Sound deadening is the procedure of installation of soundproofing materials into the car interior in order to increase or improve sound insulation. Soundproofing is basically an easy procedure to undertake in a car interior where even the car owner might not require an extra hand in the installation. There are various methods of sound deadening for car interiors, which also require different types of materials. This process has a great impact on the overall performance of a car audio system and its overall music quality to the occupants.
Sound deadening insulation is majorly done in cars in order to reduce road noise, tire noise, engine noise, and other traffic noises such as vehicles on the same road. This sound deadening materials help in significantly cutting down external noise disturbance. They absorb the sound vibration energy hence eliminating speaker resonance and baffling out the excessive sound. This external noise normally has a negative impact on music quality and also the usage of speakers where the car owner is required to use excessive volume in order to cancel out the external noise.
This article will take all car owners who would like to install sound deadening car audio materials in a systematic and elaborate procedure of doing it. It will highlight the best materials, techniques, and various methodologies of having the work done perfectly.
Sound deadening Installation parts in a car interior
Car door panels
Door panels are the main areas where sound deadening materials are usually installed. We will look at the anatomy of door panels so that the car owner can know the right position for installation. Car doors are made of sheet metals, which are the worst when it comes to sound insulation due to their poor acoustic properties. Therefore, car door panels are made of three layers : outer skin, inner sheet metal and door panels.
The outer panel is the outermost component of the car door. It is made of flexible material where it crumples after a car accident or collision. This material is good for car safety but poor in sound insulation due to the vibration caused by car door speakers. These vibrations caused by outer door panels create music and audio distortion hence the need for sound deadening.
The next part of the door is the middle section consisting of inner sheet metal. This a frame structure which holds all the mechanical parts of the car door. These parts include window switches, door cranks and speakers. This middle section is solid and hence it does not vibrate much as compared to the outer panel. The problem with this part is that it has hollow openings or gaps to allow for the installation of door components. These voids create echoes from the car audio speakers. The echo might not be good for a good car audio experience hence the need for sound deadening materials to be installed.
After the middle section, we get the door panels, which are the visible parts of the car interior space. Door panels in most cars are made out of hard plastics where they vibrate when the car audio system is cranked up to high volume. They are normally fixed with clips to the middle section. Some have a foam layer inside which acts as an insulation material for sound. This foam might not be effective enough in sound deadening hence the need to add more sound deadening materials.
Now we know the parts of the car door and how each section affects the car audio experience to the listeners. The next step a car owner should do before investing in sound deadening materials is finding out which part of the car door is bringing in the interference. This can be achieved by adjusting the fade and balance settings of the car audio system. The next thing is tightening all loose screws and clips of the door panels. Lastly, the car owner can install tweeters to prevent speaker back waves from bouncing directly back into the door speakers.
If the above steps do not work for you the next option, remaining is the installation of sound deadening materials. The following parts are worth installing the sound deadening materials:
The speaker cradle. This area is normally insulated by the use of a sound deadening mat. It is installed by covering the speaker hole with this mat. The speaker is first removed from its position and the mat installed. A utility blade is used to cut off a hole for the speaker unit, where the speaker is then reinstalled. The speaker is wrapped with the sound deadening mat, which makes it less prone to vibrating the door panels even at high volume usage. This helps in boosting unnecessary sound distortion to the audio experience of the car occupants.
Door outer skin and metal surfaces. Door rattling is very common, especially when aftermarket speakers or new speakers, which are more powered as compared with factory ones, are installed in a car audio system. This rattling can be irritating to the car occupants hence a cause of discomfort. A sound deadener is used to cover the outer door skin and metal surfaces. The vapour shield should first be removed and reinstalled later after the sound deadening material is added.
The car owner can also add the sound deadening foam if more insulation is needed. This is a denser material that will work better in car door insulation, where it insulates the door cavity and reduces low-frequency sounds such as road noise, tire noise, and speaker distortions. Sound deadening foams example, the high density closed cell foam is effective on doors with plastic panels since they eliminate rattling noises when the music is turned up to high volumes.
Other high-end sound deadening materials that can be installed into car doors include the Hydrophobic Melamine Foam (HMF), which can be used on the door outer skins, and the Luxury Liner Pro installed on the inner metal sheet. This is a good material for sound absorption where it is an aircraft grade material. These two sound deadening materials are good for sound insulation for off-road vehicles, old model cars and for premium car audio systems installation. These materials also provide good thermal insulation capabilities where they keep the car warm during hot days and warm during cold days.
When door panels are well sound deadened, they boost the general audio quality of the car audio system. They make the acoustic experience sound perfect where most listeners including the owner will perceive it as a good audio system yet it is the insulation materials that enhance that audio experience. Doors are the most affected by sound interference and distortion. Therefore, this is a key area while budgeting for sound deadening car installers or installation materials. Sound deadening curtains can be used on car windows for sound and thermal insulation.
Car floor sound deadening
The car floor is a major part of the car that is affected by external sound such as road and tyre noise. This area requires enough soundproofing by installation of adequate sound deadening materials. The most preferable sound deadening material is the sound deadening dynamat because it is just a mat laid on the floor of the car. These mats can be sized to meet the various size requirements of the car.
The advantage of floor sound deadening mats is that they offer not only sound insulation but also ffer heat insulation. Their installation is easy, whereby the car owner does not require a hired hand. The process of installation involves the removal of all floor mats and carpets. Some floor carpets are glued into place where it needs more time and precautions when removing them. If they are held down by clips then those are the easiest to remove.
Once the floor carpets are out of place, the next procedure is thoroughly cleaning the floor. This is done to remove dust and soil particles that fall into the carpet gaps from the occupants’ shoes. Vacuum cleaning of the floor and floor mats is advisable to remove all dust particles from the car floor. After the thorough cleaning, what is required is reinstall the sound deadening automotive mats.
Sound deadening mats come with various regular shapes that can be sized by cutting into various shapes and sizes of the car floor. Mats are the best soundproofing materials for car floors due to their workability and sizes. Some mats come with self-adhesive glue where the adhesive protector needs to be removed first before sticking the mats to the floor. The installer should press the mats firmly and uniformly using a roller to allow the sound deadening mats to stick properly. If there is no adhesive material, then the glue should be applied. For effective sound deadening, the installer or car owner should buy enough mats to cover the entire floor of the car.
Once all the sound deadening dynamats are installed, the floor carpets and other components can be reinstalled and fixed into place.
Sound deadening is an appropriate measure when it comes to external sound insulation. Most of the wind noise is heard on the roof of the car. Isolating this noise will give the car owner a good time of enjoying music from the audio system installed in the car. These materials also protect the car from heat where the sun majorly strikes the rooftop. The car occupants will have an ample and conducive atmosphere to relax and enjoy the ride. The procedure of installation entails:
- The cloth headliner is first removed carefully because it is an aesthetic material, and also it will need to be reinstalled again as it was before. The roof is then cleaned thoroughly by the use of an alcohol solvent. This will aid in removing dust and other dirt agents. The insulator is first installed onto the roof headline covering the whole perimeter. Secondly, the foam for sound deadening is put into place. This material should cover the whole roof headline for effective sound and heat insulation. The most preferred material is fiberglass mat which has great heat and sound insulation capabilities.
- The roof is the part of the car that requires thicker insulation materials hence the car owner should put that into consideration. This will achieve the best results and it should be pressed firmly by use of a roller to eliminate gaps and spaces that might compromise the sound insulation capabilities of the sound deadening mat. This pressing of the material also enhances its longevity in places where it will not fall off easily or come loose due to driving or rough roads, or poor grade roads.
After the installation of the insulator and sound deadening materials, the next procedure is reinstalling the roof headliner cover back into place. Appropriate adhesives should be used to stick it back and smoothened accordingly by the use of a roller for it to be firm and aesthetically appealing.
Rear car deck
At the rear of the car deck is where most car owners will install most of the speakers like the subwoofers hence the need for sound deadening. Subwoofers are powerful speakers with high RMS wattage where they cause a lot of vibration to the car body panels. This rattling and vibrations have a negative impact on the music listening experience hence the need for the installation of soundproofing materials. If the car owner installs new speakers and replaces the factory system, there is a great need for sound deadening to be done since the aftermarket or new powerful speakers will cause vibrations and rattling.
The procedure of installation of sound deadening materials is first by removal of the covering on the rear deck. The whole area should be cleaned thoroughly with an alcoholic solvent to remove dirt and dust. The sound deadening materials for the car’s rear deck should be precisely cut into shape to fit the whole entire area. Sound deadening panels can also be installed for enhanced sound insulation. The soundproofing material should be fixed properly to avoid falling off due to rattling of the body frame while driving or due to speaker vibrations.
The fabric of the car rear deck should be installed to create an aesthetic finish that blends with the rest of the car interior.
Car firewall area
The firewall is the area behind the car’s dashboard. This area is made into the car to prevent in case of a fire outbreak from the engine area from getting to the passenger area. This firewall also works as a sound insulation of engine noise and vibrations, which interfere with the comfort of the passengers. This is a key area since it also insulates the car interior from excess heat dissipated by the engine during its operation. There is a great need for the area to be installed with sound deadening materials and heat reflectors.
Sound deadening for the car firewall area is a complex process because the installation starts by dismantling the dashboard area. In this process, the car owner can source a good technician if they are not experienced in working car parts. This process involves working around mechanical and electrical car components. This might pose a difficult task to work around but it is advisable to look for a technician. If you opt to do it by yourself then make several precautions such as having the right equipment and manuals. The battery should be disconnected to avoid power shorting. The airbags should also be deactivated during the process.
All screws in the glove compartment should be unscrewed from the car body frame. This will make the dashboard detachable. Next remove the car stereo faceplate and unfasten the brackets present by use of a screwdriver. Detach all the wirings from the radio head unit and air conditioning units. If you cannot fully remember the wiring procedure, take photos or refer to the car manuals. Once all connections and wires are hooked, put aside the dashboard, or you can remove it fully out of the car in order to create a good and conducive working area without interference.
The firewall will now be fully exposed after the removal of the dashboard. The next step is thorough cleaning of the firewall. All dirt and grime should be removed from the firewall in order to allow the sound deadening material to get glued perfectly. Apply the sound deadening insulation material on the entire firewall face for effective sound deadening. The materials should be rolled to remove air gaps and undulations, which might compromise the effectiveness of the material. Holes should be cut out around the areas where wires, cables, screws and other attachments pass through.
Assemblage should be an easier task as compared to the dismantling process. All dashboard components should be wired fully, checked and re-inspected before the whole dashboard is fully installed into the position. Fix the dashboard firmly into place to avoid rattling and vibrations during driving or playing music in loud. Significant soundproofing will be evident especially when done on the entire dashboard area and by use of high quality materials.
Car boot sound deadening
Most car owners who are music enthusiasts prefer installing chunky speakers with cabinet enclosures at the rear of the car in boot area space. Sound deadening is crucial in this area due to the noise caused by the vibration at the rear of the car. The empty boot space creates an amplifier effect to these noises. In some cars, below the trunk space, there is a compartment of recovery gears such as a tool kit and spare tire, which generally are not firmly fixed. So the car owner should ensure that these items are fixed properly into place and into their right positions.
All detachable speaker cabinets should be removed from the car boot. The floor fabric and carpet should be removed after clearing the space. The boot of the car can be very dirty depending on the utility of the car because all luggage is kept here. Therefore, the car owner should ensure it is thoroughly washed by use of a washer and appropriate cleaning agents. Dust and soil particles should be removed. Vacuum cleaning should also be carried out on the flooring materials. All oil spills on the boot space should be washed out and the surfaces dried fully. This will allow the adhesive glue to stick firmly for a long time without the need for reapplication.
The choice properties of the deadening should allow the covering of a wide area. Sound deadening mats or sheets are the most preferred for car boot spaces. They are thick enough, durable and highly workable in terms of sizing and fitting. These will cover the entire area comfortably without any issues. In areas where the mat cannot fit perfectly into the tight and squeezed corners, the sound deadening spray can be applied. This spray is quite effective in sound proofing. Once the sound deadening materials are fully fixed into place, reinstall the flooring fabrics and carpets. The repair kits and recovery gear can be put back into the boot and fully secured into place.
Sound deadening car audio installations are easy to carry out without the need for hired labour. It only requires the car owner to source the best sound deadening materials, tools for installation, and the necessary materials. Time is required for planning the process to avoid inconveniences and unplanned outcomes. Measurements of the materials required and types of materials should be determined prior to purchasing.
The car owner should find out on the procedures of installation of these materials without time and material wastage. Money is also a key point worth considering because if the car owner sources cheap and poor quality materials they will end up not achieving the best results out of the installation, which can be frustrating. They should consult experts in this field to achieve the best results.
Sound deadening in cars cannot be achieved a hundred percent, but it can be reduced significantly hence creating a conducive environment for the car owner and occupants. They can all enjoy their music with ambient peace and tranquillity.