Causes of Wind Noise and How to Keep the Noise Down by Maintaining Your Door Seals


Wind Noise and Cleaning Your Door Seals

All cars will generate a certain level of wind noise, which is audible inside the cabin of the vehicle. But there are many causes of wind noise. And there are ways to try to keep it down.

Naturally, when it’s windy outside, you’ll hear more wind noise inside. Equally so, the faster you drive the more wind noise you will hear.

The design of the chassis will also impact the noise level. The wind will flow along the chassis in different ways depending on the specific car model, resulting in varying types of noise. Large side mirrors may audibly pick up more of the wind. Larger vehicles have a higher surface hitting the wind, thus increasing the wind noise. Having a storage box on the roof adds to the surface hitting the wind.

Then there’s the type of windows. Cars with laminated windows will be less noisy than those with standard windows. Those with extra thick glass will be quieter than vehicles with laminated glass.

The overall sound proofing of the vehicle also plays a role. The sound absorption materials used inside the door panels etc.

When looking specifically at the windows and the doors, it is important that they are adjusted properly, so that they fit snugly to the chassis, not letting any wind leak into the cabin. Different makes will have different types and thicknesses of the rubber seals that are placed on the inside of the doors and sometimes also of the chassis. It is important that those seals are intact so that they provide a tight fit when the doors are closed. Maintaining the door seals can be one way to keep the wind noise at bay.

Here is a video that shows you a simple method to clean your door seals to keep the wind noise down in your car.

The guy in the video is doing the cleaning using a silicone lubricant spray of the Liquid Wrench brand.

To learn more about cars and sound/noise, get your copy of the Quiet Cars eBook – Your Guide to a Quieter Ride – plus join the Quiet Cars online community.

Quiet Cars - An Introductory Guide to a Quieter Ride (eBook and online community)
  • Strappo

    Thanks! I’m going to go do this right now!

    • Magnus Kahler

      Great! While one can’t expect that by itself to work wonders since there are multiple aspects that come into play when it comes to the level of wind noise, ensuring that the doors fit tightly is after all one important measure to mitigate unwanted air/noise leaks. Let us know how it went. :-)

  • Jussi Palo

    Other reason for wind noise can be that the door is slightly misaligned. Also using ‘wrong’ kind of lubricant for the seals can make the doors squeak like mad while driving, especially if the outdoor temperatures go sub-zero (celsius).

    • Magnus Kahler

      Kiitos, Jussi. Yes, the alignment of the doors is key. If a slight misalignment is suspected, it should get fixed right away – go to a professional dealer to have that looked over. Thanks for raising the issue of potentially using the ‘wrong’ kind of lubricant – which lubricants do you see as the wrong ones to use for this type of application? What’s a good pointer to avoid them?

      • Jussi Palo

        Unfortunately I don’t have definitive answer to that. I had the sub-zero squeaking issue, and got the issue fixed under warranty. They told me they have special “Skoda” lubricant and I should be careful not to apply anything before that.
        To be honest, I think they were just overcautious and actually using the silicone stuff mentioned in your article as well. But perhaps it was better to instruct user (me) just to wait instead of letting me apply possibly something totally wrong lubricant and ruin the seals.

        • Magnus Kahler

          Ok, thanks for the info. Yeah, in most cases it is advisable to first consult the manufacturer before applying third-party products to the car.

  • Rabs Aya

    Hi Magnus.
    Just came across your website today. Awesome stuff and thanks for all the other very helpful articles. I’ve never cared about insulation and noise until recently. Perhaps its age and the need for quality rather than just horse power and torque. The latter is handy from time to time, but the comfort and reduced noise is a luxury that you will benefit from at any time of the day, everyday. Like others, I do hope the industry pays more attention to this area of comfort. I for one would rather have a few horses less in exchang for better insulation while paying the same price. Or at least have insulation as one of the option in the ever expanding checkbox list…
    I do have a couple of questions about this topic and hope that you and/or others in this forum might be able to help.
    Since very recent, I drive an E90 330d xDrive from 2011. Lovely calm 6 cylinder engine. The interior is pretty quiet in the city – what one would expect from a premium brand. Currently, I have 225/45 R17 91H runflat winter tires on.
    At higher speeds, the laws of physics kick in. And it isnt a whiseling noise that would hint to a misaligned door or otherwise. It just becomes much louder that I thought (or hoped) a BMW could. At a 160km/h, it starts getting annoying. And I wouldnt know what it’s like at 220km/h (wink). Note: I am on Austrian highways, the fault is not in the tarmac.

    1. Is this normal at 160km/h speeds?
    2. How do I identify which body part is causing the most wind noise in order for me to replace it with a more aerodynamic part (if possible) e.g. the side mirrors or front spoiler.
    3. The choice of good, quiet tires out there is truly overwhelming. One cant tell anymore which website is sponsored by Pirelli and which is a genuine, factual review of various brands… apart from moving away from runflats for this summer, is there a single best set of tires to consider in terms of road noise in your opinion, with complete disregard to the appearance?
    4. last but not least, if you were to rank the effectiveness of noise reducing measures, how would you place the following? Tires, Hushmat, aerodynamic parts, cleaning gasgets/door seals, window foil, driving slowly 😉

    Thank you for this great website and keep up the good work. Look forward to hearing feedback

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