Do you want to get rid of the unwanted sounds in your passenger cabin? No one can blame you. There are many reasons why you might be looking to soundproof a vehicle and all of them are valid. Some want to reduce noise in the cabin so they can listen music or talk while driving. Others want to have a driving experience similar to the one available in luxury vehicles. Keeping the noise down serves to create such environment. But how to go about doing it? And what are the exact sources of noise you need to address?
Sources of Noise in a Car
With all the moving mechanical parts in your car, it’s no surprise you want to reduce the noise. The tyres and the axles constantly create sound as your vehicle moves along. This is due to rolling resistance, which you can’t do much about. It’s a basic necessity to maintain speed over surface. Employing sound deadener for car will provide noise reduction, but before you go ahead and install it make sure you check all sources of nuisance.
As much as we all like to hear the rev of the engine, over time this sound becomes a nuisance. It’s probably the primary source of noise in many cars. Burning fuel via controlled explosions in the combustion chamber creates vibration and the whole ruckus is transferred to the cabin because undercarriages are usually made from one piece. And to top it all off, there is the constant drone of the exhaust unless you have already replaced it with a superior aftermarket exhaust system.
You will have to take a closer look at the elements of your car that create or amplify noise. For example, in many cars the doors are hollow except the lock and the mechanism used to operate the windows. This definitely contributes to in-cabin disturbance. It’s the hallmark of poor thermal insulation too, but that’s a whole different story.
You need to protect your passenger cabin from ambient noise, as well. Excessive honking by others in traffic, their loud vehicles, and construction work can all be a nuisance. And that noise doesn’t always come from others. When you hit a bump on the road your can hear resounding reverberation inside your car as well. The wind that is hitting your vehicle as you drive is another major source of noise as is torrential rain (when you do encounter it). It’s funny how we prioritise physical protection of the chassis against foreign objects, but when it comes to keeping intrusive sounds at bay we tend to simply push through whatever our surroundings throw at us.
How to Soundproof Your Car
Determine the Area for Acoustic Insulation
Usually, car owners who want to soundproof their vehicles go for the accessible areas on the floor, the roof, and the doors. If you have a sound issue with a particular part of your car (like the luggage compartment), you can apply sound deadening sheets there as well. Just keep in mind that you need to apply the insulation abundantly if you want it to have an effect.
Soundproofing the Floor
You can start by removing every piece that can be stripped from the car floor. The sound deadener is best applied when parts, carpets and wires are out of the way. If you have the exact measurements of the area, you can prepare the insulation sheets in advance. Alternatively, you can do this once you strip the floor. Choosing a sound deadener for car that can be cut to length is paramount. You can go for peel and stick insulation sheets (600mm x 500mm) that can be rolled over the uneven edges. Seal everything snugly with a hand roller and get it as tight as you can.
Soundproofing Car Roof
When we tamper with the roof, it’s usually to the outside because we want to get extra storage. Depending on the exact make and model of our car, interventions to the roof from the inside can be tricky. The main concern is not to disturb the decorative layer or the thermal insulation if there are any. Unfortunately, you need to strip all that down to apply acoustic insulation. This will be definitely worth it on the long run, as you will feel the difference right after you put the sheets in place. Be careful when returning everything back in place. Just follow the steps in reverse order and you are good to go.
Soundproofing Car Doors
This is potentially the most difficult area for applying car sound deadener. Sticking a sheet to cover the engine box or the floor is fairly straightforward, whereas you need to completely remove the inner panel to soundproof doors. Some cars have an additional seal below the panel, while others have the lock and car window contraption laid bare behind the panel. Practice caution when you are dismantling these parts and only do it if you have to. The sheets are applied directly to the metal panels, and you can immediately check the status of your work by tapping on the door from the outside.
Finishing up the Job
While those are the typical areas for application of acoustic insulation you can certainly add other items on the list. Since the engine is producing a lot of noise you can apply sound deadener to the engine box and the firewall. Keep in mind that noise reduction in the passenger cabin is successful only if all areas are covered. If your luggage compartment is left out, and your seats are intrinsically connected to it, you will experience a lot of noise when you are driving.