Sound Deadening Car Doors – Simple Step-by-Step Guide
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Fighting road noise while driving was never an easy job. The most vulnerable part of your car is, of course, doors.
Even if you close the car windows and turn the music on the radio up, there is still a high chance that the road noise will still be audible.
I hate driving and not being able to clearly hear my favorite song on the radio. But that’s not the biggest problem that you might face, and since you are here, you probably know what I’m talking about.
This has been a huge problem for me until recently when I decided to do something about it. I found a lot of information in books and on the internet and did this all by myself.
I also recommended the method to a lot of my friends and they were all thrilled when they saw the results.
Luckily, you won’t have to waste your time on research because there is a number of easy ways to soundproof your car and especially your car doors and I’m here to present you with the best of them.
In addition to the traffic road noise, some car doors produce very annoying rattling sounds, but don’t worry, there is a way to fix this as well. It’s fairly easy and won’t require too much of your time.
Benefits of Sound Deadening Your Car Door
With the choice of sound deadening material, you can easily soundproof your car – just like you would soundproof your home to save it from the noise that comes from the outside.
The difference between noise & vibration in an older and newer car is like a day & night.
And if you’re unfortunately driving an older car that still has the potential to do many more miles – you can take action to make your rides a lot more comfortable.
The main and most important benefit of sound deadening your car door is not only to block out the noise coming from the outside but also eliminate the vibration that passes through the metal surfaces.
Quieter ride and no need to replace your speaker system with a more powerful one are just some of the side benefits.
Inside car audio quality highly improves and yet you can do it all by yourself. However, in some cars, you will have to sound deaden more than just car doors.
Even though there are plenty of sound deadening materials to choose from – it’s one of the crucial steps so your work is as efficient as possible, so let’s get started!
Sound Deadening Car Door: The Material
Firstly, let’s see what sound deadening materials you need. You may even already have some of these things at home. There isn’t much material that’s needed and the entire cost of this project will be quite low.
There is no need to spend tons of money to soundproof your car doors, you just have to be well informed. If you decide to soundproof your car doors, you will need the following items:
- Self-adhesive sound absorbing tape or mat
- A regular screwdriver
It is highly likely that you already own some kind of a screwdriver, and for this particular situation, any screwdriver is appropriate.
When it comes to self-adhesive sound absorbing tape, you can easily find it in any online store such as Amazon or eBay or in your regular local tool store.
While looking for the best kind of tape, I came across many great options, but I decided to present you with those that have the best customer reviews and are affordable.
Among the options I listed, there are some expensive ones, but you can do a good soundproofing job even without using these expensive sound deadening materials.
The choice depends on you, on your preferences and on how much money you’re willing to spend for this.
The good news is that you might already have all the tools required to sound deaden your car door without any professional help.
However, we are still recommending at least familiarizing ourselves with the necessary tools you will need so you know exactly what to expect.
If you have plenty of space, it would be best if you could prepare all the tools so they’re available once you start working on your car doors. You might not always have the freedom to get up and get the required tools as you might need to unscrew some door parts straight away.
Therefore, here’s a list that will be most important:
- Small pick
- Rubbing alcohol and a soft cloth
- Work gloves
- Utility knife
We are a big fan of screwdrivers that have a magnetic tip since they make screwing and unscrewing of some of the smallest screws simple.
However, even if you don’t have screwdrivers with magnetic tip – we highly recommend finding a plastic box or plastic zip bags to store your screws so they don’t scatter all over your garage.
When it comes down to work gloves, most of you will go for rubber gloves. That’s a decent choice unless you have knit work gloves. These won’t slide across the metal and other material as smoothly which might be useful when you have to hold certain parts of your car doors.
Since most of these tools are pretty much universal – you can replace most of them. If you don’t have a utility knife, you can replace it with scissors or any other sharp object.
If you don’t have a roller, any other long rounded object will help. Now when you know what to prepare, it’s the time to free up your schedule, get your materials & finally get started!
Recommendations for Car Door Sound Absorbing Tape
For instance, you can take a look at this Noico sound deadening mat on Amazon. It’s incredibly cheap – you can purchase it for only around $20. The reviews are all really good, so I think that it’s worth giving it a chance.
If you feel like spending a bit more money for this project, you can check out this Door Kit by Second Skin Audio. It has everything you need to deaden and insulate your car door.
It contains sound dampening mats made of butyl rubber and closed cell foam sheet, plus some tweakers, adhesive and hand roller.
It’s more expensive than the Noico mat, but the kit has a variety of materials to help you do the job right.
If you’re one of those people who believe that the higher price equals higher quality, this is a great choice for you.
They are one of the leading companies when it comes to producing high quality materials for vehicle soundproofing.
There are many different tapes and mats there, but keep in mind that they are quite pricey.
For example, one of the best products they offer is this DynamatXtreme Door Kit. Its price may seem like too much, but Dynamat’s quality has been proven to be the best. Of course, the reviews are great.
A more expensive option is this Extreme DynamatXtreme Bulk Pack Heat & Sound Deadening.
Although it may cost much more, it’s one of the best options you can choose. Its quality is really high and your problem will be solved without a doubt. It’s also more durable, which is why its price is so high.
We have compared some of the common automotive sound dampening mats here:
Sound Deadening Car Doors Step by Step
Once you’ve gathered all the sound deadening material that you need, you can begin soundproofing your car doors.
Before you begin, do remember that although this entire process may seem a bit too complicated, it really is rather easy and anyone can do it with a bit effort. Just follow my advice and you’ll be fine.
Although I do have a lot of experience when it comes to soundproofing, a large number of my friends who I’ve told about this method managed to do it easily and you will too.
Optional Step Zero – Find Your Car’s Manual
Even though this is an optional step – we highly recommend finding your car’s manuals. Often times, car owners will store car manual in the glove storage compartment so have over there.
However, most of the car manuals are available online and all you have to do is a quick search.
The reason for having a car manual is that every car is different – and even if you took car doors apart before, you might not find your way as easily with your car model.
Some of the best car manuals we’ve seen have detailed step by step instructions on how to take doors apart without damaging any of the crucial parts within the doors such as the electrics or automatic window rollers.
If you are more of a visual learner and you can’t find your car’s manual – having a lookup on YouTube for your specific car model is a good idea. There are plenty of videos that show you how to take car doors apart from beginning to end.
Whether you have your manual or not – one thing we highly recommend is to take things slowly without applying a lot of force. This way, you won’t do any damage even if you don’t have a clear idea of how things work within your car doors.
Step one – removing the panel
The first thing you’ll have to do is to remove the door panel. It’s quite easy, you just need a screwdriver and that’s it. All you need to do is follow these steps:
- Unscrew the latch from the door
- Take off the handle
- Unscrew the door panel
- Pull the panel out
Most of the car door panels are covered by pieces of plastic. You can try and guess where they are and pop them, but if you have your car’s manual – you will be able to tell exactly where these pieces of plastic are.
However, don’t use too much force since they can easily break under incorrect pressure.
Also, we highly recommend starting at the bottom of the door panels and moving your way up all the way around the panel.
However, when the panel is off, be careful at removing it since almost every car will have a speaker wire attached to the door panel – which is something you have to remove first before you’re free to completely remove the door panel.
Step two – remove the protective seal
A large number of cars have a protective seal under the door panel.
If your car has one, you should remove it with a razor blade. Just pay attention not to damage the airbag which is located here.
Step three – stick the tape on the panel
Once you have removed the panel and the seal, the time has come to put some self-adhesive tape on the door.
I provided you with a few options, but you should choose the tape that is as thick as possible, because they are better for soundproofing.
Of course, first you have to carefully measure the door and then you can stick the tape on.
We highly recommend preparing the door surface before applying the sound deadening tape onto the metal frame of your doors. If there’s a slight bit of dust of debris, the tape might not stick well and this could cause an inefficient result.
Using a soft clean cloth with or without cleaning alcohol is a great way to make sure everything’s clean before applying the sound deadening tape.
Also, cutting the tape into smaller or larger sizes and different shapes is highly recommended so you ensure you can do the corners well enough. Tape doesn’t need to be applied in one piece – in fact, this could cause more problems down the road.
Step four – check the results
This step is quite obvious – you have to check if all your work was worth it.
All you have to do is simply knock on the door and see if anything happens. If the soundproofing was successful, there will be a huge difference in comparison to the past road noise.
The doors will be a bit heavier, but that won’t really be a problem, since they’ll be soundproof, and that’s more important.
You will be impressed with the results if you’ve done a good job. I was amazed by the results of this project which is why I’ve decided to pass the information on and help you do the same.
Step five – replace the panel
This final fifth step only requires you to replace the panel and put it back in its place.
This shouldn’t be too complicated and once you put the panel back you’re finally finished.
Even though it might seem taking apart is a lot simpler – when it comes down to car doors, we like the assembly part a bit more.
The key is to make sure you don’t forget a single thing such as connecting the speaker wire. This would leave your speaker ineffective which might not be the biggest problem.
The biggest problem would be having to do double work to take panel apart for the second time to correct the mistake.
Preparation & Efficiency is the Key
Being prepared with tools, materials, and knowledge is important. However, no matter how prepared you are – not everyone will move at the same speed.
If you aren’t able to soundproof all of your car doors in one day – that’s totally okay. As long as you keep making progress, you’re working towards the full sound isolation inside your car.
While plenty of people would never give this a try – we’re firm believers that anyone should take action to improve the audio comfort of their surroundings whether it’s a car, a home, or anything else.
With proper instructions, proper care, and the right tools – anything can be done so you shouldn’t stray away from this idea even if you haven’t done it before.
Instead, you should plan accordingly and execute the steps mentioned in this article.
Here’s a list that will help you get prepared and execute the steps efficiently:
- Choose the materials
- Prepare the tools
- Get to the metal of the car door you’re soundproofing
- Apply sound deadening material as instructed (with gloves)
- Smooth out the sound deadening material (with your gloves or a roller)
- Put everything back together and ensure everything’s working properly
You can always come back to this step-by-step guide and we even encourage our readers to read the steps twice so you can visualize the steps and know exactly what needs to be done.
Bookmarking or sharing this post is also a great idea to have it always near you – even when you’re working on your car doors whether you’re on a laptop, tablet, or a phone.
Final Word on Soundproofing Car Doors
I am hopeful that this article will be of great help to you if you plan on soundproofing your car doors.
You’ll see that you really don’t need to be a soundproofing expert or a professional to pull this off, all you need is a bit of effort and that’s it.
The entire project might eventually turn out to be quite fun for you!
It’s really not that expensive and the difference will be enormous.
You will be glad that you chose to soundproof the doors and you’ll see that it’s worth it.
I wish I’d done it earlier! I wish you the best of luck and hope that you will finally get all the silence you need.
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- Removing The Panel
- Remove The Protective Seal
- Stick The Tape On The Panel
- Check The Results
- Replace The Panel