A noisy cabin can be irritating, especially if you want some peace and quiet after a stressful day at work. There are many reasons why they happen, but surprisingly, one of the most common culprits is your tires. Generally, when your moving tire’s rubber meets head-on with the road’s surface, it creates friction and noise that transfer inside your car.
Types of Tire Noise
There are many kinds of tire noise. These sounds may be caused by:
- Tire tread in contact with the road.
- Air getting compressed inside the tread grooves.
- Air chamber inside the tire that causes a low-frequency hum when tires roll.
You can significantly lessen the level of road noise inside your car by choosing the right tire. Make sure to look for the following factors:
Tire’s Weight and Speed
You probably already know that different tires cater to different speed and weight limits.
You can see this in a car’s aspect ratio, which basically says that the higher load your tire can handle, the noisier it will be because they’re harder and stronger. Similarly, the faster speed your tire can handle, the more noise it’s going to generate.
Tire’s Wheel Size
The size of the wheel matters. This is because the thicker the height of a tire’s rubber that rolls on the road, the noisier it gets. So an 18-inch tire is quieter on the road compared to a 20-inch tire.
The narrower your tire’s width, the quieter it is because there’s only a small portion of rubber that comes in contact with the road.
Tread Design (Pitch Pattern)
Believe it or not, even the grooves in your tire–or tread style–can create different noise levels. Short, repetitive tread pitch patterns like the lug or block type patterns can create a “whining” sound, while those with rib tread patterns are often the quietest. Those with variations, such as the rib-lug lug tread patterns, stand in the middle when it comes to noise levels.
Tires perform better depending on how they’re made. When you match them to the right specifications, you’ll find that they don’t generate too much noise.
For instance, tread rubber (or compound) determines how much traction can be made on the road when it’s wet. The softer tread rubber gives the car a tighter grip during slippery conditions. It also helps create more heat in the tire, making it stick better on the surface. When used for this purpose, there is less noise generated, since the tires are working efficiently.
Materials (Road and Tires)
The road’s surface can also affect noise, especially when taken together with your tire’s composition. Rough roads that come in contact with tires will generate more noise compared to those with smoother surfaces.
On the other hand, softer rubber compositions are quieter, while the harder ones can generate more noise. Nevertheless, it’s important to consider your needs and priorities first. Yes, the softer ones can lessen road noise, but you might spend a lot on fuel each month if you drive huge distances or drive on bumpy roads daily. In this case, you should choose which matters to you more: saving money or a quieter, more comfortable ride.
Tire pressure matters. Over- or under- inflated tires will greatly diminish your tire’s efficiency, even if you’re using the right tread rubber and tire pattern. For instance, the level of noise that goes inside your cabin may be louder if your tire’s under-inflated. Not only is this bad for your tire, but it can also waste a lot of fuel in the process.
Choosing the right tires is often a trial-and-error process, and it may take a bit of time to find out what works best for you. The good news is there are many tires to choose from these days, and technology has manufactured innovative ones that create less noise than the traditional tires. They’re certainly worth every penny, if peace and comfort are what you’re looking for in a vehicle.