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2021 Model Y lots of road noise rumble on stock 19's - any advice for improvement?

PhotonMiles

Member
Apr 18, 2021
20
23
Burbank, CA
Just got my 2021 Model Y AWD LR with the stock 19" wheels & continental tires, and I really like everything about the car except the road noise rumble! It's my first EV and first Tesla so I spent most of the limited test drive focusing on all the other new stuff like one-pedal driving and didn't notice the road noise *too* much. Also I was mostly on smoother roads for the test drive. I had intentionally picked the 19" wheels to hopefully get a smoother and quieter ride.

Now that I've had more time with it, the rumble is kinda making me nuts. The noise is extremely bass-y and rather fatiguing on even slightly rough roads, at even super-slow speeds. Wind noise is actually pretty good, it's really just road noise that's bothering me.

Using my trusty dB meter things didn't seem too bad using the dBA scale (which under-measures low frequencies to more closely mimic our own hearing range), showing values in the 60-70dB range. Not bad. But when I swapped it over to dBC which is used in industrial settings where bass is a more prevalent issue, holy crap! Going all of 18 MPH on a slightly rough road I was measuring 96 - 100 dB!! Yikes!! Even on the smoothest pavement in town the dBC readings were in the mid-to-high 80's.

I brought up an iPhone app that plots the full frequency spectrum (iAudio Tool) and there was huge build-up at around 35Hz, which is super-low bass.

So I'm wondering if there's anything I can do to improve this? I'm guessing the extra rubber door seals from RPM Tesla and the like probably won't do much of anything, and I don't suspect I'll get a lot out of going down the dynamat/mass-loaded-vinyl rabbit hole without going completely nuts and covering the whole car.

But what about replacing the suspension with either the Unplugged Performance kit or the Mountain Pass Performance kit? Would either of these reduce the rumble?



And what about different tires? The ones on the car are already the ContiSilent (hah!) tires, but apparently Car & Driver has a low opinion of their road noise reduction:


Maybe a different tire would have better road noise characteristics?

Any insight is most appreciated!!
 
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TLLMRRJ

Active Member
Dec 19, 2019
1,771
1,742
Houston
A lot of Tesla's leave the factory with bad alignments that increase the tire noise (and increase tire wear and reduce range). I would start by having the alignment checked and making sure the toe is very close to zero on the front and rear. Even with slightly too much toe, think how hard is on the tires trying to go straight but being held at an angle. That's why you'll see posts on here of, "I needed new tires after 7K miles!"
 

Steve43

Member
Nov 7, 2020
6
1
SoCal
I had the same problem with mine last year; it was my biggest complaint by far. But I tried a weatherstripping kit from Amazon, and it made all the difference! Here is a link, Basenor Kit Mine was slightly different, and included the frunk and rear openings also. But what a difference!
 

PhotonMiles

Member
Apr 18, 2021
20
23
Burbank, CA
So I adjusted the four rubber bumpers for the rear hatch, no change. I lowered the tire PSI to 39, no change. Has anyone tried either of those after-market suspensions and noticed any improvement?
 

new-Instance

Member
Dec 17, 2020
22
34
Florida
Most of the rumbling is theorized to be coming from the rear quarters of the car and some from the hatch. Several people on the Ear/pain pressure thread including myself have been able to reduce the rumbling by adding sound proofing inside the rear quarters. There's a reason Tesla placed the sub inside the passenger side rear quarter. ;) They are like little echo chambers! Sound proofing the hatch helps too, but adding weight to the hatch is risky, it doesn't take much to stop the hatch from opening automatically. So, I don't recommend touching the hatch.
 
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jcanoe

Active Member
Oct 2, 2020
1,791
1,764
Maryland
I would not be concerned about a peak in the noise spectrum at 35 Hz. The full wavelength of a 35 Hz tone is 32 feet. Even the half wave length at 16 feet is longer than the Model Y (15 feet, 7 inches.) Any standing wave at 35 Hz would propagate inside the vehicle in the next lane over or behind the Model Y.

After trying different settings I have settled on 44 PSI for the Continental Procontact RX tires with the 19" wheels. You might find increasing the tire pressure by 1 or 2 lbs above the Tesla recommended 42 PSI helps with the road noise.
 

BreatheEasier

Member
Mar 26, 2020
519
334
Northern Virginia
Changed tires at less than 1000 miles to Vredestein Quatrac Pros and got the SC to perform an alignment (steering wheel was off-center so it was covered by warranty). Road noise significantly went down, and ride quality improved.
 
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everydaychris

Member
Feb 10, 2020
555
268
CA
Have you tried lowering the tire pressure? On hot mine is at 46-48. Driving a model 3, the Y is with 19's are still much more comfortable. But lowering the PSI to even 42 may make a big difference.

On my rx my tire pressure is at 38
 

PhotonMiles

Member
Apr 18, 2021
20
23
Burbank, CA
the tire pressure was originally 42. I tried lowering to 38-39, and it didn’t really make much difference. Checking noise levels with my dB meter set to dBC I’m still getting 97-102 dB on slightly imperfect roads at just 20 MPH! Not good...
 

MyEarHurts

Member
Apr 19, 2021
16
6
WinterFell
Changed tires at less than 1000 miles to Vredestein Quatrac Pros and got the SC to perform an alignment (steering wheel was off-center so it was covered by warranty). Road noise significantly went down, and ride quality improved.
Did you notice a difference in the low boomy rumble over uneven roads?
To help with the long Ear/pain pressure mega thread that contains solutions to multiple issues. PecuniaNonOlet has a pretty good write up and pictures of trying to reduce the rumbling.

Most ordered the material that were posted by gundarx
I did more than what gundarx did, while it worked for him, it didn't work for me. I installed two boxes of sound deadener in the quarter panels, removed the trunk box did the box, the plastic wind tray under neath and the hatch. The low bass/boomy noise is still there. It is directly related to bumps in the suspension. I'm thinking the stiff springs and tires is the issue. It causes the car frame to boom. I even hot glued sound deadener and foam pad on top to the black quarter felt panels. No noticeable difference unfortunately.
 

PhotonMiles

Member
Apr 18, 2021
20
23
Burbank, CA

Here's a short video I recorded earlier today showing my decibel meter set to dBC (more accurately measuring low frequencies) while I drive 20 MPH down an average-quality neighborhood street in Los Angeles. Noise levels average 95-97 dB and go as high as 105 dB at one point! Geez! Not good.
 
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I'm not too confident in my abilities to do the soundproofing work myself. Does anyone know of a reputable shop in Los Angeles that does this kind of work?

First, do a "simulated" soundproofing test: Cover the cargo area & passenger floors with thick blankets. That'll give you an idea if soundproofing will help.

I liked the improvement in my CRV... now I keep a blanket permanently in the cargo area ("poor man's soundproofing"):
Cargo area 1a.jpg


It's also nice having a sturdy blanket for impromptu naps, picnics, beach trips, dogs, you-name-it.

Need cheap blankets? For $8/each, Harbor Freight has heavy-duty mover's blankets: 72 in. x 80 in. Moving Blanket
 
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BreatheEasier

Member
Mar 26, 2020
519
334
Northern Virginia
Did you notice a difference in the low boomy rumble over uneven roads?

I did more than what gundarx did, while it worked for him, it didn't work for me. I installed two boxes of sound deadener in the quarter panels, removed the trunk box did the box, the plastic wind tray under neath and the hatch. The low bass/boomy noise is still there. It is directly related to bumps in the suspension. I'm thinking the stiff springs and tires is the issue. It causes the car frame to boom. I even hot glued sound deadener and foam pad on top to the black quarter felt panels. No noticeable difference unfortunately.

Yes, the low/boomy rumble went away. The Contis were simply loud when driving over uneven roads in a bizzare way I had not experienced with other ties in the past. Bumps are still a bit harsh from the stiff suspension, but honestly not much different than my previous BMWs with runflats.

So many different threads, but I didn't mention on this one that I also had installed the RPM sound reduction kit about a month after my new tires. It also helped for sure, but with wind noise more than anything, not really road noise. And even then, the biggest improvement in wind noise reduction was the SC replacing my windshield and roof glass because of a factory defect in the windshield and the roof glass misaligned from the factory. Barely hear any wind noise at this point, even if considerably windy outside.
 
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polyphonic54

Member
Aug 29, 2019
301
224
USA
I would not be concerned about a peak in the noise spectrum at 35 Hz. The full wavelength of a 35 Hz tone is 32 feet. Even the half wave length at 16 feet is longer than the Model Y (15 feet, 7 inches.) Any standing wave at 35 Hz would propagate inside the vehicle in the next lane over or behind the Model Y.
This is correct acoustically, but don't you think there is a problem if your ears feel fatigued or hurt?
 

jcanoe

Active Member
Oct 2, 2020
1,791
1,764
Maryland
This is correct acoustically, but don't you think there is a problem if your ears feel fatigued or hurt?
Yes however the ear fatigue could only be due, in part, to the peak at 35 Hz. The broader noise spectrum is probably just as much a source of discomfort. Active noise cancelling would be one way to minimize the perceived cabin noise. When I fly in a commercial plane I put on my Bose noise cancelling headset before takeoff, don't take the headset off until we land. The noise cancelling technology greatly reduces my ear fatigue when flying.
 

PhotonMiles

Member
Apr 18, 2021
20
23
Burbank, CA
I would not be concerned about a peak in the noise spectrum at 35 Hz. The full wavelength of a 35 Hz tone is 32 feet. Even the half wave length at 16 feet is longer than the Model Y (15 feet, 7 inches.) Any standing wave at 35 Hz would propagate inside the vehicle in the next lane over or behind the Model Y.
This is a common misconception. Sound functions as longitudinal waves, not transverse. The waves of compression and rarefaction wash over you, regardless of how long the wave is.

953209d33a74ff7048c952492549e640.jpg
tfl.gif


And the louder the sound wave is, the higher the pressure (and in this case subsequent ear pain) irrespective of wavelength.
 

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