Tire Noise: Tips to Keep them Rolling Quietly

Thursday, April 28, 2011 by Logan Woodworth
Maany of us have purchased tires that were great when we first had them installed, only to find they get much louder as they wear down.

With a little understanding of tire technology, you can keep your tires rolling quieter for more miles. 

Tires get noisy for a couple of reasons including tread design, uneven wear and tire construction.

Tread Design: Tire manufacturers work hard to design tires that will provide good traction without sacrificing ride quality. Consideration of tire noise is commonly referred to as tire tuning. If a tire is tuned well, you should experience relatively low tire noise. Generally speaking, directional tires will get louder as they wear than those that are non-directional.  

Uneven Wear: If a tire wears in an uneven manner, its contact to the road is no longer uniform and you may begin to notice more noise and even slight steering wheel vibration. Proper tire rotation and wheel alignment will help your tires wear more evenly and reduce this effect.

Tire Construction: Performance and Touring Tires are built with different reinforcement materials that generally lead to a quieter ride, especially with Touring Tires. Also, as a tire wears down, it gets closer to the steel belt and this can increase tire noise. Think of the tires tread as sound insulation and as tread is reduced, your tires get louder than when they were new.

The best way to reduce the chance of having noisy tires is to work with an expert to better understand each tires performance characteristics. Although there are no guarantees that they will never get noisy, choosing the best tire for your needs and understanding how to care for them will help ensure you will be happy with your driving experience.

Comments on Tire Noise: Tips to Keep them Rolling Quietly

Saturday, January 7, 2012 by Gordon House:
So, for low noise what do you reccommend for an 08 BMW X5 3.0si? No run flats please.
Friday, March 2, 2012 by Lowrider:
Thank you for not talking down to us as is common in marketing strategies today. Yes, it is complex, but you are one of the relatively rare groups (companies?) that lays it all out there and dares consumers to think and make their own decisions. It is like a lot of other things where buying decisions have to be made. Compromises are part of the equation. People are not inherently stupid, and you pitch your findings to folks with enough intelligence to decide reasonably for themselves. That is much appreciated!
Wednesday, May 2, 2012 by James:
2008 Lincoln MKX, what would be the quietest tire suggestion, my road noise is unbelievable.
Wednesday, May 2, 2012 by Logan Woodworth:
James,
I would be happy to assist with this question. Are you running the 18" or 20" option for your MKX?
Wednesday, June 13, 2012 by Pam:
Road noise is our problem on our 2009 p t cruiser. Had goodyear, put yokohama's on there today, i swear the road noise increased. I am taking them back, did research but now do not know which other one to try. Yokohamas were recommended for incredible less amount of road noise so is Michelin Mxm4. Scared to trust the advertisement. Hopefully you can help. Tired to research other cruiser owners, but not much said about road noise. Thanks Please reply ASAP.
Wednesday, July 11, 2012 by Ron:
Will a tire appropriate for a 20" wheel be more noisy than the same make/model tire appropriate for an 18" wheel?
Wednesday, July 11, 2012 by Ben@tirerack:
Noise mostly depends on the particular tire. In general, if the 20" tire is wider, it would likely be noisier. If the 20" and the 18" size are the same width, there would likely be no difference in noise if we assume the same tread pattern.
Saturday, September 1, 2012 by Bill:
For my 2008 Ford Escape Hybrid, what would be the quietest tire suggestion? I'm running with Nokian Vatiiva Pwl, and they do seem noisy.
Friday, January 18, 2013 by Cindy:
Pls recommend a quiet tire for my 2008 Porsche Cayenne GTS.. I have Michelin 275/40r/20 now. I am do for new tires asap
Friday, January 18, 2013 by ben@tirerack:
Monday, January 21, 2013 by Cindy:
I currently have Pirelli 265 35R 18 97V on the rear. should I be changing size?
Friday, February 15, 2013 by Adam :
what type of tire would you recommend for an 08 dodge caliber. the reduction of tire noise is a must
Tuesday, February 19, 2013 by ben@tirerack:
Cindy, 265/35R18 is not a size that should be on a Cayenne. That size belongs on an older 911 or Boxster.
Tuesday, February 19, 2013 by ben@tirerack:
Adam, please email ben@tirerack.com with your tire size and request and I will be happy to assist.
Friday, March 15, 2013 by Domenic:
Can I have the answer to Pam's question dated Jun 13, 2012,
Wednesday, June 13, 2012 by Pam:
Road noise is our problem on our 2009 p t cruiser. Had goodyear, put yokohama's on there today, i swear the road noise increased. I am taking them back, did research but now do not know which other one to try. Yokohamas were recommended for incredible less amount of road noise so is Michelin Mxm4. Scared to trust the advertisement. Hopefully you can help. Tired to research other cruiser owners, but not much said about road noise. Thanks Please reply ASAP.
Wednesday, March 20, 2013 by Marshall @ Tire Rack:
What size are you using on the PT Cruiser?
Saturday, March 30, 2013 by Keith:
I have a 2004 Alero with 225/50R/16 and I am getting alot of road noise any ideas on what tire would help
Wednesday, April 3, 2013 by Marshall @ Tire Rack:
Keith,
For that size, one of our best rated tires would be the Continental DWS.
-Marshall@tirerack.com
Monday, April 15, 2013 by Sally JoJo:
I drive a 2009 Dodge Caliber SXT, 215/60-17. Can you recommend the best tire for noise reduction. . . it's out of control! :)
Monday, April 15, 2013 by Don:
Can you please recommend quite tires for a VW TDI, Size: 205/55R16? I have a dedicated set of rims and winter tires, but a good mixed-season may be best.

Would it help reduce road noise if I also switched to a skinnier tire? Any recommendations?

Thank you in advance
Tuesday, April 16, 2013 by Marshall @ Tire Rack:
Don,
Some of the highest rated tires are currently a Michelin Defender or Bridgestone Turanza Serenity Plus. -Marshall@tirerack.com
Monday, May 6, 2013 by VSG:
We just bought '14 Mazda CX5. It came with 17" Yokohama's. Are they going to be quiet on that car? If not, which will?? I have pet peeve about tire noise?
Thank you!!!
Tuesday, July 23, 2013 by tom:
oe tires on 2010 honda accord with 50,000 miles; on most [not all] concrete pavement surfaces noise is very loud. what quiet replacement tires are recommended?
Friday, July 26, 2013 by ben@tirerack:
Tom, driving on concrete will generally always be louder than asphalt no matter which tire you choose, but the quieter grand touring tires like the Bridgestone Turanza Serenity or the Michelin Primacy will help mitigate the noise somewhat.
Friday, July 26, 2013 by bill:
Have had Uniroyal Tiger Paw Touring tires (20555P16) on PT Cruiser for about 8 months. Road noise noticeable at first, now much worse. Tread wear is even. Any recommendations for a better tire?
Monday, July 29, 2013 by Marshall @ Tire Rack:
Bill,
Two of the highest rated tires are currently the Continental Pure Contact and the Bridgestone Turanza Serenity Plus.
Tuesday, July 30, 2013 by Larie:
I just bought a 328i with Continental Contiprocontact tires. They are extremely loud. I thought at first it was the road but it doesn't matter what type of road of surface I am on. Any suggestions on nice queit tire. I hate road noise!
Tuesday, August 27, 2013 by John:
I had the tires rotated and alignment and road noise increased to point of having to talk louder. There was noticeable road noise before, but much worse, after. (2006 Toyota Sienna XLE, Primewell Valera Touring [Firestone product} 215-65-15, new 12/11, 18,100 miles) Tires look good, no side wall bulges or unusual ware. Suggestions
Wednesday, September 18, 2013 by Dave:
I recently drove a 2013 Boxster with 20" wheels on Pirelli P0's. On some surfaces (concrete?) there was a lot of road noise. On others, very little. Reading your blog and reviews, it sounds like the 19" wheels (same width as these 20's) would not really reduce the noise, but you noted a drone with P0's. Have you tested the new Boxster's road noise level? Would it correct to assume that the wheel diameter would not change it much? Is it the P0's?
Monday, September 30, 2013 by Josh:
Looking for a quiet all season tire for my 2003 ford escape mainly city driving with some highway.The tires i have now sound like a helicopter rumble when driving at any speed.They are Firestone destinations and are at the wear bar.I have been thinking of getting the new destination le2'S
Thursday, October 10, 2013 by William Dolan:
I have significant tire noise on my Lincoln MKT at 44000 miles. Looking for a recommendation for a very quiet tire. It appears my tires had cupping and they were rotated every 4000 miles. The tires are Goodyear 255/45 R20. Any recommendations?
Wednesday, November 6, 2013 by Pam:
I own a VW Touareg 2012. Road noise is now a problem. Since these are the originall tires and have over 20,000 miles, I realize I probably need to purchase new tires. Can you recommend the proper tire to reduce the road noise?
Wednesday, November 13, 2013 by Marshall @ Tire Rack:
Pam,
One of the best rated tires in the category is the Continental Cross Contact LX20. -Marshall@tirerack.com
Tuesday, January 14, 2014 by Harry:
Looking for quiet tires for 2005 Honda Accord 4-Cyl coupe. The current tires have ~30% left but the road noise get too much. Thanks.
Wednesday, January 15, 2014 by ben@tirerack:
Harry, I would try these: http://www.tirerack.com/tires/tires.jsp?tireMake=Michelin&tireModel=Primacy%20MXV4&partnum=065HR5MXV4P&tab=Survey&affiliate=HJ7

Make sure to check your tire size, as the wheels equipped on your vehicle, whether factory or aftermarket, may differ from our listings.

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