Soundproofing Does Wonders to Your Car

Even the most beautiful engine sound can be annoying and stressful when you hear it too loudly or for too long. Sound deadening material makes you enjoy your car more than ever

Have you ever driven a car in bad overall condition? If so, let me ask you another question: what makes you consider its condition bad? I would say the answer certainly includes too much vibration in the cabin, poor engine operation and, even more certainly, noise. Too much noise from whatever sources there are.

We know that proper maintenance in general is essential for many reasons. Here, we are going to focus on noise because it directly affects people’s well-being in a car. This article is going to briefly present why noise sources in the car are harmful to us and how we can use sound deadening materials to our benefit.

2023 Lexus RX (source: WheelsAge)

What causes noise in a car?

First of all, the engine. Thermal engines work by performing thousands of small, controlled explosions per minute. The actual noise is regulated by the exhaust system: the piping’s length and curves influence how the engine sounds. Sports cars are the only type where engine sound is considered an emotional appeal.

2021 Dodge Durango SRT Hellcat (source: Stellantis)

Another important source is rattling. Cars work with countless components physically interacting with one another and all that makes noise. However, it is desirable to work on those interactions to make them less intense and noticeable. Making that effort prevents excessive wear and promotes silence in the cabin.

Noise also comes whenever a wheel bumps into something. The suspension’s duty is to smoothly absorb that impact in order to minimize noise and vibration. That is important to keep unwanted movement to a minimum and to prevent loud cling and clang sounds that could disturb and even scare the occupants.

2022 Lincoln Navigator Black Label (source: WheelsAge)

Is sound deadening worth it?

Yes, for several reasons. When we hear noise, we are receiving energy from the sound waves that produce that noise. You know how annoying and stressful it is to hear chatter at the workplace all day long? Or to listen to music for a long time, even our favorite songs? The same principle applies with noise emission.

2022 Bentley Continental Flying Spur Hybrid (source: WheelsAge)

Now, it is easy to step out of the office for a moment. And it is even easier to pause your music app and remove your headphones. Car noise, in turn, cannot be easily turned off. Besides all that, we can divide it into continuous noise, like from the tires, and sudden noise, like clings and clangs from metallic parts.

Soundproofing your car becomes important to spare you from distractions when driving. You can better focus on the road on the conversation with the other people in the car. Besides, you will feel lighter and less stressed once your trip is finished. But now it is time for us to discuss those matters in more detail.

2023 Maserati Grecale (credit: Davide de Martis)

Vehicle sound deadening prevents rattling

Even in high-end cars, there is only so much we can do in that regard. If you leave loose objects in any of its storage areas, they will move during a normal drive. If you fall on a pothole, there will be a bump noise from the suspension. If you play music at a high volume, the audio system will vibrate more intensely.

2022 Volkswagen Golf R Variant (source: WheelsAge)

Car sound damping does not eliminate those issues, but it does prevent you from hearing them. Changes as simple as padding the surfaces on the storage areas drastically reduce the rattling of keys, for example. Proper installation of the audio system will let it vibrate freely, without interacting with the rest of the car.

Now, the fact that this action only hides the problem demands attention. In several cases, rattling comes from actual problems, such as worn and/or deregulated components. If that ever happens to your car, the priority is to provide proper repair. Negligence could make the problem exponentially worse over time.

2022 Acura RDX PMC Edition (source: Acura)

Auto soundproof improves audio quality

Everyone loves music, and most of us love to listen to it while driving. As a result, we like to invest in that, whether by choosing the best stereo from the manufacturer or venturing into a custom installation. Now, there is absolutely no sense in doing that only to have your audio quality marred by outside noise, right?

2022 Renault Mégane E-Tech (source: Renault)

Sound proofing car doors, for example, keeps road noise out. That allows you to set the audio system to a lower volume. That is less harmful to our body and reduces the chances of distortion. Another advantage is that a silent cabin allows you to perceive more of the song’s details. It is an invitation to sing along!

In this situation, the recommendations are more intuitive. You should not completely tune out road noise, whether by cranking up the stereo volume or by fully sound proofing your car. After all, it is an additional way to notice outside events that require prompt reactions, such as a truck nearby or animal crossing.

2022 Audi Q8 e-tron (source: Audi)

Car door insulation makes it easy to chat

Whenever we travel with someone, we will be inclined to chat with them at some point. That can be small talk, like when we use ride-hailing apps; a long conversation, like when we are riding with one important person; or friendly chatter, like during family road trips. Sound damping in car cabins helps here as well.

2021 Jeep Wrangler HEMI V8 (source: Stellantis)

Excessive noise induces people to raise their voice, which often leads to straining. If you are traveling with children, you are going to hear them screaming even more than they usually do. Last, but not least, it will be harder for you to communicate with someone who cannot speak louder, such as elderly people.

Another possible scenario is that the excessive noise discourages occupants from talking altogether. The discomfort is annoying on its own, but there is a more serious consequence. Without a friendly chat, the external noise acts as white noise to the driver, which will certainly make them sleepy after a few hours.

2019 Polestar 2 (source: WheelsAge)

Does sound deadening work in cars?

You have seen the pros. Before we give our opinion, you should keep in mind that this strategy can bring disadvantages as well. One of them is quite intuitive: we are talking about installing items in your car, so it comes at a cost. The deeper you work on that, the more you will spend buying and installing everything.

2019 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 (source: WheelsAge)

Parallel to that, it will be difficult to find proper parts unless you own a common car model. There will be a weight increase as well, so the performance will suffer. Last, but not least, sound proofing your car requires disassembling several parts. Reassembling them always creates a chance of new rattling noise.

After weighing pros and cons, we decide in favor of sound deadening your car. If its unwanted noise has become unbearable, and you have already addressed any underlying issues, it is worth the investment. More than the car, it will be an investment in your health and, as a consequence, in your quality of life.

Author Profile
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Joe Stewart is a 35-year-old automotive enthusiast born in Miami, Florida. He is a part-time collaborator in AutomoBible and specializes at making car passion accessible to readers thanks to his product curations of all types.

Stewart worked in the automotive industry for several years especially in the field of accessories. He executed projects for several automakers whether to improve existing solutions or to design new ones according to their needs.

Nowadays, Stewart is expressing his passion for cars on AutomoBible. He is always looking for exciting new products and he tests them whenever he can, whether on his own 2020 Dodge Charger or on his friends's cars.