Road noise can be really annoying and stressful. Today’s vehicles are built to reduce it as much as possible. However, screeching, pounding, and other distracting sounds may still occur while you drive, affecting your experience.
Our customers sometimes ask us whether hearing road noise in the car indicates some malfunction in the vehicle and how it can be eliminated.
We decided to create this guide that will explain the true nature of road noise in the car, why you may hear it, and what can be a reason for it. And, of course, we shall provide some most efficient tips that will help you eliminate or at least reduce road noise in your car.
Why do you hear road noise in the car?
Just like with any other problem, it is essential to understand the reason and origin of the road noise to reduce it most efficiently.
Technically there are 3 types of road noise:
- Noise caused by the road;
- Noise from the vehicle;
- Wind noise.
Indicating the origin of the noise is the first and essential step to the solution of this issue.
Where does road noise come from?
Technically, road noise is any kind of sound that occurs when your vehicle moves on the road. Tires roll on the road surface; they bump into imperfections, go over pitfalls.
Eventually, you hear the screech of metal and plastic, feel the vibration and pounding.
Once you manage to understand and locate the parts of your vehicle that get mostly affected and make those sounds, you will manage to reduce the effect of road noise on your driving.
- The road – it is pretty natural that those who drive in rural areas with unpaved roads, pitfalls, and bumps are most affected by the road noise. Even in the city, you may sometimes have to go through streets with pavements and other “noisy” surfaces. You can reduce road noise in this case by addressing a qualified mechanic that will adjust your tires to reduce the noise;
- The car – when was the last time you balanced the wheels in your vehicle or rotated the tires? What kind of tires do you have at all, and how old are they? Neglecting the fundamental maintenance rules can lead to the misbalance of the car’s transmission and other essential cars. Eventually, it will cause severe road noise even if you only drive through perfect city roads;
- The wind – have you ever tried to drive on a highway with your window open? The sequel of high-pitched air trying to escape your vehicle once you accelerate makes it almost impossible. However, sometimes you may hear this dreadful sound even driving with your windows up. It is pretty natural that the noise will still get through the tiniest gaps in your car’s body, as an average vehicle is not hermetic. However, excessive road noise in the car caused by the wind may indicate that your door seals are worn out and need replacement.
Ways to reduce road noise in your car
Here are the most common reasons for the road noise in the car and ways to eliminate them:
- Rattling doors – except for the worn-off door seals mentioned above, road noise may be caused by the vibration of the door itself or the window. Although rattling doors are mostly a problem of retro vehicles, this problem may occur in new models as well. Make sure to address a qualified mechanic that will manage to locate and eliminate the problem;
- Noise from plastic details – while modern vehicles contain lots of plastic elements, rattling plastic is another most common reason for the road noise in the car. To save you some time and effort, we advise you to first pay attention to the cupholders.
- Statistically, they are the most common and least obvious sources of plastic road noise in vehicles;
- All-terrain tires – while this type of tire looks like a perfect solution and a money saver, all-terrain tires are another most common source of road noise. Consider replacing them with something more suitable for the road surface you mostly drive through.
Have any questions about proper maintenance of your vehicle or look for qualified mechanics to conduct a routine check and necessary repair in your car? Contact OHS Body Shop today. Our branches are located all over Montana’s Greater Flathead Valley, in Kalispell, Whitefish, Columbia Falls and Polson. Here you will find experienced professionals who will make sure that your vehicle is safe, comfortable, and good-looking for as long as possible.