I thought today I would take a slight departure from talking about home soundproofing tips, and instead talk about another aspect of soundproofing – which is how to quiet road noise in a car.
It won’t affect all drivers, but those with certain car types, or older models might find it hard to have a conversation with a passenger due to the external noise elements.
In this guide I will give you some top advice where you can find out how you can make huge differences to the road noise levels in your car. If you are struggling to hear your music or talk with other people in the car due to engine and road noise, then this is going to blow your mind.
How to Quiet Road Noise in a Car – The Best Way
In my Jeep, I’ve had a lot of noise and it was really getting on my nerves. The first that I did was buy a product called Dynamat – and luckily it seemed that I chose the best option straight off the bat.
Dynamat is a foam shield that you place underneath your existing floor mats at the front of the car. One will go under the driver’s mat, and one under the passenger mat.
It’s very simple, but clever.
What it does is soak up noise that typically emanates from your tires when they are running on the road. Tire noise is one of the loudest sources of noise in your car that you will want to cancel out coming into the cabin.
But, it comes at a cost and will be expensive.
There are similar solutions that do just as good a job, which are more cost-effective and easy to get hold of. After all, all the mat is, is foam shield.
With my wife’s car, I looked for a cheaper solution and discovered FatMat. It’s half the price and you can buy FatMat sound deafening foam on Amazon. It has outstanding reviews and I can’t recommend it enough.
You will probably need to do some cutting to fit it into the space in your car’s floor-wells, but this is dead simple – anybody can do it!
It might take you 45 minutes at most, this is what you do:
- Remove front floor mats
- Cut FatMat to fit the space
- Lay it in the space (it has adhesive so it will stick)
- Place original floor mats back on top
Now you might not actually want to stop there, as noise reduction could be improved further by laying the foam in rear foot-wells, plus the trunk of the vehicle. The trunk can produce a lot of road noise.
Best thing to do: Go out for a drive and test it out.
PS: If you want to read more tips on how to soundproof a Jeep Wrangler then click the link.
Optional Extra – Reflective Insulation Foam
The main purpose of this stuff is to reduce heat coming up into the car, but a by-product is the sound deadening it also offers.
It will help prevent 98% of the heat coming up into the car from underneath, and reduces noise further. It is something I did with my wife’s car, and I was pleasantly surprised at the additional noise reduction it provided.
Go take a look at the Amazon customer reviews of this reflective automotive insulation and one thing that pops up time and time again is people saying how much of a difference it made to the car soundproofing.
Here are some review highlights:
“High quality. Easy to install. Made a tremendous difference with sound through the floor of my 1965 Mustang”
“This stuff has made a huge difference in sound deadening which was not what I bought it for. I would recommend!”
“Installed this over a sound deadening mat. It went on well and conformed easily to the firewall and floorboard.”
“I have used this to insulate the interior of the car from the rear seat up to the firewall. It made a HUGE difference in the sound coming in from the exhaust.”
My advice is that you follow step 1 in this guide, BUT put this reflective insulation foam underneath your FatMat or Dynamat product to get even better results.
To do it properly, all you will have to do is use 3M General Trim Adhesive – spray that onto the floor of the car then put the reflective insulation on the adhesive. After it has dried you can then put the foam on top – simple!
Other Areas of the Car You Can Soundproof
We’ve already established that the foot-wells at the front of the car are the problematic areas you should address first if you wish to make your car quieter inside and reduce road noise – as this will stop the noise from the tires coming up.
But there are some other areas you can improve too with additional sound deadening products and applications.
I would also suggest that you seek to eliminate in-car noise from the rear tires as well. Using my Jeep Cherokee as an example, it has a large flat trunk plus just two rows of seats. On my Jeep, this area produced a heck of a lot of noise so I needed to get it sorted out.
What I did was use under floor matting in a similar fashion to how the front floor was completed in my wife’s car – the difference is so noticeable.
Also pay close attention the doors on your car. If your vehicle is anything like my Jeep, then you will know how thin those doors are. This is a more expert task, as it will require taking apart the doors and panels – then insulating them from the insides.
I am going to hand the reigns over at this point to a guy on YouTube as I am not a mechanic and have minimal car repair experience with larger jobs like this – have a watch below to see how this guy does it on a BMW.
Final Thoughts on Making Your Car Quieter Inside
Don’t Leave Gaps!
If you want to get the best from your sound deadening project then don’t leave gaps. The smallest gap or crack will let sound in, so always cover the whole of the floor. If you do leave any gaps, then fix that up with tape.
What Results Can You Expect?
With my own 2 projects discussed I would estimate I’ve reduced road noise in the car by around 40% – which when you actually notice the difference in the real-world, is a massive improvement.
External road noise is a bigger problem with older cars, as they tend to have less insulation plus a larger floor space – meaning you have a lot more work to do. As older models are going to be noiser by nature, you will hear the most improvement in such cases.
With newer cars produced over the last 15 years or so you can still get great results. But they won’t be as loud to start with, so differences won’t be as discernible to the ear. You will still make it better though.
If you are a stats person, and love to do scientific experiments then it would be great to hear from you if you have done any decibel testing both before and after your project. You can get free apps for your phone which come with a decibel meter.
I would love to hear from you, and possibly even see some video of the results.