which is quieter, framed or frameless side windows

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1,327
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Washington for now
my sub is pretty loud at speed. i attribute some of the noise to Subaru using a frameless door window. i don't think it seals as well a door with a frame. So what is your opinion? Am i wrong?
 

Nick1994

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Phoenix, AZ
My brothers 96' Lexus ES300 is pretty loud (frameless) but there are some framed windows that are loud. I think it depends on the age of the vehicle and the design. My aunt's 2013 TDI Beetle is frameless and is silent going down the road. Who knows what it'll be like once it ages
 

JHZR2

Staff member
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46,293
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New Jersey
My 81 240D is framed. My 82 300CD is frameless. Even with a window misalignment, I have never noted real wind issues with the 300CD (wind, versus road noise seems to be the issue). Now my 135i is a convertible, so has frameless windows. They seal well and dont leak air, but because the top has some give to it versus a hardtop, I do get an ocasional squeak on really bad roads. But that probably means that I need to lube it more than anything. Ive heard that frameless is louder. Practically speaking, I cant say that Ive noticed it.
 
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26,152
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MA, Mittelfranken.de
The door or window might need an adjustment. I had a car with loud window on the drivers side, the door was slightly out too far. Put a piece of paper in the window seal at different points with the window up and close the door on it. If the paper pulls out easily with little resistance something needs adjustment or it has a bad seal.
 
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7,256
Location
USA
Our 2005 Subaru/170k remains pretty silent with frameless. My MDX with all sorts of extra sealing seems to have occasional wind leaks when blowing around. I think they are more noticable since the car is more silent.
 
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Location
NYC
I hear that $13 tube of Hondas Shin Etsu lube massaged into rubber door and roof seals is the business Gotta do my Camry one of these days, wind noise galore.
 
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Top of Virginia
I've never had much love for frameless windows. A real frame can provide a more consistent seal. I wonder why most doors use framed windows (seriously). Is it due to a better seal? Or better crash worthiness?
 
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4,116
Location
Central Virginia
FWIW the frameless side windows in the Challenger seal very well and are quiet. BUT, the window goes up 1/2 an inch or so when you close the door. The Ford Mustang and the new Camaro do this too.
 
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14,505
Location
Top of Virginia
Originally Posted By: Silverado12
FWIW the frameless side windows in the Challenger seal very well and are quiet. BUT, the window goes up 1/2 an inch or so when you close the door. The Ford Mustang and the new Camaro do this too.
I think this should be a requirement with frameless windows. My first car, a RWD Olds Cutlass, had frameless windows. They didn't seal well, and for a variety of reasons. One of which was that their only real means of sealing was inward pressure by the window against the top rail seal. The difficulty in my car was compounded by the fact that it had T-tops (but the hardtop ones had the same frameless design). And secondly, they certainly didn't automatically extend another 1/2" after the door was closed. That was way before body control modules made that possible, at least at that price point (about $15k; pretty heady for its day). I fail to see a benefit of frameless windows on a car that is not also offered as a convertible (Subaru).
 
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7,180
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CT
Depends on how their done, on Mercedes when you open the door the frameless windows retract out of the seal.
 
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13,382
Location
ROCHESTER, NY
I've driven or been in vehicles with framed windows, and they were loud on the hiwy and in other vehicles with frameless windows that were very quiet. Like hattaresguy said, it depends on how it's done!
 
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4,116
Location
Central Virginia
I'm an old timer who prefers simplicity, but have given in to the technology and kind of like it (LOL until it breaks). Pretty cool how far cars have come in the last 40 years.
 
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