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Tire Noise.

Discussion in 'Model 3: Driving Dynamics' started by mariod, Jul 24, 2018.

  1. mariod

    mariod Member

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    We got our M3 about three weeks ago, and generally love it. Drives really nice, and has a great set of features. Couple of things we noticed:

    > The interface has some minor glitches that come and go. Hopefully Tesla will resolve going forward at some point.
    > The tire noise in the cabin is high for this class of automobile. I've seen some posts on a few ideas to resolve using noise deadening material, but really do not know where to install? Does it go in the trunk only, and will that help the most? Or does one have to tackle the wheel wells? Any thoughts would be appreciated.
     
  2. khraiv

    khraiv Member

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    Check tire pressure. It's common to come to you higher than recommended. 39-42 psi I believe is recommended range.
     
  3. mariod

    mariod Member

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    The tire pressure came from the factory at 42. We have since seen it slip to 40 - 41 cold. Have not adjusted.
     
  4. chinnam3

    chinnam3 Member

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    I also recommend Tire pressure. It helped in my case considerably. Drop down to 39 front, and 40 rear.

    Also, tire noise in M3 is not just airborne noise, it is being transmitted (rumbling noise on rough patches) via structure. So adding insulation only helps little. Best bet is Pressure drop. Most of the cars have pressure around 30-35 PSI range. M3 is 10PSI above normal which leads to this issue. Musk said in a tweet 38 is more comfortable. Try that also, you might lose little bit range(May be 10 miles at most I think).
     
  5. UrsS

    UrsS Member

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    I have the same problem, depending on the road surface. On smooth roads there is practically no tire sound, on rough surfaces however the noise was unbearable; sounding like a jet taking off or sitting inside a drum. I can also feel the vibration through the steering wheel.
    So I started installing sound deadening materials wherever I could: Inside the fender wells, trunk, Frunk, doors, everywhere I could find a flat surface that might resonate. One thing that seemed to make a little bit of a difference was gluing some carpet on the flat surface under the battery, the whole underside of the car. Overall the car is much quieter, but the tire noise is still there, slightly less, but still bothersome. Tire pressure does not make any difference - I tried down to 30psi (much smoother ride, but same noise).
    I have not experimented with different tires, I have the Michelins.
    If anybody has any idea on how to reduce that tire noise I, and apparently others too, would appreciate to hear about it. I'm afraid that it will take different rubber bushings on all the suspension parts.
     
  6. Trevor B

    Trevor B Member

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    Car is very quiet ... don't hear anything particularly loud.
     
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  7. John Beans

    John Beans Member

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    RIP Flufferbot.
     
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  8. mariod

    mariod Member

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    Did you find one specific area was more effective than others, like the battery. And how did you glue this stuff on, just using a general adhesive? I really don't want to put deadening material everywhere if one specific area helps the most. For the trunk, did you have to lift the material there first, and apply directly to the metal?
    I think Tesla could make some extra cash by offering a noise reducing kit installed through their channel for those people that want it. Thanks for the feedback.
     
  9. svp6

    svp6 Member

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    Search the forum - I distinctly remember someone posting about insulating the trunk area, and was very happy with the results. He also had pictures on how he did it.
     
  10. mariod

    mariod Member

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    Noise levels being very subjective, there must be many folks rolling their eyes on these sort of posts. The most direct comparison I can do is to our BMW 335i. It generally has a similar noise level between smooth road surfaces and rough ones, just a negligible difference. On the M3, it's very noticeable. Perhaps it comes down to age, younger folks will probably not even notice or care about it, whilst older ones will.
    And again, that is where Tesla can make a great car even better by offering a noise reduction kit. They know where to install it to get the most noise reduction in a fashion that will work for the long haul. I don't fault them for not doing it upfront, there are a lot of gives and takes in making this type of car, not everything can be a priority.
     
    • Like x 1
  11. Snerruc

    Snerruc Member

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    Tire noise is the Bain of Teslas. I believe it is aggravated by several factors . One is that Tesla still doesn’t have a handle on how to control noise in general. Related is the method of construction which is quite different. Third is the need to use relatively high performance tires at a very high pressure. These all add up on my S to give high tire noise at speed on most rough surfaces. The amount of car to car variation is startling and a direct car to car examination might provide some answers. Perhaps Tesla will eventually figure this out. In the meantime, many S owners are reporting changing to Perrelli Centurado a/s + tires reduces road noise a lot at the expense of loss of some sharpness in handling. Check threads in the S section.
     
    • Informative x 1
  12. chinnam3

    chinnam3 Member

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    I am not sure what is different about your specific car, but on rough surfaces I see lot of tire noise/vibrations turned into loud structure born noise. But once air pressure is dropped, that dropped the structure born noise considerably. Tire drone will be there, but no more structure born booming noise.
     
  13. Promo714

    Promo714 Member

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    I just got a RWD M3 yesterday. Based on what I’ve read on forums, I expected the interior noise of the 3 to be noticeably loud. Driving 30-40 miles home from delivery I didn’t really notice it being loud, except when I got on the freeway and hit 75+. There was definitely more noise from the tires. Still, it was quieter than our Ford Flex which generates a lot of tire noise.

    I’ve also owned a Model S since 2015 (RWD 85) so I decided to compare the sound levels in each. I assume the current S is better/quieter/more refined, so a comparison between a current S and 3 might give a different result.

    I used the dB Meter Pro iPhone app by Performance Audio and went on the same drive with each car. I can’t say how accurate this app is a measuring real dB levels, but it’ll do for comparison purposes.

    I went for back-to-back drives with each car over the same route. I went for a few miles along a recently paved (and smooth) four-lane arterial that runs parallel to a river with a freeway on the other side; turned onto a mixed-paved and heavily-traveled bridge; then onto the freeway traveling back in the opposite direction for a few miles before exiting and taking a poorly maintained road that transitions to a rough concrete-paved bridge. From there I turned back onto the same smooth arterial I started on and then into our neighborhood and back home.

    I measured the dBs at various points and noted the readings for each car. Here is a sample of some of them:

    Tesla 3 vs S dBs.png

    At lower speeds the difference is about 2 to 3 dBs (a difference that is not really noticeable to the average person), but at higher speeds or rougher roads it’s roughly 4 to 6 (noticeable but not annoyingly so).

    It is said that 60-65 dBs is equivalent to a conversation in a quiet room at 4 to 8 feet. I was in a coffee/pastry shop this morning and with talking and workers making coffee, the levels were 62-64, for what it's worth. These levels are easy to deal with and present no problem for talking or music in the car. I think the issue is the kind of sound the tires generate relative to how the rest of the car sounds.

    For example, as a musician, I’ve played with dudes who haven’t managed to dial in their guitar/amp tone so that, even at lower levels, playing in tune still sounds off and unpleasant. I’ve also been in music venues where the dB level is high, but the mix (of frequencies really) is so good it doesn’t sound loud. And years ago (before computers), I read an article about automotive frame and suspension design that actually took into account the types of squeaks and noises the frame and body could generate and attempted to tune them to frequencies that would either cancel each other out or were more tolerable to the human ear. Here is an article that touches on that and more: How Engineers Fight to Wrap Cheapo Cars in Luxurious Silence

    So the 3 isn't that loud. The problem seems to me to be the kind of noise the tires generates at higher speeds--it doesn't fit the soundscape of the car as a whole. Maybe Tesla couldn't really address this because, by offering three different wheel sizes and tires, there were too many variables. But what do I know?
     
    • Informative x 6
  14. eigenv1

    eigenv1 Member

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    dB is a log scale, so ~ +3 dB is double the sound pressure, and +4 - 6 dB is, as you say, noticeable. Unless you are singing opera for conversation, talking is normally within a very limited frequency band, whereas tire noise is over a broad frequency range. That broad noise frequency range is more fatiguing. Take that 60 dB reading and add your voice dB on top of that to be heard/understood inside the car and the noise pressure is can be annoying. Add wind noise on top of tire noise.

    This is not limited to Tesla. All cars have a sound floor and that sound floor varies as a function of the road surface, tire compound, tire pressure, speed and sound insulation the manufacturer put into the vehicle. Unless you can vary your route, some logical places to make improvement are the tire pressure (lower a few psi and determine if that helps), tire model (when your tires wear out, go to a site, such as Tire Rack and see how quiet the tires are rated, speed (slow down a few mph and see if that helps) and level of insulation (some people claim that adding some dynomat, or similar material, to the truck and rear shelf help.

    At one time, I recall there was some talk of the radio listening for repetitive noise and applying some sound cancellation. Has that ever been implemented?
     
  15. cab

    cab Member

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    Agree with this. Indeed, it is one of the areas where I think other manufacturers could suddenly out do Tesla when they finally start introducing similar EVs. NVH reduction expertise seems to be one of those "the first 80% is easy and the last 20% is a nightmare to achieve" areas.
    Having done the sound deadening/blocking bit on a couple of cars now, I agree that your best bet is to spend that money on trying to get a quieter tire. Reducing noise at the source is, IMO, WAY more effective than chasing it after-the-fact. The Pirellis are well-rated for noise, but I only see the P7 and not the P7 plus listed on tire rack for cars with the 18" rims. The latter has much better reviews (and is available for the 19" rims). As a disclaimer, I have not used either.
     
  16. FoghornLeghorn

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    Been driving my M3 for 2 weeks now. No complaints about the cabin noise. Less tire noice than my Acura TL for sure.
     
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  17. cab

    cab Member

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    It would be helpful to know if you guys each have the 18" rims (Michelin tires) or the 19" (Continental tires). Interestingly, Tire rack shows that both of the tires are Tesla "one-offs" and have their respective manufacturer's sound deadening foam in them (Michelin's brand name is Acoustic Tech, whereas Contental's is ContiSilent). I believe the tire compound, construction and tread pattern are much more influential on noise though.

    One other thing I'd point out is that a somewhat hidden benefit of AWD is that it allows you (IMO) to go with a less grippy and often quieter tire w/o sacrificing straight-line traction. I have a RWD P85+ Model S and did notice a loss of rear traction when I went from the factory 21" PS2s to the Goodyear Grand Touring tires on the 19" rims. The same tire on a loaner dual motor 100D (which is just as quick, if not a tad quicker than my car) shows no real traction issues.
     
  18. Promo714

    Promo714 Member

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    Regarding my dB comparison post, my 3 has 18" wheels and my S has 19s with Michelin tires from Costco. Don't remember specific type. The 3 had the stock tires.
     
  19. Shizzrock

    Shizzrock Member

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    #19 Shizzrock, Jul 29, 2018
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2018
    Sound pressure is a 20log scale, so +6db would be double the sound pressure, or technically the inverse square by halving the distance from the sound source. In real world generally 10db is a perceived doubling of volume.

    Also, what could be happening is some kind of resonant frequency between the tires and cabin which amplify a low frequency drone. As opposed to a broad frequency spectrum noise, I think it might be within a narrower band, which is why it wouldn't contribute as much to the overall SPL. It depends on what kind of weighting is applied to the SPL measurement for the low frequency noise to have the same weight as other frequencies. So it's possible that while the SPL may not be that much higher, the low frequency drone sounds louder because it IS louder. The best way to verify this is with an RTA, realtime analyzer which will give you dB readings per octave or division of an octave. If you see a spike between 60-150hz (which is what I suspect) that's why the model 3 appears louder.
     
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  20. eigenv1

    eigenv1 Member

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    Right you are as Pressure = Force/Area. I should have said volume. Mea culpa.
     

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