What’s That Noise My Tire’s Making?!
June 1st, 2015
On a long interstate drive, you might hear the drone of your tires on the pavement for hours on end. You can turn up the stereo to drown it out and keep yourself from being lulled to sleep, but it’s still there regardless. Everyone knows that a set of mud tires or all-terrain tires will be louder than passenger car tires due to their tread pattern, but why are one set of tires louder than another, when they’re otherwise the same design?
That’s rather a complicated question, but we’ll do our best.
• Part of the noise you hear is actually the sound of air as it’s being compressed inside the grooves of the tread. Tires like the Bridgestone Turanza Serenity Plus feature a computer-designed tread that keeps that compression of air to a minimum, then scrambles the sound waves from the compression when it does happen.
• Another big factor is that the air chamber inside the tire tends to resonate and amplify tire noise. This factor is even more pronounced while driving over pavement irregularities like tar strips or expansion joints on a bridge. Some manufacturers now include a spongy layer of polyurethane in the tire’s internal construction, in hopes of absorbing some of that noise.
Other factors might include:
• Tread formulation and rubber compound – some are designed to keep road noise low, and some aren’t.
• Acoustics of your vehicle itself -- some cars come from the factory with better sound deadening than others. Think about the interior noise of a Lincoln Town Car versus an entry-level subcompact.
• Road surfaces – some pavement designs are just going to be louder than others.
• Potential issues with balance or wheel alignment on your vehicle.
• As a general rule, from quietest to loudest tires: grand touring, touring, all-season, performance, summer, winter, light truck, all-terrain. That’s all inherent in the design of the tires themselves.
• The more your tread wears down, the more noisy your tires are likely to become. The rubber itself is a sound deadening layer, and the thinner that layer is, the more sound will get through to the passenger compartment.
If tire noise is a real annoyance to you, our best suggestion is this: the next time you’re shopping for tires in Baton Rouge, LA, do your homework and find quality tires that have the best noise ratings according to tests. Our consultants at Chabill’s Tire & Auto Service will be happy to work with you and help you find the quietest tires that are still a good fit for your budget and preferences! Keep tires in outstanding condition with wheel aligments, tire repair and tire rotations when needed!
Posted in: Tire 101