When I hear the noise from the wind, my first guess is that a window isn’t rolled up all the way. While this may occasionally be the cause of the problem, it turns out that there are quite a few issues that may lead to the unpleasant sound.
Worn car door seals, deformities, and cracks in the windshield can all cause unwanted wind noise from air trying to escape the cabin. I’ve tried a lot of solutions to solve the issue. Here are my top recommendations for reducing wind noise in your car.
What Causes Wind Noise?
When a car moves, the front surface pushes the air away. As you likely know, aerodynamic designs create less wind resistance.
Trucks and SUVs with boxy frames generate more resistance, increasing the wind noise. Of course, traveling at faster speeds also creates more resistance.
As the resistance increases, the air pressure inside the cabin increases compared to the exterior air pressure. The difference in air pressure forces air from inside the cabin to escape.
Most vehicles are designed with pressure vents, providing a way for the air to escape the vehicle. The vents are typically positioned away from the driver and passengers to help minimize the sound.
Other potential openings are then thoroughly sealed, forcing air to travel through the pressure vents.
Worn Out Seals
When these seals deteriorate, warp, or get damaged, you’ll hear more wind noise. These seals include the seals on doors, trunk openings, windows, and sunroofs.
Basically, the high-pitched squeal that you hear from the wind is really the sound of air trying to escape through worn seals and other openings in the car.
A non-acoustic windshield could be another reason for wind noise. This kind of glass is not as effective as acoustic glass when it comes to blocking the noise. The latter consists of two thin layers of glass with a layer of acoustic vinyl between them. This vinyl layer is responsible for noise absorption.
You also need to consider the weather conditions. Naturally, strong winds create more noise. While I can’t control the weather, I’ve found a few ways to help address the other causes of wind noise.
How to Reduce Wind Noise in a Car
1. Find the Cause of Wind Noise
The first step in dealing with the problem is to find the cause. Determine where the air is trying to escape in the cabin. In most cases, I find that the problem is caused by worn seals on the doors or windows.
You may notice a high-pitched sound coming from one of the doors or the corner of a window. Unfortunately, it’s hard to verify the source while you’re driving. You may need to enlist some help and go for a ride.
Have one or two passengers help listen for the sound to pinpoint where the whistle or squeal is coming from. It could be the seals around windows and doors, damaged weatherstripping, or some other type of air leak.
After narrowing down the source of the noise, park your vehicle and inspect the car. Check around the doors first, as this is the most common area of concern.
2. Replace Worn Car Door Seals
The car door seals or weather stripping may have worn. As these seals deteriorate, small holes or gaps are created, providing a tiny spot for air to try to escape.
If the seal isn’t worn, it may be possible that it’s fallen out of position. Reseating the seal is relatively easy.
These tips work for both the weather-stripping edge guard around the frame of the door and the seal around the car door window.
Feel around the seal to find where it’s sealed to the frame with adhesive. If the seal isn’t frayed or worn, use weatherstrip adhesive to reseal the rubber to the frame. The automotive adhesive is applied directly to the rubber seal, which is then pressed into the door frame.
This video shows how to install rubber seals:
If the seal is worn, replacing it is just as easy as reseating the seal. You just need to find the right weatherstrip. The rubber seals are typically sold in strips that you cut to fit your vehicle.
With the GreatBBA Large D-Shape Rubber Car Door Seal, you get 16.4 feet of insulation designed specifically for helping to reduce wind noise. The strips also include adhesive backing, so you don’t need to buy automotive adhesive.
Before adding the new strip, thoroughly remove the previous adhesive material. Small pieces of adhesive may remain after removing the old seal. To remove these chunks, wash the door frame with hot, soapy water and an old rag.
3. Check the Car Doors for Deformities
While worn seals are the most common cause of wind noise, it’s also possible for the car doors to become damaged or warped, preventing them from closing properly. It only takes a small gap in the door frame to create an unbearable noise.
If the door doesn’t close all the way, check for deformities. When repairing the door, a mechanic may add too much solder, creating small lumps that keep the door from completely shutting.
Use a metal file to try filing down the lumps. The KSEIBI High Carbon Steel Metal File Set includes three files of varying thickness to help with the task.
When filing doesn’t solve the deformity, you may attempt to use a hammer. However, taking the vehicle to a different mechanic is also an option. You may not want to risk causing further damage to the door.
4. Reseal Cracks and Holes
If the doors appear to be in good shape, check the exterior of the vehicle. You’re looking for any signs of damage that may allow air to enter or escape the vehicle. These signs include:
- Holes in the car body
- Severe rust or damage from an accident
- Cracks in the windows or windshield
A small crack in the glass may create just enough space to allow air through, creating the whistling sound that you hate. Unfortunately, unless you’ve got experience replacing car windows or fixing cracks, I recommend that you take the car to an auto glass repair shop.
For other issues, such as rust or holes in the body, professional repairs are also recommended. However, you may try filling in small holes with a patching kit.
You may also notice worn seals around the permanently-closed windows, such as the small side windows behind the rear seats or the trunk window. Use automotive caulk to reseal the windows.
Dynatron 550 Auto Seam Sealer Grey Caulk helps create a secure seal around the windows. It’s also suitable for resealing the door strips and door window seals.
5. Install Sound Deadening Mats
Replacing the seals and dealing with deformities may not always solve the problem. If you still detect wind noise, consider using car soundproofing products, such as sound deadening mats.
These mats are sound deadening or dampening technology to help reduce the reverberation of noise throughout the cabin. When positioned correctly, the sound deadening mats help cut down on all noises, including:
- Wind noise
- Loud engines
- Muffler problems
- Road conditions
There are dozens of quality mats to choose from, the most famous being Dynamat. The Dynamat Xtreme Bulk Pack includes nine sheets of thick material for installation in car door panels, which is where most of the unwanted sound comes from.
The material includes its own adhesive, eliminating the need to prepare the surface before installation. It easily sticks to the interior of the car door panel, making installation quick and simple.
6. Install Wind Deflectors
If you don’t have air conditioning in your car, or you prefer to use an open window for fresh air, wind deflectors will be the best solution to reduce wind noise. They slightly change the aerodynamics of the car. So, when the wind hits the wind deflectors, it changes direction and goes over the open window and not directly through it.
Additionally, wind deflectors or wind visors, as they’re often known, also have other useful properties, such as protecting against rain, reducing the fogging of the windows and, if tinted, reducing glare and thus increasing safety while driving.
Wind visors are designed specifically for your car model, so they should be easy to install. You can mount them in minutes without specialized tools. Just make sure they fit your vehicle.
You know how dreadful it is to drive around with the high-pitch whistling of the wind in the background. Hopefully, this article might help you mitigate some of that wind noise and continue to have peaceful, quiet drives in the months to come.