Cars have now been an integral part of our lives for years, more so in the last few years. And in the upcoming years too, they will become more connected to the lives we are leading. So in the wake of cars being an integral part, we are spending more time in them.
This has resulted in a lot of advancement in the features and also the improvement of specific elements in a car and one of them is soundproofing. According to DataIntelo, the car soundproofing material market was valued at USD 8.6 billion in 2018 and is estimated to grow at a CAGR of 3.2% from 2018 to 2028.
However, a lot of people also want to know what is car soundproofing and does soundproofing car really work. The name itself is pretty suggestive, as it involves various techniques and materials to minimalize external noises, rattles, and vibrations inside the cabin of the car.
In this article, we have discussed whether soundproofing car really works or not and how it can increase the overall driving pleasure by keeping the interiors of the car quieter allowing for increased focus on roads and less fatigued rides.
So. let’s get started.
Table of Contents
What Are The Main Sources Of Car Noises
Cars, in general, are noisy pieces of machinery and they have different components that make a lot of noise. We will look what are the components that make the most noise and affects the cabin inside the car. Because if they are not rectified it can grow really uncomfortable for the driver and can leave them irritated.
Tire noises are one of the most common noises coming outside from the cabin. Tire noises can be due to various reasons from an underinflated tire, uneven tread, or even full-blown out tire
which can make all sorts of noise that can affect the driver.
The most important aspect in terms of the safety of a car comes from its brakes. So it also has the highest amount of wear and tear of any component in a car, which creates the most amount of problems. Rattling, squeaking, and grinding are very common noises associated with braking which hinders cabin noise ratio.
Engines have a lot of moving parts that if not properly maintained can make a lot of unwanted noise which in turn makes the driving experience sour.
Exhaust means to lower the sound your engine is making, but sometimes it ends up making the most noise, due to a damaged or faulty engine, exhaust connectors being loose or other components which in turn makes the interior experience not good.
5. Outside Noises
When you are traveling in a car, on a highway, or in the city or suburbs there will be outside factors like traffic on the road along with the wind noises which will aggravate the noises in the cabin. Also, the noise made by the car parts can make the ride uncomfortable.
How You Can Identify Noise Source
Identifying the source of noise in a car can be a bit tricky, but the possibilities can be narrowed down.
Firstly, pay attention to the specific characteristics of the noise. Is it a squealing sound, a knocking, or a buzzing? This initial observation will give you a clue about the potential source.
Secondly, try to determine when the noise occurs. Is it only when the car is in motion, or does it happen when the engine is turned on? By noting the specific conditions under which the noise occurs, you can better pinpoint the issue.
Additionally, inspecting the exterior of the car for signs of damage or loose components can also help in locating the source. If all else fails, you can consult a professional mechanic who has the expertise and diagnostic tools necessary to accurately identify and resolve the noise issue.
Does Soundproofing Car Really Work: Is It Worth The Investment?
For someone who is an absolute beginner or a car enthusiast, who wants his ride to be quieter for a daily commute or a long drive, the question is a huge one because there are a lot of factors and one needs to pinpoint and apply them accordingly.
Yes, soundproofing the interior greatly reduces and eliminates unwanted noises from the engine and the traffic around, which in turn also enhances the audio quality and conversation between the passengers inside the cabin of the car and also the ambient noise.
But, it is to be noted that for different cars the method of soundproofing differs and so we have to initially understand the problematic areas like tire and steering and other parts of a car.
One of the main areas is the engine which emits the most noise, so that will vary from the car manufacturer. So soundproofing does work only when it’s properly researched and then applied to the car they are driving. Also, there should be the correct methodology as there are different areas of issues.
How You Can Deal With Road And Car Noise: A Quieter And More Comfortable Ride
As previously said, noises inside the cabin of the car greatly decrease the overall experience of driving and create a more exhausting experience which is not at all fulfilling for the person who is driving the car.
But, if certain changes are made, the experience becomes much more pleasant. You can start with tires, and one may think that all tires are the same, however, that’s not the case. Because there are certain tires that are labeled as “low noise” and designed and engineered in such a way that the tread pattern minimizes tire-road contact noise.
Insulation materials are also a great way to tackle this situation, such as acoustic sound-deadening mats or foams which absorb and dampen cabin noise. Additionally, noise-reducing window films or soundproof curtains also curb noise infiltration from traffic and other agents.
On top of this, it is important to remember to properly maintain the car and its components, such as engines, steering wheel suspension, and brakings as these are moving parts and will make the most amount of noise.
Checking them periodically and maintaining the car will ensure the noises from different mechanisms are in check which will ensure a better experience.
What Are The Most Effective Soundproofing Materials On the Market: Improved Comfort And Reduced Stress
There are many effective soundproofing materials available on the market which are great for adding to the interior of the car. We are going to see what is the best option in terms of the car built and the manufacturer.
1. Butyl Mats
Butyl mats are a great choice for soundproofing as well as aesthetic preferences making them a popular choice for quieter and more comfortable rides.
The mats are specifically designed to minimize noise and vibration. In addition to soundproofing, it is also great for shielding cars’ floors from dirt, moisture, and extreme weather ensuring that the cabin also looks clean. It is also super easy to install and without any hassle.
Another useful tool in tackling the noise issue is soundproof foams which are easy to apply.
They play a key role in decibel reduction and improving interior acoustics.
The foam works by damping vibration and echoes, minimalizing external noise intrusion from the engine, traffic, and other environmental factors.
With its easy installation, it can be easily applied to irregular surfaces and hard-to-reach places which makes for an easy and effective way to stop the noises.
3. Mass Loaded Vinyl (MLV)
MLV or Mass Loaded Vinyl is an insulating barrier that both reduces and deadens sound travel and improves the acoustic and audio performance.
It’s incredibly flexible and also acts as a decoupler creating a spongy buffer between the MLV and your vehicle. This innovative design makes it a noise blocker and insulator which is also great for regulating the heat levels in the cabin of the car.
Which Areas Of The Car You Should Focus On The Most
Apart from the traffic and the other external factors which are the leading causes of noise, the main and most important aspect is the car itself. And we know certain parts are noisier than others. Hence we should look at which parts to put more emphasis on.
1. Engine Compartment
Engines are the most common area where most of the noises dwell. And as different cars have different engine sizes and build, it’s one of the places to look out for in any car regardless what is the size of the engine.
Add that with the traffic and other factors and it makes up for a very bad experience. You could experience popping, pinging, whirring, hissing, knocking, or grinding sounds at high speeds.
Excess engine sounds also indicate problems.
The engine compartment can be shielded on both sides across the firewall and the underside of the hood.
Tires create a substantial amount of noise that many drivers don’t have much idea about.
The noise usually comes in the form of road or tire noise which has a significant effect on the driving comfort of the driver.
Always keep the tires properly inflated, and uneven tread tires are also an issue. Looking at tires that are quieter ones are also a viable option as not all tires are made equal.
Despite being the safety gear it is also one of the aspects that have one of the most amount noises that a component of a car can make.
Brake noises have a rattling, grinding, or squeaking manner which makes a noise that can reach the interior of the cabin and have a prolonged effect on the driver.
The periodic maintenance of the brakes should also be noticed as it is a critical part of the overall functionality of the car.
Measuring The Sound Level Of The Car
Measuring the sound levels bring crucial insights into the interior of the car. But to accurately measure the interior you will need a sound level meter or a decibel meter.
Once you have the meter, ensure all the doors and windows are properly shut to make sure there is no outside disturbance.
Position yourself in the driver’s seat and then take different readings at different speeds allowing you to mark the reading and note the noise frequencies. Run it for a few minutes to ensure that the readings are consistent.
This is also helpful if you want to balance and equalize the sound system in your car. Certain phone apps have the feature of measuring decibels, but a sound meter is a much more accurate and professional approach to measuring the levels.
Wrap Up On Does Soundproofing Car Really Work: What Works And What Doesn’t
To give you a proper answer, we can say that it works but there are a lot of things that need to be in place. And the effectiveness depends on the approach, methods, and the material used.
However, it should be kept in mind that 100 percent sound isolation is not possible, some of it will always find a way.
But it should also be remembered that soundproofing is a better alternative than nothing at all because it is not just soundproofing. In some cases, it also prevents UV rays and heat radiation inside the interior of the car to a certain degree.
We hope that our comprehensive guide has helped you to understand does soundproofing car really work or not. If you still have any doubts regarding this topic, please let us know in the comments below.
FAQ: Does Soundproofing Car Really Work
As it is a tricky topic, a lot of people actually want to know does soundproofing car actually work and it would have a lot of questions among car enthusiasts or someone who wants to have a quieter rider in their daily commute. Here we have picked some of your questions to answer.
Q1. Why Soundproof My Car?
Ans: Soundproofing is not only done out of the need to block unwanted noise but it’s also done so that the sound acoustics can be better adjusted and the audio system inside the car works the best. Also, insulation can prevent excess heat to be radiated into the cabin, hence it has a lot of uses other than just blocking outside noise.
Q2. Can I Sound Deaden My Car On My Own?
Ans: Yes, you can do it yourself and you wouldn’t need a workshop for everything described here, nor would you benefit from a car lift or anything. However, there’s always the possibility of damaging plastic panels when taking them off. So, you should be prepared for that and it’s preferable to do this kind of experiment on a cheap car, not on your brand-new pride and joy.
Q3. What Is The Cost Of Soundproofing My Car?
Ans: Costing will be affected by a lot of factors, including the size of the car and the material used in this process. Mats and foams would be a lot less compared to insulating the engine compartment or insulating the inside spaces underneath the body of the car.