Customizing a vehicle is not just for car enthusiasts and vehicle collectors. Owning a car is essential to get you from point A to B, almost if not every day. Customization is always a matter of preference, but it wouldn’t hurt to heed the advice of experts.
One of the popular customizations for vehicles is sound dampening or soundproofing. Some people may think that soundproofing a car is a costly but useless expense. But installing a soundproofing material, like mass loaded vinyl, will improve your overall driving experience.
What is Mass Loaded Vinyl?
Also known as MLV, mass loaded vinyl is a popular material used for dampening sound in cars, homes, offices or any place that needs sound insulation. Mass loaded vinyl is a limp vinyl sheet infused with metal particles, which makes it dense and suitable for controlling or dampening sound. Mass loaded vinyl is usually installed by sandwiching it between other substances or materials—the reason why MLV is an excellent option for soundproofing because it adds bulk to ceilings and walls.
Benefits of MLV for Cars
Although mass loaded vinyl is more expensive than other sound-deadening materials, it is also considered one of the most effective, hence its popularity since the 1960s. Here are just some of the benefits of mass loaded vinyl for cars:
- Easy to install due to its flexibility and self-adhesive material
- Not only prevents sounds, but also vibrations
- Keeps the car cool
- Enhances the quality of your car’s sound system
Choosing the Right Mass Loaded Vinyl
It is safe to say that not all mass loaded vinyl are the same. When choosing a mass loaded vinyl to install to your vehicle, you should ensure that you are purchasing a high-quality product. One way to confirm the mass loaded vinyl’s quality is to take a look at the MLV’s STC rating. The higher the Sound Transmission Class (STC) rating, the better the MLV will be able to block or decrease noises.
Mass loaded vinyl’s density is usually between 1 lb to 2 lbs per square feet. However, the recommended thickness is 1 b for vehicles to make it workable around the curves of cars. 1 lb density is also recommended for homes. To obtain this density, you should look for MLVs with a 26 to 28 STC rating.
Another indicator that you are dealing with high-quality mass loaded vinyl is when the material is odorless. MLVs made from cheap recycled materials produce more odor. While you can reduce costs by opting for more affordable MLV options, the efficiency of the product is less compared to high-quality, odorless mass loaded vinyl.
Correct Uses for MLV in the Car
If you are not planning to use MLV over every surface of the car, there are specific areas where you should install it. Here are correct uses for MLV inside the vehicle:
- Windows and Doors
Car doors and windows produce plenty of noise just by opening and closing them. The age of your vehicle also makes car windows and doors prone to creaks as you are driving along bumpy roads. Lubricating the doors and windows of your cars may work but only temporarily. Installing MLV in these areas will help make your ride a smoother and more enjoyable experience.
- In trunks and Under Carpets
Other sources of noise in the vehicle may be coming from your car trunk or under your car matting. Loading things at the back of the truck can cause annoying thumps as you drive along the streets. Noise coming from under the car can be caused by the contact of your tires to the road, pebbles hitting the bottom of your vehicle, and more. The car floor is a big area, so a thick and effective sound barrier like a mass loaded vinyl will do wonders.
- Engine Area
The engine area is one of the leading causes of noise inside the vehicle if you have not yet soundproofed your car. It is not unusual to hear grinding, whirring, or knocking sounds from the engine area, especially if your car is old or not maintained well. But even the most well-maintained vehicles can produce annoying sounds that distract both driver and passengers. soundproofing can be applied at the engine, hood, and dashboard area to block sounds from entering the insides of your car.
Research has shown that loud noises can be detrimental to your health. However, loud sounds while driving may also cause distraction and lead to accidents. Soundproofing your car will let you focus on driving or prevent unnecessary noise that disrupts meaningful conversations inside the vehicle. It is pertinent to choose and utilize an effective sound deadening material to ensure a safe and soundproof journey.