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Too much noise from the road enters cabin?

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Old 03-17-2014, 12:42 PM   #1
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Default Too much noise from the road enters cabin?

Hello,

I've had my C7 since September, but I'm not happy with the insulation of the car. Basically I just feel like I can hear way too much of ambient/exterior noises including: other cars passing by, people chatting on the sidewalk when waiting on traffic light, road works etc. etc.

Other cars I drove in (even from much lower brands like DACIA) mute all those sounds way better. Is there something wrong with my car or this model has it like that? I'm guessing partially it's related to the fact, that the car itself is quiet, there is little engine noise so all outside noises are more prominent. Even if I sit in the car on a parking I find that i can hear people talking, cars passing and other noises around way too much.

I would be grateful for your feelings about that matter.
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Old 03-17-2014, 01:48 PM   #2
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Sound dampening in a car is a tricky subject. There are many possible sources of noise, and different means of entry to the cabin. To solve the problem, you must first diagnose where the sound is originating from.

I just spent a lot of money adding sound dampening for my car stereo. We dampened all of the doors, all of the trunk, and both sides of the rear deck shelf. We did not dampen the floor, however. I'm beginning to regret not treating the floor.
I still have a lot of road noise from the tires.

Before I dampen the floor, I am planning to replace my tires with Michelin Pilot Super Sport. Hopefully, better tires might make a difference.

If the new tires don't solve the road noise, I'm going to have to install closed-cell foam and mass-loaded vinyl in the floor. Unfortunately, that means a lot of time and labor removing the seats and carpet. But it's the only way to cut down on the noise.


Here is a website devoted to sound dampening for cars. A lot of good info here.

http://www.sounddeadenershowdown.com/
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Old 03-17-2014, 02:06 PM   #3
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Its not just you, but it may be your car. Several of the A6's I have driven have been very noisy in the right rear wheel well area. Not only did I hear road noise but sand/gravel hitting the wheel well. My 2013 A6 Presige is however much quieter in that area. I suspect some cars don't get as much noise insulation as others. Go test drive a few others and if they are quieter then complain at the service department and give them the stock numbers of the quieter ones to make you case.
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Old 03-17-2014, 02:22 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by subterFUSE View Post
Sound dampening in a car is a tricky subject. There are many possible sources of noise, and different means of entry to the cabin. To solve the problem, you must first diagnose where the sound is originating from.

I just spent a lot of money adding sound dampening for my car stereo. We dampened all of the doors, all of the trunk, and both sides of the rear deck shelf. We did not dampen the floor, however. I'm beginning to regret not treating the floor.
I still have a lot of road noise from the tires.

Before I dampen the floor, I am planning to replace my tires with Michelin Pilot Super Sport. Hopefully, better tires might make a difference.

If the new tires don't solve the road noise, I'm going to have to install closed-cell foam and mass-loaded vinyl in the floor. Unfortunately, that means a lot of time and labor removing the seats and carpet. But it's the only way to cut down on the noise.


Here is a website devoted to sound dampening for cars. A lot of good info here.

http://www.sounddeadenershowdown.com/
Which tires do you have? I have the Conti's and have been very happy with the lack of road noise.
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Old 03-17-2014, 03:04 PM   #5
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It's amazing how much "road noise" changes as you cross different surfaces. Some modern asphalt surfaces, that I think incorporate old ground-up tires, are very quiet. Whereas some concrete surfaces are very noisy. I dropped my inside noise on identical pavement by 2db by going from the OEM Pirelli to my new Michelin AS3.
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Old 03-17-2014, 03:14 PM   #6
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I find the noise acceptable, but then the Michelin AS3 I put on are UHP tires so I expect some noise, the stock 19 inch tires were fairly quiet. I find the A6 and the AS3 tires still quieter than my Infiniti was with General UHP tires.
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Old 03-17-2014, 04:16 PM   #7
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I'm actually very pleased with how quiet my A6 is. My tires are Continental ContiProContact 18".

It's also very well insulated when at a standstill. If you're still hearing things while parked, I would check all the door and window seals, and don't forget the sunroof. Or maybe you have a different glass spec in your country. Mine is a Guardian acoustic windshield and Soliver side windows, "M50" front, "M40A" rear.
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Old 03-17-2014, 04:36 PM   #8
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I have been impressed with how much quieter my car with the stock Conti 19s were as compared with the ones with the stock 20 inch Pirellis that I drove. Also, the stock Pirellis get MUCH more noisy as they age such that after 10k miles they sound like you are driving on course sandpaper.

As a side note, when I was test driving cars I drove one C7 which had MUCH worse road (wind) noise than the other cars (it was a Prestige), so bad in fact that I immediately drove another car to confirm to myself that that particular car was an aberration.
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Old 03-17-2014, 07:00 PM   #9
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I think the OP is referring to outside noise intrusion other than from the tires. My A6 is a bit better at sound isolation than my last '09 A4 and about the same as my allroad and former '01 A6. Not as quiet as my friend's Cadillac but very acceptable to me for a luxury sport sedan. As already mentioned, it's best to see if you can isolate where the outside noise is coming from. You could use a db sound meter or db phone app and see if it's close to the published factory specs. (Although various tires can make a difference in the readings when at speed).

Sound level @ idle (dB)41.6
@ Full throttle (dB)70.9
@ 70 mph cruise (dB)63.4
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Old 03-18-2014, 03:51 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by gatorguy7 View Post
Which tires do you have? I have the Conti's and have been very happy with the lack of road noise.
20" Pirelli

Not the worst tires I've ever had, but almost. The Dunlop runflats that came on my 545i were certainly worse. I went with Pilot Sport PS2 tires after that, and when they became available the Pilot Super Sports.
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Old 03-18-2014, 05:45 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by snagitseven View Post
I think the OP is referring to outside noise intrusion other than from the tires. My A6 is a bit better at sound isolation than my last '09 A4 and about the same as my allroad and former '01 A6. Not as quiet as my friend's Cadillac but very acceptable to me for a luxury sport sedan. As already mentioned, it's best to see if you can isolate where the outside noise is coming from. You could use a db sound meter or db phone app and see if it's close to the published factory specs. (Although various tires can make a difference in the readings when at speed).

Sound level @ idle (dB)41.6
@ Full throttle (dB)70.9
@ 70 mph cruise (dB)63.4
Thanks, exactly. Most of the discussions usually covers typical tire noise. In my case the tires are actually no problem (very little surface/tire noise), but the surrounding noises bother me. It's not really easy to pinpoint the problem to one specific area - I checked all the seals, windows, doors. It seems just that closed car does not insulate enough from the outside noises. I even manage to hear bird chirping when driving slowely with closed windows!
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Old 03-18-2014, 07:08 AM   #12
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I went for a drive with a dB meter and my TDI registers at:

30mph = 58.4 dB
40mph = 59.8 dB
60mph = 62.2 dB

I have the Continental ContiProContact tires on 18" wheels and non-sport suspension. Of course, road surface plays a huge role in all of this.


Quote:
Originally Posted by snagitseven View Post
I think the OP is referring to outside noise intrusion other than from the tires. My A6 is a bit better at sound isolation than my last '09 A4 and about the same as my allroad and former '01 A6. Not as quiet as my friend's Cadillac but very acceptable to me for a luxury sport sedan. As already mentioned, it's best to see if you can isolate where the outside noise is coming from. You could use a db sound meter or db phone app and see if it's close to the published factory specs. (Although various tires can make a difference in the readings when at speed).

Sound level @ idle (dB)41.6
@ Full throttle (dB)70.9
@ 70 mph cruise (dB)63.4
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Old 03-18-2014, 07:24 AM   #13
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Much noiser than the C6 and I hate the fact that on many marks, Audi has regressed. Sometimes I think a window is down with as much noise that passes through.

If it weren't for the looks and the 3.0T motor I would have gotten rid of this car by now in the short 3 months I have owned it.
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Old 03-18-2014, 08:36 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tadziak View Post
Thanks, exactly. Most of the discussions usually covers typical tire noise. In my case the tires are actually no problem (very little surface/tire noise), but the surrounding noises bother me. It's not really easy to pinpoint the problem to one specific area - I checked all the seals, windows, doors. It seems just that closed car does not insulate enough from the outside noises. I even manage to hear bird chirping when driving slowely with closed windows!
Hmm. The only bird I hear chirping when the windows are closed is my wife. How about wind noise at speed? Do you hear any excessive sound coming from any of the window seals? That could indicate one or more need to be aligned. If you have a smart phone, try downloading one of the sound level apps as I suggested. If the numbers are similar to the specs, it is what it is and it might mean your hearing is extremely sensitive. If not, there's something not right with the insulation or seals somewhere the car.
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Old 03-18-2014, 09:29 AM   #15
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Hmm. The only bird I hear chirping when the windows are closed is my wife. How about wind noise at speed? Do you hear any excessive sound coming from any of the window seals? That could indicate one or more need to be aligned. If you have a smart phone, try downloading one of the sound level apps as I suggested. If the numbers are similar to the specs, it is what it is and it might mean your hearing is extremely sensitive. If not, there's something not right with the insulation or seals somewhere the car.
I complained at the wind noise and other noises already to the Audi dealers a few times. All seals/windows were checked - they made some corrections but in general all is 'within specs'. There is no specific source of 'noise' - it feels pretty much the same at the driver's seat and passengers or in the back. Feels like closing the doors and the windows doesn't have enough impact on the insulation. If there is a person speaking to me outside the car, i can easily understand the words with everything closed (without the engine running).

I would have to try driving another one and compare...
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Old 03-18-2014, 01:00 PM   #16
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Well, my road noise from the Pirelli tires is unbearably loud, depending on road surface. Only the smoothest of smooth, newly laid asphalt is silent. Everything else hums very loudly. I might get an SPL meter for tuning my stereo system, and maybe will check the road noise.

I'm really hopful that swapping to Michelins will help. Otherwise, a lot of closed-cell-foam and mass-loaded-vinyl will be going under the floor carpet.
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Old 03-18-2014, 01:07 PM   #17
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Well, my road noise from the Pirelli tires is unbearably loud, depending on road surface. Only the smoothest of smooth, newly laid asphalt is silent. Everything else hums very loudly. I might get an SPL meter for tuning my stereo system, and maybe will check the road noise.

I'm really hopful that swapping to Michelins will help. Otherwise, a lot of closed-cell-foam and mass-loaded-vinyl will be going under the floor carpet.
Pirelli actually has engineers whose sole goal is to make their tires as noisy, out of round and fast wearing as possible. I've been the recipient of these design characteristics more than once.

You can't do worse and are almost guaranteed to do better with the Michelins (or just about any other name brand tire for that matter).
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Old 03-18-2014, 04:19 PM   #18
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My 14 prestige cabin is surprisingly noisy especially in the rear right. Nothing to do with tires. Just sounds like the window is cracked open. I catch myself looking over my shoulder sometimes to see if the rear right window was left opened. I also hear a thud occasionally in the rear right when driving slow.
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Old 03-18-2014, 04:54 PM   #19
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Pirelli actually has engineers whose sole goal is to make their tires as noisy, out of round and fast wearing as possible. I've been the recipient of these design characteristics more than once.
You can't be serious.
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Old 03-18-2014, 05:55 PM   #20
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You can't be serious.
Actually, aside from my sarcasm, I am. Made the mistake and bought a set of Pirellis for my wife's allroad and had to dump them after 10K miles. The OEM P6's on my B8 A4 were horrible - could never get them properly balanced, were extremely noisy and I finally dumped them as well after 4 months. My '13 A6 came with P-Zero's and I couldn't get rid of them fast enough. If you search the forums, there's not a lot of love for the brand.
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Old 03-18-2014, 05:55 PM
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