How much does it cost to soundproof my car? This is a very common and important question to many individuals when it comes to final decision. In general, it’s important to understand that soundproofing a car has no standard price, moreover, it is in fact impossible to have a standard price as we’ll explain later. Think of it as a customised product. If you wish to renovate and refurnish your bedroom, no contractor out there would be able to tell you how much it will cost right away – it depends on size, what would you like to do, paint or wallpaper, fake ceiling, lights, what kind of floor and so on. If anyone tells you how much it costs without knowing these factors – you can be pretty sure that it’s going to be either a rip off or a job poorly done without fulfilling your specific needs. Soundproofing a car is exactly the same.
Factor 1: What needs to be done?
The first thing that needs to be done is identification of the key issues. There are over a dozen sources of noise in every car, each with different volume. Segmenting the car into specific areas allows to identify where they key problem areas are, for example – boot, rear floor, front floor, doors, roof, etc. The best way to identify the issue is a quick test drive with a technician trained in hearing and listening for specific noises and their sources and volumes. There are also instruments that measure sound volume pressure and can help significantly in identifying key frequencies.
It is strongly recommended to do this first and get a professional opinion on what really needs to be done. Every car is different and has different noise levels and issues that can be addressed for a much more comfortable driving experience. For example ff your friend that drives Toyota Wish has done soundproofing on doors and tell you all about how great the result was, it doesn’t mean it will be the same result for your Honda Jazz. More so, a Mercedes Benz C200 model 2010 is completely different from same model of 2017. Doing the same thing on two different cars could be a waste of money as the result you gain will be far less than the price you’ve paid.
Factor 2: Car model and size
Cars vary in size drastically, ranging from small Perodua Myvi to a huge Toyota Alphard, the size dictates the amount of materials to be used on soundproofing chosen areas. Alphard’s roof is nearly two and a half times bigger than Myvi’s, you can expect the price to change a fair bit based on that. Aside from the size of the car most models will have some complexity specifics. For example a three-door four-seater Ford Fiesta is a very tough car to soundproof the back floor and the size of it is relatively small. This complexity should not affect price as much, however it will affect the time it takes to get the job done.
Factor 3: Level of solution
There are quite a few soundproofing materials out there. To lay this out briefly, there are 3 types of materials out there:
- Vibration damping – heavy materials, reduce vibration noise
- Sound absorbing – light materials, they absorb airborne noise
- Sound insulating – light materials, they serve as barriers to stop noise passing through
A single layer of material is far from sufficient to achieve the best results, most of the areas require two layers of materials, it is always a vibration damping material first and then either sound absorbing or insulating, depending on the area of the car. If your installer does only one layer of material, which usually is only vibration damping material – you will receive up to 80% of the total weight and cost of two-layer soundproofing but only 55% of the result. Certain areas, for example doors, usually require three layers of materials to be installed, one of each type.
Another key point is the kind of material to be used. Vibration damping materials vary quite a bit in the current market, the important variations to know are the thickness of the material and the absorption factor. Thicker materials have higher absorption than thinner counterparts. At the same time two materials of the same thickness from different manufacturers could have very different absorption coefficients. The ones with higher absorption are more expensive, unless they lack quality. Thicker materials are more expensive as well.
Choice of materials will affect the final result significantly, for example, using higher end materials you may drop the noise level by 8dB, while choosing cheaper materials you may only achieve a 2dB drop – you get what you pay for.
Factor 4: Workmanship and professionalism
The price of soundproofing 99% of the time includes the labour cost that goes into it. A typical full car soundproofing installation could take up to 8-10 hours, depending on the amount of workers, complexity and size of the car. If you are seeing only 1 worker in the shop offering you a good price and promising to complete soundproofing of your four doors in 40 minutes – you can be pretty certain that the results are going to be beyond terrible, perhaps even damaging components or forgetting to re-connect some of the wiring in the process. Professionalism is not only that, but also the knowledge of the installer. If he recommends that you do full car soundproofing with just one thickness of the same vibration damping material – you can be certain that he has no intention to provide you with the best results or lacks expertise in the field. You might wish to check out our article on correct soundproofing techniques for more detailed information.
If you are wondering whether you should bother with soundproofing your car at all – have a look at our article about noise.
If you’d like to get a price estimate on how much it would cost for your car – please drop us your contact and we’ll get back to you within 24 hours!