Driving a vehicle can turn out to be pretty noisy overall (Source). Since there are so many ways to drown out the sound, some people don’t realize this at first. However, there comes a breaking point for nearly every person where the sound is annoying enough to do something about it.
Is soundproofing a car worth the money? Since it is such a small area, it doesn’t cost that much to do something about the sound that will make for a more enjoyable experience for everyone inside. Doing some initial testing and examinations to understand where the sound is coming from is essential.
What Are The Main Causes Of Car Noises?
The noise heard in a car can come from so many different sources. Some of the sources are entirely controllable, while others just become part of the driving experience.
No matter what the source is, there are ways to help silence just about anything. Soundproofing material will work in nearly any situation, but some sounds are easier to handle than others.
Sound sources include traffic, wind, tires, the engine, the exhaust, a sound system and more. If the sound is coming from just one source, it is not that big of a deal. If it is a mixture of sounds, it can become too distracting.
Dealing With Road and Car Noise
It is very frustrating for any person out there to drive down the road and find it challenging to have a conversation, or hear music without the volume being all the way up.
A big reason why it can be noisy in a car comes down to general road noise. Not only are there all types of cars on the road making noise, but a person’s car itself can cause a fair amount of noise.
How can road and car noises be handled? Soundproofing material helps to a certain degree, but it’s also essential to update certain parts of the car if they are becoming an issue. It might be more than just sound that is doing more harm than good.
Identifying The Sound Source
The first step to address all the different sounds that are distracting involves identifying the source in the first place. This takes a little bit of troubleshooting, but most people can find out the reason why sound levels are a bit out of control.
Once the noisy part of the car is identified, start looking at different soundproofing solutions. Some of these issues are solved by using some soundproofing material in a strategic spot.
In other cases, it makes more sense to make a replacement for something that is incredibly noisy. For example, if the exhaust is making a considerable amount of noise, it might be better for the car to get a new, updated exhaust system instead of trying to soundproof what currently exists.
If the sound is coming from the floor, that’s the most susceptible area to soundproof in a car. That’s because in most cases, mats that are capable of helping with soundproofing (Amazon) can do the trick. These don’t need formally installed, but instead just laid down to instantly start working. Any other type of sample material requires a more formal installation.
Comparing Engine Noise
The type of engine a person has in their vehicle will play a massive role in just how noisy everything is. It should come as no surprise to anyone that diesel engines are the loudest options out there for vehicles. They tend to be in older models, although they will pop up on occasion with other cars out there.
Most people will find that they need some type of soundproofing material with a diesel engine. It might sound impressive to people from the outside, but it becomes increasingly difficult to hear much inside. Just some minor soundproofing techniques can go a long way towards a more enjoyable experience.
Gas engines aren’t nearly as loud, but they do make some noise occasionally. This is also very dependent on how old the engine is in general. New technology has allowed for some of these gas engines to be extremely quiet, and companies have also taken measures to soundproof the engine a bit themselves.
A cheaper car from certain companies will try to cut corners a bit with their own soundproofing. This is where aftermarket soundproofing makes a little more sense, especially for people who might be sensitive to sound.
Finally, electric engines are certainly making a significant impact in a variety of ways. Not only are these engines much better for the environment, but people are gravitating towards them because of the way they can help control sound. In fact, electric motors are so quiet these days that some are worried about a pedestrian’s safety.
After decades of relying on sound to understand a car is coming down the road, an electric engine is so quiet that some people won’t hear the vehicle coming.
What Is The Best Way To Measure How Much Of A Difference Soundproofing Material Makes?
Measuring sound inside a car doesn’t matter too much, simply because there are two levels: tolerable and too loud. However, to quantify everything, there are some methods to measure sound levels and see what type of difference certain materials make. This can help people make smart decisions with their soundproofing material, and ensure that their mind isn’t playing tricks on them.
A simple search on a smartphone will find a few apps out there that accurately measure sound levels in any area. They may not be as accurate as other, more expensive tools out there, but it does the trick in the scenario. As long as people can get a ballpark figure on sound levels, it is beneficial.
Some options are completely free, but even the more expensive apps will only cost a small amount of money. Most people feel that in the end, it’s worth the investment. The apps will do all the work for people, and most of them will save measurements from the past for easy comparisons. Make sure to take the measurements from the same location in the vehicle to get a perfect comparison. (Source)
What Are The Most Effective And Cost-Efficient Soundproofing Materials Out There?
Much like soundproofing any type of smaller area, there are a few different solutions for people to consider. They all have their pros and cons as far as the application process and effectiveness is concerned.
Most people will opt for a rubber-based solution if they want something straightforward. This is especially true when looking at soundproofing floor mats, because they can be purchased and thrown on the ground for immediate impact. It can transform sound energy into heat, and they are durable enough to handle the wear and tear of people stepping on them.
The downfall to soundproofing rubber is that it produces a smell at times. This is especially true right away once applied to the vehicle. The scent starts to fade away the longer that the mats exist in the vehicle, but they can come back if it is pretty warm outside. Most people overlook the smell less you, especially if it is doing the job correctly.
The biggest advantage of soundproofing spray is that it can be applied virtually anywhere inside or outside the vehicle. Many people love the convenience factor of having an aerosol tube of soundproofing spray with them at all times. It is usually very easy to apply and see instant results.
Using only the spray for soundproofing is pretty tough, as it usually doesn’t provide enough of a difference for most people. Think of this as more of a complementary piece to soundproofing a vehicle, instead of the only solution.
Finally, soundproofing foam and foil work are two options that work in many similar ways. The foam makes for a better solution for noisier vehicles, as it is a little denser so that it can disperse sound energy and vibrations inside. People who want excellent acoustics in the vehicle will gravitate towards foam in most cases.
Foil usually ends up being placed underneath something, such as the carpet inside a vehicle. It does an excellent job of staying hidden and just providing solid soundproofing at all times.
Can Soundproofing Material Be Reused?
Most soundproofing material has the capability of being reused if a person purchases a new vehicle. The one exception is soundproofing spray, as it changes form and is nearly impossible to remove from the previous location.
It’s frustrating for any person to have to deal with changing from one vehicle to another, but all the other materials are pretty easy to take out. This helps to cut down costs so that people don’t have to re-purchase everything along with a brand new vehicle. Since most cars have very similar dimensions, that also comes in handy.
What Areas Should Receive Soundproof Treatment For The Biggest Impact?
If the noise level in a vehicle is pretty loud all around, most people are going to look for a way to see an immediate impact with soundproofing material. To make the installation process worth it, consider soundproofing the specific areas of the vehicle for the fastest results.
Often times, soundproofing one area won’t be the only solution persued by a car owner. However, these are great starting points to inspire more work.
Specifically, the engine compartment can benefit significantly from soundproofing. Certain engines are noisier than others, but even an electric motor would be noticeably quieter with great soundproofing material in this area. It is one of the easiest ways to notice a complete change in sound levels.
Interior Floor And Doors
The doors and floors inside the vehicle are where most of the sound originates. Focus on these areas for instant change, as a little bit of soundproofing material goes a long way.
Pay particular attention to getting full coverage. That means picking out properly sized floor mats so that everything is covered. It can be a very effective soundproofing floormat, but if it only covers half the floor, it’s still going to be somewhat noisy.
For one reason or another, people often overlook just how noisy a trunk can be. Most people don’t realize the noise level of a trunk since the noise source is not directly in front of people. Trunks are sources for anything from road noise to completely unnecessary vibrations because something is moving around. Soundproofing a trunk makes a lot of sense, especially if it is exposed (think a van or SUV).
The cheapest, most effective way to reduce sound in a trunk is to clean it out. Maybe something is making too much noise back there that should not be there in the first place. After that, look at soundproofing everything from the trunk floor and sides to the license plate area.
Keeping Costs Down
Soundproofing material by itself is relatively inexpensive these days. There are so many manufacturers that understand a quieter car makes a big difference. With so many competitors, prices continue to drop, even for high-level solutions.
Since the materials used are already going down in price, the biggest factor in saving some money is doing the installation without professional assistance. This might sound like a daunting task for some people, and they might be prone to shy away from it initially.
However, installing soundproofing material in some regions of the vehicle is pretty straightforward. Every case will be slightly different, but there might not be a need for a professional helper.
Don’t be afraid to turn soundproofing a vehicle into a do-it-yourself experience. It might take a little longer, and some material ends up wasted, but in the end, it helped keep the cost down.
A Final Look At Why Soundproofing A Car Is Worth The Money
Every single vehicle has different sound issues people must deal with. Some are easier to handle than others, but soundproofing material can help in so many ways. Conversations
become easier, music volume does not have to be at the maximum value, and the crucial sounds become easier to hear.
Putting in the effort to soundproof a car is worth it to so many people out there. Do not feel overwhelmed at any point, since some easy minor adjustments won’t cost much money at all.