Ok, I have been listening to the show for several years and have never felt like I know enough about cars to second-guess any of the answers given on air or the discussion boards, but I’ve got to pipe in on this one. A caller described the excessive road noise on her 2010 Honda Fit, saying she did not notice it during the test drive but that it has since been annoying her. Tom and Ray immediately attributed this to unevenly worn tires and suggested that a new set would remedy the problem. I think this is far too hasty for one reason: the Honda Fit is an incredibly noisy car right off the lot. We shopped this segment and the booming road noise was a primary reason we didn’t buy the Fit. This is a Honda trademark and has been for years. Civic, Accord, Fit, they all have higher than average road noise, and if you don’t pay particular attention to it during a short test drive, you will likely overlook it until you start to use it on the freeway. Tom and Ray may have offered an expensive remedy to a problem that cannot be fixed. What do you guys think?
I think you’re right - Hondas and Fits are well known to be noisier cars. We have had a few folks here complaining about their noisy Fits. Others know it comes with the territory, and to them the handling and versatility more than make up for it.
But new tires that are especially quiet in their design might help some.
I’ve actually had tires make quite a difference in road noise level but usually you can tell and it is after maybe 75% wear. I think it may help but might not be the total answer. I think when she said it wasn’t that noisy when new was the clue that it may be the tires.
Yes, low end Hondas tend to be noisy, but there is one inescapable truth about almost all new cars; they come with cheap tires. A good set of tires might improve things.
When I heard this caller, I felt vindicated. She described the exact same experience I had with my Fit. Until hearing it on the show, I had been thinking maybe I was just being neurotic. Like her, I didn’t notice the noise level when the car was new. But after only 20K miles or so, the tires were wearing badly and the noise was rattling my brain. I got new tires, but the excessive noise level persists. Then I started doubting the quality of the tires. (Sumitomos from NTB.) But really, all along, I was thinking maybe it was just me and the problem wasn’t really so bad as I was making it out to be.
Then I heard this on the show and thought, “Aha, I’m not crazy!”
Now, I’m considering selling the Fit and getting a quieter car, or just driving my gas-guzzling, but quiet, 2002 Silverado pickup full-time.
@mason - before selling the Fit check out tire noise ratings and comments on tirerack.com. There might be tires much quieter than your Sumitomos. And what kind of unusual wear did your first tires show? Did you have anything fixed to correct it?
Tires can only help so much. You shouldn’t expect Mercedes quiet when you’re shopping something as small as the Fit.
I put on some tires on my old Civic that were supposed to be very quiet tires. However, even with those tires, the road noise was still quite noticable, especially over the chip’n’seal type of pavement. Conversely, the factory tires(Goodyear Eagle RS-A) on my Cx-7 are known to be horrible piles of dog crap in just about every category, including road noise, but I can hardly hear any road noise at all.
Consumer Reports and other testing agencies all call the Fit “noisy”. Since the Honda Accord and the Civic are also considered noisier than other cars in those categories, you can expect a Fit to be noisy for life, no matter what kind of tires are on it. We once condsidered buying one because it is such a neat and versatile car.
But since we would be making many highway trips with it we decided that we will buy something quieter.
In 2008 I bought a Fit for my daughter to drive to college 300 miles from home. In 2010 we had a road noise problem that was solved by new tires. My daughter just received her BS and the Fit is running great. It may be a little noisier than some cars but it was and continues to be the safest most reliable and economical car I can afford and still pay her educational expenses. It had the most airbags I could afford so it has and continues to keep her and her passengers safe. That is the bottom line.
my wife has been driving our 2017 fit for the past 15000 miles, it has 60000 on it now and the other day i drove it and wow, drone noise was bad. rear tires are near wear bar and are the orig tires to the car. i hope a replacement which i am doing at walmart next friday will solve the problem. i am putting general altimax r43 tire on it, the same as i have on our 2010 nissan versa which has no drone noise and is plenty quiet enough for me . i dont mind these little cars being a little noisey and hearing the engine easily, but a wicked drone is not accpetable. we’ll see.
I like those Altimax tires on our minivan and am considering them for our 1999 Honda Civic - please let us know how they perform for you, esp. on the noise issue.
fwiw , I have Hankook Optimo 13 " tires on my Corolla and 15" Michelin Defender LTX on my truck, no problem w/road noise with either.