How to insulate from road noise

Written by hans fredrick
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How to insulate from road noise
A drive on the highway doesn't need to be noisy. (highway image by BR from Fotolia.com)

Long-distance drives in a noisy car are not pleasant experiences for anyone. Noise of some kind is inevitable in a car, but there are measures that you can take that will reduce the noise levels experienced by those riding in the car. If you upgrade and improve your car in the right way, you can create an environment that is better insulated from the sounds coming from the road outside your windows. The keys are to understand where the sound is coming from and to focus on insulating and sealing those areas.

Skill level:
Easy

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Things you need

  • Vehicle weather stripping
  • Boot mat
  • Sound damping panels
  • Adhesive sound dampening material

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Replace the weather stripping on your car. Weather stripping can be found around doors and windows, but may also be found on the boot seal and anywhere there is an opening into the car. Increased road noise that comes through the weather stripping is typically the first sign that the stripping is starting to fail. Replacing it will improve your road-noise insulation and will help to prevent damage to your car as a result of moisture seeping through a previously sealed path.

  2. 2

    Insulate the boot next. Something as simple as laying heavy blankets in the boot can reduce road noise to a slight degree. The next best thing is to line the boot with a heavy rubber boot mat.

    If you want to get the best results, line the boot with a sound-insulating product. Several companies make linings that are designed to be placed in the boot for this purpose.

    Buy a sound lining which is easy to apply if you want to install the insulation yourself. There are sound deadening products on the market which have a simple peel off back with an underlying adhesive.

    Make sure that the metal inside the boot is clean and grease free. Cut the mat to size and peel of the backing label. Firmly set it in place. Ensure that the adhesive has dried before reassembling your boot.

  3. 3

    Insulate the door panels and floorboards. This procedure can be done with the type of material that you used to insulate the boot.

    To improve sound isolation, you will have to install the matting inside the door panels and under the carpets in your car. If taking apart your car to this degree is not something you are comfortable with, you should seek the help of a qualified car interior expert.

    Remove the seats and flooring from your car. For maximum insulation, spray on a layer of sound-insulating rubberised undercoating. Apply the peel-and-stick material over as much of the floor as you possibly can. Makers of these products recommend getting as much floor coverage as possible.

    When installing the material in the doors, the coverage does not need to be as comprehensive.

  4. 4

    Apply a spray of noise-damping compound to areas that are too difficult to cover with the matting. Do not use a regular rubber insulation spray like the undercoating from the floor. Instead, opt for a product that is specifically designed to help acoustically isolate the car. Specialist audio companies produce products of this type.

    This type of product can be bought in spray cans or in cans that need to be used with an air compressor and sprayer.

    Clean off any area you want to spray before you start. Ensure that all grease has been removed. Apply a liberal coating of the compound according to the manufacturer's instructions. You can use this type of material on any metal or plastic panel in the car. This is ideal for providing better treatments inside doors and trunks.

Tips and warnings

  • Double up the use of the acoustic deadening spray with an insulating mat to get the best results on the floor of your vehicle.
  • Check the tires of your vehicle. Poor tires can greatly increase the road noise that you experience in a car.

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