Many 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.