You might have a new pair of tires mounted and suddenly notice more noise coming from the wheels. The noise might be disconcerting while driving.
But there is no reason to worry.
Depending on the type of tread and rubber used in the tires, new ones might be louder than old ones.
But not always.
Quick Answer: Are new tires louder or quieter?
Whether the new tires on your car make more or less noise depends on how well the tread patterns match on all four tires. Different types of tread could counteract one another and create a noisier tire. When the tire treads are identical, the amount of noise should be lessened.
Does age affect how noisy tires are?
Age can make a difference in how much noise your tires make. That is because they would wear unevenly. Uneven wear and tear create differences in the tread that can become noticeable through increased tire noise.
If you maintain your tires properly, the wear and tear should be roughly equal. That means your tires create about the same level of tire noise while you are driving.
But if you neglect your tires and the tread wears unevenly between all four tires, you could hear quite a bit more noise coming from the wheels. Tires could suffer damage from road hazards or when you run them longer with unequal air pressures.
If the alignment is out of adjustment or your tires suffer damage from road hazards, you could notice a lot more noise on older tires than when you are driving on new tires.
Newer tires generally are quieter than older tires.
That is because they typically have better matching tire treads.
But you might mount two tires on the back that have a different tread pattern than the tires on the front. That could create more tire noise due to differences in tread pattern and rubber compounds. It also could affect how much noise they make on different types of road surfaces.
Tire age definitely makes a difference in how much noise is made. Aged tires generally are noisier – but not always.
Do new tires have to break in?
New tires often have a short break-in period before they enable you to obtain the best possible traction. Tires have a very thin layer of material that is a byproduct of the manufacturing process that fuses rubber and petroleum products to create the ideal tire compound.
The outer surface also has a thin and protective layer that helps to preserve the tires while they are in storage. Until they are mounted on wheels and put on the road, they need general protection from the elements.
Once you have new tires mounted, they need to travel a few miles before the thin protective layer wears off. Once it is gone, you have better traction and handling from the tires.
About 50 miles or so of driving should wear off the outer layer.
Until it is gone, you could experience minor issues with traction on wet or cold roads. But once your tires are broken in, they will give you the best service and the quietest ride.
Like on cold mornings
It is very similar to driving on a cold morning. Cold tires do not give you nearly as much traction as warm tires. But they warm up quickly while you are driving.
If you are running cold tires in the morning, they are more prone to losing traction. They also are more likely to create tire noise that could dissipate as they warm up while you are driving.
So, whether you have new tires or old ones mounted, you always need to warm them up when you first start driving on cold mornings. Likewise, you need to allow new tires to break in before they can give you the best traction and handling.
The break-in period that lasts only about 50 miles also could help to make the new tires run more quietly. It helps to fully expose the rubber compound and tread. And it helps to create a better contact patch with the road surface.
Do new tires make a humming noise?
New tires could make a humming noise that is especially noticeable during the break-in period. But that humming noise should not last and often does not get made at all.
Humming sounds happen when one or more of the wheels on your car are not spinning correctly. The problem might be due to uneven tire wear, which should not be an issue with new tires.
Many other potential factors could cause new tires to make a humming noise. You can control some of the factors more than others.
The potential factors include tread patterns and rubber compounds used in your car’s tires.
If you have different sets of tires mounted to your wheels, the different tread patterns could result in subtle differences in rotation and RPMs for individual wheels and tires.
And that could create a humming noise.
It always helps when you can use the exact same tire brand, model, and size when you get new ones mounted. The more your tires match, the less noise they should make while you are driving.
Check alignment and balancing
Humming noises also could be due to the way in which the tires are mounted to your vehicle. The tires must be balanced and the wheels aligned to get the best results.
When one or more wheels are out of alignment, a humming sound could occur. Uneven tire wear also could be the culprit.
Regular tire and wheel maintenance can help to prevent that from happening.
The type of road surface upon which you are driving can make a big difference in the humming noise. You likely have noticed that you get different sounds from beneath your car when you drive on different types of road surfaces on the freeway.
And you might have driven through a road-testing area where different compounds and types of road surfaces are under study. Those are examples of roadway surfaces causing different noises, including humming noise.
Are new tires supposed to squeak?
The break-in period for new tires might include some squeaking sounds coming from the wheels. That sound might be especially pronounced while in a parking garage.
The new tires could create some squeaking sounds while going through a brief break-in period. But the squeaking should not last long. Some surfaces are more prone to squeaking noise, though.
A very smooth and relatively slick concrete surface could cause squeaking or squealing sounds when you turn the wheels.
A parking garage with smooth and relatively polished concrete will enable your tires to create a squeaking noise while turning.
While that sound can be very annoying, it usually does not indicate a problem with your tires or wheels.
If you do hear a prolonged amount of squeaking while driving, an alignment check might identify a misalignment or a suspension part that is damaged.
Why do my new tires sound like a helicopter?
You might hear a rhythmic thumping sound that could remind you of the noise that a helicopter creates with its main rotor. That usually is the sound of a tire that has a problem.
The problem might be low air pressure caused by a nail or something else that is letting air out of your tire. It might be an imbalanced tire that lost a balancer weight or was not mounted properly.
It might be tread separation or another serious problem caused by a road hazard.
Whatever the situation might be, a helicopter sound is not a good one to hear while you are driving.
You should check the air pressure and top off any low tires while visually inspecting them for obvious damage. You also should take your car in for a balance and rotation service that could correct the problem. If a badly damaged tire is the problem, you will need to replace it.