What is NVH in Automobiles? (Plus 7 Methods to Reduce Them)

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Long drives are an exhilarating adventure, but as the miles stretch, you must consider the level of comfort you and your passengers experience in your vehicle.

While car aesthetics and performance matter, traveling with peace of mind and security is equally important. However, NVH (noise, vibrations, and harshness) can get in the way of a safe and pleasant ride if left unchecked.

As you read on, you’ll learn how NVH in automobiles can affect your long-drive experience. You’ll also discover what these factors mean for your driving experience and how to enhance it.

From tire choices to advanced suspension systems, learn how to achieve smoother, quieter, and more comfortable journeys. So, buckle up as you find out the techniques for elevating your driving comfort.

What is NVH in Automobiles?

NVH stands for noise, vibration, and harshness. In car engineering, NVH represents the measurement and mitigation of excess noise and vibration in a vehicle. The three components of NVH relate to a spectrum of auditory and tactile cues, defining how you hear, feel, and interact with them.


What you hear while driving. These sounds include road, engine, and other mechanical noises audible from the cabin.


What you feel. Vibrations can happen at specific frequencies. You can feel them at various speeds as the car runs through the pedals, floor, armrests, and steering wheel. 


What you are exposed to. This factor gauges the impact of thumps, bumps, noise, and vibration on the vehicle’s cabin and its occupants. Harshness may also refer to the subjective difficulty of hearing unpleasant sounds, whereas noise and vibration are quantitative characteristics.

3 Common Sources of NVH in Automobiles

Understanding where these issues originate is the first step toward addressing them.

1. Aerodynamics

Aerodynamics has a significant effect on a car’s NVH levels. Wind turbulence against the vehicle can make noise and cause vibrations, leading to discomfort. Car manufacturers work on design and insulation to reduce these disturbances for a quieter ride.

2. Electronics

Safety alarms like lane departure warnings can create noise in the vehicle’s cabin. Additionally, power inverters in electric vehicles may emit electrical noise and vibrations, adding to the NVH levels that can disrupt your driving experience.

3. Mechanical

The car’s mechanical parts are the most significant sources of NVH in the automobile. Your automobile’s wheel, shocks, and suspension system directly affect its level of vibrations and harshness.

Meanwhile, engine and road noise are the two most prominent noises in the cabin. Many car manufacturers invest in sound deadening, insulation materials, and high-quality, comfortable tires to alleviate these factors.  

7 Car NVH Reduction Tips

While NVH issues are common in vehicles, there are effective ways to reduce them. Here are some helpful tips for a quieter and more comfortable ride.

1. Replace rubber gaskets on doors and windows

Rubber gaskets around doors and windows can deteriorate over time, allowing noise and vibrations to seep into the car cabin. Replace worn gaskets with new, high-quality seals to help maintain insulation and minimize the entry of external disturbances.

2. Fit better insulation inside the car

Insulation doesn’t only mean keeping you warm during travel. High-quality insulation can create a quieter and more comfortable driving environment. Consider using materials like mass-loaded vinyl, acoustic foams, or spray-on insulation in crucial areas to adequately dampen external noise and vibrations. 

3. Place sound-deadening mats on the car floor

Sound-deadening mats absorb noise and vibrations using dense materials that help transform sound and impact into heat energy. These mats help minimize the noise of uneven road surfaces, enhancing cabin comfort.

4. Upgrade your suspension system

A well-maintained and upgraded suspension system can vastly improve ride comfort by absorbing shocks and vibrations from the road. Excellent suspension is essential if you’re driving off-road or in areas where the streets aren’t smooth. Consider choosing advanced suspension components like shock absorbers and struts designed for a smoother ride.

5. Keep the engine in tip-top shape

Proper engine maintenance not only ensures optimal performance but also reduces engine-related noise and vibrations. Regular servicing, including oil changes, air filter replacement, and component checks, helps keep the engine running smoothly and quietly. 

Likewise, excellent engine condition improves comfort and safety, so routine inspections are vital. Engine mounts in good condition also play a crucial role in minimizing vibrations.

6. Install quieter mufflers

Mufflers (or a lack thereof) can cause excessive noise outside the vehicle. Unfortunately, these noises can also creep inside the cabin, requiring quieter mufflers to reduce exhaust noise. 

7. Get tires geared toward comfort

Tires are the only part of the vehicle in contact with the road. Hence, investing in quality tires can help alleviate vibrations from the road and reduce road noise.

When choosing tires for a quieter ride, opt for those designed to absorb road vibrations and noises. High-traction tires, such as TR-256 Sportex, provide excellent grip in wet conditions and utilize noise-reducing technologies and tread patterns. These mechanisms counter the sounds generated as the tires make contact and create friction with the road.

Steer Toward Serenity and Embrace a Quieter, More Comfortable Drive

While a noiseless drive may seem impossible, small changes can bring NVH levels down to the point of no detection. You can achieve this in your vehicle by replacing gaskets, enhancing insulation, and employing sound-deadening solutions. Plus, the right quality tires for comfort can make a world of difference.

To help enhance your driving experience with high-quality tires, check out Triangle Tires. We offer tires suitable for various vehicles at affordable prices. Browse our tire catalog, or reach out to us for your tire needs.

Triangle Tires are designed to provide better handling and maximum fuel efficiency for your truck or passenger car.
Mikha Dela Cruz
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