Tire noise

Tire noise during contact with the road surface is a regular and expected occurrence. However, there are some abnormal sounds you should be aware of. By recognizing unusual tire noises, you can identify eventual issues, improve your driving experience, and make your tires last longer.

Normal causes of tire noise

Various factors influence how loud tire noise is. Here are some common factors that impact tire noise:

  • Tire type. Tire manufacturing details such as materials, size, and tread impact the noise level. For example, studded snow tires tend to produce more noise, as well as larger and wider tires.
  • Tread patterns. The size and shape of tire tread patterns influence noise production. It is usually most noticeable at elevated speeds.
  • Road conditions. The material of the road surface impacts tire noise. For example, driving on porous road surfaces produces more tire noise.
  • Driving habits. At higher speeds, the noise level generally increases. Also, rapid acceleration, sharp cornering, and hard braking can augment the tire noise.

Nokian Tyres Remedy WRG5 tires on an SUV traveling on a gravel road
Porous and rough terrain road conditions will affect tire noise.

Abnormal tire noise

If you hear humming or knocking sounds, grinding noise, or any other excessive noise while driving, you should inspect the reason further. There might be issues with your tires or other parts of your vehicle:

  • Uneven tire wear. Different tread patterns may make your tires louder. Cupping patterns can cause tire vibration and excessive noise. Uneven tire wear can also impact your vehicle’s fuel economy. Often, irregular wear is caused by improper tire inflation or improperly aligned tires.
  • Faulty wheel bearing. Roaring noise while changing lanes might indicate issues with bearings. Often, an increase in the speed makes the noise get louder.
  • Under-inflated tires. When tires are under-inflated, there’s much pressure on the outer edges of the tire. That makes the tires sound louder. You can easily control your tire pressure with TPMS, a tire pressure monitoring system.
  • Worn suspension parts. Thumping sound in the tires might be caused by worn suspension. You can avoid this for example by maintaining proper alignment and keeping tires properly inflated.

Red-haired woman checking her tire's pressure with a TPMS
Under-inflated tires can cause tires to sound louder.

Maintenance helps quiet tire noises

Tires of Nokian Tyres are designed to offer excellent performance, uncompromised safety, and a silent driving experience. Note that new tires might be noisier – they just need a few miles to break in. You can keep your tires quiet by maintaining them properly. Check the tire pressure regularly and execute tire rotation when needed to ensure even tire wear. This helps you to enhance your driving experience and extend the tires' lifespan.


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