Road Noise: A Nuisance Or A Real Problem?

22 June 2015
 Categories: Construction & Contractors, Articles

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Sometimes, drivers get so used to their vehicles that they don't realize how much road noise there is inside the vehicle, even when they hit the highway. When you are driving, are you able to carry on a normal conversation with the riders without having to yell? When using your hands-free cell phone, does it seem like you can barely hear what the other person is saying? If so, your vehicle may have too much road noise. Here are a few things to figure out so you can determine if there is a problem and how to fix it.

Is the road noise significant?

What is significant road noise? Anything that is too loud for your personal taste, actually. Some people aren't bothered at all by road noise. However, there are instances when road noise could signal a red flag that there is something wrong with the vehicle. For that reason, it's important to investigate road noise even if it doesn't bother you personally. If you're not bothered by it, you should still investigate it, just in case there is something wrong with your vehicle.

Are the tires good & inflated correctly?

When the rubber meets the road, it's either noisy or not-as-noisy. All vehicles are going to have road noise to some extent, but vehicles that have significant road noise may have bad tires and/or tires that are not inflated properly. Both of these problems can lead to accidents. Check to see if the tread and air pressure are good. If the tires check out fine, the quality and construction of the tires may be causing the road noise. If you'd like to have a quieter ride, try purchasing a different brand and tread style next time.

Has the vehicle ever been in an accident?

Perhaps the vehicle had been in an accident when a previous owner owned it? A bent frame can cause the various parts of a vehicle to vibrate due to the entire vehicle being out of alignment. Sound (and noise) is made by vibrations. Take a close look at the doors, trunk lid and hood. The gaps in between those components and the rest of the vehicle should be evenly spaced from each of their sides.

For example, with your trunk lid closed, if there is a gap of ½ inch on one side and ¼ inch on the other side, the vehicle's frame is probably bent. Take it to an auto body shop for a thorough inspection. If the frame is severely bent, it could cause you to have handling and steering problems, depending on the make and model of your vehicle.

Does the windshield molding need to be replaced?

Sometimes road noise comes from air entering into the cabin of the vehicle while you are driving down the road. Think about when you open a side window just a teeny crack. Now think about what it may sound like if there is a miniscule crack in the molding around the windshield. Windshield molding is the rubber seal that helps keep your vehicle air-tight and prevents leaks.

However, just as with all other types of rubber, sometimes it has a tendency to deteriorate under certain conditions, such as harsh sunlight year-round. Hire a windshield repair service like Central Glass to check if the molding around the windshield is properly sealed. This is important because an improperly sealed windshield could cause your roof to cave in if your vehicle rolls over in an accident.

Sometimes, the cause of the road noise simply cannot be detected even after much investigation. Some cars are simply noisy and have a lot of road noise. Fortunately, there is something that can be done to reduce the road noise: install sound deadening. Basically, this is insulation that gets installed into the framing and under the flooring.There are DIY kits available, and the process is pretty straight-forward. If you don't feel you are up to the task of installing sound deadening, contact a vehicle sound system specialist.