I have a Camry that is reasonably quiet with little wind noise. However, here in California we don’t have the best roads. Pavement generated road noise varies from a whisper to I can hardly here myself think. Concrete is generally noisier but some asphalts are very noisy too. I can’t do anything about the roads, but is there any way I can select my next set of tires to be quieter? I’m assuming there are differences based upon materials, construction and tread pattern. My car never sees snow, so an agressive all weather tread is unnecessary. As an aside, when I stand on a bridge overlooking a freeway, there are large differences in the road noise generated by passing cars. I assume this is due to tire variations.
I haven’t seen a tire rated for noise. You are correct in that tires with aggressive tread designs will be make more noise.
You need to find an experienced tire salesman, someone who knows tires. Many tire stores have inexperienced people selling tires and they don’t know enough about tires. They sell what they have in stock and don’t care what they sell you as long as they make a sale. So shop around until you find what you need.
Good suggestion willey and I would add that you must ask several sales people at different stores to get a variety of opinions to cover for a sales person that will tell you what you want to hear. Ask what is quiet when new and also worn. Don’t be surprised if you find no tire sales person who knows anything but how to smile nice and to ring up a sale. I hope that you are pleasantly surprised after you buy the tires and have some miles on them.
If nothing definite comes from this, the true answer may be that there is little difference in tires.
Consumer Reports rates them for noise. Now if they would only stop sending me threats of expiration and proposals for gift subscriptions that look like overdue notices with my name in half inch letters saying second notice, I wouldn’t be so disgusted with them. Once they got to be so much better than we common folks, it went to their heads.
You had better send them their money tout suite or you will start getting phone calls from them!
The problem with tire noise is that the road surface has a major impact on noise generation.
I think we all have experienced that different road surfaces give different noise levels.
But here’s where is gets complicated: The tread pattern interacts with the road surface and you can get completely different results. Put another way, if you were to rank order various tires for noise on one surface, you can get a different order on a different surface.
This means you have to be very careful when reading evaluations on tire noise. The pavement in your area may be quite different.
Your best bet is to ask the local retailers. They are going to be tuned in on what works in your area.
Why would anyone buy a tire based on NOISE…It’s like buying a car based on Color.
Because they get annoyed by it in the background constantly. Its a major factor that directly impacts day to day living with them.
Personally I have scrapped three sets of tires that I could not take the incessant tread noise after the first 15k-20k miles of use. All three sets have been non-premium brand(aka cheap priced/long tread life) tires that seem great at first but go seriously downhill in a hurry.
I find Bridgestone tires advertised to keep quiet across the life of the tire remain so or at least constant.
As you get older, or have suffered over exposure to loud noise, you develop tinitus, ringing in the ears. This condition is aggravated by noise, and when you commute 100 miles a day, tire noise becomes important. So do other noises like wind noise etc. Consumers Reports used to rate tires, and cars, for noise, but I haven’t seen that since they hired a new person to head up the car testing division. I don’t subscribe anymore so they may have started rating them again.
I think they should certainly rate vehicles for average road noise at highway speeds. There are some vehicles that exceed OSHA standards for workplace noise. In other words, if you job included driving one of these vehicles for 8 hours a day, your employer would be required to make you wear earplugs. Seems I recall a car magazine giving noise ratings and remember several small high performance cars, like the Honda Civic SI, rated above 90 dB, and thats when new.
Tirerack.com has noise ratings, but they are based on opinions of the tire owners. Most of these will be rated against the previous tires the person had, but it does give you a general idea, especially for tires that have a lot of people rating them.