All-terrain tires are a necessity for off-roading and Overlanding. If you want to enjoy riding your vehicle on mud, dirt, sand, snow, and other non-paved surfaces, then they’re a perfect solution. However, many drivers complain of a louder sound coming from all-terrain tires compared to standard road tires.
All-terrain tires are loud because of the rubber’s thickness, the textured pattern, and the size of the whole tire. Other causes include uneven wearing, cheap tires without soundproofing, and thin metal on your vehicle. But all of these issues or problems can be resolved with a high-end set of new tires.
Throughout this article, you’ll also learn the following information about all-terrain tires and the noise they cause:
- What creates a louder volume from them
- Why old tires seem to sound noisy
- How you can cut back on the sound of all-terrain tires
Why Are All-Terrain Tires Noisy?
There are dozens of reasons that your tires might sound louder than other vehicles’ tires. If you’ve never used all-terrain tires, then it could come as a shock. Fortunately, you’ll learn a plethora of simple fixes in the next section.
Here’s a list of reasons that all-terrain tires are noisy:
- As stated by U Tires, the tread design on all-terrain tires typically leads to a louder sound. This process is caused by the chunky pattern that’s very uneven compared to traditional nearly flat tires. It can be amplified when you’re driving on gravel, rough roads, and other hard surfaces.
- They’re usually much larger than most other types of tires. Since all-terrain tires have to cut through all sorts of terrain, they need to be larger. As most of you already know, a bigger tire is noisier than a smaller tire. This issue is especially noticeable on raised vehicles that expose the tires.
- Speaking of which, if you’re driving a raised vehicle, there’s nothing to limit the sound coming through. Soundproofing is often installed on the underside of a vehicle to cut back on the road noise. If you’ve raised it, then your tires are exposed, causing the excess noise to come through the windows.
- Old vehicles tend to have bad soundproofing. If it wore off long ago, then you obviously won’t reap its benefits. If you’re trying to outfit an old truck to go off-road, then there’s a good chance that it’ll be significantly louder than some of the new high-quality models coming out of the shops.
- On the other hand, old, wearing tires can also be the cause. When a tire starts to wear down, it causes a host of problems. One of these issues is that it starts to wear unevenly, which can result in mixed volume levels. You’ll learn more about this problem in the final section.
As you can see, all-terrain tires can cause a bit more noise than others. It’s important to note that all-terrain tires can be used on any vehicle, not just off-roading trucks. Whether you’re always staying prepared for the worst or you’re heading out to the snow, all-terrain tires can be a great choice.
If you want to reduce the sound that your all-terrain tires produce, read on.
How to Reduce the Volume of Your Tires
Although all-terrain tires can be noticeably louder, the sound can be deafened inside of the vehicle. There’s not much you can do to cut back on the noise for other drivers from the sound of your tires, but they’re not loud enough to make it much of a problem anyways.
Here’s how you can reduce the noise of your tires:
- Start by ensuring that your tires are wearing evenly. Worn ball joints, rusted rims, axle damage, and plenty of other problems can lead to uneven wearing. You can check very quickly by looking at your tire from the front or back. Look to see if the tread is worn evenly or the grooves are deeper at some parts than others.
- Get a soundproofing material on the bottom of the vehicle. The Kilmat 80 mil 36 sqft Car Sound Deadening Mat is an excellent choice. It’s big enough to cover the floor of almost any vehicle with just one sheet. This budget-friendly mat will reduce the road noise drastically without changing the feeling of the ride.
- Make sure that there’s enough air in your tires. Too much or too little air can be a problem. Not only does it cause flat tires and uneven wearing, but it also increases the noise inside of your vehicle. You can keep a tire pressure checker in your glove box to check it every few weeks.
- Choose the right type of all-terrain tires. Despite their name, some all-terrain tires are better at covering all types of terrain than others. The thickness of the rubber, textured pattern and overall quality should all be taken into account. As mentioned previously in the post, these three factors are the biggest issues of all.
- According to Better Soundproofing, narrow tires tend to be quieter than wide tires. It goes on to explain that less tire contact with the ground results in less noise produced. If you can swing it, consider choosing a narrow tire to reduce the volume. Remember to focus on safety before noisy issues, though.
There are many other methods that you could try out as well, such as replacing the weather stripping on the doors, adding soundproofing material to the wheel wells, and getting new tires as recommended by the manufacturer.
Remember that more road (and off-road) time results in a reduced lifespan on your all-terrain tires. To learn why old tires can noise complaints and what you should do, proceed to the next section.
Do Older Tires Cause More Sound?
It is probably not a shocker that old, worn tires cause loud noises. However, all-terrain tires can withstand the damage caused by varying surfaces, hence the name. Let’s review a handful of reasons that old tires cause more noise below.
New Tires Are Built Differently
Tire Review mentions that modern tires are designed to be at least 20% quieter than tires built decades ago. In other words, you could have a brand-new set of 1970’s tires, and a brand-new set of 2020 tires and the 2020 set would be significantly quieter.
Weather and Temperature Influence Tires
As your tires get older, the weather and temperature can weaken the material. This process is natural, but you can keep your tires covered whenever you’re not driving the vehicle. Using covers will reduce the chances of warping and cracking, both of which cause flats and loud sounds.
New Tires With Old Brakes Don’t Work Well
Even if you have a fresh set of tires, old brakes can be an issue. Why? Because brakes that don’t stop the vehicle on time end up causing the tires to skid for a bit. A one-inch skid is enough to shave a small amount of rubber off of the tire. After a couple of months, you could see how much damage and noise would be produced.
All-terrain tires aren’t built to reduce noise. Instead, these semi-loud tires are made for safety and conquering off-road environments. If you’re trying to reduce the sound of the tires, then there are plenty of ways that were mentioned throughout this page.
Here’s a quick recap:
- Use soundproofing material on the floor of your car and in the wheel wells.
- All-terrain tires are loud because of the texture and thickness of the material.
- Weather, temperature, bad brakes, uneven wearing, and bad driving can cause noisy tires.
- Tire Review – The Fight Against Tire Noise
- U Tires – What All-Terrain Tires Are Used for and How They Differ from Other Tires
- Better Soundproofing – 9 Ways on How to Reduce Road Noise From Tires