to trucks.
These easy to cut and stick sheets are suitable for both personal and commercial use.
Each sheet is about 2mm thick and one of the most technologically advanced, efficient and cost effective soundproofing options on the market.
You can choose to purchase an additional roller to flatten and secure the sheets in place, but the high quality adhesive at the back ensures you can work just as well without the roller if you wish.
Another option to prevent the noise from loud tires from reaching you is the FatMat Self-Adhesive Sound Deadener (which is also an adhesive) for the cabin of your car and can be installed in a similar way.
These mats are made of rubberized asphalt and can absorb vibrations, rattling and tire roar, making your driving experience a lot more pleasant.
Foam Insulation Mats
A good option for this is the Noico RED 315 mil 9.5 sqft Сar Sound Insulation, made of a very versatile insulation material with excellent thermal and noise barrier properties.
Another good foam insulator is this lightweight Car Insulation Sound Deadener & Heat Barrier Mat made of a closed cell polyethylene core with fiber reinforced aluminum on both sides to prevent long-term crushing.
This light and effective thermal and sound insulator is extremely flexible and very easy to cut, handle, and install.
2. Soundproof the Doors
Car doors are made of thin metal and are essentially hollow, therefore they easily transmit road and tire noises inside the vehicle. One way of soundproofing doors is to use sound blocking mats such as the rubber or foam ones mentioned above.
Some additional soundproofing options both inside the vehicle and on the undercarriage are sound deadening sprays.
Some popular choices are Second Skin Audio Spectrum Liquid Sound Deadening Spray and Paint, Al’s Liner Ceramic Insulation Heat and Noise Reducer and Sound Deadening Boom Mat Spray On.
These can easily adhere to metal and stop tire hum and rattling noises from reaching you with the distinct advantage of getting into hard to reach areas where mats can’t go.
3. Choose Quiet Tires
There are several good options for quiet tires that reduce road noise, such as these Michelin Primacy MXV4 Radial Tire with MaxTouch construction that maximizes the tire’s contact with the road and evenly distributes the forces of acceleration, braking and cornering.
This tire effectively solves the issue of loud tires causing disruption and annoyance to drivers and passengers.
Michelin uses computer-optimized design and precision manufacturing to reduce vibrations and road noise to solve your noisy tires problem.
These tires are perfect for comfort-oriented touring vehicles and deliver all-season traction and a safe, comfortable ride.
Another highly-rated quiet tire on the market that reduces tire noise at low speed is the Continental Extreme Contact DWS06 All-Season Radial Tire.
This noise reducing, ultra-high performance, all-season tire has traction grooves that improve snow performance as well as X-Sipe technology that improves braking, cornering and acceleration in wet, snowy and icy conditions.
Some notable features of this quiet tire are SportPlus Technology that provides precise handling on all types of roads, and QuickView Indicators that visually inform drivers to the level tires are performing.
Finally, we have the Milestar MS932 Sport All Season Radial Tire. These all-around dependable tires ensure safety and security, but most importantly reduce road noise.
This tire’s optimized tread pattern and wide ribs and grooves not only lower tire roar and offer a quiet drive, but also improve stability and vehicle handling along with reduced hydroplaning.
Check out our article about the Quietest Tires in 2021
4. Maintain Your Tires in Optimal Driving Condition
Sometimes tire hums and road noise can be indicators that your tires need attention and maintenance.
If you are experiencing tire noise at low speed, one of the reasons could be because your tires are not inflated at the right PSI. To maintain your vehicle in optimal condition and reduce road noise, regularly check your tire pressure every 2-3 weeks.
To ensure that your tires are inflated at the correct pressure, check the PSI listed on the sticker inside the driver’s door, or find the specs in the owner’s manual.
Either way, driving your vehicle at the wrong pressure can not only be very noisy, but also damaging for your vehicle. This is true for both underinflated and overinflated tires.
An often overlooked aspect of tire maintenance is tire rotation and balancing. While the exact number may differ from manufacturer to manufacturer, a ballpark figure is somewhere between 4000-7000 miles, which roughly translates to 4-6 months depending on your usage.
Tire rotation and balancing are done to prevent uneven wear on your tires, as different tires carry different loads. Done correctly, it makes your tires less noisy due to reduced vibrations and ultimately lengthens the lifespan of your tires.
New Tires Loud Road Noise
It’s not always old or used tires that are noisy – sometimes new tires can sound quite loud as well. This is not a cause for panic as it really all depends on the type of tires you have purchased.
Some tires, such as those with aggressive tread patterns or the type made for winter and snowy conditions, can be loud right off the bat. Other new tires can also be noisier than expected. Fortunately the noise levels do adjust once the tires are broken in.
Breaking in a tire means rubbing away and redistributing the remnants of the lubricant from the manufacturing mold and also just getting the layers of rubber and steel used to the added weight of the car. Once your tires have adjusted (somewhere around the 400-500 mile mark) these noise levels should diminish considerably.
Some new tires, such as low profile ones, add a sportier look to a car and can boost handling. However, low-profile tires typically generate more noise (more on why this happens in the next section).
This noise gets transmitted through the chassis and the rest of the vehicle. While these tires offer improved traction, they can sometimes generate excessive noise.
Why Are My Tires So Loud: Tire Sound Causes
Normal Tire Noise
Some tire noises are expected and not a cause for concern. These include sounds due to the type, size and tread of your tires. For instance off-road tires and studded snow tires will be noisier than comfort-oriented tires.
The bigger and wider the tire, the noisier you can expect it to be. This is because there’s more surface area in contact with the ground. Similarly, low-profile tires (mentioned above) are also louder. This is because there’s less rubber sidewall on these tires to absorb the noise.
Another common reason for loud tires is normal wear and tear. As your tires gain more and more mileage,the treads wear down and your tire becomes smoother. When this happens, it starts to provide less traction and become louder than usual.
Abnormal Tire Noise
On the other hand, there are some noises that do need to be looked at and fixed, if need be.
If your tire hum is louder than normal, it could be because the speed rating of your tires is greater than necessary. A tire’s speed rating indicates the fastest speed a tire can handle before it no longer performs as it’s intended to.
The higher the speed rating, the better control, and handling you’ll have at higher speeds but the louder your tire will become. If you do not need a tire that can handle those speeds, then all it’s doing is contributing to tire hum.
Sometimes tire noises at low speeds can sound like bubble wrap ‘popping’ or at high speed like a droning noise. This happens when compressed air is trapped under the tire in the gaps between the tread pattern.
Another cause of excessive road noise from tires is unbalanced treads, improper wheel alignment, incorrect tire pressure (more on this in a minute) or a worn out suspension.
These do need your attention and are important to address swiftly so your car can remain in optimal condition for as long as possible.
Does Tire Pressure Affect Road Noise?
The short answer is yes. Incorrect tire pressure can certainly cause road noise, whether it’s due to overinflation or underinflation. If your PSI is not as it should be, this can cause squealing noises, and cause your tires to puncture a lot more easily.
Most cars mention the PSI on a sticker in the driver’s side door as well as in the owner’s manual. It’s important for the long-term condition and maintenance of your car and tires that you drive at the correct tire pressure.
Final Words About How to Reduce Road Noise from Tires
As mentioned above road noise falls into many categories and can be caused by a number of factors. We hope by now you have a better understanding of how to quiet noisy tires and reduce road noise from loud tires.
Depending on the type of noise you’re experiencing and to what extent you’d like to reduce road noise, you can try a combination of products and solutions to suit your budget and needs.
Some of our favorite sound deadening products are Siless 80 mil 36 sqft Car Sound Deadening mat and Michelin Primacy MXV4 Radial Tire – 215/55R17 94V. Using these and the others we’ve mentioned, there’s plenty you can do to quieten loud tires depending on your needs and preferences.