Cars are the most convenient mode of transportation ever invented. However, most of them produce a lot of noise on the road, and it can be very annoying, especially when trying to have a conversation.
So, what can you do to get rid of road noise?
There are various ways to go about soundproofing your vehicle. Some of these solutions are quite simple and can be incredibly effective when applied in the right way.
Now you may be saying to yourself, “But I have no idea how to soundproof my car!” The fact is, soundproofing a car is a lot easier than you might think. In most cases, all you need to soundproof your car is the right dampening materials and a little time.
So don’t worry, we will show you some of the simplest diy car soundproofing methods to quiet road noise and improve your driving experience.
Car Soundproofing: What Does It Really Mean?
Before going into various solutions, it’s worth answering the question, what does car soundproofing (auto sound deadening) really mean?
Car soundproofing (also known as dampening, damping or deadening) means reducing the frustrating noises and improving the sound quality of your car.
There are many sources of noise on a car. It could be the doors, hood, trunk, panels, engine, etc. All of these car parts let unwanted and annoying noises leak into your car. However, you can really improve your experience with the following car soundproofing methods.
Benefits Of Car Soundproofing
You spend a lot of time in your car and you should enjoy your ride. Car soundproofing (auto sound deadening) provides another means of enjoying your car. There are several advantages to doing this:
Avoid Headaches: Long car rides with terrible noise lead to headaches for you and your passengers.
You Won’t Need To Shout: With a loud car, you won’t be able to hear yourself. This means you will need to shout a lot to hear yourself and to allow others to hear you.
You’ll Hear Your Music: If you like playing music in your car, then with the excessive noise, you won’t be able to hear your quality music.
Reduced Vibrations: Normally, excessive sounds are accompanied by annoying vibrations. With these car soundproofing methods, you won’t only reduce noise, but vibrations as well.
Bottom line, car soundproofing allows you to get that luxury car feel without spending thousands of dollars. Simply put, with these car sound dampening methods, you can really enjoy your music and relax in your ride without being distracted by unwanted sounds.
1. The #1 Way To Reduce Road Noise: Using A Dynamat
By far, the way reduce road noise is by using a Dynamat. Indeed, Dynamat is the most effective sound deadening materials that you can use.
You may be asking what is this amazing material called dynamat? Dynamat is a thin, super sticky butyl rubber bonded to an aluminium alloy skin. They are often manufactured using a special method called Vector Chemistry which makes them the most effective sound deadening material available.
However, they are a bit more costly than other types of deadening materials on the market. The good thing is that it does a remarkable job at isolating road noise from the cabin, creating a friendly environment for driving.
If cost is not an issue, you should consider installing dynamat on your car’s trunk, doors, floor, headliner, and hood. For example, this Self-Adhesive Sound Deadener Dynamat is available in sets of 9 and has been used by many to soundproof their vehicles.
The installation process is simple, and you can successfully do it in your garage, with just a few basic skills.
How To Install Dynamat
Before starting the installation process, you need to remove the door panels, carpeting, the headliner, and seats. After that, you can install this sound-deadening material with just a few steps:
- Start by cleaning the metal surface of your car, to ensure proper adhesion of the dynamat.
- Using a utility knife, cut the dynamat into the desired shape.
- Peel the back cover of the dynamat and stick on the metal surface of your car.
- You can use a roller or a heat gun to press the sheets on your car, for a custom fit.
2. Soundproof Doors
To reduce the noise in your car, we suggest you start by soundproofing the doors. As you know, door panels often vibrate while the vehicle is moving, causing a lot of racket and vibrations. This is an effective method of eliminating sound in your car, but the process can be challenging. However, you don’t need to worry, as we will explain it in details.
Firstly, we should point out that only a few materials may be used to effectively soundproof door panels. You may find acoustic foam panels on the market, but they tend to add weight to your car. That means they are not ideal to use if you treasure your driving experience. Sound deadening mats are the best products to use.
For example, this Second Skin Damplifier Butyl Sound Deadener is an excellent choice sound deadening your car doors cheap. You could also use a dynamat for maximum effectiveness.
So, how can you Soundproof the Car Doors?
The trickiest part will be removing all the screws and nuts in your door, to take off its first layer. Keep in mind that the mats should be placed on the inner section of the door. However, if you think that you are not cut out for this kind of job, ask a professional to help you. Here a guide on how to complete this task from the comfort of your garage.
- If you choose to install the sound deadening mats on your own, you will need to take the proper measurements of your door. That will allow you to know the size of the mat that you need to purchase.
- Carefully check for any screws or fasteners on your door before taking off the door panel.
- Look out for any wires and plastic clips attached to switches and door locks. You will also need to remove other movable parts like speakers.
- In most cases, you will find an inner moisture barrier made of plastic or other materials. That will also need to come off before you start installing the sound deadening mats.
- Take off any other factory deadeners that may be installed on the inner part of the door.
- Before you install the new sound deadening mats, clean your door well using a suitable cleaner (Alcohol-based cleaners are the best since they evaporate fast).
- After everything is ready, cut the mats into functional pieces and place them on your door using adhesive glue.
- Use a wooden rolling pin to press down the deadening mat on your door. Make sure that no air spaces are left.
- Remember to account for any moving parts on your door and leave enough room for them.
- After installing the sound deadening mats, put back your speakers and door panel to start enjoying the experience.
Keep in mind that the material should cover the whole door for maximum results. Rubber mats are the best to use if you have a soft spot for your vehicle.
Use Sound Dampening Materials
Dampening (deadening) materials are effective tools for combating noise in your car. The best part is, there are many cheap sound deadening material for cars on the market.
For example, this FatMat Sound Deadening Foam is available on Amazon for an excellent price (less than $50 for 10 Sq Ft). It’s a self-adhesive mat that comes with an installation kit.
These materials eliminate vibrations and absorb sound waves coming from the wheels and other parts of your vehicle. We recommended that you use a combination of these products in order to achieve maximum dampening.
3. Sound Dampening Mats (Sound Deadening Mats)
This simple fix is often the best thing you can use to eliminate road noise in your car. Dampening mats are made of rubber, asphaltic panes or suitable materials with adhesive backing.
So, how do sound dampening mat work? Sound dampening mats work by absorbing the vibrations and in some cases transforming the sound vibrations into heat (depending on the material used). Some of them are also made of audio deflecting material which doesn’t allow noise to pass. This then lowers the level of resonance coming from your vehicle’s wheels.
As you will note, most vibrations and sounds that ruin the ambience of your car come from the floor panels. That is mostly due to the moving parts of your vehicle while driving. Sound deadening mats are put under your vehicle’s floor mats to absorb the sound entering the cabin from the tires.
Though a lot of people don’t realize it, most car manufacturers don’t do a good job when it comes to killing the sound coming from the floor panel. The best they do is to install thin or regular mats to reduce the noise. However, as you have apparently seen, they are entirely ineffective.
Fortunately, you can quickly solve the issue by installing sound deadening mats in your vehicle.
4. Use Soundproofing Sprays
Sound killing sprays are most suitable for your car’s windows and door panels or any other placemat is not suitable to add mats. Some of them require paint guns and compressors to apply, while others are available in an aerosol can and you can use them without the need for additional equipment.
For example, this DEI 050220 Boom Mat Spray-on Sound Deadening Spray is made specifically for reducing road noise and comes in a simple aerosol can.
5. Use Soundproofing Foams
Soundproofing foam comes in either sheet or foam form. It is used in a similar manner to how you use sound dampening mats – that is by laying them over car panels to absorb vibration.
However, soundproofing foam doesn’t work like sound dampening mats do. Instead, the foam absorbs sound and disperses it throughout the sheet.
Dampening foam also tends to be less expensive than other forms of car soundproofing techniques. For example, this 12 Pack- Acoustic Panels Studio Foam Wedges is less expensive than most sound deadening mats.
6. Use Sound Dampening Insulation
These soundproofing materials are made of fibers and placed beneath your car’s carpet. The thick pane of fibers used provides insulation tohe vehicle’s interior and absorbs the sound coming in through the floor. Keep in mind that some insulators come in spray form and are quite easy to apply.
Keep in mind however that they are not the most effective sound killing tools. On the other hand, they provide thermal insulation to the interior of your car as well as creates a beautiful, plush carpet.
If you choose to use insulators to get rid of all the unnecessary noise in your vehicle, you can visit your local workshop to have the job done. However, you can easily handle the installation by yourself.
In either case, you may want to purchase the insulation yourself. This ESP reflective automotive insulation is popular for car restoration and is available for a good price.
Here is a step-by-step guide to installing insulator from your garage:
- Before starting the installation process, you will need to disassemble the interior of your car. That means taking out the chairs and floor mats.
- Take measurements of your car’s floors, to know the size of insulation mat that you need.
- Clean the floor with acetone or other suitable cleaners. However, the cleaner should dry fast and allow the glue to adhere properly.
- You will need a utility knife or something equivalent to cut little holes where your car seats will be screwed.That is very important, especially when reassembling your car’s interior.
- Cut the insulation to the desired size and install it on the floor, using adhesive glue. Please note that you may have to use a lot of glue for a small area, to allow the mat hold to the metal properly. If you skimp on the adhesive, the mat won’t hold long, and you will still have a noisy car.
- After placing the insulation on top of the adhesive glue, press it from the center out to ensure that the mat fits well on the floor.
- Using a roller, remove all the lumps or bubbles that may form when pressing the insulation to the floor.
- Apply insulation sprays or foam in crevices and cracks. The idea is to keep out as much noise as possible, for a serene driving experience.
- Give the materials enough time to dry before proceeding to the next step.
- Reassemble the car’s interior by placing the carpet on top of the insulation mat and put back the seats.
Though the insulation process may seem hard, the actual installation of the mats is quite simple. The glue will make a cloud of adhesive, so you may want to work in a well-ventilated place, and you may want to wear a mask.
Hand gloves are also necessary to avoid cutting yourself with the utility knife, but you may prefer to use a pair of scissors instead.
7. Reduce Engine Noise
As we all know, the easiest way to solve road noise issues is to go straight to the source. The engine, suspensions and the exhaust system are some of the significant causes of car noise. You need to ensure that everything in your vehicle is functioning properly, to avoid hearing rattling, squealing, grinding or clunking sounds.
If you notice any unusual noises in your car, you may want to visit a mechanic to have the problem assessed. You also need to change the oil and other fluids in your car regularly. Be sure to perform regular maintenance checks to avoid noisy malfunctions.
So, how do you reduce engine noise when your car is working at its best?
Even when everything in your car is fully functional, a certain amount of noise can be heard from the engine. That’s why most cars have factory-installed soundproof devices to reduce that sound. However, the condition of these devices tends to deteriorate with time, and you need to check them regularly to ensure they are working as intended.
To reduce the road noise getting inside your vehicle through the cabin, car manufacturers install thick pads on the lower side of the hood. These flame-retardant pads are made of several layers of material, and they help to suppress engine heat. However, you can install additional sound-deadening insulation to quiet the engine while driving.
Installing additional sound-deadening insulation to reduce engine noise
Using different dampening products on the market (e.g. sound dampening mats), you can significantly lower the amount of noise coming from your engine. These products are made from sound-deadening materials that absorb the sound coming from the engine and exhaust systems.
It is important that you ensure whichever sound dampening mat you purchase for your engine contain metal foil backing. The foil increases the mat’s heat resistance making them able tolerate the heat of the engine.
You can ask your mechanic to put these specialized products on your car, but you can also install them at home. Here is a detailed guide:
- Opening the hood is the first thing you have to do when installing dampening materials to reduce engine noise. You will want to check if everything is performing well before proceeding.
- If you look carefully under your hood, you will see areas covered with rubbers to absorb heat and sound from your engine.
- Before installing the new sound-proofing products, you will have to take out the factory installed materials and clean the metal section (use acetone or alcohol-based cleaners).
- Cut the sound-deadening material into the appropriate sizes and install them on your car, using adhesive glue. The new products should be in the same section as the old ones.
- You should allow the materials time to dry and cover them up with the factory products.
- Close your hood and enjoy a test drive.
Sound-deadening your car’s engine is simple and effective. However, you should ensure that you are using specialized products that can withstand moisture and heat
8. Install A New Stereo System
If you don’t think you are ready to go through the hassle of soundproofing, you can still do something about all that unwanted noise in your vehicle. Don’t forget that some cars may not look great with foams and mats.
As we all know, a good playlist is all you need to feel relaxed when driving your car. That being the case, you need a reliable stereo system to drain all the road noise and give you a smooth driving experience.
9. Special Note: Listen To Your Car
Some car sounds are just due to the natural wear and tear of your vehicle. Other car sounds, however, are due to serious mechanical or even electrical issues that require immediate attention. While car soundproofing is a cool way to get rid of noise, before you go ahead soundproof your car, listen to the sounds and try to determine if they are serious or not.
How Do You Know When Car Sounds Are Serious?
Here’s how you go about it:
One of the easiest ways to identify serious noises from your vehicle is when you hear a noise you’ve never heard before.
If the noises are accompanied by some sort of reduction in ride quality.
If any of the above occurs, don’t just take advantage of your new soundproof skills and ignore the sounds. Take the vehicle to a mechanic as soon as possible. The mechanic will be able to find the source of the problem and fix it before a serious repair job is required.
Though the concept of car soundproofing is broad, it’s quite convenient and straightforward in getting rid of the noise inside your vehicle.
We have discussed several diy car soundproofing methods, you can use several methods to kill all the unnecessary noise in your car, without having any issues.