Wider tires quieter?

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Generally are wider tires quieter? I noticed that Lexus LS430's and BMW 7-series have super wide tires...or is it because they are heavy and wide.
 
I would dare to say that, as a rule, wide tires make more noise than their skinny counterparts. There are two main factors that play into a tire making noise. 1. Rubber coumpound used 2. tread design Most wider tires are high perofrmance tires and therefore use a softer compound making more noise. On a truck, wider tires are usually usedb for traction purposes, having a more aggressive tread pattern, and therfore making more noise. Winter (snow) tires utilize both of these factors to achieve maximum traction. Snow tires aren't always wide or skinny, but make alot of noise on dry pavement.
 

tadaima

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Hmm, but you would think softer compounds would absorb vibration better than harder compounds. For example, back then when they used wood wheels, I'm pretty sure it was sending vibration straight through the axle into the carriage, but with dampening suspension and softer wheels it would be quieter. Thus, I assume at least have a higher aspect ratio would provide softer side walls to absorb vibration, sound.
 
I understand where you are coming from, and it does make sense. The bad thing is that most high performance tires are low profile tires to AVOID sidewall travel and achieve maxium performance. I was talking about the actual friction between the tire and the road causing a humming sound. A softer compound grips the road better, providing better performance. I also provides more noise (outside the vehicle). The two vehicles in question are luxury / performace vehicles and therfore have a large amount of sound deadening and ride technology between these high performance tires and the passenger compartment.
 
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In theory, they are not. There is more rubber making contact with the surface of the pavement. Now based on my experiences, wider tires make more noise but its not of a higher more noticeable frequency. Why... I dunno. When i went for 225s to 235s, the 235s were quieter to my ear. Then again, I have a musical ear (GEAUX TIGER BAND!) and am more sensitive to tone.
 
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You may notice, circumferentially, tread blocks are different lengths per "lane" of tread width. This varies the noise frequencies a tire gives out. If all the blocks were the same you'd get a very specific whine. OTR truck and snow tires, wanting maximum life/traction, have a "boring" tread pattern, i.e. the same all the way across, and you can really notice one pitch in the noise they give out. Your average touring tire with hard rubber and different size blocks makes an acceptable noise that gets masked by the engine, wind, etc.
 
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Katy, Texas
quote:
Originally posted by tadaima: Hmm, true. Well I see how more contact patches means more noise, and how the tread pattern gives it the tone. So Looks like I need a thinner and/or higher aspect ratio tire. Currently I have 205/65/15, should i try 205/70/15. I don't think my oo' Camry LE can take 14" since the rotors are larger than the CE version. 195/70/15 exists, but very few selections and seems like they are for older trucks.
Stick with the P205/65R15. More selection and they will match the Camry better. The P205/70R15 is almost an inch taller and it would throw off your speedo significantly. I don't think your problem will be solved in tire width and aspect ratio changes. Try a different tire. What kind of tire are you looking for? These tires are the most popular among Camry LE Owners (i chose 2000 as a random year) TireRack's Most Popular Tires for Camry LE (4th generation like yours) The Kuhmos have a repuation for being quiet. Traction T/As are very good in traction aspects but you trade off a little bit of the ride quality and noise but i heard they are still quiet tires. A skinnier tire will change the driving dynamics of your Camry... I wouldn't do it. Whatever tire you buy, make sure it is H Speed rated (or better) or else the driving dynamics will change. Well, I checked again and S rated is the minimum but the tires that come on the Camry LE are H rated to begin with so if you want to keep the same handling dynamics, go h-speed rated. You won't be sorry. [ November 02, 2004, 01:18 PM: Message edited by: JeepZJ4.0 ]
 

tadaima

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I actually have a set of Yokohama Avid Touring S-rated tire. They are a lot quieter than the crappy generals taht came with it and they are quiet already, but I want MORE =) Didn't think Kumhos were known for quiet, I generally see them as bang4yourbuck tires without any particular element that it excels. Anyways, I am really curious about the Goodyear Comfortred or Tripletred. I tried emailing Goodyear to the see the difference in terms of quietness and ride quality between the two, and they said they are 2 different classes of tires and no objective research has been made between the two. I noticed that their website shows that the difference between the two for comfort/noise is a factor of 1 (10pt scale), and found that not helpful, probably just a visual marketing tool.
 
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A minor change in tire width, say 10 to 20 mm, won't change very much. The particular tire model and tire type (economy, touring, high performance, etc) will make more difference because of tread design. Noise is usually a function of tread design and they can control the way the rubber blocks sound as they slap the pavement. Certain designs are better for noise cancellation for example. Wider tires are generally noisier because there is more rubber hitting the road (as said), and more performance oriented tires are usually noisier because they have grip as a higher priority than noise. The "touring" category is supposed to be quiet though. Too bad you can't tell just by looking at a tread pattern though... [Burnout]
 

tadaima

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I wonder if a tire company or retail chain could start doing some sort of "test drive" program or event. Bring your car and have staff switch tires off your car all day? I assume the will have sets of alloys or steels with tires ready to go.
 
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1,397
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Katy, Texas
quote:
Originally posted by tadaima: I actually have a set of Yokohama Avid Touring S-rated tire. They are a lot quieter than the crappy generals taht came with it and they are quiet already, but I want MORE =) Didn't think Kumhos were known for quiet, I generally see them as bang4yourbuck tires without any particular element that it excels. Anyways, I am really curious about the Goodyear Comfortred or Tripletred. I tried emailing Goodyear to the see the difference in terms of quietness and ride quality between the two, and they said they are 2 different classes of tires and no objective research has been made between the two. I noticed that their website shows that the difference between the two for comfort/noise is a factor of 1 (10pt scale), and found that not helpful, probably just a visual marketing tool.
The Comfortred is quieter. The tripletred is a better handler and better in terms of traction and is not much louder than Confortred. As for the test drive thing. I know a few tire companies, one of them being Goodyear, that offer 30-day test drives and you can return them no hassle. I would read the fine print just in case. You do know tires get louder as they wear down so any tire quality tire you put on there will be quieter than the worn ones. BTW, Don't let the price on the Kuhmos fool you. They are very very good tires with good quality. My mom drives a Toyota Avalon. The current generation of Camry is based off your generation of Camry. It came with Michelin Energy MXV4+ (touring all-season) tires. They were quiet but after 7500 miles, they were noisy. We replaced the tires with Falken Ziex ZE-512 (high performance all-season). They Falkens were half the price and are better in every aspect, including road noise. They make them in the size of your Camry. Go to sears auto center and check them out. I haven't driven the car lately since I'm at school but my mom and dad are pleased with the tires. Good luck. http://www.falkentire.com/tires_512.htm [ November 02, 2004, 03:33 PM: Message edited by: JeepZJ4.0 ]
 
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my 97 Camry (same body as yours) is on its 3rd set of 215/60/15 on stock wheels. It's quite a bit wider and virtually the same OA diameter. The wider footprint is more stable. And I think it looks a LOT better. Of th 215/60/15 I've had, Yokos were very, very noisy but lasted well, the Michelin Pilots were shot after 25k but very quiet, I've got Michelin Destiny on now. All from Discount Tire/Tires.com
 
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In my experience, the more of an open siping pattern that a tire has then the louder it will be. The more agressive you go the louder they will get. Most trucks come from the factory with a nearly closed siping for comfort and quietness.
 

tadaima

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California
Jeep: Thanks for the referal for falkens, I do have the Falken Azenis Sports, but thats a totally not quiet tire. I've heard good things for the 512. As for the 30-day testdrive, I've heard of that too and you are correct, some tires don't age well. Well the new goodyear line is quite new, so maybe I should wait a year and see what people say Kenw, I also thought about the 215/60/15, what specific tires have you gone through? I figure it would be a lot stabler on the freeway. When I switched from 185-195 on my del sol, the drive was different. Better on the freeway, but turns were a bit slower, not as nimble.
 
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I think everyone has missed an important aspect to this noise thing - the road. Haven't you ever noticed that some road surfaces are very noisy and some are very quite? Road surfaces interact with the tread design and the noise is generated in the footprint. Some tread designs will interact well with some road surfaces, and not with others. So if you test different tread designs on different road surfaces, you've find some dramatic inconsistencies. Soft tread compounds sink a little deeper into the road surface macrostructure, so instead of being quiter, they are actually noisier. There has been a lot of research done on road surface generated noise and some paving materials have been developed that reduce the noise generation considerably. Some have been tried in the Phoenix area with great success. And the research continues! But the answer is: Wider tires would be noisier! I suspect the vehicles mentioned are using wide tires more for looks than for any other property. Hope this helps. [ November 02, 2004, 09:01 PM: Message edited by: CapriRacer ]
 

tadaima

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Messages
323
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California
Hmm, true. Well I see how more contact patches means more noise, and how the tread pattern gives it the tone. So Looks like I need a thinner and/or higher aspect ratio tire. Currently I have 205/65/15, should i try 205/70/15. I don't think my oo' Camry LE can take 14" since the rotors are larger than the CE version. 195/70/15 exists, but very few selections and seems like they are for older trucks.
 
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Asphalt and concrete roads are both common. I think much of the difference in noise is less material than surface finish. A little texture improves traction, especially in the wet. Texture also increases the noise. Under federal law, the highway departments must accept anything that meets specs. New asphalt is black, new concrete, almost white. The older, the more of a brown or gray. Red agregrate can give a red cast o either.
 
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Let me try to confuse the issue some more. A little over a month ago I attended a tire symposium and one of the speakers was a professor from Purdue (I think), who specialized in pavements. He had a number of interesting things to say about tire / road generated noise. There was a test conducted (I forget where) on a 10 mile stretch of road that was supposed to have the same pavement. The noise level varied more along that stretch than between the selection of tires they chose to test. This is the variation, not the overall noise level - some tire were indeed noisier. He also had some test results that showed that both concrete and asphalt had equally high or low levels - meaning that it isn't the material itself, but the formulation and / or state of wear. He admitted that included in the samples was some section of highways that had been "scored" by these pavement removing machines that leave these awful textures behind. Interestingly, one test was conducted on one of these open aggragate asphalts that allows water to penetrate the surface and flow off the road UNDER the surface. This surface produced some of the quietest values. (I drive to work every day on such a surface and can attest to the low noise level AND there are hardly ever any puddles or water spray.) The professor's conclusion was that this open aggragate reduces the amount of popping and suction sounds due to air being trapped between the tire and the road surface. Hope you find this as interesting as I did.
 
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