Cringe! The unmistakable sound of noisy tires. They sound as if they’re chewing up the pavement rolling past your car. These aggressive looking, oversized noisemakers are frequently found on lifted trucks designated for off road antics; however, the asphalt chewing sound occasionally will be heard from a lovely family sedan outfitted with the wrong tires.

Go Tire explains what causes loud tires, how to choose the right tires for your ride, and shows you what to look for in a tire.

What causes loud tires

The reason for the racket is the passenger vehicle has been fitted with the wrong tires for their job — like wearing construction boots with a tuxedo. Noise is generated by the tread pattern, grooves and positioning of the tread blocks.That noise is caused by air passing through the tread blocks — the raised portion of the tread responsible for traction — and vibrating against the road surface.

How to choose the right tires for your vehicle

There are two ways to make an informed choice about which tires are the best for your vehicle and driving needs:

  1. Spend hours on forums trying to learn which tire is the best for your vehicle
  2. Ask a certified tire technician, like the professionals at Go Tire Mobile Tire Service for a recommendation. Go Tire installs thousands of tires and has direct experience with hundreds of tire brands and styles.

What to look for in a tire

Wide voids in the tread of the now discontinued Michelin Hydro Edge tire effectively dispersed water, but were quite noisy.

Wide voids in the tread of the now discontinued Michelin Hydro Edge tire effectively dispersed water, but were quite noisy.

Let’s start by taking a look at a good, very popular, but noisy tire, which is no longer available. Notice the wide voids in the tread. The voids were designed to evacuate water, which they did very well. Unfortunately, the biggest complaint of this tire was that they were noisy. The complaint was typically on smaller cars, but the overall ratings for being quiet were below average and not what you would expect.

Circumferential grooves around the tread of the Michelin Defender tire improve performance on wet roads without the added noise.

Circumferential grooves around the tread of the Michelin Defender tire improve performance on wet roads without the added noise.


This tire was replaced by an average looking tire with straight circumferential grooves around the tread. It performs better on wet roads, but without the added noise from wide voids in the tread. Many manufacturers are adopting this tread pattern to evacuate the water through the rear of the tread instead of trying to push it out the sides. You will find that most of these tires get good reviews for delivering a quiet ride and comfort as well.

Thanks to technological advances in the tire industry, drivers can experience modern looks, great performance, and a quiet ride.

Thanks to technological advances in the tire industry, drivers can experience modern looks, great performance, and a quiet ride. Pictured: Toyo Open Country RT


Finally, a number of tire manufacturers are using steps and symmetrical sloping edges called chamfers in the grooves to to reduce noise by disrupting airflow without sacrificing performance. Multiple sized tread blocks and specific positioning around the tire help to reduce noise caused by treads. Recently, advances in tire technology have allowed manufacturers to design tire treads that provide excellent traction with modern aggressive looks, but deliver a relatively low noise level.