Quieting a car

Date:8 July 2013 Tags:,

Q: Although I love my Toyota Yaris, it’s kind of loud on the highway. Is there any way I can quiet down the cabin noise?

A: The noise heard in the cabin of any car comes from three general sources: the mechanical bits, the wind and the tyres. If everything with the engine, suspension and exhaust is in proper working order, most of the noises in a regular commuter car such as a Yaris come from either the wind or the tyres. You can address both of these sources with fairly simple solutions.

The easiest way to cut down on noises entering the cabin is with sound deadening. Your car already comes with some in strategic places, but since it’s a low-cost compact there are undoubtedly areas that can be improved. We recommend 3M Sound Deadening Pads, a new product. The idea with this thin new stuff is to use it like a shock-absorbing sticker and soak up the noise-making vibrations that transfer into the cabin. Installation is done by cutting out patches and sticking them to key spots on the sheet metal.

The easiest places are the firewall and floor, because you can get to them from outside the car and without removing any parts. If you’re adventurous, remove the inner door panels, carpet and headliner, then stick deadener on the inside of the outer door skin, floor and bottom of the roof panel. Another, more expensive solution is to fit quieter tyres next time your rubber wears out. Many retailers and online reviews rate tyres by how much noise they generate.

By Ben Wodjdyla