Are convertible cars noisy ?

We just purchased  Mini cooper Convertible  along with our Mercedes Benz SUV.. 

A convertible car with the roof down in the spring, Autumn & summer months  is a lot of fun to drive. Even now, with the great weather we’ve been having in  Australia.

You can enjoy the wind in your hair, the sun’s warmth, and a sense of freedom when you drive a drop top car.

However, if you drive or travel in a convertible at a certain speed, you could lose your hearing, which could be bad. Here are the things you need to know.

Experts have cautioned that driving a convertible automobile might significantly harm your ears.

They claim that driving with the top down at speeds ranging from 50 to 70 mph (80 to 112 km/h) exposes the ears to sound levels comparable to those produced by a pneumatic drill.

Long or frequent exposure to the loudness of the engine, road, traffic, and wind might result in lifelong hearing loss, according to a conference of ENT experts in the United States.

Convertible drivers, like motorcycle riders, should consider wearing ear protection, according to the researchers.

The findings were reported in the journal Otolaryngology – Head & Neck Surgery. Noise levels immediately to the left and right of the driver were assessed in the research while travelling at varied speeds.

First off, it’s crucial to remember that convertible automobiles often make more noise than standard vehicles. This is because there isn’t a roof, which makes wind and traffic noise more audible.

Convertible tops also have less insulation than conventional automobile roofs, which might result in louder noises.

Yet, a variety of variables can affect a convertible car’s noise level. In order to lower noise levels, some convertible vehicles, for instance, have superior sound insulation than others.

Also, the kind of convertible top might affect the noise level. Hard-top convertibles, which provide additional insulation and can lessen wind and road noise, are often quieter than soft-top convertibles.

Driving speed is another element that can have an impact on a convertible car’s noise level. Wind noise can be fairly audible at high speeds, thus it might be required to adjust the windows or put in a wind deflector to assist dampen the sound.

On the other hand, at slower speeds, wind noise might not be as audible, allowing you to enjoy the open-air atmosphere without making too much noise.

Loud Noise while driving? did you say?

The louder the sound, the more damage it can do to your hearing, and the faster it will happen. 

Decibels (dB) are the units used to measure sound, and sounds below 85 decibels are thought to be safe. 

It’s also likely that any sound above 85 decibels is going to hurt your hearing over time, especially if you keep your ears exposed to this level of noise for a long time.

It turns out that riding a motorcycle at 62mph usually makes 95dB of wind noise, which can permanently damage your hearing after 15 minutes. 

At 74mph, the wind noise can be expected to reach 98dB, which will be dangerous after just seven minutes. 

Damage caused by radiation is irreversible, and if you don’t use proper protection, you could end up with permanent hearing loss and hearing loss.

Alos Read: Can soft-top convertibles go through a carwash- How I wash My Convertible

Noise Expossure in Convertibles Study

The  Noise Exposure in Convertibles study was conducted and the objective of this study is to determine the amount of noise that is received when driving a convertible car with the top open as opposed to when the top is closed.

The noise levels inside of both the closed and open configurations of each of the five distinct convertible cars that were tested were compared. 

The automobiles were driven at speeds of 88.5, 104.6, and 120.7 kilometres per hour during the testing.

The average amount of noise exposure increased from 85.3 decibels at a speed of 88.5 kilometres per hour to 89.9 decibels when travelling at a speed of 120.7 kilometres per hour in the convertible.

After opening the convertible top, the average amount of noise exposure increased by 12.4-14.6 decibels at the various speeds that were evaluated.

It is possible to experience noise exposure levels that are in excess of the recommended limits when driving a convertible automobile at speeds that are greater than 55.5 miles per hour with the top open.

This is especially true when driving with the top open for extended periods of time.

So the US study  concludes  that lowering the top on a convertible while travelling at speeds of more than 88.5 kilometres per hour (55 miles) may put both the driver and passengers at an elevated risk of noise-induced hearing loss.

Pro Note :

Long-term exposure to noise levels higher than 85 dB is not advised, according to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health in the United States.

When the roof was up, no vehicle had an audible audible level of noise.

There is a greater risk of ear injury at higher speeds

What does the studies say?

As per the studies conducted  and for the speeds   examined, there was only a little upward trend in the amount of noise as the speed increased.

Raising the automobile windows made a statistically significant impact in noise reduction, according to the research.

In spite of the fact that average levels were found to be higher than those set by some organisations as the threshold for noise exposure, the length and frequency of most car journeys with the convertible roof lowered did not appear to significantly increase the risk of noise exposure for the majority of people.

In the future, researchers may be able to determine whether or not a transitory threshold shift phenomena is occurring.

The researchers employed a sound metre, which was controlled by a passenger in a test automobile, to measure noise. Passengers recorded eight to ten sound measures in the vicinity of the driver’s left ear and at varying speeds throughout their journeys.

80 percent of convertibles tested at 55 mph had a sound level exceeding 85 decibels when the top was down.

Driven at 75 miles per hour, the average sound level was roughly 89.9 decibels, which is comparable to vacuum cleaners, heavy trucks, a trash disposal, or loud music.

When the top was closed, there were no excessive decibel levels.

The noise reached between 88 and 90 decibels at 50, 60, and 70 miles per hour, which is greater than the commonly accepted 85 decibel threshold level at which permanent hearing impairment becomes a possibility.

Why is it dangerous to drive with the roof down?

Your passengers will be exposed to far more noise while driving with the top down on a convertible than when it is up. 

The more time you spend in a vehicle with these connected sounds, the greater the danger they represent.

With the windows rolled up and the roof down, the noise level reached 99 decibels at 50, 60 and 70 mph, much beyond the 85 decibel threshold at which hearing loss becomes a severe danger, according to a study published in Otolaryngology – Head & Neck Surgery.

However, the research revealed that rolling up the windows while driving with the top down might reduce the harmful noise level. It is possible that differing road and weather conditions may increase noise despite the fact that this simple technique has reduced it to 82 dB.

So, what more can you do to enjoy the convertible automobile experience without sacrificing your hearing health?

Also Read: Dos and Dont’s of owning a Convertible car that you will be glad you know them

Is Driving Convertible Noisy ?

Experts cautioned that the damage to hearing accumulates over time and may not be discovered until it is too late.

According to Dr. Rob Wilson of the Royal National Institute for the Deaf, ” “Hearing loss caused by excessive noise is often avoidable.

Over time, prolonged exposure to 88-90 dB of noise while driving a convertible may cause irreversible hearing damage.

So, how can we try to reduce the ear damage:

Drivers of convertibles may still enjoy driving while safeguarding their hearing by rolling up the windows or using simple ear protection, such as earplugs

What causes hearing loss -driving a convertible car?

Sound is processed by the ear’s inner, middle, and outer sections, which are divided into three sections. 

Our brains are able to make sense of the sound that our ears detect by converting sound waves into electrical pulses.

Our eardrums vibrate as a result of these sound waves entering our ears. 

The vibrations are amplified by three little bones (known as the hammer, anvil, and stirrup, but medically known as the malleus, incus, and stapes) before they enter the inner ear, where the cochlea converts the waves into recognisable sounds.

The hairs of the cochlea are very sensitive. When a nerve cell dies, the sound our brain receives becomes less distinct. 

Exposure to loud noise without hearing protection might speed up this process, which occurs over time and as we become older. Humans, unlike certain other species, are unable to regenerate these destroyed hairs, therefore any harm done is permanent.

However, loud noise may cause hearing loss. 

Consequently, the best strategy to protect your hearing while engaging in high noise exposure activities such as driving a convertible with the top down is to wear hearing protection.

Also Read: Are convertibles easier to break into ?[ Facts you must know]

What are some of the drawbacks or annoyances of owning a convertible car that one only becomes aware of after the fact?

Driving with the sunroof or convertible top open is a strenuous activity. It is possible that driving for two hours with the roof down is just as tiring as driving for three hours in a “regular” automobile, although this depends on factors such as the weather, the speed of the car, the amount of traffic, etc.

Although this might apply to some extent to all convertible sports vehicles, it probably applies less to the more expensive ones.

When there is a risk of rain & Too Noisy, it can be a difficult experience for me to determine whether or not to open the roof, especially if the roof cannot be closed while the vehicle is in motion.

If  travel on some highways with six lanes, it is not possible for you to just pull over and stop in order to close the roof.

In a convertible with two seats, you will remain relatively dry so long as the traffic is moving; however, if it is stop-and-go, you will get wet.

When the roof is up, the back visibility in many convertibles is somewhat limited. During your test drives, you should be sure to spend the majority of your time with the roof up.

Take into account the height of the trunk while the lid is open. When the top is down on many convertibles, the trunk space is compromised.

A convertible lacks the roof structure that would normally contribute to the chassis’s overall stiffness. Because of this, the chassis needs to be made stronger, which will make it heavier.

This will make the vehicle slower, but its low weight will help it handle better.

Due to the chassis’s tendency to flex, older convertibles frequently experienced issues with door closure.

The flex in the chassis might be detrimental to the handling.

Wrapping Up

In conclusion, although the noise level might vary based on the type and other circumstances, convertible automobiles are often noisier than conventional cars.

It’s a good idea to test drive the convertible automobile you’re thinking about buying to get a feel for the noise level and decide whether or not you’re comfortable with it.

When making your choice, you might also want to take into account elements like the type of convertible top and any additional sound insulation features.


About the Author:

Toby Salvanos

Toby Salvanos is a true travel enthusiast, traveller, and Road Trip Guide contributor. Toby is a luxury car salesman and a passionate blogger r at @PEP Travel & Road Trip : Know more about the Author

Similar Posts