How to Soundproof a Jeep Wrangler (FULL GUIDE)
Many car owners want to soundproof their favorite pet. But did you know that Jeep Wrangler is the only car with SPECIALIZED soundproofing equipment available for purchase? It’s because more people are fed up with the huge amounts of road, wind and engine noise produced by these beasts than any other car!
With the 2018 model bolstering 285 horsepower, it’s bound to create some serious noise in the car cabin. The same is true for any older Jeep Wrangler model.
In this article you can read the most useful tips on soundproofing your own Jeep Wrangler:
1. Insulate the car cabin and trunk floor
Adding sound insulation material on the floor is super important if you want to reduce road noise coming into the cabin. There are dozens of good sound deadening mats that you can use:
- Dynamat (the most popular one)
- FatMat Sound Deadener
- Noico Sound Deadening Mat
I’ve personally only had experience with FatMat, and I know for a fact that it works great. It can be used everywhere in the car, including the engine compartment, trunk, roof and the doors. It’s also the most affordable option if you take the size in consideration. You can read about my experience with FatMat.
Regardless of which material you decide to use, first you’ll need to remove the carpet that is already there from the floor and install these mats directly on the floor. They are all self-adhesive, so there’s no need to use a spray adhesive.
Once you’ve covered the floor with the sound deadening product of your choice, cover it with the regular mat/carpet that was previously in place.
Those are the options that are most commonly used for soundproofing car floors. But the Jute carpet padding has also been mentioned by numerous Jeep Wrangler owners as being really effective, so it’s an option as well. If you decide to use that product, you will also need to use a spray adhesive.
The final option is to use a specialized Jeep Wrangler foam mat designed to reduce noise. Judging by the customer reviews, it’s a great product that has helped many people.
The benefit of this product in comparison to other mats is that it’s already perfectly cut to size for Jeep Wranglers. However, make sure that it has the right dimensions for your Jeep Wrangler before ordering.
The more of the floor area you cover, the better sound insulation you’ll accomplish. Covering the trunk will also help, since the trunk, especially when empty, acts like a large sound diaphragm and vibrates. To prevent this from happening, reinforce it with one of the previously mentioned materials.
Also, you’re not limited to just one layer of sound deadening material. If you want to get better results, you can add an additional layer of material on top of the first one. It WILL bolster your defenses against road noise even further.
2. Use a sailcloth top
A Jeep Wrangler with an open top is a disaster in terms of road and wind noise. Regardless of how well you soundproof the floor, if the top is not covered with thick material, it will let through most of the noise.
To cover the top on your Jeep, I recommend getting a thick sailcloth top. Make sure to get one that fits your year and model. There are 18 different tops to choose from, all available on Amazon for an affordable price.
3. Insulate the side windows
Side windows are another problematic area that requires soundproofing. If you find that wind and road noise are coming through the window, there’s a great product specifically for Jeep Wranglers.
It’s a side windows sound deadening kit, that you can place on the side window area to further insulate it. It not only reduces noise but provides thermal insulation as well.
Since it’s specifically made for Jeep Wranglers, there’s no need for additional measurements or complex installation. When you receive the kit, simply stick the parts on the side windows and you’re done.
4. Replace the windshield gasket
Weatherstrip in your Jeep is responsible for a number of things. Firs of all, it insulates the car from outside weather. That includes water leaks from rain or washing the car, as well as wind noise and rafts.
It also cuts down on road noise by sealing off small but potentially annoying gaps. Especially while driving fast the difference between a fully functioning and worn down weatherstrip can be noticed.
After a period of time, the weatherstrip loses the seal and it doesn’t work as it used to. In that case it’s time to replace it. While you can get regular weatherstripping for cars and use it on your Jeep, there’s always a risk that it won’t fit perfectly.
The part that is especially troublesome when it comes to road noise is the windshield. However, there’s an exact windshield replacement gasket for Jeep Wranglers available. You can check it out on Amazon.
This rubber gasket is installed under the Wrangler windshield. It fits perfectly between the window frame and the Jeep’s body. Installation is simple; to remove the old gasket first remove the 8 screws holding it in place. Then place the new gasket and put those 8 screws back on. Done!
7. Insulate the engine
It would be really hard to completely soundproof an engine of any kind, especially one in a Jeep Wrangler. But insulating it to reduce noise is possible and done frequently.
I’ve already mentioned many products that you can use to insulate your Jeep’s floor. Those same mats can be used to insulate the hood. Simply cover the hood from the inside with FatMat or a different material of your choice.
I recommend using FatMat because I know that it can last in extreme temperatures, making it a safe option for the engine compartment. Others prefer Dynamat. It’s up to you. But make sure that you cover the entire hood to really maximize insulation.
5. Fix a noisy lifter
Lifter is a small cylinder part of the engine. It is attached at the end of the push rod or the rocker arm where it meets the valve. It can start to produce ticking or tapping noise when the engine is turned on.
Here is how the noise typically sounds like. This guy made a video to demonstrate the noise, but he doesn’t offer any solution:
There are a few common reasons why this happens. Usually there is an accumulation of dirt and grime that causes the problem. It could also be that the lifter is worn down and needs to be replaced. Another possible reason is that the sound is coming from a bent push rod. If the push rod is bent it has to be replaced, there’s no other fix.
But the most likely situation is dirt accumulation, which can be easily solved by using an oil additive. Anyhow, if you’re experiencing this problem, you can find all the information to fix it in this article.
6. Install aerodynamic side mirrors
Aerodynamic mirrors can reduce wind and draft noise to a significant extent. Instead of the wind hitting against the side windows and creating that common “schhh” noise while you drive, these mirrors break down the vibration before this happens. They are obviously much better at doing this than regular side mirrors that are usually found on Jeep Wranglers.
Again, there is a direct replacement available specifically for Jeep Wranglers. Unfortunately, these aerodynamic mirror fit only on a Jeep Wrangler JK/JKU (2007-2017). If you have one, you’re in luck! If not, you may have to contact a manufacturer and do more searching for your particular model.
8. Change the tires
The type of tires you use can also affect the level of road noise made by your Jeep. Some tires simply don’t adhere well to the road and cause additional fraction which produces more sound. This can be due to the type of material the tires are made of, their size and also the patterns on the tires.
Tires can make a difference, but which ones are the quietest is hard to know. There is no clear scientific information from the manufacturers themselves about the decibel level each tire makes.
However, I’ve found many user recommendations for quiet tires on this forum thread from other Jeep Wrangler owners. Some features to look for when buying quiet tires are:
- Continuous, circumferential ribs with straight grooves in between.
- Varied tread block shapes that create a multiple pitch pattern.
- Smaller blocks.
- A reinforced shoulder, which stabilizes tread blocks.
- Small hash marks inside the grooves that break up air flow.
- Narrower tire sizes.
- Softer rubber composition.
Click here to learn more about quiet tires.
9. Use earplugs
This is the cheapest and simplest solution to any car noise you can find. Simply pop earplugs into your ears and you won’t hear a thing! However, I advise this as a temporary solution until you soundproof your Wrangler with the methods mentioned above.
The downside of using earplugs while driving is that you can’t hear anything. If there’s a dangerous situation on the road ahead, or there’s a car speeding from one side or the other, you’ll have only your vision to rely on.
The other negative aspect of using earplugs is that you can’t listen to your favorite tunes on the radio. I get bored really fast if there’s no music on. We’re all different, but that’s something to take into consideration.
However, earplugs are definitely helpful for blocking noise. Not only in a car but in any other situation, like when you’re trying to get some sleep but the neighbor is using his chainsaw in the room next door.
The best earplugs to use in vehicles, concerts and other extremely loud areas are Eargasm High Fidelity Earplugs. With over 1900 positive customer reviews and an affordable price, these are definitely a good option. Plus, I never knew earplugs could look cool but these actually do.
10. Fix the noise when turning the steering wheel
Many Jeep Wrangler owners complain about this problem. When they turn the steering wheel, their Jeep makes a creaking, popping or knocking noise. This is a common occurrence, and there are many reasons why it can start happening:
Dry or damaged suspension bushings – if your Jeep is older than a few years, chances are that the bushings have become worn out or even cracked at some part. Driving on bad, bumpy roads can make this happen faster. In this case the only solution is to replace the bushings.
Dry ball joints – ball joints control arms and steering knuckles to adjust to movement. They need to be well lubricated, otherwise they can also start producing squeaking noise or any of the other noises mentioned above. If this is the case, you’ll need to grease them up or allow a mechanic to do it for you.
Damaged power steering pump, rack or belt – in either of these cases, you’ll hear a whining noise. It will be especially loud during low speed turns.
Damaged tie rod ends – tie rod connects the steering system with the wheels. If it’s damaged, you’ll probably hear a knocking sound during low speed turns.
Dry jounce bushing – jounce bushing needs to be lubricated properly or it deteriorates and starts to produce creaking sounds during turns. It’s located at the top of the front strut.
Worn out shocks/struts – Shocks allow you to drive over bumps without bouncing as much. They also make driving more pleasant in general. Jeep Wranglers typically have the gas-filled type. While they’re great at what they do, they get worn down after a period of use. If you notice some fluid on the side of the front shocks, they’re probably blown and have to be replaced. The other sign is that the car feels more loose and bouncy than usual, together with the creaking noise.
Unless you’re a mechanic or someone who’s knowledgeable about fixing cars, letting a mechanic fix your Jeep is the best option for all of these problems.
Yes, Jeep Wranglers are noisier than most cars. They have powerful engines and the cabin is not insulated to any high degree. If you want to reduce the noise coming into your Jeep’s cabin, you’ll need to invest in additional material.
As I’ve mentioned in this article, there are many products designed specifically for insulating Jeep Wranglers. This is no coincidence. These products exist because so many JW owners are using them to upgrade their own vehicles.
I can’t promise complete soundproofing, because that’s too much to ask for with any vehicle, especially a large and loud Jeep Wrangler. But you can definitely cut down on the noise to a significant degree if you follow the steps outlined in this article. Hope this helps!