Soundproofing tactics from the outside of your vehicle.
Why the OUTSIDE, you ask? Because lots of noise outside of your car is actually created by your own car. If you can start reducing from there…it’ll make a difference AND not require you to do more labor intensive stuff like interior soundproofing (which requires tearing out the insides of your car). We are gonna try reducing the noise more directly from the source.
- Sounds of Tesla vehicles – TeslaTap
- The Truth About Sound Deadener Paint – SecondSkinAudio
- Tesla Model 3 Stereo – Part 1: Door Insulation – General-Purpose-Built
These methods may cost more money but not so invasive.
- Switch to smaller wheels ($0-2k) – if you have 19 or 20″, use 18″ instead. You get not only better mileage and wheel/tire protection, but also less road noise. Sell what you have and buy new wheels/tires; lucky for you, stock wheels/tires hold value. This really works!
- Switch to different tires ($0-1k) – some are quieter than others. Touring tires are the most quiet, winter or mud tires are noisier. I haven’t tried all brands/models to know which ones are quietest. But switching from 20″ to 18″ helped a lot!
- Tinted windows ($500-1000) – this actually does block sound a little bit. I’m aware window tint goes on the INSIDE of the window but I still count this as an “exterior” improvement.
- Sound-deadening paint on wheel wells and fender areas – use the ones in bucket (I bought Second Skin Audio’s Spectrum) and NOT the aerosol can ones. Apply with spray or roller. You’ll need 3-5 thin coats, applied one at a time (wait 30-90 mins to cure, then apply next one). I haven’t done this yet.
- Upgrade suspension ($2-3k) – for more cushion and better handling performance. Can use UnpluggedPerformance or MountainPassPerformance.
- Upgrade suspension bushings and/or camber arms – basically upgrade from regular polyurethane bushings to synthetic polymer ones – less suspension noise. I haven’t been able to find parts. I have to do more research. I’m also not sure how much this will really help.
Ineffective exterior-soundproofing methods (DON’T DO THESE):
- Soundproof wheel liners – don’t waste your time. Most of the wheel well noise is passed on by the suspension and car frame. Sure, you can try it but I think it’s a waste of time. And road noise traveling by air through your wheel well can’t be blocking since air noise simply goes around all objects. You can only block it by sealing it off. Put it this way, trying to block road noise with a wheel liner is like trying to prevent your friend from hearing you by putting a hand in front of your mouth (but still several inches away). It doesn’t do much!
- CLD (rubber/aluminum sheets) in wheel well – I think it’s not effective enough. Better to use the paint stuff.
- Rust Protection & Sound Deadening aerosol cans in wheel well – I hear those can ones are not very helpful because the nozzle is too small to allow enough rubber particles to get through.
Ready for more intensive soundproofing tactics?