Road Noise

How do I reduce road noise in my Toyota Rav4? Would it help to undercoat it like they do up north? I thought about thicker carpet. it drives you crazy on a long trip.

One of the regulars on these boards actually reported on his own sound deadening project about this a while back. The thread he posted about that (click) should be helpful.

Don’t rule out a mechanical problem with the vehicle. If you are noticing an irritating level of road noise, you may have a tire, wheel bearing, or suspension problem. Wheel bearings are especially notorious for this, starting out subtle and gradually creeping up in volume till it sounds like you are driving on rumble strips all the time. I just replaced a bad wheel bearing in my 17 year old minivan, which had a really annoying amount of cabin noise at speeds above 20 mph due to the bad wheel bearing. Now it’s quiet as a tomb until wind noise starts creeping in around 75 mph. Unless you know the vehicle has been this way since new, there may be a mechanical problem causing your intolerable road noise, and this is a certainty if the car didn’t used to be this way and suddenly is. I suggest taking the car to a trusted repair shop to rule out a tire, wheel bearing, or chassis problem before gutting the interior and adding more insulation to try to cover up what may be a symptom of a dangerous problem. A good mechanic will know if this level of noise is normal or if a mechanical problem is causing the noise.

Cig, you’ve flattered me by remembering, and I thank you.

I don’t personally recommend using undercoating, because although rubberized undercoating does make a marginally good sound deadener it can also clog drain and venting orafices and create corrosion opportunities by doing so.And it does nothing for reflected sounds in body cavities, it solely (and marginally) changes the resonent properties of the sheetmetal by chaning its mass. And if undercoatng is applied in wet weather it can even trap moisture in cavities wher you don;t want it.

Like Mark, I too had a problem with road noise. It was a constant drone at highway speeds. A new set of tires did not help but later replacing the bad wheel bearing put an end to the noise. Have it checked out.

I used some Second Skin in the back of my Matrix and it really made a difference.
Other places I’m going to try it is in some window air conditioners and a washing machine.

Careful tire selection can help considerably.

How old or new is your RAV4. Also how old are the tires and do you perform regular rotations on them?

Hmmm…structural damping on appliances? What a great idea! Mine are in the basement, but the idea is a good one.

So circuit smith where would one purchase second skin? is it hard to apply?
thanks for all the help everyone!

mountain bike if I am unable to take the panels out have no idea how to do this or what they are can I just put the second skin all over the inside flooring and cover with a higher grade carpet?

Andrew It is brand new!

Yikes! Short test drive?

Make, Model year and mileage is SO helpful when you post a question…

You’ll need drawings. Interior panels are known to have tricky little clip, hidden fasyeners, and such like that. You could get a manual through the dealer, buy one online, or perhaps access drawings through a Rav4 owners’ forum. With some searching, I found a path to the design drawings for my Scion, and I also found tips on Scion club forums. It’ll take a bit of research onn your part.

You could pull up the carpet and padding and put second Skin on the floorpans, then reinstall the padding and carpeting. It might help enough for your tastes.

Thanks Circuitsmith. The stick on damper from Second Skin is actually the exact same stuff as Dynomat, sold at parts stores, but much, much cheaper. I admit that I ran out of Second Skin when I got a bit carried away with my project and went out and bought Dynomat, but I was enthusiastic and didn’t want to wait for a new SS shipment. Up here in NH if we get a nice weekend we take maximum edvantage. It might be months before we get another one.

You’re welcome t.s.m.
Your thread back in March is what clued me in on the stuff.

This is off topic, but I finally put two squares of Second Skin on the sides of my top-loader Whirlpool washer.
Didn’t put any on the front for aesthetic reasons and didn’t feel like reaching the back.
The humming sound was greatly reduced.

Thanks Circuitsmith. I have to admit, I thought you were going to put it INSIDE the cabinet. But I still like the idea.

We changed the tires on our car to michelins and the road is much quieter.