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What causes all the road noise in a Honda Pilot 2006?

I am impressed with everything but the road noise in this car. Where does the majority of the noise come from. Where would I start putting sound panels? I would guess the inside of the door sheet metal? Any ideas?

One of the few flaws with Hondas in general is that virtually all models they manufacture produce loud road noise. Per Car and Driver magazine (or Motor Trend or someplace else I read this), Honda designs their cars with light weight first-and-foremost as a goal and one place they save weight is by not installing much in the way of sound-deadening materials.

Sorry I can’t help you in solving the problem but others in this forum will have some good ideas.

That’s Too Bad. I Would Have A Hard Time Dealing With Road Noise, Also.

You don’t say if you own this car or are considering buying one. If you are the owner, didn’t you notice this before purchase? Have you changed tires? Either way, I wonder how much of the noise is coming from the tires. Some of the guys that answer questions here refer people to, I believe, TireRack, an online store. It sounds like they have all kinds of tire buying advice and may even rate tire noise for this machine. Should your tires be listed there, maybe you can compare and see if your tires do poorly in that regard.

Also, I know a guy that used to order GMC trucks with additional sound insulation from the factory. He would get a list of all the “build codes”. I’m not suggesting that, but I’m wondering if different Pilot models have varying degrees of sound abatement materials. If so, you could possibly order the actual “parts” (door panels, floor matting, etcetera) from the Honda Dealer or strip a Pilot at the boneyard. What model do you have? Is it near the top or bottom of the line-up? Maybe other “Pilot pilots” can steer you right according to this information.

Tires are sometimes a significant source of noise. Especially louder ones to start with or poorly wearing ones. Do not cheap out when you purchase new ones.

Road noise has been an issue with Honda vehicles for a LONG time, and it continues to this day. Tires are a major contributor. New tires will help reduce the noise, but as the tires wear the noise will come back.

You can start adding sound-deadening materials, but you’re going to add a significant amount of weight before you make much of an impact, and the weight will reduce your fuel mileage.

I like the way my Honda drives, and I’ve learned to live with the noise, but it is annoying on a long highway trip. This WILL be a consideration next time I purchase a vehicle.

actually you got an interesting answer/question. do you own this car already? or are you thinking about buying one?

if you already own it, has the noise gotten worse? if so, have you recently (since the noise got obnoxious) purchased new tires? the specific tires make a HUGE difference in road noise. it may sound preposterous, but some cars need the absolute best tires to minimize road noise. some cars need good tires for handling reasons, some need good tires for suspension, some need good tires for speed.

your car needs good tires for noise!

One way to reduce road noise is to apply a vehicle undercoating to the floor panels of the vehicle. This can be obtained from any auto parts store. However, prior to applying the undercoating, the surfaces must be absolutely clean to ensure 100% adhesion. Failing to do this can create areas where moisture can become trapped, causing corrosion.


Before going to major effort on putting in sound-deadening materials, I’d focus on the tires. Go to, pull up the tires for the Pilot, and go through the reviews to see which ones are noted for a quiet ride. One other (unlikely) possibility is worn out shocks/struts. How many miles?

What road noise are you hearing???

Could be tires…or could be just not sound proofed enough.

With SUV’s I’ve found the tires make a big difference. The problem is compromising. The quieter the tire the less ability it has in adverse weather. The more aggressive the tire the louder it is. If your tires are very aggressive try getting a less aggressive tire. There are several very good tires out there that give you great traction even in adverse weater, but are not too aggressive. Not made for off-road, but excellent for snow and rain. Michelin Cross Terrain (VERY VERY EXPENSIVE)…BF Goodrich Long Trail…and Cooper Discovery HT (these are the ones I’ve been using for years and very very happy with them).

If it’s NOT the tires…The go to a Car Audio place (of if you’re a do-it-yourselfer try You can install sound proofing material that really does a great job in soundproofing the vehicle.

Yes, tires can be big noise generators. Next is the door/window seals. Any exposed edges, lips, depressions will start to roar above 60 mph…Roof Racks can REALLY rumble. Engine noise is another issue…

We had a Corvette customer complain about road noise (I think it was a C5 model around 98-99,the shop foreman pointed out that those 13" wide back tires were very likely the source)they were factory installed tires.

I have seen GM pay for extra insulation in Suburban’s to help with heat load from the sun,never seen it go so far as a effortto reduce tire noise.

High end cars all have extra insulation to reduce noise. VHN (vibration, harshness, noise) is a well developed science with most car companies. My Caprice had an underhood pad, extra materials under the floor carpets, and a thick trunk mat. There were probably some additional items in the “sound insulation package” as I believe it was called. There are several firms in the business of spraying a foam under the car and inside the fender wells. This helps a great deal in reducing noise.

Agree with others that the standard factory tires can be noisy. My Toyota has very noisy tires that whine on certain types of pavement. My next replacement set will be selected for quiet and wear.

Well whatever GM did to this “high end” Corvette did not satisfy this customer,he was there for road noise. Why did he buy a Corvette and expect quiet?

Thanks for the comment. I do own it. I knew about it before I bought it. We put a set of winter/ studded tires on it that came highly recommended and they made way too much noise. I couldn’t hear the kids screaming from the seat behind me. No, not deaf, I wish I was. but then we would have this to talk about. I got a quieter set. Working fine. It is true there is noise set off by the tires. I pulled up the rear seat, not 3rd row, carpet and found this hollow black plastic between the carpet and floor. What is this. It looks like it could act as a drum. I have had my wife drive down the hwy at 60-70 and I moved all around the car to determine where most of the noise was coming from. Oh yeah I kept my seat belt on. Just in case there is cop out there. What I found was the noise was from the 4 doors and floor boards in the back seat. Any successful fixes from any one?

Thx Testy I will try this for sure. It is fairly easier to get it cleaned and painted under car floor. Any under coat work better than another?

26k It is totally loaded. Only thing missing is the NAV package and Audio/Video. Don’t need the nav in Alaska. Not enough roads to get lost on and you might have a hard time hearing the video in the back seat without ANR Headset. Ha ha.

My most recent set of tires, installed last fall, are Hankooks. I have to say that I’m very pleased with them for the quiet of the ride, wear, traction in winter weather, and particularly smoothness. In the handling category, while cornering is good but not outstanding, tracking is excellent.

So far I’ve had on this vehicle
RE92s (OEM tires, good handling & ride but marginal winter performance and poor life),
Bluebirds (total Chinese junk, no redeeming features whatsoever),
Coopers (acceptable handling & ride, exceptional winter traction, very noisy and very poor wear…made from eraser rubber),
and now the Hankooks.

I would definitely recommend considering the Hankooks. I’ll definitely get them again.

Thx for your interest in helping me with this. When I buy a new set of summer tires I will find the quietest possible. Right now I would like to go beyond tire talk and discuss the placement of sound absorption panels or paint and what peope find is the best and easiest to install


The easiest sound deadener to use is definitely rubberized undercoating. It deadens the vibrations.

Sheet sound deadeners need to have body panels removed for installation and that can get nasty.

The big problem is that the guys at the manufacturers, the engineers that specialize in his stuff, also integrate into the design such items as isolators that interfere with the propogation of vibration, and aerodynamic tricks to resolve the buffeting and vortices that can add to noise. You really can’t do that stuff yourself.

Try the rubberized undercoating. Just don’t plug up and drain or vent holes.

Good luck.