How to reduce sound levels inside car cabins

Written by leonardo r. grabkowski
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How to reduce sound levels inside car cabins
A sound deadener on the inside of a door panel. (

Some cars have much less interior noise than others. Large or luxury cars often go through more extensive testing and use higher-quality materials to reduce the sound level inside their cabin. You can use better insulation and thicker sheet metal to reduce the noise.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Engine insulation
  • Carpet padding
  • Sound-deadening material

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  1. 1

    Upgrade your factory under-bonnet insulation. While the under-bonnet insulation helps to prevent fire, it also plays a role in reducing engine noise entering the cabin. Make sure your replacement is proven to reduce engine noise and fireproof. While you're under the bonnet, you can also add an engine cover. Many modern vehicles already have engine covers, but older ones don't.

  2. 2

    Install carpet padding in between your carpet and the metal floorboard of your car. Most cars have carpet padding, but it is designed to be more cost-effective and less effective at reducing interior sound levels. A large portion of road noise travels into your cabin from underneath the vehicle; upgrading to a thicker, more efficient carpet padding will reduce the interior sound level. Although the procedure can be done at home, the seating and carpet must be removed, so professional installation is recommended.

  3. 3

    Apply a sound-deadening material, such as Dynamat, between the metal and plastic in your door panel. The material will better insulate your cabin and drastically reduce noises from being piped in. Installation is fairly straightforward; most of the materials are self-adhesive. Removing your door panel is required. Many sound shops will take on the project if you aren't able to do it yourself.

Tips and warnings

  • Any of the methods will help reduce the sound levels in your car; doing all of them together would make a tremendous difference.
  • Because most interior cabin noise comes from outside the vehicle, you can also look for ways to reduce the amount of exterior noise your vehicle makes to lessen the amount coming in. Try an all-season or touring tyre for a quieter ride than performance tires. Exhaust systems can also be upgraded to operate quieter.

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