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What impacts tire noise and rolling resistance?

Posted: Tuesday, September 24th 2013

Quiet TiresYou’ve probably noticed that some tires seem to make more noise than others.  Keep in mind that all tires will generate some level of sound as they come in contact with the road surface. There are a few key factors that can impact the amount noise produced from tires.

Tread Design
The design of a tire’s tread can significantly impact the ride quality and noise produced. Wide block or more aggressive tire treads generally create a louder ride.  Tire manufacturers are continually working to design tires that will provide excellent traction and yet deliver a safe and comfortable ride.

As an example, the Michelin Primacy MXV4 uses “computer-optimized design and precision manufacturing to reduce vibrations and road noise”. Furthermore the “MaxTouch Construction maximizes the tire’s contact with the road and evenly distributes the forces of acceleration, braking and cornering, resulting in longer wear.”

Continental’s CrossContact LX tire has an innovative tread design which minimizes noise and provides a comfortable ride. “Thanks to their rib characteristic and pronounced siping, the three circumferential block rows make for precise steering response and very good straightline performance while guaranteeing that the tire rolls very smoothly and quietly.”

Tire Materials
Advances in synthetic rubber compounds, new materials and technology are all being used by tire manufacturers to improve the quality of tires. Some materials are used in tires specifically to reduce the rolling resistance. Most performance and touring tires are constructed with different reinforcement materials that tend to provide a quieter ride.

A good example of material technology is the Bridgestone Turanza Serenity Plus tire.  The tires are designed using what Bridgestone calls RENOA silencer grooves. These “resonance noise attenuated” silencer grooves help reduce pattern noise by trapping sound in tread pattern elements.

Also, the Goodyear Assurance ComforTred Touring rates high for a quiet and comfortable ride. A “special comfort layer in the tread helps provide, on average, 20% more cushion than standard passenger tires”.

Tire Wear
As a tire wears you may notice more noise produced. One factor may be uneven tire wear. Uneven tire treads will not uniformly come in contact with the road. As a result, you may notice more noise, steering wheel vibration, or a pattern sound as you speed up and slow down.  Routine tire care – maintaining proper tire pressure, tire rotations and alignment will help to alleviate this issue.

In addition to proper maintenance, the best way to reduce the chance of having “loud tires” is to ask questions.  There are many tire brands and models which are designed to minimize noise. We have only suggested a few tires above as references. Stop into any of our store locations and we can help you determine the best tires for your needs.