Does car soundproofing work? This is a common question asked by car owners. The short and simple answer is ‘yes.’ It works. When you soundproof a car, you will get instantly noticeable effects. This post goes over everything you need to know about adding sound deadening to your car.
If you spend a lot of time in your car then you should enjoy your ride. Car soundproofing (auto sound deadening) provides a whole other level of comfort when driving your car. There are several more benefits of soundproofing a car which I will discuss in a minute.
The reason why I know this is because I live two hours from my work, therefore, I do spend quite some time in my car every single day. However, after a while, I started experiencing severe headaches during my commute. At first, I actually thought that I probably have a migraine, but the medical exams did not show that plus it was weird that I was only having headaches while being in my car.
Being obsessed with soundproofing since I was a child and working with my dad on his home projects, I have decided to give it a shot and do what most people don’t – soundproofing my car. Not only the headaches completely disappeared, but the ride is now something that I truly enjoy.
If this is something you are looking to do as well then you are in the right place!
Benefits of Soundproofing a Car
Before we start with the guide, let’s better look at all the great benefits you will receive if you decide to soundproof your car. In fact, there are numerous reasons, but we can split them into two categories: you don’t want the sound to be coming in and the sound to be coming out. Once you soundproof your car, you are avoiding both situations, so it’s a 2in1 thing.
If you’re a part of the one mentioned first, you’re probably just annoyed by other drivers, noises, construction work going on… Maybe you have to slow down at the same stop each day and listen to the same things all over again: the same sounds and people. It can get annoying, yeah.
If you don’t like the sound to be coming out: you’re either being naughty or considerate. I’m not judging you, don’t worry. Whichever one you are, it’s nice that you’re thinking of getting sound-isolating materials in your car: not everyone has to listen to the music that you like!
Nevertheless, to be more precise here are the best benefits you will experience if you decided to soundproof your car:
No Headaches: Long car rides with terrible noise lead to headaches for you and your passengers.
You Won’t Need To Shout: With a loud car, you won’t be able to hear yourself. This means you will need to shout a lot to hear yourself and to allow others to hear you.
You’ll Be Able to Hear Your Music: If you like playing music in your car, then with the excessive noise, you won’t be able to hear your quality music.
Reduced Vibrations: Normally, excessive sounds are accompanied by annoying vibrations. With car soundproofing, you won’t only reduce noise, but vibrations as well.
If you think that all these benefits are worth your effort (which I definitely do), then keep reading this guide to learn the best ways to soundproof your car.
9 Cheapest Ways to Soundproof Your Car
Use Soundproof Car Mats
Soundproof car mats not only reduce the noise but also regulate the cabin temperature. The mats are affordable and easy to install. All you need to do is place them on the cabin floor. Place the mats in the front and back of your car. On the floor, they absorb vibrations and sounds from the exhaust and engine system.
For effectiveness, remove your floor mats. Place the soundproof mats on the floor. If you wish, you can place the car mats on top of the soundproof mats. However, that’s not necessary. Fix the soundproofing mats anywhere in your car. You can place them in the trunk. Alternatively, place them on the car ceiling or doors. Soundproofing mats absorb all the echoes in your car. This improves the sound quality of your music system.
There are different types of car mats so keep reading to find out which are the most suitable for you.
Using Soundproofing FatMat to Soundproof a Car
Now, using the FatMat to soundproof your car is pretty easy. But then again, to make things easier for you I decided to give you a step by step instructions on how to soundproof your car using the FatMat.
STEP 1- Keep It Clean
No matter wherever you are using the mats. You must clean the surface before using the mat. In this case, fully clean the interior of your car. Mainly the area under the mats. This cleaning process is very crucial, because if the surface isn’t clean enough then the mat won’t be able to sit in properly. And as a result, the whole application will come of no use.
STEP 2- Cut The Mat
Now, you will need a utility knife for cutting the mat.
STEP 3- Use What comes Along with Mat
Some helpful tools and accessories will come along with the mat. Be sure that you use those. No matter how good your hands might be, you will still need the roller to make the mat stick perfectly. When you are done applying it just use the roller to give it a final touch. And that shall be it.
Things To Keep In Mind:
Now, even though the steps and processes that I talked above are pretty simple and basic. It is still very important that you use the maximum required amount of safety while you are at it. Because you never really know what might just end up happening inside your car. Just a simple spark can end up causing severe injuries. So always remember safety first.
Why Soundproofing Mats?
- Easy to Install.
- Reduce over 50% of cabin noise.
- Extremely effective.
- Reduce wind, road, and engine noise.
The following mats are the ones that I personally have tried and they have done a pretty good job for me. They are all available on Amazon so make sure to check them out.
|• Odorless |
• Sound dampener
|• Affordable |
• Friendly in cold areas
• Made of Asphalt
• Easy to install
|• Eliminates road noise and vibration |
• Perfect for soundproofing round areas
• Eliminates road noise and vibration
• Sound dampener
Use Spray And Car Soundproofing Foam to Soundproof a Car
Spray sound damper is designed for hard-to-reach places. The spray is a perfect solution for soundproofing any gaps left after installing mats. It can also be sprayed on the gaps that are too small for other heavy materials to be installed.
Soundproofing sprays come in easy to use aerosol cans. Sprays that come in professional cans require paintguns and compressors for application. After the surface is clean, just spray like any other paint.
It’s important to note that soundproofing sprays are effective on small surfaces. However, I don’t recommend them for soundproofing the entire cabin. Inside the cabin, it should be used together with other materials such as mats. I also used sound damping spray to soundproof vents in our home.
Sprays are specifically for dampening noises. Foams, on the other hand, absorbs vibration from the car. The soundproofing foam absorbs and disperses the sound produced by the vibration energy.
The foam also absorbs echos from the cabin. It improves the sound quality and acoustics in the car interior. Applying the foam is, therefore, an effective technique to improve your car music.
Check out the following products:
- Fill Small Gaps & Cracks
- Expanding Polyurethane Foam Sealant
- Vinyl & Rubber Surfaces
- Shines & Darkens Worn Out Plastic
- Protects Car & Motorcycles from Rain
Replace Rubber Seals of Your Car
Any gap, no matter how small, it will let the noise to enter into your car. The best way to deal with this is to replace all rubber seals around your windows and doors. Seal all gaps where wind noise might pass through. Sealing the gaps gives an instant effect. Replace all old or worn-out rubber seals.
The rubber seal will not only soundproof wind noise. It also reduces noise from car tires and engines. However, this is not a strategy to soundproof engine noise. It only reduces a smaller amount of noise from engines and tires.
Installing rubber seals is easy. You can buy them here from Amazon and fix them yourself. Once you have the new seal, remove the old rubbers from your car. Clean the surfaces and apply the adhesive. Place the seal on the glue. Once done, let the adhesive dry so that you don’t seal your door too.
Soundproof a Car Doors
Many cars have a thin door without insulation. It’s an empty cavity inside. Therefore, soundproofing your doors have a huge impact on reducing noise inside your car.
Let’s look at the steps to soundproof the doors of your car.
To insulate the doors of your car, remove the panels first. Locate and unscrew all the screws attached to the vehicle interior. Opening the panel will help you know the amount of insulation required.
To make the job easier, pick peelable sticky insulation. With peelable insulation, it won’t be necessary to remove the entire door. As you seal, take care of moving parts such as window and lock mechanisms. Get help from a professional if installing the seals is challenging for you.
You can buy the seals today on Amazon and begin soundproofing.
- 33Ft Long
- Self Adhesive
- Weatherstrip for Car Window Door Soundproofing Engine
- Large D-Shape Rubber
- Car Auto Door Seal Weather Stripping
- Hollow Sealing Strip for Noise Insulation
Change Worn Out Tires
Check cases of uneven wear and tear on your tires. Tire road noises are very frustrating.
You have to agree that tires do not wear out evenly. Most of the time, one tire will have a more shallow tread as compared to the others. It’s essential to keep inspecting them time over time. If the difference is huge, the tires start making noise.
The uneven wear is also unsafe. Worn out tires don’t grip well on asphalt. This is the reason they make some squelching sound. And more dangerous, your car can easily lose balance.
Sometimes tires can be damaged by stuck pebbles on the rough road. The irregular tread causes strong vibrations and loud noises. Unaligned, low-quality, and cheap tires also have the same effects.
Soundproof Your Car’s Roof
Feels like driving a tin can? It’s a simple rain but the drops instead of sounding like from a white noise machine, calming and relaxing become irritating?
Probably because your car roof is too thin. Soundproof it by adding thickness to your roof by applying some sound damping sheets like these on Amazon. These mats are self-adhesive so they are very easy to apply it on the roof of your car.
- Just remove the padded layer of the roof and put some of the sound-absorbing mats inside.
- Place the original cover back and that’s it!
Simply adding thickness in the roof reduces a large amount of noise.
Soundproof a Car Trunk
Just like your floor, the trunk is easy to soundproof if you choose to. The wheel well of your trunk is already sound covered but the addition of butyl foils like this you can get on Amazon is better to reduce rattling behind. Low-frequency noise is often from heard from the rear of the car.
As such, the sound-absorbing material should be flexible and thermal resistant. A good material is Premium 2.2 of CTK that you can also purchase online. If you already have it, follow these steps:
- The sheet is a peel and stick type so installing it is as easy as placing stickers in your notebook.
- Empty your trunk and remove the existing carpet so that you’ll paste your material to the metal sheet. Measure the dimensions- top, bottom, sides- and cut your chosen sheet.
- Be mindful of the pins and other screws so it will not be hard putting back your original covering. Sound dampening sheets are then secured by aluminum tape and holes with a caulking gun. Cover back with the car’s original mat.
Soundproofing your trunk will not only reduce sound but also improve the sound quality of sound systems inside the car. If you want to see how it looks visually then make sure to have a look at this video:
Soundproofing Your Engine
You thought engines are meant to be noisy? You are probably right. The good news here is that you can now decrease the noise it generates without compromising its efficiency.
A good thing to remember though is that diesel engines are noisier type compared to gas types. It is because of its mechanics but gas engines also become noisy due to old age.
Since I am talking about engines, I might as well be dealing with a soundproofing material that is considerably thick, heat resistant, and durable against tears.
You can try and use this Quiet Barrier™ Specialty Composite you can purchase on Amazon. It is a super-effective mat with triple sound protection. The foam mat receives the noise that is usually high in frequency, blocks it, and “throws” back to the source.
The sound is absorbed by the acoustic foam and further blocked by the mat’s barrier layer. Thus, its noise reduction is highly praised even for industrial use.
While its thermal resistance and durability are regarded, Quiet Barrier™ Specialty Composite is easy to install. It is a peel and sticks mat that can be used by anyone. Just measure the area it will be placed, fit it then you are good to go!
Use Sound Isolating Adhesives on Your Windows
If you have had your car for a long time now, you may have noticed that there are really small gaps and cracks around certain edges. It’s normal. The “wear and tear“ portion of a car cannot be stopped.
I already mentioned that sound loves to spread around through air because it reaches maximum speed there. Therefore, any gaps you have maybe the perfect opportunity for the sound to travel in/out.
To stop this, you need to put some adhesive. The good thing is that the adhesive is very cheap and you can apply it in minutes. The bad thing is that it doesn’t look pretty once it is applied.
However, if you see visible gaps, you should go for this method. If you don’t, you can give it a shot anyway and just put these near the edges. Most people find the look to be ugly, though, and they don’t end up doing it, but not everything is in the beauty, right?
You can check this adhesive from Amazon out. It’s got the best reviews in this category and the price is very appealing as well! These are usually used for doors, but we were a bit creative
Extra Tips To Soundproof a Car
- Remove items from your dashboards. The engine vibrations will make small objects like keys and phones make noise in your car.
- Tightly secure all mobile parts to prevent them from vibrating. These include parts like cup holders.
- Leave no gaps when insulating or soundproofing your car.
- Remember to soundproof your trunk. A lot of noise can pass through it to your car.
Factors to Consider Before Buying Car Soundproofing Materials
- Method of noise reduction: Internal or external noises.
- Type of soundproofing material: Damping, insulators, foam, and sprays.
- Thickness: the thicker the material, the better the performance.
- Size of the material: The size should fit well the area you need to soundproof.
- Oil-resistance: Best materials should stick on the surface even when it’s oily.
The Level of Soundproofing Success
Another thing to remember is that the soundproofing success level depends on the technique applied. The level of noise reduction also depends on the car model and condition. Newer vehicles would be easy to soundproof as compared to older ones.
However, despite the kind of car you drive, you can’t achieve 100% silence. Nothing can completely cancel sounds produced by the car. Anyway, you shouldn’t even want that. The car sounds are helpful. They can notify you when your vehicle has a problem.
Soundproofing, therefore, can give you noticeable results. Depending on different factors, you can achieve over 50% of car noise reduction.
There are different techniques to reduce road noise in your car. Different materials on the market can help you achieve this goal. However, it’s essential to choose your materials wisely. Don’t pick soundproofing materials based on the price. Go for those that are already proven to work despite the fact that they might be slightly more expensive. Remember that your effort and money will pay off at the end as you will finally be able to enjoy the ride in your car.
Must Read: Soundproofing your RV (A Complete Guide)