Many new owners of Model 3 are surprised to find out that Tesla’s can be rather noisy, especially when you go beyond the 50 mph mark.
In fact, a Model 3 owner tested the noise in the car with a decibel meter and showed it was 69.27 dB at 55 mph! It only got louder as he hit the gas pedal, reaching 77 dB at 70 mph. That’s crazy! It’s like driving a dishwasher!
But I wasn’t surprised by these noise complaints at all. In fact, I already covered sound deadening tips for Model S which a lot of folks found helpful. In this article I’ll share with you the best tips for sound deadening Model 3 as well so you don’t have to suffer the awful noise at higher speeds any longer.
First notice where the noise is coming from. One type of noise is coming from the road, the other from the wind and other surrounding noise from vehicles.
So you need to improve the sound blocking capabilities of the cabin’s floor, doors and roof with thick sound deadening mats.
The great thing about Tesla cars is that you don’t have to worry about engine noise since it’s an electric, so there’s no need to soundproof the engine area at all. If you notice what sounds like “engine noise”, it’s more likely your HVAC. Turn off the air conditioner and this noise will magically disappear. If not, you could be dealing with a faulty engine, and you should definitely get it checked out by a professional.
Having said that, here are the sound deadening material I recommend and how-to instructions for installing them correctly.
Best sound deadening mats for overall application:
For general application on any vehicle surface, the most reliable products are sound deadening mats. These can be used even in engine areas because they’re resistant to heat. These mats are overall the best ones based on thickness, durability, customer reviews and price:
Noico Sound Deadener (available on Amazon) – Noico has been getting the best reviews for a couple of years now. It’s one of the most affordable sound deadeners for cars but provides almost the same results as Dynamat.
FatMat (available on Amazon) – FatMat is very similar to Noico. Virtually the same thickness, similar design but slightly more expensive. The benefit of FatMat is the installation kit (small knife and roller) that goes along with it. I frequently recommend it because I personally used it in the past and had great results with it.
Dynamat (available on Amazon) – Dynamat is the industry standard, and has been for a very long time. All of these other mats came AFTER Dynamat, so many people still stick to it because of its proven quality. The great thing about Dynamat is the different customized kits, like the door kit which is designed to be easily fit on doors without needing to cut the material into smaller pieces. The downside of Dynamat is the price. Both Noico and FatMat are more affordable.
Mass Loaded Vinyl (available on Amazon) – All three of these sound deadening mats contain mass loaded vinyl. It’s the most popular material for noise reduction in vehicles and the main ingredient of these mats. You can easily get pure mass loaded vinyl and cover a larger area with a thicker material AND for a smaller price. However there are two downsides. First is that MLV in its original form is not self-adhesive, while these professional mats are. So you’d have to spray the area with a spray adhesive and then stick the vinyl onto the surface. This can make it harder to remove the material later on if you choose to do so for whatever reason. Second downside is that it’s thick but not as flexible. So covering smaller nooks and crannies, especially in the doors can be harder when compared with Noico for example.
Either one of these sound deadening mats will reduce noise in your Model 3’s cabin. The more surface you cover, the more you’ll thicken the barrier between yourself and the outside noise. Mass loaded vinyl, which is used in all of these mats, is great at blocking airborne and impact noise. Which means that these mats are meant to protect against all types of sound (road, wind, traffic, rain,vibrations of any kind..) and can be used to improve any surface. In addition to noise reduction, these materials provide decent thermal insulation as well.
There are also some special mats and noise reducing accessories designed specifically for Model 3 and I’ll mention them as we go through each of these areas.
1. Cover the floor
The car cabin floor is the most important area in terms of amplifying road noise. All of those bumps and rattling will resonate on the floor that’s not well covered like a large diaphragm. Luckily, Tesla owners can get special floor mats for their cars that solve this problem.
The one that’s specifically designed for Model 3 is the ToughPRO Model 3 Heavy Duty Floor Mats Set. This mat set is really popular with Model 3 owners for noise and thermal insulation and protects the original floor mat against any spills. It fits perfectly on the floor and provides full, edge-to-edge coverage. There’s no adhesive at all, because it fits well with 1/4 inch high nibs that attach to the floor. It’s also non-skid!
Whether this mat can reduce the noise enough for your person standards is hard to tell. You could definitely add a general self-adhesive sound deadening mat underneath it to provide even more thickness to the floor cabin and get even better results.
2. Cover the doors
Doors can be made thicker by upgrading them with a sound deadener of your choice. It’s in fact the only way to do it.
This is a solid video tutorial made by a Model 3 owner. He covered the inside of the door panel with Dynamat. If you’re going to use Dynamat as well, I suggest getting Dynamat with Door Kit so you don’t have to spend more time than is necessary cutting and reshaping the material to fit it inside:
The second thing you can do is install additional door seals. These will go around the doors and will really help cut down on the wind noise and improve thermal insulation. You will need:
- Universal Car Door Auto Noise Rubber Edge Seal (2 of these)
- Car Door Rubber Seal Z Shape Trim Seal (1 or 2 of these)
Here is a video installation tutorial with the above-mentioned seals:
The measured noise difference after installing the door seals are mentioned in this video.
3. Install the Wind Guard Quiet Seal
Cover these gaps with the Model 3 wind guard quiet seal. This is a soundproof strip made from pure expandable silica gel.
It fits perfectly on Model 3 so no additional cutting or gluing is required. Simply cover the gaps as demonstrated on the product page and it’s done.
3. Cover the roof
After covering the gaps with the quiet seal, you will have far less wind noise to contend with. If you need further improvements, you can always install one the sound deadening mats on the roof as well.
4. Sound deaden the trunk
The trunk is just like the car cabin susceptible to sound resonating from the road. It can definitely impact the car cabin as a whole so covering it with sound deadening material can certainly help. But it’s not as critical as covering the parts of the car cabin that are the closest to you, which is why it’s #4 on the list.
Covering the trunk is pretty easy because it’s a large and easily accessible area. You’ll want to cover the entire are with a sound deadening mat of your choice, including the door and the inside area. Here is a great video tutorial for Model 3:
The product that was used to cover the trunk is Dynamat.
5. Check the tires and suspension
Worn down tires will result in increased road noise. Imagine driving on a bumpy road in a rural area in a low sports car like a Ferrari as opposed to driving on the same road in a Jeep.
Even if we ignore all the other factors, the smooth tires alone will produce awful noise in the Ferrari’s cabin as they move through the bumps.
If your tires are worn down, consider having them replaced. You could also be dealing with suspension or alignment problems. If you encounter any strange noises it’s best to ask a professional to check out the car than take any chances on the road.
Final Word: Sound Deadening Model 3
Noise can be a problem in any vehicle, but Model 3 is especially vulnerable to wind noise. So it’s really important to cover those windshield and roof gaps as well as the gaps around the doors. If you’re also dealing with excessive road noise coming from the tires, thickening the cabin floor will definitely help.
All of these 5 tips that I’ve shared with you are pretty logical and straightforward, and there are plenty of products you can use to get them to work. I’ve suggested the best ones based on my personal experience with soundproofing and the experience of Model 3 owners who’ve achieved great results. Hope this helps!