1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
  2. Dismiss Notice

S Line Road Noise

RDBoon Jul 25, 2019

  1. RDBoon

    RDBoon Registered User

    9
    6
    3
    Hi all, first time poster so be nice.

    Literally just took ownership of a 2015 A3 S Line 2.0 TDI. Absolutely love the car, but I'm finding the road noise, particularly at 70mph on the motorway to be horrendous, I'm trying to live with it, but I'm finding it so bad that it's distracting me from being able to enjoy all the great things about this car.

    It's got 18" wheels on with the standard s line audi rims. I've read that by default these are noisy, but that reducing to 17" would potentially be much quieter, particularly on motorways.

    Has anyone done this? Does anyone think that maybe just a decent tyre change could help without the reduction in size? Are 17" actually 'much' quieter? But probably even more importantly - would 17" look stupid on an s-line designed for 18"?

    Thanks in advance.
     
    lea323ci likes this.
  2. Avatar

    snack-media
    Advertisement


  3. lea323ci

    lea323ci Registered User

    165
    98
    28
    Hi welcome to the forum , I had a similar thing with my 14 plate s line quattro on hankook tyres.
    I replaced them with nearly new set of pirelli tyres that I had a a spare set and the noise was greatly reduced to acceptable level .


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
    Scotty75 likes this.
  4. RDBoon

    RDBoon Registered User

    9
    6
    3
    Awesome response, thank you! I've been reading so many mixed opinions on this. Lots of people saying that it's the tyre not the wheel size that creates the noise, and that changing the tyre could make it better. I would definitely prefer to keep the 18" because they look so good! - It's just frustrating that so many so called car expert sites seem to say you need to reduce wheel size to reduce db.
     
  5. Scotty75

    Scotty75 Well-Known Member Silver Supporter

    1,499
    2,257
    113
    Welcome to ASN. I'd second the tyre change. All tyres havea dB rating so if look for something with let dB.

    Changing from 18 to 17 will change the look and feel off the car so if bit go that way personally. Have you tried selecting a different drive mode like comfort ?
     
  6. RDBoon

    RDBoon Registered User

    9
    6
    3
    Hi Scotty75 - I've tried all the various options from Efficiency to Dynamic etc, but it's bad across all of them. I do a lot of motorway driving, 80 miles a day minimum, and I'm finding that for some reason 60-70 the noise is at its worse, particularly when you come off the gas and the car starts to slow a little. I don't want to change the look drastically, so may just put some decent low db tyres on and see what happens.
     
    Scotty75 likes this.
  7. V6_Man

    V6_Man Moderator Staff Member Moderator VCDS Map User

    6,959
    14,016
    113
    I second @lea323ci and @Scotty75. I have a 14plate 1.4tfsi, which was on 17s and running Michelin PS4s. I actually changed them over to 18s yesterday with ContiSport 5 and for me the noise has reduced slightly on 18s. However, it might be a placebo effect. I haven't done a full motorway journey yet to be able to confirm that this is the case but handling and ride has definitely improved on 18s. Personally, I don't think you should go 17s.

    As Scotty mentioned PS4s have a dB rating of 71 and Contis 72. The only quite tyres you'll find in 18s will be Michelin CrossClimate as they have a dB level below 70, 69 to be precise.
     
    Scotty75 likes this.
  8. Wibbly

    Wibbly Registered User

    409
    201
    43
    The db rating of the tire is external noise I believe, not the level of noise that necessarily gets transferred to the cabin. It may be that smaller rims offer more noise isolation into the cabin (more tyre rubber between road and rim), but there are lots of factors at play here (such as suspension design, sound proofing design, etc).

    I have a 2015 A3 S Line 1.4 on 18" rims (same as yours I presume). I changed to Pirelli P Zero's (not least for their extra rim protection) and road noise was reduced. For all I know it may also simply have been that the new tyres had more tread on them that contributed....
     
    WiKKiD likes this.
  9. Mikeso51

    Mikeso51 Registered User

    246
    100
    43
    As Wibbly says, tyre noise ratings are based on external noise, not internal cabin noise. The test involves driving at 50mph past a microphone 7.5 metres from the car. Important if you’re concerned with environmental noise, but unclear how the numbers relate to cabin noise.
     
  10. RDBoon

    RDBoon Registered User

    9
    6
    3
    Thanks. I've just been to a local tyre garage who have recommended Michelin PS4s! But they've said they have a db rating of 68. I actually have Conti's on at the minute, but not on all four, so we'll see what happens later when they're changed! The ones that are on are pretty worn down to be honest, so they needed replacing anyway, so this will have no doubt contributed. It's costing me a small fortune today so if doesn't improve it I'm going to smash the car to bits and burn the tyres... ;)
     
  11. RDBoon

    RDBoon Registered User

    9
    6
    3
    Interesting, thank you. I'm aware that the db rating is external, I'm just hoping that any reduction in db will have some, even if just slight, change to the noise within the cabin. I'm also hoping that the brand new tyres, with more tread, might help!
     
  12. Avatar

    snack-media
    Advertisement


  13. AlS3BE

    AlS3BE Registered User

    3,328
    1,959
    113
    Noise is subjective.
    Db ratings on a tyre is external noise and really has little to do with internal noise.
    As mentions sound proofing, suspension all plays a part. Different compounds emit different frequencies and dependant on road surface so your soundproofing might be great on one range of frequencies and not other.
    I found the Pirelli noisy as hell on concrete type road surfaces and quiet on tarmac but then it could be just me more sensitive to the frequency it’s producing. My olds Michelin’s ps3 on my last car were quiet the from about 4mm onwards it was noisy.
    Think the quietest tyres I’ve had has been the Dunlop blue response and gave better mpg. It’s an eco tyre though not performance.
    Performance tyres are never gonna be as quiet as non performance tyres as that’s not what they are deigned for. I.e last thing you think about owning a lambo or Ferrari is road noise.
     
  14. V6_Man

    V6_Man Moderator Staff Member Moderator VCDS Map User

    6,959
    14,016
    113
    I agree with @AlS3BE in that noise is subjective. However, I struggle with the idea that the noise ratings are external only and that one would not get the cabin noise even if the db is high. In a border sense the db ratings should be taken as a guide and not a definite.

    I also agree that some tyres will be nosier than others on certain surfaces and there is unlikely going to be a tyre which meets all the criteria. The tyre rubber and tread pattern also plays a massive part on noise levels. Cars with sportier suspensions such as Sline will always produce more noise than a non-sline and this is due to the fact that the car is lowered and sits closer to the ground. A stiffer, lowered chassis means more road noise when the road surface is a bit rough.

    Oh, and then there is an element of Saloons v Sportback and Avant, the latter will always have more noise due to the acoustic resonance generated in the large open space at the back.
     
  15. RichardT

    RichardT Registered User

    2,654
    1,451
    113
    I have Pirelli on my 1.4 saloon since new and I regard it as pretty quiet actually.
    But I do have SE suspension.
    As others have said suspension is a big factor and comfort and performance are not always best friends.
     
  16. RDBoon

    RDBoon Registered User

    9
    6
    3

    Thank you for all your responses, one above particularly. I agree with everything you've said. While I am fully aware that db is an externally measured rating, my admittedly limited understanding of the law of physics would suggest that a tyre making less noise should in theory be therefore sending out less noise in all directions - resulting in a reduction in cabin noise, if even by not very much, but less db is less db, whether it's being measured externally or not. That being said, I appreciate that an S Line chassis will always be noisy, and I further appreciate that tyre tread, make-up and design will all factor heavily, however the noise I was experiencing was beyond what I would expect. I have previously had an Audi A6 Avant S Line, and even with all the space in the back it ran beautifully quiet.

    All this being said, I've just picked my car up from the garage, complete with four new Michelin's on - for all your info, they're Primacy 4 (Car Summer, Rolling Resistance B, Wet Grip A, Noise Performance 68, Noise Class Type 1), and the front and rear tracking all done.

    I have to say, that having just floored it up the dual carriageway a few times, although still somewhat noisy, it is remarkably improved, the noise is nowhere near as unbearable, and I'm back to enjoying the car again.

    Obviously this beggars the question - was it simply that my previous tyres were just too worn? And the answer is very probably yes. But either way, new tyres have made an instantly, recognisable difference to the noise levels.

    And I didn't have to go to 17"! Happy Days!
     
    V6_Man and Scotty75 like this.
  17. Scotty75

    Scotty75 Well-Known Member Silver Supporter

    1,499
    2,257
    113
    Can't beat a good ending Seriously though , glad things are better.
     
  18. AlS3BE

    AlS3BE Registered User

    3,328
    1,959
    113
    There’s your problem. The a6 is a phenomenally comfortable and quiet car. The cabin manages to cocoon you from the outside world and noises so a3 can’t compare not even slightly.
    I had 3 c7 a6 with 18,19,20s and they were all quieter than the s3. A6 is designed for comfort in mind. My last one had the double glazed windows in the front and I could hear the stereo at very low volumes and it didn’t need to work hard to drown out other noises.
     
    V6_Man likes this.
  19. daytonamart

    daytonamart Moderator Staff Member Moderator

    433
    625
    93
    I had the same issue with the 8V, I was running 19's but the noise level was not good at all. Had to get rid of it, the drone was demoralising at 70.

    I put it down to the quality of the sound deadening as I now run an A5 with 19's and it's so much better.

    Interestingly I also run an 2008 C6 A6 Avant on 18's with Landsail tyres on and it's the best of the bunch.

    My conclusion: they don't make 'em like that anymore!
     
    AlS3BE likes this.
  20. RDBoon

    RDBoon Registered User

    9
    6
    3
    Interesting! Shame that it was so bad you felt you needed to get rid. I must confess I was starting to have the same concerns initially which was so frustrating because I'd only just bought it and was loving everything else about it.

    That being said though, the tyre change I had done yesterday has made a massive difference, and I mean massive. I did my usual 80 mile haul up the motorway and back since having them fitted and I can tell you with confidence that it's now no longer an issue at all and I'm absolutely loving the drive. Sure it's never going to be as quiet and refined as an A6, but I think it's a great car, and I think it also does a superb job of wind noise to be fair.

    I've had an A6, but I've also had a brand new Jag XF, Lexus IS and various BMWs in my time, along with various SUVs, so I'm used to larger more refined cars in general, but I really wanted a smaller car, and after setting out initially to get an A Class, I have to say I'm not disappointed at all in my decision to go with the A3 - now that the god awful road hum has stopped making my ears bleed!!

    And I've just changed the alloys and had the windows tinted, and it's beautiful - and yes I am absolutely having a mid-life crisis of sorts ;)
     
    daytonamart and AlS3BE like this.
  21. Mr Tidy

    Mr Tidy Registered User

    46
    12
    8

    Im having similar issues....on the verge of dropping to 17s to try and improve it. Can i ask what tyres you went for..
     
  22. RDBoon

    RDBoon Registered User

    9
    6
    3
    Hi Mr Tidy - I had a whole set of Michelin Primacy 4's. The difference was remarkable. No need to drop to 17's. Glad I did this before opting to go smaller. Don't get me wrong, they didn't come cheap. Think with tracking all round it worked out about £115 per wheel. But to me that was a small price to pay having just spent thousands on a car that was borderline non-drivable.
     
  23. Mr Tidy

    Mr Tidy Registered User

    46
    12
    8
    Thanks for that.
    Im just worried that its a huge amount of money to then find its not the tyres, and in fact just a noisy car :grumpy:

    Ive even looked at having noise deadening fitted....
     
  24. RDBoon

    RDBoon Registered User

    9
    6
    3
    I'm not in a position to tell you it's definitely your tyres, because I'm not an expert on these things and can only go on my own experience. When I bought my A3 I was VERY concerned about the road noise because I was doing a lot of motorway driving and the noise was horrendous. To be fair part of the problem was that a couple of my tyres were very low in tread anyway, so the change of tyres may have reduced the noise for me simply because they were newer. However, all I know is that having fitted the above mentioned tyres, the road noise was instantly, and rather dramatically reduced to a level where now the car is actually a pleasure to drive. As you say, it's a gamble, but surely a more logical gamble than drastic changes such as reducing your entire wheel size?
     
  25. Wibbly

    Wibbly Registered User

    409
    201
    43
    For what it's worth when I changed to 18" P-Zero's (mainly to benefit for the rim protection) the noise, compared with the older tyres on particular surfaces, was much improved.
     
  26. Mr Tidy

    Mr Tidy Registered User

    46
    12
    8
    Well today i swapped the wheels off my wifes audi TT to try on my a3 s line.

    Not everyones cup of tea so bear with me.
    Tt wheels were 225/50/17. I popped them on my a3 and went for a drive...
    The ride was very quiet and smooth, best ive felt on it. I dont want a hard firm ride out my car but i do like the s line style. So i have decided that this is a real possible change for me.

    I realise a 50 series isnt everyones taste but it gives me what i want from the car.
    Whats everyones thoughts
     

Share This Page

Do Not Sell My Personal Information