Whether you commute to work on the city streets or have taken the highway route for a long casual drive, you deserve a calm and peaceful driving experience with zero distractions. But with the loud engine, occasional thuds from the road, and annoying hum of wind noise, it is hard to keep your sanity while driving. And you are not the only one facing the music!
Unless you own a luxury sedan with a soundproof interior, it is easy for wind noise to break into your car’s cabin. While the rustling wind noise feels quite bearable, it sometimes turns into an excruciatingly loud hum, making it difficult to enjoy the stereo music or even hear someone talk in the passenger seat. But not anymore! We have defined the most effective ways to reduce wind noise in a car.
To reduce wind noise in a car, you first need to locate the source of noise leakage in your car. Apply weather stripping and acoustic sealant to block off the holes and gaps. If you have the budget, install an acoustic windshield and wind deflectors to stop wind noise transmission. Don’t forget to soundproof your car against wind noise using sound-deadening mats and acoustic foam spray.
What Causes Wind Noise Penetrate Into a Car?
No matter which car you are driving, nothing protects you from the external wind noise while cruising 60 mph on a highway. Even though high-profile luxury cars are known for their soundproofing and enhanced acoustics, all they can do is reduce the wind noise to a shrill hum.
As high-speed vehicles carve through the air barrier on a highway, they put up a degree of resistance with the air, which results in wind noise. Considering a car’s range of airflow channels, it’s practically impossible to subjugate the wind noise completely.
Nevertheless, identifying the noise source and buffering it with acoustic-rich materials does help mitigate the sound effectively. Here are some reasons why you hear wind noise inside your car:
Aerodynamics deals with air movement as it flows across an object or vehicle. Most modern cars are designed aerodynamically to ensure they present minimal resistance to the air, which lowers friction and reduces wind noise. In other words, how seamlessly a car slices through the air barrier in front determines the amount of wind noise it attracts.
A vehicle with refined aerodynamics, such as a sports car, will attract less wind noise compared to bulkier vehicles like SUVs and wagons. Their massive size and protruding front exert high air resistance, thus creating a greater noise disturbance for passengers sitting inside.
Strong Air Pressure
Wind noise is all about balancing air pressure inside and outside a vehicle. As your car squeezes through the air on a highway, the air pressure inside the vehicle will subsequently increase compared to outside. This considerable pressure difference compels air inside the car to escape to stabilize the pressure on both ends.
As the air passes through, the sudden shift in pressure creates a squealing noise often too noticeable to neglect. Since standard airflow channels in a car are acoustically treated to prevent sound emission, it is only produced when the air leaks out from somewhere else.
Unless the air moves in and out of the car through the dedicated air vents, you are bound to hear humming wind noise. With their tiny openings and gaps, windows and doors are the biggest perpetrators of noise leakage from a car cabin.
Car doors are lined with weather-stripping tape that seals off any openings or gaps that may let the air/noise through. But with time and extreme weather conditions, the seal deteriorates, eventually forming holes and cracks large enough for airborne noise to penetrate inside. Like car door seals, windows could be just as much a suspect of causing wind noise until you renew the weather stripping seal.
Single-Layer Non-Acoustic Windshield
Typical low-range vehicles are equipped with single-layer windshields to save up costs. These windshields fail to block external noise completely, as thinner glass screens do not have any special acoustic treatment.
Consider applying a layer of vinyl sheets inside to absorb sound waves. If you have the budget, go for dual-layer windshields. They are embedded with a layer of vinyl sheet in-between. Though it may seem like a pricey upgrade, replacing the screen creates a foolproof environment for external noise.
How to Reduce Wind Noise in a Car?
Wind noise may not be a concerning factor for regular commuters who normally drive on bustling city streets, but it is something you should tackle firsthand before heading on a road trip out of town.
While many modern-day car makers have managed to buffer down thudding noise from the road or engine, wind noise is still a weak point of most car interiors. If you are concerned with the same issue, here are the five most effective ways to reduce wind noise in a car:
Locate the Noise Source
Locating the cause of the noise is the foundational step in soundproofing a car. Before setting up the preventive measures, you must figure out the points at which the wind noise comes in. Besides the dedicated air vents, there are various holes in a car’s cabin that may invite airborne noise to come through.
Worn-out seals on the windows and doors of the minor openings in the hood and sunroof and leaks in the wheel hub are some vulnerable points to external noise. Set out for a quick ride around the highway with your friends and ask them which section of the car seems noisier.
The collective response from more than one individual will offer you a better understanding of locating the noise source. If driving around the town feels like a hassle, take a section of the cabin that seems sketchy against external noise and blow in some air artificially.
Use an air compressor and blow out a thrust of air along the length of the area you are susceptible to. If you hear a change in the airflow or the noise of the air compressor at certain points, there could be a potential leak you are looking for.
Replace the Weather Stripping
Weatherstripping seals your doors and windows, protecting the car cabin against all forms of external interruptions such as air, moisture, dust and debris, and wind noise. But through constant use over time, the gasket strip gets smashed, flattened out, and rips apart, forming a leak in the car cabin.
Inspect all doors and windows of the car for any damage. If you have a sunroof or an open trunk (like an SUV), keep an eye out for those spots as well. Once you identify the location of the damaged weather-stripping tape, it is time to mend the walls.
If the old tape is torn off, but in good shape, you can use a gasket adhesive to set it back on. Besides being a powerful adhesive, it is resistant to moisture, temperature, and wind noise, offering a peaceful car cabin. But if the weather-stripping tape appears flattened out, you are left with two options; applying a coat of lithium grease on the old tape to buff it up or installing a new car weather-stripping tape.
Seal the Cracks and Holes
Your job doesn’t end with mending the weather stripping on the doors and windows; rather, you ought to pay equal attention to the car’s exterior. If you have driven the vehicle past the recommended mileage and failed to keep a clean slate from accidents, exterior damage can make the wind noise snuggle into the car cabin.
Whether it’s a crack in the windshield or crashes on the fenders, the noise will follow as long as there’s an opening for air to wander through. Inspect your car inside and out, looking for potential holes and gaps in the body. Check the car doors for any deformities or dents that may cause sound to bounce off. Not to mention, keep an eye out for the rusty spots that could soon develop holes.
If you see any signs of corrosion on the metal parts, scrub them off using specialized rust remover. As for the holes, you’d need automotive caulk to seal the gaps and insulate them with a patching kit.
Install Acoustic Windshield
A car’s windshield is constantly bombarded with a high thrust of wind. Even though most of it slides off the vehicle thanks to aerodynamics, a typical windshield will make your car sound like a wind tunnel. Unlike single-layer glass screens, installing an acoustic windshield blocks the incoming wind noise while also improving the acoustics in the cabin.
Acoustic windshields are embedded with a PVB layer that improves quality, maximizes safety, and protects against harmful UV rays. While keeping your cabin protected from noisy winds outside, this glass screen will also prevent the interior from fading due to direct sunlight.
How to Soundproof Your Car Against Wind Noise?
Instead of sealing off the holes and insulating the gaps, sometimes you must take a proactive approach when tackling wind noise. This guide enlists three most fundamental ways to soundproof your car against wind noise:
Buffer up the Doors
In most cars, doors are devoid of proper insulation – underneath the furbished panel, there are just two panes of metal with a cavity inside. The space inside the doors causes noise to rattle and bounce off exponentially. Buffering the door with foam padding will help muffle down echoes and high-pitched sounds, but most of all, it will stop the wind whistling noise through the door.
The best part is you don’t need to take your car to an auto garage since car doors are one of the simplest areas to clad up when it comes to soundproofing. You just need to remove the outer panel to access the cavity. As for the soundproofing materials, look for something effective in blocking external noise and limiting vibrations.
Furbish with Sound Deadening Mats
Whether it’s the bustling traffic noise and loud honking cars or the whistling wind noise, sound-deadening mats mitigate the propagation of sound waves like no other. These thick flexible mats have tiny pores that soak up sound vibrations in a vehicle. To achieve the best results, you need to clad up the doors, floor, and roof with sound-deadening mats.
Some versions feature an adhesive backing that supports seamless installation. However, when it comes to the trunk, embedding insulation sheets may get a bit tricky because you must remove everything down to the metal floor. Besides the sticky acoustic mats, you can also place some thick padded carpets to improve sound quality in the cabin.
Apply Acoustic Spray
If your car makes wind noise when accelerating, chances are, there could be an issue with the car’s undercarriage. While it doesn’t occur as frequently and loudly as the incoming noise from the doors, the vibrational noise from the undercarriage still threatens your peace.
Applying a layer of acoustic spray as an undercoat on your vehicle’s undercarriage is a viable way to prevent noise transmission into the cabin. With no external noise leaping into the car cabin, you’ll see a significant rise in the acoustics and sound quality of the room.
5 Simple Tips to Counter Wind Noise in Your Car
From high-quality sound-deadening mats and caulking sealants to dual-layered acoustic windshields, soundproofing a car against wind noise is in no way a cheap project. Still, there’s no guarantee you can overcome wind noise inside your car cabin unless you adopt some effective driving tips. Here are some handy quick bits to experience a quieter drive.
Readjust Your Side Mirrors
Wind noise strictly depends on the turbulence a vehicle faces when driving through a highway. The higher the turbulence against the wind, the more forceful it will be. Keeping in line with the aerodynamics, the barging wind force should seamlessly slide past your vehicle without resistance to reduce wind noise.
However, the standard positioning of the side-view mirrors may break up that airflow around the car resulting in loud vibrations. Readjust the mirrors by aligning the top end of the mirror in a horizontal line perpendicular to the car without leaving it extended into your view of traffic.
Invest in Quality Windshield Wipers
Not everyone has the time to dust and clean their car before commuting to work, especially on a Monday morning. On days like these, you need to have a reliable set of windshield wipers to make your glass screen squeaky clean without leaving any marks or scratches. Make sure your wipers are in good condition and don’t produce loud squealing noise as they wipe on the glass.
Nevertheless, regardless of how flexible and effective they are, you mustn’t leave the cleaning tasks to the wipers alone. Make sure to regularly clean the windshield with a glass cleaner and microfiber cloth to remove any traces of built-up dirt.
Mount Wind Deflectors
Wind deflectors offer the most straightforward and cheapest way to fend off wind noise in a car. Usually made of plastic, these visors are installed on top of the window, where the window meets the weather stripping. This prevents excessive wind noise, water, and dust from entering the cabin.
If you are someone that lives in the windy suburbs or travels on the highway quite often, windshield visors are a must. Wind deflectors are custom designed for each car model, so you won’t face trouble finding a match for your car.
Prefer Paved Roads Over Rugged Ones
When it comes to a peaceful riding experience, a smoothly paved road is just as much important as the drivability of the vehicle itself. Besides, who’d complain about wind noise if you are constantly bumping through rugged roads?
Apart from the nerve-wracking jolts and bumps, these uneven and rugged surfaces also have a disheveled wind space. This exerts an irregular flow of wind noise onto your car’s windshield and doors.
Avoid Shifting Lanes Suddenly
In case you are driving past an explicitly windy highway, always keep your cool as long as you are in the driving seat. Maintain a constant speed in the same lane to allow uniform airflow with resistance to the car’s movement. When you need to shift lanes, turn the steering slightly and softly until you merge with the intended lane. Refrain from applying brakes suddenly or quickly as it may increase the chances of fishtailing or something even more dangerous.
People Also Asked
Here are the quick answers to the questions commonly asked by people:
How do I locate wind noise in my car?
Inspect the entire car inside and out, looking for potential damages and leaks, especially the doors and windows. If you are a busy person, you can also use the compressor technique to blow high-pressure air through windows, doors, and sunroof making sure there are no leaky holes.
How to stop wind noise from a car door or window?
Firstly, you should barricade any potential openings and gaps in the window and door while they are closed. If the weather stripping appears deteriorated and torn off, find a suitable replacement. Use acoustic foam spray and insulation pads inside the door cavity to improve the sound quality of the cabin.
Do wind deflectors help reduce wind noise?
As their name suggests, wind deflectors fend off wind noise. They prevent wind noise from barging into the car cabin with full intensity, even when the windows are lowered.