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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi. I've noticed more road noise than I'd prefer, particularly from the tire areas. I'd like to install some sound deadening material in the inner wheel wells. If anyone has already done this, I'd appreciate any advice you might be able to offer. Also, pictures/videos, if available, would be appreciated.

In checking the decibel readings, on my area highway, at speed, regardless of the front seat area, middle seat area or rear storage area, the decibel reading averaged 75, with little deviation between location. For a "luxury" car, IMO, to me this seems excessive.

My tires are 255/40/R19. They are Continential ProContact AS. I realize the tires are probably the primary source of the road noise, particularly due to their width and being low-profile. However, my current tires only have 16K miles on them and are only lightly worn, so I won't be replacing them for a while. Eventually, when it's time to replace, I'll probably go with Michelins, which I've used in the past with success, since they have suited my needs for comfort, quietness and gas mileage.

Any advice you can offer me would be greatly appreciated.

PS: I realize to fully address this issue would require applying the sound deadening material to the doors as well as the floor and interior panels. However, this is something that I'd prefer not to do, particularly since it would be stretching my DIY skills. I feel more comfortable in just addressing the inner wheel wells.
 

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I have not done it on a V90 but have done it on several other cars. It would involve removing all the seats, door sills, kick panels, carpet and any pad. You are right, not for the faint of heart. It is a good two day project and care must be taken with airbags as they can be activated quite easily by mistake.
I did a 2014 XC70 from firewall to tailgate. Took four days as I ran wiring and cable for speakers, amps, etc. completely worth it. I did door interiors as well, that’s a whole other project. It all depends on how long you will keep car, how much you value quiet etc. while fender liners etc help, they are not adhered to sheet metal. If they aren’t adhered they will not dampen resonance. The labor involved is substantial and that is why a hi end car audio system is so expensive. My 2017 S550 sedan is very very quiet but Mercedes’ goes nuts about sound control, one reason the car cost 118k.
I will be doing insulation in my V90CC next winter when I do an audio upgrade. I will do it all myself, Focal, Audison and JL TWK. I am in no rush as Volvo is not my daily driver.
 

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2020 V90 Inscription T6 (all options except upgrade stereo and rear wheel air suspension)
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I have not done it on a V90 but have done it on several other cars. It would involve removing all the seats, door sills, kick panels, carpet and any pad. You are right, not for the faint of heart. It is a good two day project and care must be taken with airbags as they can be activated quite easily by mistake.
I did a 2014 XC70 from firewall to tailgate. Took four days as I ran wiring and cable for speakers, amps, etc. completely worth it. I did door interiors as well, that’s a whole other project. It all depends on how long you will keep car, how much you value quiet etc. while fender liners etc help, they are not adhered to sheet metal. If they aren’t adhered they will not dampen resonance. The labor involved is substantial and that is why a hi end car audio system is so expensive. My 2017 S550 sedan is very very quiet but Mercedes’ goes nuts about sound control, one reason the car cost 118k.
I will be doing insulation in my V90CC next winter when I do an audio upgrade. I will do it all myself, Focal, Audison and JL TWK. I am in no rush as Volvo is not my daily driver.
" It all depends on how long you will keep car, how much you value quiet etc. while fender liners etc help, they are not adhered to sheet metal. If they aren’t adhered they will not dampen resonance."

Reply: I bought my factory ordered V in June of 2020 and intend to keep it for at least 10 years. If I were to remove the inner fenders, isn't there sheet metal behind it that I can stick the sound deadening insulation to?

If it's not feasible or practical to just insulate the inner fender wheel wells, then I may just hasten my tire replacement.
 

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Maybe look for an acoustic tire (acoustic foam issues notwithstanding) or consider downsizing to 18" wheels if that's possible on your car.

Going to 18's would give you the ability to maybe go with a slightly narrower tire with a taller sidewall, which would make the car quieter. Look for some new car take-offs that are advertised on Ebay from time to time.
 

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Personally I wouldnt put less rubber/contact patch on a car to make it quieter. I had a 2017 VW Alltrack that was noisy, turns out there was carpet ONLY from rear seat all the way back. I took out seats, carpet etc. and insulated, soundproofed entire rear of car. Even my wife noticed the difference immediately. To do the deadening and insulation isnt' terribly difficult, just requires patience and methodical disassembly and reassembly. Of course it helps to have another car to drive while you are working on your Volvo:)
 

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2020 V90 Inscription T6 (all options except upgrade stereo and rear wheel air suspension)
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Personally I wouldnt put less rubber/contact patch on a car to make it quieter.
At the earliest opportunity, I switch to either Michelin's Primacy or CrossClimate tire, from my factory Continental Procontact TX, and keep 255/40R19. IMO, the tire, itself, may offer a big improvement/reduction on road noise, as well as ride comfort. Others may differ with my opinion, but this has been my experience over the years.

Once I change the tires, I'll consider all other sound deadening suggestions, based on my DIY skills. Thanks for your feedback.
 

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You'd just may want to make sure whatever tire you opt for has good noise ratings. I don't know if you've measured the tread depth of your current tires but many tires get noisy as they age. Your alignment may be out as well and the tires are cupped or feathered.

Additionally, tire cavity resonance noise is a battle that all manufacturers are trying to address. It may be more of an issue with the tires that are on the car now.

From an acoustic standpoint the V90 already has two strikes against it based on it being a large wagon with a glass roof so any sound that gets into the large cabin is exacerbated. To me, 40 series tires on a highway cruiser like this are not appropriate - I've test driven a few of these cars and found it objectionable on a luxury car.

I'd rather address the source of the noise (the tires) than just covering it up and hopefully you wouldn't introduce new rattles and noises by disassembling the interior of the car to install insulation.
 

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You'd just may want to make sure whatever tire you opt for has good noise ratings. I don't know if you've measured the tread depth of your current tires but many tires get noisy as they age. Your alignment may be out as well and the tires are cupped or feathered.

Additionally, tire cavity resonance noise is a battle that all manufacturers are trying to address. It may be more of an issue with the tires that are on the car now.

From an acoustic standpoint the V90 already has two strikes against it based on it being a large wagon with a glass roof so any sound that gets into the large cabin is exacerbated. To me, 40 series tires on a highway cruiser like this are not appropriate - I've test driven a few of these cars and found it objectionable on a luxury car.

I'd rather address the source of the noise (the tires) than just covering it up and hopefully you wouldn't introduce new rattles and noises by disassembling the interior of the car to install insulation.
Wayne has an excellent point about tire choices as far as noise ratings go I have been a passenger in a Mercedes S63 sedan and it IS noiser than mine 35 series tires don't help. And I certainly have windnoise through my pano roof on my V90 face it it is just a piece of glass, It does help to keep sunscreen closed. I NEVER open my sunroof NOR die I retarct the cover. I wish I could have gotten the car without any sunroof at all.
 

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At the earliest opportunity, I switch to either Michelin's Primacy or CrossClimate tire, from my factory Continental Procontact TX, and keep 255/40R19. IMO, the tire, itself, may offer a big improvement/reduction on road noise, as well as ride comfort. Others may differ with my opinion, but this has been my experience over the years.

Once I change the tires, I'll consider all other sound deadening suggestions, based on my DIY skills. Thanks for your feedback.
Pirelli released the P7 AS Plus 3 recently and comes in the 255/40R19 XL size for your V90. The reviews in tirerack seems to be what you are looking for.


Pirelli P7 AS Plus 3 (Grand Touring All-Season)
  • What We Liked: Luxurious on-road manners combined with satisfying light snow performance.
  • What We'd Improve: It could use a slight bump in wet traction.
  • Conclusion: A balanced package, packed with personality.
Direct Quote:

"To compete with the best, the Assurance ComfortDrive and the Pirelli P7 AS Plus 3 needed to match or at least make minimal compromises in ride and noise quality compared to our two benchmarks to lay the groundwork for their success. The Pirelli P7 AS Plus 3 not only met, but exceeded its competition in just about every subjective metric. The Pirelli delivered an exceptional on-road performance with impressive subjective noise scores our team couldn't help but anecdotally compare to standouts from previous testing. Over smooth pavement, the tire's interaction with the road was almost imperceptible with coarser surfaces only creating low-volume, medium-pitched, consistent tones. Ride quality from the Pirelli also proved to lead the group by a solid margin with good motion control and excellent impact isolation over small, medium and even larger imperfections. Steering feel rounded out the well-executed, on-road performance with a mostly precise and responsive feel that could have used a little more firmness and off-axis resistance, but overall was well-liked by our team."
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
You'd just may want to make sure whatever tire you opt for has good noise ratings. I don't know if you've measured the tread depth of your current tires but many tires get noisy as they age. Your alignment may be out as well and the tires are cupped or feathered.

REPLY: Agree about checking the noise ratings. The Michelin CrossClimate2 and Primacy tires I'm considering have very good reviews from Tirerack for comfort and noise. However, my current Continental ProContact TX tires have very poor reviews for this. Regarding current tread depth, the wear is minimal, but I've noticed that the road noise has increased, over time, as the tires have aged. Alignment is ok.

From an acoustic standpoint the V90 already has two strikes against it based on it being a large wagon with a glass roof so any sound that gets into the large cabin is exacerbated. To me, 40 series tires on a highway cruiser like this are not appropriate - I've test driven a few of these cars and found it objectionable on a luxury car.

REPLY: I took a 125 test drive in a fully optioned 2019 MB E-450 Estate Wagon before deciding to factory order my 2020 V90. It too was a wagon and had a large glass roof. However, the E-450 was exceptionally quiet and one could hear another in the car at a whisper. The wide/run-flat tires in the E-450 were comparable in size to that on the V90, yet almost no tire noise was detected. My guess is that Volvo just doesn't have the same degree of sound insulation as other "luxury" car brands, and the V's comparatively stiffer suspension may also be a contributing factor.

I'd rather address the source of the noise (the tires) than just covering it up and hopefully you wouldn't introduce new rattles and noises by disassembling the interior of the car to install insulation.

REPLY: Agree. I plan to change the tires, first, and then see if the road noise decreases.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Pirelli released the P7 AS Plus 3 recently and comes in the 255/40R19 XL size for your V90. The reviews in tirerack seems to be what you are looking for.


Pirelli P7 AS Plus 3 (Grand Touring All-Season)
  • What We Liked: Luxurious on-road manners combined with satisfying light snow performance.
  • What We'd Improve: It could use a slight bump in wet traction.
  • Conclusion: A balanced package, packed with personality.
Direct Quote:

"To compete with the best, the Assurance ComfortDrive and the Pirelli P7 AS Plus 3 needed to match or at least make minimal compromises in ride and noise quality compared to our two benchmarks to lay the groundwork for their success. The Pirelli P7 AS Plus 3 not only met, but exceeded its competition in just about every subjective metric. The Pirelli delivered an exceptional on-road performance with impressive subjective noise scores our team couldn't help but anecdotally compare to standouts from previous testing. Over smooth pavement, the tire's interaction with the road was almost imperceptible with coarser surfaces only creating low-volume, medium-pitched, consistent tones. Ride quality from the Pirelli also proved to lead the group by a solid margin with good motion control and excellent impact isolation over small, medium and even larger imperfections. Steering feel rounded out the well-executed, on-road performance with a mostly precise and responsive feel that could have used a little more firmness and off-axis resistance, but overall was well-liked by our team."
REPLY: P7 AS Plus 3 Tires: Not sure where the Tirerack survey results come from, but the CrossClimate2 had over 3 million reviews and the Primacy had almost 800K reviews. The Tirerack comments concerning the P7 are probably just from their testing. From my personal experience, having purchased Pirelli's in the past, they were noisier than I liked, produced a firmer ride and reduced gas mileage.

My personal experience with Michelins is that they typically provide a softer and quieter ride, while (at least) not harming mpg (although I do have some mpg and road noise concerns with the CrossClimate2, in-spite of its good reviews).

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@maggs it's a very new tire that was recently released. That's why they have projections so far. And at the end of the day, go with your experience and your intuition. For the most part Tire Rack testing/reviews have been a good baseline for me to go by.
 
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Pirelli released the P7 AS Plus 3 recently and comes in the 255/40R19 XL size for your V90. The reviews in tirerack seems to be what you are looking for.


Pirelli P7 AS Plus 3 (Grand Touring All-Season)
  • What We Liked: Luxurious on-road manners combined with satisfying light snow performance.
  • What We'd Improve: It could use a slight bump in wet traction.
  • Conclusion: A balanced package, packed with personality.
Direct Quote:

"To compete with the best, the Assurance ComfortDrive and the Pirelli P7 AS Plus 3 needed to match or at least make minimal compromises in ride and noise quality compared to our two benchmarks to lay the groundwork for their success. The Pirelli P7 AS Plus 3 not only met, but exceeded its competition in just about every subjective metric. The Pirelli delivered an exceptional on-road performance with impressive subjective noise scores our team couldn't help but anecdotally compare to standouts from previous testing. Over smooth pavement, the tire's interaction with the road was almost imperceptible with coarser surfaces only creating low-volume, medium-pitched, consistent tones. Ride quality from the Pirelli also proved to lead the group by a solid margin with good motion control and excellent impact isolation over small, medium and even larger imperfections. Steering feel rounded out the well-executed, on-road performance with a mostly precise and responsive feel that could have used a little more firmness and off-axis resistance, but overall was well-liked by our team."
I bought the Pirelli P7 AS Plus 2 for my S90 mostly because of positive test results from Tire Tack. Unfortunately, they are louder and have more noise on road surfaces than my Conti ProContacts with 4/32 depth.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I bought the Pirelli P7 AS Plus 2 for my S90 mostly because of positive test results from Tire Tack. Unfortunately, they are louder and have more noise on road surfaces than my Conti ProContacts with 4/32 depth.
More noise than the ProContacts, which are already very noisy! In a way, I'm not surprised, at least based on my personal Pirelli experience.
 

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REPLY: I took a 125 test drive in a fully optioned 2019 MB E-450 Estate Wagon before deciding to factory order my 2020 V90. It too was a wagon and had a large glass roof. However, the E-450 was exceptionally quiet and one could hear another in the car at a whisper. The wide/run-flat tires in the E-450 were comparable in size to that on the V90, yet almost no tire noise was detected. My guess is that Volvo just doesn't have the same degree of sound insulation as other "luxury" car brands, and the V's comparatively stiffer suspension may also be a contributing factor.

I love Volvo's - been driving them for over 40 years - have owned them for the better part of 30 years. Two areas where they've made significant improvement over the years is NVH and suspension tuning. That said, there's more work to be done.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 · (Edited)
I love Volvo's - been driving them for over 40 years - have owned them for the better part of 30 years. Two areas where they've made significant improvement over the years is NVH and suspension tuning. That said, there's more work to be done.
Agree. I really like my V90, as well, particularly regarding the exceptionally support and comfortable seats. IMO, the seats in my V90 are comparable in comfort and support to those in a MB S-Class, and second to none. With surgically repaired backs, both my wife and I have come to really appreciate the seats, particularly in our frequent 5+ hour drives to New England from our home in NJ.

With this said, I feel there is room for Volvo to work on suspension and sound deadening.
 

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Agree. I really like my V90, as well, particularly regarding the exceptionally support and comfortable seats. IMO, the seats in my V90 are comparable in comfort and support to those in a MB S-Class, and second to none. With surgically repaired backs, both my wife and I have come to really appreciate the seats, particularly in our frequent 5+ hour drives to New England from our home in NJ.

With this said, I feel there is room for Volvo to work on suspension and sound deadening.
Sometimes the sound deadening is something we need to have a hand in! The spare tire well just has a foam liner in it. I applied CDL, foam isolation followed by a layer of MLV. I will be doing entire floor and door skins as I proceed with audio system upgrade. Right now my biggest noise source is my tires!
Hood Black Automotive tire Font Bumper

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Sumfuncomet, with the rear storage area sound deadening sheets applied, have you seen much of a difference in the interior sound level?

I agree, at least with my car (255/40/R19) that there's a lot of sound coming from the tires, particularly on concrete and rough tarred road surfaces. When it's time to replace my OEM Conti ProContact tires, which have the supposed sound deadening foam within it, I plan to go with Michelin Primacy All-Season tires. I'm a Michelin fan, and have had them on all of my cars for years. TireRack.com ratings are very high for this tire, particularly for quiet ride and comfort, plus the vast majority of buyers would buy this tire again. The OEM Contis are just middle-of-the-road tires, and Tirerack.com customer feedback indicates that less than half with these tires would replace them with Contis, again.
 

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I have not noticed and I really don’t expect to notice until it is all done. I am removing door inner panel and door glass in order to fully dampen all four doors. This will make the most difference for my audio upgrade. New three ways up front, new two ways in rear. 10” sub in factory sub location. Center channel from wrecked XC90, all driven by a 10 channel Match UP10 DSP amp combo. I am a music person and a clean accurate system is a must!
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I have not noticed and I really don’t expect to notice until it is all done. I am removing door inner panel and door glass in order to fully dampen all four doors. This will make the most difference for my audio upgrade. New three ways up front, new two ways in rear. 10” sub in factory sub location. Center channel from wrecked XC90, all driven by a 10 channel Match UP10 DSP amp combo. I am a music person and a clean accurate system is a must!
When you've finalized the laying of all of the sound deadening sheets, would you mind listing what you purchased and where it was placed? There is so much sound deadening material in the marketplace that I'm not sure what to purchase, nor how best to apply it. From the little I've researched, it's not the thickness of the material that matters, but rather the type of material used and how its affixed to the various surfaces. Just curious, as you work to complete your work, have you considered purchasing and applying sound deadening material to the OUTSIDE of the inner fender (facing the tire, as opposed to partially pulling the inner fender and applying sound deadening material to the inside)? I'm looking for as easy way as possible, that actually works, to reduce tire road noise. I plan to replace my OEM Conti ProContacts with Michelin Primacy tires in the near future. Good luck with your project.
 
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