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Wind noise in a car can be distracting, annoying, and unpleasant. Have you ever driven down the highway and heard a whooshing sound or felt air coming from somewhere? Many motorists experience this same problem, and the most common complaint when it comes to cars is excessive noise.
If it appears like there has been more wind noise lately coming from the interior of your car, you may actually be 100 percent right. Over time, all things wear down, and the inside of a vehicle is no different. There are vents placed in the interior to give the air a pathway to escape.
These vents are designed to be quieter, so you’ll want the air to flow through them to maintain the proper pressure inside your car. Wind noise can come from the tiniest pinholes or gaps, creating a whistling sound when it exits your car’s interior.
All vehicles, even the most lavish, will experience some kind of audible wind noise. This article will guide you on how to find the wind noise in your car and how to reduce it.
What Causes Wind Noise
All vehicles have some form of audible wind noise. When you’re barreling down the highway going 70 miles-per-hour, you’re bound to have some wind resistance, so there is no way to avoid wind noise altogether. On the other hand, you can take preventative measures to reduce wind noise in your car.
Wind noise generally occurs with a combination of factors, making it hard to pinpoint the noise to one particular cause. The wind noise will fluctuate from one vehicle to another, given the variation in vehicle shape and sizes. Despite this, seals, aerodynamics, and air pressure are generally the leading cause behind wind noise. Let’s look at these three main components of vehicle wind noise.
Worn Out Seals
When seals begin to deteriorate, become damaged, or warped, you’ll start to hear a good bit of wind noise. These seals include sunroofs, trunk openings, around the door frame, and the windows. With that said, the air inside your car tries to escape and travel through the designed discharge vents.
However, when seals have air travel through them, the air doesn’t know the correct path to exit the confinement of your car cabin. Air will generally take the path with less resistance and create a high-pitched squeal.
Since the doors and windows are used frequently and are the most massive holes in a vehicle, it’s safe to presume that the air is escaping from these two areas. Weatherstripping is generally around the doorframe to create an effective seal against air pressure from escaping.
When you open and close the car door often, the seal gets smashed and flattened, and overtime, it becomes less effective. Beyond this, the seal can become damaged due to tears, dry rot, or rips. Any damage to theses seals on either the doorframe or window will render them ineffective.
When you roll your window up, the weatherstripping around the glass is what seals the air from escaping. If it gets broken, sun-damaged, or cracked, the ending result will be the same. Consequently, the air inside your car will be drawn to those areas to escape, creating a lot of wind noise.
When a car moves, the front surface pushes the air to flow around it. Some vehicles have aerodynamics already in their design, creating less wind resistance, such as sports cars. Although this is a fact, trucks and SUVs are not so lucky.
The box-style frames of these types of vehicles typically generate more wind resistance increasing the intensity of wind noise. When traveling at high speeds, it will create more wind resistance than traveling at a slow pace.
Whenever a car propels down the road, it’s pushing air and causing a change in pressure. The air moving swiftly outside your vehicle now has a lower air pressure than what is inside your car. The air pressure inside your car then tries to find an escape path to the outside.
Openings designed in your car allow the air pressure to flow to the outside to stabilize the inside air pressure. These air vents are generally in areas where it doesn’t affect the passengers and produce less noise when air is escaping. Unfortunately, when air pressure escapes through other openings of the car, it creates more noise.
A non-acoustic windshield can be the cause of interior wind noise. It is less effective when it comes to blocking wind. The better windshield option consists of two thin layers of glass with a layer of acoustic vinyl between them. The vinyl layer design ensures noise absorption from the wind and other outside sounds.
The plastic layer can reduce the sound by 3dB. Take into account, most outside noise reaches about 70dB, but the drop in noise is still evident. You’ll find more information on acoustic windshields in this article from Car Roar.
During the winter months, the snow and wind are blowing, sending chilly cold air into your car. Obviously, there is no way you have control over the weather. However, if you seal up all of the air leaks, it will at least reduce the cold wintery winds.
How to Reduce Wind Noise in a Car
When most car owners hear noise from the wind, they generally think a window is down, or the door isn’t closed tightly. While this might be the case, it typically ends up being more issues that are causing the unpleasant sound. Here are a few ways to help address several causes of wind noise.
Locate the Cause
First, you will need to locate where the wind noise is coming from before it can be reduced. To do this, drive your car without any other noise distractions on and listen closely. Try to locate where the loud wind noise is coming from in your vehicle.
If you can’t find it yourself, ask your friends and family to listen closely to where the air is more intense. More than one passenger would allow better results in locating the wind noise. Encourage your passengers to listen around the windows, sunroof, doors, and all the corners of the car.
Have one of your passengers write down any areas that are mentioned having wind noise flowing through, so you can inspect it later. Once you have inspected those remark areas, replace anything that seems to be damaged.
Replace or Repair Door Weatherstripping
You can repair the weatherstripping around your car door but replacing will give a longer result against wind noise. In most cases, these seals are the bulk of the wind noise. If the weatherstripping loosened and unattached from the door jam, you can use a strong adhesive to re-attach the weatherstripping.
It would be wise to check the seals around the car windows as well. Automotive adhesive comes in many different brands and a variety of sizes. Two popular adhesive products that many car owners use are the 3M Super Weatherstrip Adhesive or the Amazing Goop II Max. Both adhesives come in a two-ounce squeeze bottle for easy use.
The 3M Super weatherstrip adhesive offers a tough bond for the rubber around the doorframe at a lower price than the other brand. However, for a few dollars more, the Amazing Goop II Max adds UV inhibitors to prevent cracking in all types of weather. The Amazing Goop doesn’t even become brittle in cold weather.
If the weatherstripping is crushed or to flattened to provide a proper airtight seal, then you have two possible solutions. The first solution is to rub lithium grease into the weatherstripping to encourage them to expand back to their original form. If that doesn’t help the problem, you will need to replace the weatherstripping.
There are several different types of weatherstripping, but the VITAM AMO Weather Stripping Seal is one of the most popular. The VITAM AMO rubber seal creates an airtight seal and moisture barrier between the rubber and the surface around your car door. With a general temperature rating of -140 degrees Fahrenheit to +400 degrees Fahrenheit, it can seal out air leaks, sound, light, moisture, and more.
Its flexible material will not freeze or crack under extreme temperatures. If you live where the temperatures range between 55-104 degrees Fahrenheit, the GreatBBA Large D-Shape Rubber Car Door Seal would be another excellent weatherstripping adhesive. It enhances leakproofness and reduces wind noise in your car.
Check the Car Doors
You have already checked and fixed the weatherstripping, but what about the doors themselves. Damaged doors can contribute to wind noise. In most cases, damaged doors are not always closed the whole way creating a gap for air to flow through.
Start by looking for any dents or other apparent damage. If you notice any kind of damage, you should consider repairing it or replacing your door altogether. If this is above your mechanical knowledge, take it to a professional to be sure the gaps are sealed correctly.
Open and close your car door to determine if it latches properly. You will want to make sure that there are no obstructions in the way. If the car door doesn’t close tightly, you may need to check the latch. If the obstacle is obvious, you may be able to fix the problem quickly. Otherwise, you may need the assistance of a professional.
Reseal Cracks and Holes
If the car doors are in reasonably good shape, check the whole exterior of your car. Any holes in the car body, severe rust, or damage from an accident may create wind noise. You should check cracks in the windows or windshield because just a small break can make enough space for air to flow through.
It is best if you do not replace the glass yourself unless you’re a professional because it can shatter quickly, leaving you in another predicament. If rust damage and holes are in the car body, you can easily have it fixed by a body shop or fix it yourself.
Install Wind Deflectors
If you are someone who likes to travel with an open window, wind deflectors are the best possible solution to block the air noise. Wind deflectors are installed right above the window to change the aerodynamics of the car slightly. They are generally made from plastic and guard against the wind from reaching the weatherstripping.
When the wind hits against the wind deflectors, it will alter its airflow direction to go over the window instead of through it. Therefore, it will reduce the amount of noise you hear with your window down. It’s important to note that when driving at high speeds with your window down, no deflector can completely eliminate wind noise and turbulence.
The amount of wind reduction will be noticeable to the driver and passengers within cities or country roads going at moderate speeds. There are specially designed deflectors forever modern car, so you are sure to find one that appeals to your liking. Other benefits include reducing the fog on the windows and protection against rain.
If the wind deflector is tinted, it will reduce the glare of the sun and increase safety while driving. The installation process takes just a couple of moments, just peel the adhesive backing, and then from the outside, put the lip directly above the window frame. Push the lip up the frame and apply pressure for several minutes for the adhesive to stick.
Other Areas That Might be Causing Wind Noise
Often, car doors lack insulation and are put together with just two panels. Insulating between these two panels around the window mechanism will help to muffle echoes, high pitched noises, and whistling created by the wind. Doors are easy to work on; all you need to do is take the inside panel off to get access to the interior.
Clean the metal inside the panels so that the adhesive will stick properly onto the surface. Then, place Butyl Rubber Mats or other soundproofing material on the interior of the door. Be careful not to bump any movable parts such as the window mechanism or lock.
For the best result, be sure to seal all visible holes and internal door sheets with the Second Skin Damplifier Pro and the Luxury Foam padding. It will deaden metal and stop structural wind noise from entering the cabin by absorbing interior sound waves, high pitched frequencies, and reduce echoes.
Soundproofing mats can cut down on wind noise coming from the interior floorboards. You can use the same deadening materials used between the two panels of the doors. You will receive the same soundproofing results.
When installing, make sure you strip it down to the bare metal of the floorboard and clean thoroughly before applying the soundproofing material. This will improve the adhesive to stick to the metal much better. After you have installed all of the deadening material throughout the floorboard, you’ll want to install soundproofing carpet over the deadening material.
This will give you even better wind noise reduction. To top it off and protect your deadening materials from snow, rain, and mud with a Heavy Duty Floor Mat.
Above, you’ve read about how to find wind noise in your car and how to fix the problem. With that said, dealing with wind noise can be challenging, but not as difficult as one may think. Soundproofing the interior of your car is the best possible solution for reducing wind noise.
This article should make traveling more pleasant in your car with less interruption. After implementing these reductions of wind noise techniques, you should cut the wind noise in half. Use several soundproofing ideas for the best results.