Can you hear yourself think? You may be too noisy for your own good, but more importantly, if the noise is distracting you from driving safely and making quick decisions, it can lead to accidents.
Fortunately, there are a few easy steps that can be taken to reduce wind noise in a car. Many of them have been around for decades but have just become popular over the years as people’s experiences with them became more common. Here is everything you should know about how to reduce wind noise in a car.
Where Does Wind Noise In Car Come From?
There are several causes of wind noise in a car. The first is the engine. As an engine turns, the air is forced into the engine compartment by the rotation of the crankshaft. This creates a low-frequency rumble that is transmitted through the chassis and into individual components, such as those in your stereo or speaker systems.
In addition to being transmitted through the chassis, wind noise is also created as a result of aerodynamic forces caused by vehicles traveling at higher speeds with greater angles of elevation. In simpler terms, as a car travels faster, this creates a vacuum of air as the car’s body distorts and moves away from the surrounding air. This creates a pressure gradient, which leads to noise within the cabin of the vehicle.
Some cars have better aerodynamics like sports cars, bigger vehicles like trucks will be noisier.
#2 Air Pressure
Another cause of wind noise in a car is the difference in air pressure between inside and outside the car. If you ever spent time in the back seat of your car, you may have experienced this difference. When there is a large difference between inside and outside the car, the air inside the car will be pushed out through various openings, including doorposts and windows. This creates wind noise.
Vents are designed inside the car in order to prevent the wind from creating noise within the car. Despite this, some people choose to open their windows in order to increase ventilation, thereby creating more noise. Fortunately, cars are now designed with these vents so that they do not leak air through other ways like window seals.
How to Reduce Wind Noise in Car?
There is no single “best” method for reducing all types of wind noise in your car. Here are some methods you can check:
- Reduce Engine Noise
- Checking All Car Seals
- Use Wind Blocker
- Reseal Any Holes/Cracks on Car Exterior
- Soundproof The Whole Car
- Acoustic Windshield
- Noise-Cancelling Duct Tape
#1 Reduce Engine Noise
This is probably the first thing you should do if you want silence from your car’s engine. This means properly sealing your engine compartment, sound deadening the interior of your car, and upgrading your exhaust system with a resonator to direct the flow of exhaust gases away from the cabin of the car.
Engine size is also a factor. It is recommended that small cars with less than 2,500 cc (110 in³) engine capacity do not have mufflers because the noise level of the exhaust contributes to wind noise in these cars.
Generally, it is better to use resonated exhaust systems for cars with around 2,000 cc (77 in³) or larger engines instead of mufflers because they are capable of creating more sound deadening inside the cabin.
#2 Checking All Car Seals
Another way to reduce wind noise in your car is to check for leaks. A leak is most commonly caused by faulty weatherstripping, loose body panels, and cracked window seals. If these problems are properly fixed, you can reduce most of the wind noise coming from your car.
If weatherstripping is your problem, you can replace it with new weatherstripping or just add padding in areas where sound is still leaking. Body panels can be replaced, but they are expensive so you may have to see one of the more cost-effective options in repairing them.
If you have cracks in window seals, they can be replaced by an auto upholstery shop. They are generally affordable and can easily repair the problem without too much difficulty. If the damage is minor, you can apply automotive adhesive on damaged areas.
#3 Use Wind Blocker
A simple way to reduce wind noise is to use a windshield shade or windshield wind blocker. Some car models even come with this feature built-in. This is a little mesh-like material that you can put in front of your windshield.
The wind blocker will prevent the noise from creating an echo in your car. It can also help reduce car visor flapping, which is another source of wind noise in a car. If this method does not work for you, then try some other window treatments to block the ambient wind noise that is around your vehicle.
#4 Reseal Any Holes/Cracks on Car Exterior
Another way to reduce wind noise in your car is to fix any holes or cracks on your car’s exterior. This will improve acoustic performance and, thereby, reduce wind noise in the car.
Normally, rusted holes are the causes of wind noise in a car. This is because you can hear the wind escaping through these holes. Since rust is an easily visible sign of old age, you can fix this easily by painting your car and getting proper bodywork done.
If your car has plenty of wind noise, it may be caused by defective seals or loose panels. To fix this, you can replace these parts with new parts based on the weatherstripping and body panel specifications of your car model.
#5 Soundproof The Whole Car
This is like a preventative method. Usually, this is done by installing sound-absorbing insulation on the interior of your car. This is done to prevent noise from bouncing or echoing within the cabin.
This method works well in areas like door panels and roof panels, which are the parts of your car where most of the noise is coming from. Another advantage of using these materials is that they are relatively inexpensive. Therefore, you should try this method first before purchasing high-end soundproofing material for your car’s interior.
Some products that I found effective are:
- Sound absorbing mats: They are normally made of foam or fiberglass. These materials are commonly used to absorb sound in recording studios. You can apply them to car doors, trunks or floors.
- Sound-deadening Spray: Besides using insulation paints or pads, you can also use spray-applied insulation products. This will work on the interior of your car’s doors, hood, windshield and roof.
- Window Sealant: This material is a good option if you have a small hole to seal. This material will fill the hole, thereby reducing the amount of air that is being leaked from it.
- Carpet Underlay: Another great material that you can use is sound-deadening underlay sheets. This material is ideal for absorbing sound from cars because it can hide resonant sounds in your car.
#6 Acoustic Windshield
Acoustic windshields are a more modern way to reduce wind noise in cars. They generally work by absorbing the sound waves before they hit your cabin. This is done by using dampening materials and utilizing the shape of the windshield glass to minimize the amount of noise that passes through it.
Acoustic glass does not require heavy and expensive compounds in order to be effective as it just needs film-type acoustic sealants that can also be applied with standard glass film adhesive kits. It is recommended that you get a professional to apply this product to your windshield.
#7 Noise-Cancelling Duct Tape
This is a very common method of wind noise reduction. It is done by wrapping duct tape around the area where the wind noise is coming from, usually the side window area of your car. You can also wrap this tape around interior areas like door panels and trunks where the wind noise is coming from.
It will seal off these openings, effectively cutting down on noise coming through these areas.
To conclude, the most common cause of wind noise in a car is a leak in a panel or an opening that is not secured properly. Another possible cause of wind noise in a car is the weatherstripping itself. It may be old and worn out, which will cause it to not seal properly.
If you have not fixed these problems yet, you can do so by following my tips on how to reduce wind noise in your car. These car noise-blocking tips were just meant as a quick summarization of car wind noise reduction. I understand that it’s not always possible or practical to fix every single source of sound from your car, however, these tips should help at least a little bit.