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Q: Car Noise

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While driving my car, it sounds very loud in the cabin & seems to have gotten louder over the life of the car. I even hear vibrations coming from the seat belt dispenser area. Is there any way to quiet my car, or to make it a little less loud inside the car while I'm driving? (I have replaced the engine about 2 years ago).

My car has 210000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

A: Hi there, thanks for writing in. I’d be hap...

Hi there, thanks for writing in. I’d be happy to help.

There is no reason for the car to be any louder today than the day it was manufactured, so yes this issue can be resolved or at least the noise can be greatly reduced by properly identifying the sources. The most typical causes of unwanted noise as a car ages are abnormal tire wear, tire defects, poor choice of tires (if you want quiet use Michelin or like quality tires; tires are a significant cause of road noise), exhaust leaks, and noisy wheel bearings. Other sources include engine accessory drives that may be running on worn out pulleys (e.g., pulleys with dried out or oxidized grease).

It should be fairly easy to identify the major sources of the unwanted noise you are experiencing. There are also techniques a mechanic can rely on such as remote wireless listening devices, applied to the chassis of your vehicle, or near suspect rotating components like wheel bearings to hone in on the area or component making the noise. If you’d like, have a YourMechanic technician perform an overall inspection of your vehicle to inform you of the most likely causes of the excess noise you are experiencing.

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