Loud Tire Noise at Highway Speeds

Loud Tire Noise at Highway Speeds (cause & what to do)

Your tires will often make some noise when you drive, especially if you go at higher speeds. At some point though, the noise can get too loud and you wonder why it’s so noisy to drive fast on the highway. In today’s article, I’ll explain loud tire noise at highway speeds – its causes, when you should be concerned, and steps you can take to fix the possible issues with your tires and/or car.

Let’s get right to it!

Here’s an outline of what I’ll talk about below:

  • Why Are You Having Loud Tire Noise at Highway Speeds?
    • The Type of Tires on Your Vehicle
    • Your Tires Are Getting Old and Worn Down
    • Unfavorable Road Conditions
    • Tire Pressure is Too Low
    • CV Joint Wearing or Wheel Bearing Damage
  • Loud Tire Noises May Be a Safety Concern
  • Tips for Picking the Right Tire to Avoid too Much Noise
    • Choose the Right Size
    • Tire Width
    • Weather Conditions
    • Go for a High-Quality Tire

Why Are You Having Loud Tire Noise at Highway Speeds?

There are several potential reasons you’re having loud tire noise at highway speeds. These include:

  • The type of tires on your vehicle
  • Your tires are getting old and worn down
  • Unfavorable road conditions
  • Tire pressure is too low
  • CV joint wearing or wheel bearing damage

Recognizing the sounds that come from your tires and learning how to fix them can make it easier to give your car the best care and reduce the noise you notice while driving.

Let’s take a detailed look at each of the potential causes of loud tire noises on the highway.

Tires Making Loud Noise on the Highway

Many things will cause the tires to make loud noises when you drive on the highway. Some of these include:

The Type of Tires on Your Vehicle

The space that is inside your tires is big and only filled with air. This is why it is common to hear a low-frequency hum when you drive.

There are different tire products and each one will create a different noise level.

For example, if you choose heavy-duty tires, these are bigger and meant to keep you safe in any weather. However, since they’re bigger, they will make more noise, especially when you’re going fast on the highway.

Traction tires will cause the same kind of issue as well. These tires will have space between the lugs, which can result in more noise than before.

If the tire features are causing the noise when you drive, there isn’t much that you can do. The louder noise is just how these tires work and you’ll get used to it.

However, you should check your tires to make sure they’re not getting too old or worn down.

Your Tires Are Getting Old and Worn Down

As your tires get older, they won’t perform the way they did before. The tires can produce more noise when they are closer to the end of their tread life.

Without the tread in place, the tires are going to be louder. When the tires are worn out unevenly, they will distort the sound and can make your drive noisy.

Going faster will make the noise even worse.

Reasons Why Tires Make Loud Noise on the Highway

If this is the problem with your tires, you will need to replace your tires. Keep in mind that the average tire will last 50,000 miles.

If it has been longer than this, you may need to replace the tires to reduce the noise. If you are uncertain whether this is the problem, do the tire penny test to check the tread.

Unfavorable Road Conditions

In some situations, bad roads may cause some damage to the tires. If you are a bad driver and going crazy on the road, or the road is in poor condition, then the tires may make a lot of noise.

For example, if you are going down the road and you run over something or hit a bad pothole, you’ll probably notice more noise as you bump around the road. And if there are some tiny nails or screws in the road, these can pop the tire and make a lot of noise as you drive around as well.

Drive more mindfully to help cut down on this kind of noise.

How to Fix Loud Tire Noise at Highway Speeds

When it comes to the nails on the road, you can add a bar magnet to the front bumper of the car. This can help pick up some of the nails so that you don’t have a lot of damage.

Tire Pressure is Too Low

Low tire pressure is another common issue that will cause loud tire noises. When you have low tire pressure, it can put the car off balance.

This can cause uneven wearing on the tires as well as a lot of noise as you drive down the road.

While you can’t check the PSI of your tires as you drive down the road, you should keep up with tire maintenance before and after your journey to ensure that low pressure doesn’t cause unwanted noise.

Some of the regular chores you should do to avoid tires making too much noise while driving include:

  • Maintain the right tire pressure between 32 to 35 psi.
  • Check the tire pressure before you hit the road
  • Thump the tires to check the sound to see if they sound solid and full.
  • Look at the tread and see if you notice signs of uneven treads.

CV Joint Wearing or Wheel Bearing Damage

If you hear a sound similar to a constant drone, then you may have a damaged bearing. You should check the CV joints to see what is going on.

To address the damage to wheel bearings, consider trying these steps:

  1. Drive near a concrete wall with the windows open and then turn the wheel to see if you notice more noise. If the sound is constant, the bearing wheel is to blame.
  2. Grease the wheel bearings.
  3. If this doesn’t help, you can take it to a mechanic to get the wheel bearings replaced.

The CV joint can wear out as well. To fix this you can:

  • If you do step one from above but notice the sound gets bad when you turn, it is the CV joint.
  • Try to fix it with greasing or bring in the professionals.

Loud Tire Noises May Be a Safety Concern

In many situations, loud tire noise at highway speeds that you’re hearing is normal or will require an easy fix.

For example, if you have older tires, this is a sign that you need to get them replaced. Tires don’t last forever, after all.

But the noise could also be due to the type of tire you have or the road conditions where you are driving as well.

Is Loud Tire Noise at Highway Speeds a Safety Concern?

However, there are times when loud tires are dangerous.

If the tires are worn out, they can create loud humming noises, especially on concrete. You need to get these fixed before the condition gets worse and the tire blows on you.

The same can happen when the tires are underinflated. These may cause a “womp womp” or even a slapping sound that should concern you.

When one or more of your tires get rounded out, they can cause a thumping noise or even a roaring sound, whether you’re going fast or not.

All of these can be signs of danger when you are driving on the road.

You should use caution and keep up with the maintenance of your tires and your entire car to make sure that the tires are safe and will not blow out on you while driving.

Tips for Picking the Right Tire to Avoid Too Much Noise

There are a few tips that you can use to make sure that you pick a tire that will keep you safe on the road and will not make too much noise as well.

How to Choose Quiet Tires for Highway Driving

Here are my tips for picking the right tire to avoid too much noise.

Choose the Right Size

The bigger the tire on your vehicle, the more noise it will make. That’s why understanding tire size is foundational knowledge when buying tires online or in person. Find a tire that is right for the size of your car and does not pick one that is too big.

Tire Width

If you have some choices in the width of the tire, go for one that is smaller. This allows for less contact with the road, reducing the noise you notice.

Weather Conditions

Pick the tire that makes the most sense for the season you are in. You may need to change the tires to match the weather conditions. If you live in a climate with tough winter weather, ask yourself if studded tires are really necessary, or if regular winter tires will do.

Go for a High-Quality Tire

Choosing a less expensive tire may save you some money right now, but they do not have the right materials to last a long time and you may notice more noise.

Final Thoughts About Loud Tire Noise at Highway Speeds

There are some situations where extra noise from your tires isn’t something you can control. When the road is in poor repair or you have a certain type of tire on your vehicle, louder than average noise can be normal.

However, if you have low tire pressure or you have a lower quality tire, then you may need to make some changes.

Understanding the different causes of noisy tires means that you’ll know what to do if you have that problem, keeping you safer on the road.

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