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2017 Outback Limited 2.5, Twilight Blue/Ivory, Eyesight. Also 1995 BMW 525i with 240,000 miles
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Discussion Starter #1
I had the outside and undercarriage of my OB washed a couple of days ago. I sat in the car while it was going through the wash and was very surprised how much noise was passing through the doors when the flappy brushes were striking the door. Seemed like every sound came through. I had always thought there was road noise and even wind noise coming through the door.

I think door insulation will be my next step on soundproofing my OB. Hushmat, with closed cell foam and mass loaded vinyl (MLV) will be used.
 

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I had the outside and undercarriage of my OB washed a couple of days ago. I sat in the car while it was going through the wash and was very surprised how much noise was passing through the doors when the flappy brushes were striking the door. Seemed like every sound came through. I had always thought there was road noise and even wind noise coming through the door.

I think door insulation will be my next step on soundproofing my OB. Hushmat, with closed cell foam and mass loaded vinyl (MLV) will be used.
Corners have to be cut somewhere to maintain the desired price point.
 
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2018 Outback 2.5 Limited with Nav, Premium Audio and Eyesight
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So the noise is only apparent when you are in car washes is what you are saying. How about road noise while you are driving.

Compared to the Lexus ES350 that we traded on our 2018 Outback Limited, the Outback is significantly quieter than the Lexus ES and considerably quieter than the Lexus RX we owned before that.

Don't waste your money on the extra sound deadening material....

David
 

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2016 Outback 3.6R Ltd. w. Eyesight
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203 Posts
It's all relative and personal of course. My OB is the quietest of the 25 or so vehicles I've owned, though none have been "luxury" cars. I also currently own a 2012 CRV, which is much noisier on the road than my OB.
 
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2005 Outback R LL Bean 3.0 H6 w/ 5 speed sport shift
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So the noise is only apparent when you are in car washes is what you are saying. How about road noise while you are driving.

Compared to the Lexus ES350 that we traded on our 2018 Outback Limited, the Outback is significantly quieter than the Lexus ES and considerably quieter than the Lexus RX we owned before that.

Don't waste your money on the extra sound deadening material....

David
I think our OB is loud and I have significant hearing loss! Too much Led Zeppelin on headphones years ago!

I have a Toyota Avalon my wife drove everyday and she wanted an OB. Granted, ours is a Gen 3 but I found a deal on an 05 and I'm fair at restoration, so we pulled the trigger. I find this OB is much louder than the Avalon and I'd even go as far as to say the OB is louder than my GMC Sierra pickup.

I'm also looking to do some sound proofing once the weather gets better.

I'm running all season tires, I can't imagine how loud ones with more aggressive treads must be .......
 

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2018 Touring 3.6R
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903 Posts
Compared to the Lexus ES350 that we traded on our 2018 Outback Limited, the Outback is significantly quieter than the Lexus ES and considerably quieter than the Lexus RX we owned before that.

Don't waste your money on the extra sound deadening material....

David
To be fair, the '18 has updates to reduce sound levels. Definitely a difference between OP's '17 and your '18.
 

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Subaru does seem to be getting better at insulating their vehicles. My wife's '17 Forester is far quieter than the '15 OB.
 

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2017 Outback 2.5i Limited
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I think I'd be cringing about all the damage those brushes are doing to my clearcoat than any noise issues.

I used to work for a rental car company... after only a few washes, you could see all the micro scratches in the clearcoat.
 

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I simply cannot abide useless people.
2006 2.5i and 2002 3.0 wagons.
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*shudder*

Car wash brushes. I don't even do that to Mal...
 

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2015 Outback 3.6R Package 23
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I think I'd be cringing about all the damage those brushes are doing to my clearcoat than any noise issues.

I used to work for a rental car company... after only a few washes, you could see all the micro scratches in the clearcoat.
It helps hide the door dings and rock chips. :)

My car sees Vermont road salt and is parked outdoors. If I get to pick between a car wash and corrosion, I pick car wash.

My 2015 3.6R with Nokian Hakka R2 snow tires is pretty loud. Personally, I'd pay several thousand dollars for a trim level with better seats and more sound deadening. I'd also like it 3" lower so it handles better but that' not possible since it loses the light truck CAFE fuel economy rating.
 

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2017 Outback Limited 2.5, Twilight Blue/Ivory, Eyesight. Also 1995 BMW 525i with 240,000 miles
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2,290 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
So the noise is only apparent when you are in car washes is what you are saying. How about road noise while you are driving.

Compared to the Lexus ES350 that we traded on our 2018 Outback Limited, the Outback is significantly quieter than the Lexus ES and considerably quieter than the Lexus RX we owned before that.

Don't waste your money on the extra sound deadening material....

David
Yes, there is road noise through the doors. I can especially hear it when cars pass me. I have done some sound proofing in the cargo area and it has helped considerably with road noise.
 

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2017 Outback Limited 2.5, Twilight Blue/Ivory, Eyesight. Also 1995 BMW 525i with 240,000 miles
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Discussion Starter #14
I think I'd be cringing about all the damage those brushes are doing to my clearcoat than any noise issues.

I used to work for a rental car company... after only a few washes, you could see all the micro scratches in the clearcoat.
First machine wash in a year. I hate car washes.
Just before winter, I used multiple layers of synthetic polish to be sacrificed. Just wanted to get the salt off the outside and undercarriage. I do have a random orbital buffer and polishes I use on my BMW to help me do paint correction on the OB as needed.
 
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2016 Outback 3.6R LBP "Dingo"
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It's all relative and personal of course. My OB is the quietest of the 25 or so vehicles I've owned, though none have been "luxury" cars. I also currently own a 2012 CRV, which is much noisier on the road than my OB.
I'd like to see a truly scientific comparison, but my impression when I did test drives in early 2016 was that wind, road and engine noise were substantially less in a 3.6R compared to a 2.5i.
 

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2017 Outback Limited 2.5, Twilight Blue/Ivory, Eyesight. Also 1995 BMW 525i with 240,000 miles
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Discussion Starter #16
I'd like to see a truly scientific comparison, but my impression when I did test drives in early 2016 was that wind, road and engine noise were substantially less in a 3.6R compared to a 2.5i.
I have long suspected much of what we perceived as "wind noise" is a combination of road noise, engine noise and actual wind noise created by thin windows and the mirror.s After I did cargo area noise soundproofing and limited front wheel area soundproofing, what I perceived as wind noise decreased a little while the overall noise levels went down.
I agree that the 6 has lower engine noise than the 4.
 

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Fancy glass front and side windows even the panoramic roofs comes with much higher price tag vehicles.

The low hanging fruit, double or triple sealed doors GM figured this out a while ago. My Land Cruiser had insulation material stuck to the door cards. More for the extreme temps it was tested to than sound deadening efforts. Oddly that was my car that melted a Garage door opener into a wad of plastic clipped to the Visor in California. Never had that happen in my Subarus.

Drag coefficient numbers on the body play a big role in sound levels also.

But I have never seen insulated door panels on any cars other than my Land Cruiser.

Even the $65,000 SLK has zero insulation in the doors. But its also slippery as a greased pig regarding drag coefficient.
 

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2010 2.5 CVT Limited
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We want 7 passenger AWD suvs with 31inch tires that can get 35mpg in the city and can climb any rock in Moab.

Well, the engineers know you can't get something from nothing (even though the bean counters and executives keep demanding it).
Thinner body panels is less weight. Less weight is better for fuel economy but then you have to deal with the NVH (noise, vibration and hum) so the car doesn't sound like a cargo van in a hail storm.
You can fit quieter tires, but they'll have lousy grip.
You can design the body and windows to be more slippery in the wind, but compound curves are more complicated to manufacture and harder to fit up to minimize gaps.
You can design a free-flow exhaust to help the engine be more efficient, but the exhaust will be noisier.
etc, etc, etc.

It's all a trade-off.
 

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2017 Outback Limited 2.5, Twilight Blue/Ivory, Eyesight. Also 1995 BMW 525i with 240,000 miles
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Discussion Starter #19
We want 7 passenger AWD suvs with 31inch tires that can get 35mpg in the city and can climb any rock in Moab.

Well, the engineers know you can't get something from nothing (even though the bean counters and executives keep demanding it).
Thinner body panels is less weight. Less weight is better for fuel economy but then you have to deal with the NVH (noise, vibration and hum) so the car doesn't sound like a cargo van in a hail storm.
You can fit quieter tires, but they'll have lousy grip.
You can design the body and windows to be more slippery in the wind, but compound curves are more complicated to manufacture and harder to fit up to minimize gaps.
You can design a free-flow exhaust to help the engine be more efficient, but the exhaust will be noisier.
etc, etc, etc.

It's all a trade-off.
I agree with you totally. Many of us tinker with our vehicles to modify them for our specific uses or eliminate specific issues. I looked our my daughter's Audi Q7 interior and I wish that my OB had the tailored feel and fit and finish. However, I know it will not happen at the OB price point. However, I can improve our OB in specific areas. NVH is one area.

After the soundproofing I have already completed, my 2017 is, IMO, as quiet or quieter than the 2018 OB. I have compared the new OB with ours using an iPhone app sound meter. Next will be the front doors. Last of the materials are on order.

May work on the firewall and floor at some point. BTW The firewall has insulation inside the cabin and in the engine compartment. Floors may yield the most benefit. Seats and console need to remove. No big deal, just time-consuming.
 

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2018 Outback Touring 3.6R
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My one comment about using a dB meter is that it is measuring total sound levels. It is possible (and in fact likely) that there are lower level sounds that are actually more noticeable (and more noticeable is usually more annoying).

When I am running the sound board at church, the mix is far more important than the dB level. In fact, if I have the mix right I can be as much as 10 dB louder that what is usually considered "acceptable". Trust me, they let you know if the mix is wrong, or if it's "too loud". :grin2:
 
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