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Toyota Camry Road and Wind Noise

oparroparr Posts: 74
Just traded in a 1997 Camry (4Cyl LE) towards a leased 2009 Camry (4Cyl LE). I drive 52 miles a day on the highway and find the road and wind noise of the 2009 to be something awful compared to the 1997. The 1997 had gone 157,000 miles with el cheapo Goodyear Integritys and the 2009 has Michelin something or the other. Maybe the tire difference can account for the road noise but wind noise and general acoustic
isolation has taken a nose dive over the years IMO. Can anyone shed some light on this?


  • kiawahkiawah Posts: 3,666
    Check to make sure the door windows are sealing correctly and aren't bent. Put a slip of paper across the top of the door jamb, and close the door on it. See if the paper is griped tightly, or whether you can slide the paper up and back. If the paper is gripped tightly, it's good. If the paper can be easily slid out, then the top of the door w/window needs adjusted.
  • oparroparr Posts: 74
    I'll try that. Thanks for the tip.
  • oparroparr Posts: 74
    It passed the paper test. Now convinced what was thought to be wind noise is really road noise from the tires. As I approach 30 MPH it sounds like a fan getting louder and louder, sound is consistent with something rotating and fades smoothly as speed is reduced. This is with fan off and vents closed or open.

    Also, opening a window and listening to reflections from walls and parked cars seems to confirm that the tires are the source of the sound. Tires are Michelin Energy MXV4 S8 with mixed reviews. Road noise above 50 MPH is deafening IMO. Going to take it back to the dealer.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    That's why my '01 F/awd RX300 runs on summer only Bridgestone Turanza tires all year around. Nice and quiet and comfortably riding......

    I also use NAPA SilGlyde on the door seals about once a year.
  • mcdawggmcdawgg Posts: 1,680
    Same tires on my '07 Camry, and they are quiet.
  • oparroparr Posts: 74
    Customer reviews on the MXV4 S8 are mixed in just about every area. Maybe there are QC issues. Mine are far from quiet.
  • 210delray210delray Posts: 4,722
    Are these reviews from Tire Rack? Michelin is probably the best in overall quality control. I have the MXV4 S8 tires on just the rear axle of my '05 Camry and have no complaints or issues.
  • Our new 2010 Camry has severe wind noise, both driver side and passenger side. On visiting our dealer's service department we are told that's normal for this style Camry (since 2006) and there is no repair for it and none planned and we should just learn to live with it. They tell us it is the way this body style funnels the air from the corners of the windshield up a channel and past the front windows. They call it "turbulence" and not wind noise and that there is no air penetrating the cabin. Maybe so, but it is still very annoying.

    We've had a 2002 Camry since 2001 and it has no such defect and we love it. Guess we just assumed that the newer Camry's would have the same or better quality. Not so in regard to this defect. Looks like Toyota would have fixed this problem by now and provided it to the field as a repair kit maybe.

    Yes, we have high expectations of Toyota, but that's what they have built their reputation on, and their vehicles are generally superior. We'd hate to see Toyota now start losing ground as the US makers did over time. That's how they did it. One little defect at a time. Toyota and their Deming concepts know better than to let something like this cause customer dissatisfaction. By the way, neither the new Ford Fusion and Taurus, nor the Buick Lucerne has this problem. Wish there were a better answer for us. We'll have to sell it if we can't learn to "live with it" as suggested.

    We are in touch with Toyota via their Corp. 800-331-4331 number and have a “case #”. They are “researching” the issue. Will keep you posted.
  • 210delray210delray Posts: 4,722
    Sounds like dealer BS to me; I'd recommend test driving one or more other 2009-2010 Camrys to see if there's any difference compared to yours.

    Wind noise though, like water leaks, squeaks, and rattles, is hard to pin down and harder yet to fix. Good luck.
  • smarty666smarty666 Posts: 1,503
    I can't speak for everyone with a 4cyl LE but I test drove a 2010 XLE V6 a few weeks ago and it was quiet at a church mouse in the cabin when I test drove it; the test drive lasted for about 15 minutes and we drove on back roads, US highway, and a interstate during the test drive and it was quiet in all situations; remember though that a 4 cyl engine is always more noisy than a 6cyl and according to consumer guide there is a little more insulation in the XLE which makes it quieter so if someone is looking for a quieter model I'd look into the XLE - just my two cents
  • petras2petras2 Posts: 104
    I rented a 09 4cyl le several weeks ago, drove it several hundred miles at highway speeds and was impressed with the overall quietness.. Recommend you test drive another 09 and compare with yours to rule out any other possible reasons..
  • Ours is an XLE and it is not quite - for sure. Even the dealer service folks agree it's not quite on their test drives - it's wind turbulence and it is designed in according to them.
  • oparroparr Posts: 74
    Based on the car(s) you are already used to. The '09 4 Cyl LE I leased was less refined in just about all areas compared to the '97 4 Cyl LE I turned in. After complaining, one person at the dealership asked me whether that '97 was assembled in Japan and yes it was. Go figure.

    The '09 suffers from more wind, road and rain noise. Yes, rain noise....Heck, it sounds like someone is popping corn during anything beyond a drizzle. However, the road noise is exacerbated by the POS Michelin tires Toyota chose for better MPG.
  • mcdawggmcdawgg Posts: 1,680
    Just about all the reviews vs. other cars in this class show the Camry to be one of the quietest cars in this class.
  • berriberri Posts: 7,965
    The '09 suffers from more wind, road and rain noise

    I haven't really noticed that problem on mine. However, I think they have cheapened up the materials like everyone else.
  • oparroparr Posts: 74
    Take a look at the wonderful acoustic insulation in the trunk. A joke compared to my '97 and my wife's '96.


    Closeup (panning required);
  • Worse still, not only does your Camry have the noise you described but my 2008 Lexus 350 (same body style as the Camry) had the same noise. I was really disappointed that Lexus produced a car that had the noise you described. I tried my best to get rid of the noise and could not do it so I got rid of the car.
  • I'm still looking for people who have experienced wind turbulence on their 2006 -2010 Camry's. My encouragement is to write letters and send emails to Toyota Corp. urging them to look harder at the problem and hopefully create a retrofit to reduce or fix the turbulence issue. It is designed in and no amount of adjustments or new rubber molding is going to fix it. If you hate this problem but love the rest of your Camry, ask Toyota to do something about it. So far all I'm getting is lip service and apologies.. It can be improved if they get enough pressure to do it. Let me know if you need phone numbers and addresses.
  • Sorry to hear that.

    I have not paid attention to this topic before and was pretty much set to buy XLE V6 which I test drove 4 hours ago. After driving on highway 50-70 mph wind noise was so loud on both sides (driver and passenger) that we walked away from the deal at the end and feel very good that we DID so. I really think it has more to do with body shape, mirror location than anything else. It reminded of 1997 Blazer I owned while ago. Oh man, I was glad when that car was gone ....

    The car we were attempting to replace was 2001 Avalon XL with 90K.Super quiet comparing to XLE. You can hear mosquito on the back window when driving.

    I guess it all depends where you are coming from. When I made the transition from Blazer to Avalon, it was like going to heaven. I guess if you own a "blazer" now, you may think this is normal. I definitely do not want to go back ....
  • jefarljefarl Posts: 2
    almost purchased a new 2010 camry XLE today and then lowered the back window and the noise was unbearable at around 25mpg. Either back window or both. Sounded like something was flapping around. If you lower the front window it decreases somewhat. If the rear window(s) is partially open, less of an issue. Salesman said that was caused by the design of the air flow?? tracks or something? Said to drive with windows closed.... ha
    My 2000 camry does not have this issue. Has anyone esle found the problem to be annoying to the max??
  • 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: 74
    >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: 74
    >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?
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