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Toyota Camry Road and Wind Noise



  • 210delray210delray Posts: 4,722
    Yes, this is common in today's cars, and some owner's manuals even refer to it. It's sometimes referred to as "helicoptering" because of the loud, pulsating sound. The solution is to open the front side window diagonally opposite the open rear window. In physics, the phenomenon is known as the Helmholtz effect, the same kind of resonance if you blow across the top of an empty soda or beer bottle.

    It's not a problem for me, because I never drive with the rear windows open, usually only the sunroof.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    The more and more these vehicles get sealed, double and even triple door seals an the cabin exhauster port minimized, the higher level the helicoptering noise will rise.
  • oparroparr Posts: 61
    >Has anyone esle found the problem to be annoying to the max??

    Not me. Wind noise with a window or windows open is a given IMO. It's wind noise with all windows closed that the OP and subsequent posts were mainly concerned about.

    Furthermore, driving with windows open on a highway may be hazardous for your eyes due to flying pebbles. The windshield of my previous Camry has a fracture from one. I would wear goggles in a convertible with the top down....Seriously!
  • I have Michelin tires and the engine is very quiet. I checked the styrofoam behind the back seats (loosely fitting block) and the styrofoam in the front fenders (see this when doors are opened). The Camry is very quiet on newly asphalted roads, but very noisey on older asphalt and any concrete hiwy. Possibly, the rear fenders are not insulated. A great car other than a rain stick sound in the dash and the noise. Any suggestions on products or fixes? Thanks, Jollygreen1
  • oparroparr Posts: 61
    >The Camry is very quiet on newly asphalted roads, but very noisey
    >on older asphalt and any concrete hiwy.

    Exactly my findings with the 2009 I have. It's the Michelin MXV4 S8 tires. Drive in a parking garage with the front windows down; it sounds like you're at the seashore during rough seas compared to my previous Camry.

    I find those tires also give a very harsh ride at the recommended pressure (32PSI for I-4). One sure way to make a Camry ride like a Corolla. I set mine to 30PSI (recommended for V6). Reduces the road noise too.

    >Any suggestions on products or fixes?

    Change the tires to address the road noise. You don't need tires rated for 179 MPH and losing 1 MPG for tires with higher RR shouldn't be that big a deal. Alternative is installing better acoustic insulation which is a material and labor intensive exercise.
  • Could you tell me what the dealer said about the noise that gets louder and louder inside your car? My toyota does the exact same thing. I hope it is the tires , will be a easy fix.
  • Years ago, a buddy of mine who always drove Lincolns, told me that the quieter a car is - the more noise you hear.

    Sometimes I think he was right.

    ps he drove Lincolns (big) because someone forced him off the road in his small car and about killed him.
  • askaraskar Posts: 1
    I have a 2009 camry and have this problem too, but it has gotten worse in the last 6 months, so I asked a friend who has a 2008 camry, if she had the same problem - she said that she noticed it when she first bought the car - she said that after complaining so much to the service department, they fixed it. Today, I went to the dealership so they could install some parts b/c my car was recalled (accelorator) - I also told them that I had a wind noise on the drivers side window, they acted like they did'nt know what I was talking about, then wanted to charge me $90 to inspect it for a potential problem - I complained to the service manager - so they looked into it for free, then told me they found the problem, and I needed a window run seal which would cost $215. I asked him why I should pay for this when I felt it was a defect with the car - and he said the defect was unlikely, and that it could have been caused by ice or someone trying to get into my car. 1st of all, I keep my car in a garage, & I rarely drive in the snow - much less had ice get on it, & 2nd, I know no one has tried to break into my car, I have an alarm, & as I said earlier my car stays in the garage when I am home.

    If you still have those contact #s, I would appreciate it.
  • I managed to get my camry to around 61.5 dBA (at 70 mph) with a fair amount of work. I am still not 100% happy with the results as the noise level is heavily dependent on the noise of nearby cars. I used quietcar and some peel and seal (cheap dynamat) from Home Depot. The coating was applied multiple times with a brush and I tried to get a thickness of 1.5mm. Here is what I did:

    1) Quietcar in the trunk --- made very little difference to the noise level
    2) Quietcar in the four doors. Made a significant difference. But I noticed that the plastic barrier and thin door panels still let too much noise thru.
    3) I then put the Home Depot insulation to block off the big holes in the metal door. I also put some of this stuff directly on the door panels. This made a huge differnce to the noise and I now think there is no significant noise coming thru my door panels. The doors now close with a beautiful sound too.
    4) Quietcar on the hood. When I had the hood liner removed I noticed huge increase in the wind noise and road noise that came thru the firewall. After I put Quietcar coating on the hood but did not put the hood liner back up the noise was much worse. So that got me thinking that the main noise input into the car is thru the firewall. I had no easy way to put Quietcar coating on either side of the firewall. So I lined the cowl with the peel and seal. This reduced the wind noise significantly.

    On a quiet road (no other traffic) I got a noise of 63 dBA. I did not have the sound level meter before I started all this work so I can't tell you what the noise level was in my car before but I am using a professional sound level meter (not the one from Radio shack) and edmunds has measured the 2007 camry at 68 dBA. The 63 dBA was on original Bridgestone tires. I changed my tires to Michelin Pilot Exalto A/S and got a sound level improvement of 1.5 dB.

    As I said the camry firewall is a bad design and I feel it is letting in most of the wind and road noise. Other people have suggest the windshild may also be at fault. In my testing (I generated white noise outside the car) I tried some experiments to figure out if the windshield was at fault I found more noise coming out of the ventilation system.

    At some stage I would like to get to the firwall and get some Quietcar coating on both sides.
  • jpgrfanjpgrfan Posts: 3
    edited November 2010
    Just bought a 2011 Camry SE a few weeks ago. It is extremely noisy on the highway. My wife and I drove on some roads with new chip seal and the noise level was so high we couldn't even listen to the radio or talk comfortably. The next time we went out for a long ride, we took a dB meter with us that I have used for setting up stereo systems. On the smoothest roads, at 55 mph, AC fan on low and radio off, the SPL was 64-66 dBA. That is pretty nice. But, for many miles, on newer (rough) chip seal, at 70 mph, the level was near 80 dBA. We were on the noisy chip seal for sometimes an hour straight. It was just continuously unbearably loud and fatiguing. I can't believe Toyota would make a Camry like this. It seems it would be unacceptable to them to put their name on a car that is so horribly loud on the road. I complained at the dealer and was told their is no defect and that the car meets the design specs and that they would not do anything to fix/change it.

    So, I've read that the tires can be changed to make it somewhat better. And, there are sound deadening materials that may be employed.

    My wife and I bought the car to travel and are concerned about the effect of noise levels near 80 dBA for extended periods of time. I've seen info that indicates the gov't considers levels above 75 dBA for extended periods of time to be damaging to hearing. Seems that it will be necessary to spend maybe $1000 to make the car safe to drive for long distances.

    Has anyone ever had any luck with Toyota to fix this?
  • oparroparr Posts: 61
    Check the tire pressure.
  • Hi, and thanks! I forgot. I read in some other thread about lowering the tire pressure to (I think) 30 psi. I will try that. Every little bit will help when the noise level is so high on the chip seal we have here. And, there is a lot of new paving, it seems.
  • I let 2 psi out of the tires (down to 30 psi). No change, still extremely loud on the road.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706's decision tree allows you to select tires for quietness. I have found summer only use tires tp be the quietest, BridgeStone Turanzas on top of the list.

    It also helps greatly if you discharge a spray can of undercoating in/on each individual wheelwell liner.
  • ctlctl Posts: 123
    Can only blame the tires. 64-66 dBA on smooth roads, you can hardly find a quieter car under $30K.
  • Our 2010 has Bridgestone Turanzas. Hopefully they are quieter, but I'd hate to hear the noisier tires. Have no experience with others since the car was new with the Turanzas, but the road noise is still horrendous and I still can't figure out Toyota's silence and apathy on this issue.. Great car but not worth the noise.
  • Certainly can't blame the tires. It's totally due to the poor design of the windshield and how the wind turbulence funnels past the front windows. Wish Toyota would listen and change that design for the future. Absolutely nothing changed for the 2011's. Love the car other than the noise. Cars under 20 thousand are even quieter if you test drive some.
  • oparroparr Posts: 61
    Certainly can't blame the tires. It's totally due to the poor design of the windshield and how the wind turbulence funnels past the front windows.

    Tires and acoustic insulation (or lack thereof) for road noise. Winshield and wing mirror placement for wind noise.

    One way to confirm abnormal road noise due to tires is to drive in say a parking garage with the front windows down. That way you hear the tire noise from outside reflected from the walls.
  • I agree. See my earlier post

    "63 dBA was on original Bridgestone tires. I changed my tires to Michelin Pilot Exalto A/S and got a sound level improvement of 1.5 dB".

    So you will get a 1.5 dB noise improvement with the best tire out there.

    I moved to Dallas from Indy and because of Concrete road surface on nearly every road my noise level increased from 61.5dBA to 64 dBA (at 70mph). Rough concrete surface or rough roads does cause more noise to come into the Camry cabin because of the door seals. Now I believe my 2007 Camry had a design fault in the door seals and they have not fixed the issue in the 2011 model.

    So even with a lot of work to get the noise levels down (61.5 dBA on asphalt) the high frequency noise is still annoying. I can't wait to change to a new (quieter) car.
  • Yep, everything you've said and done is what some of us have know for quite awhile. Disappointing that Toyota continues to bury the issue and does nothing for future models. I, like you, am anxious to move on to another brand after I can get rid of my 2010 Camry. I also have a 2002 Camry that I drive every chance I get while leaving the 2010 in the garage.
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