Why Are My Tires So Noisy?
April 21st, 2017
The drone of tires on pavement can be exhausting after a few hours’ time. Why are some tires so loud?
Tire manufacturers use computer technology to suppress road noise in tire designs, “tuning” the tread pattern and rubber to keep the noise down. As tires wear and the layer of rubber that meets the road gets thinner, tires will naturally start to get louder (and ride quality will usually suffer as well). Some tires are naturally going to be louder than others right out of the box – many truck tires, for instance, are inherently louder than passenger car tires, especially off-road, all-terrain or mud tire designs.
Sometimes things like expansion strips, rain grooves and other irregularities in pavement are going to make more noise, as well as differences in pavement surfaces. Blacktop, for instance, tends to make tires generate more noise than smooth concrete.
Noises could be indicators of trouble, though. Thumping noises from your tires that only get faster and louder as you speed up could be a sign of a tire that has internal problems with the fabric layers or steel belts. If the noise is accompanied by a vibration, it could be a sign that there’s a wheel out of balance. A constant whine or squeal that’s accompanied by a pull to one side could be an indicator of an alignment problem.
Remember, though, that the air chamber in any tire tends to amplify noise and resonate, just like a drum. Remember also that the cheaper the tire, the less attention is paid to noise levels in the design process and the louder that tire is likely to be.
Sometimes, what people think is tire noise can be a mechanical problem, like a wheel bearing that’s starting to fail, worn ball joints, worn steering or suspension parts or a CV joint that’s worn out. Keep your ears tuned to any tire noises (or any unusual noises at all, really) and be sure to notice if they get worse. If you suspect you’ve got tire or mechanical problems either one, don’t hesitate – make an appointment with us at JBC Tire in Springfield, MO!