How to Insulate Your Car From Water, Heat and Noise
Cars need to be looked after to get the best driving experience from them. Most of the time, we focus on the vital moving parts which affect vehicle performance on the road. However, every once in a while, we all want to pamper up the interior of our ride to boost cabin comfort. Stereo upgrades, installing a better air conditioning system or replacing the old seat covers are among the most frequently done upgrades. However, you should first ask yourself if your car is ready for them. The truth of the matter is, going for any of them before your car is properly insulated can be a waste of time and money.
The peel and stick heat shield is very simple and straightforward to use. Don’t be mislead though, this is not an aftermarket fix up contraption designed to cover holes. It’s a proper and original equipment manufacturer (OEM) part used by leading automotive plants worldwide. If it’s good enough for production vehicles that come straight from the factory, your car can benefit from it too.
Heat sources in a car are usually in the underside of the floor or a host of tight spaces in between fuel tanks, tunnels, pipes, exhaust system, fluid lines, under the bonnet or airbox. On account of this, many previous users of peel and stick insulation materials recommend making a template before cutting and sticking the shield. Some have even reported that it took them more time to produce the template than it took them to install and even out the heat shield in its place.
If you are wondering whether you need the heat shield in your car to consider this – these tapes have been exposed to temperature extremes (246ºC) for more than 30 hours and they kept their insulating properties. So, this is a worthwhile heat resistance patch. These results can be delivered because high-quality adhesive heat shield material was used to make the tape. It’s made of needle-punched fibreglass with polyester core. The top aluminium layer is thin enough to allow application on irregular surfaces, yet tough enough to provide a formidable shield.
These shields primarily act as a thermal insulation tape, however, they have a sound deadening effect too. For best use, apply them directly at the heat source. If the surface is flat, you can even go for a thicker version of the same adhesive heat shield material.
Keeping water out of your car has more to do with the exterior. Each car comes with a waterproof layer from the factory. This is at least a layer of fresh paint, however, it can contain several protective films on top. Some car owners add this kind of protective films after they buy their car to increase longevity.
Preparing a 4×4 for deep water crossings is an art in itself. Water, oil and car components simply don’t go hand in hand and extra caution has to be applied to do crossings regularly. You don’t need to get in knee-deep water to suffer damage though. Long-term exposure to salt and several chemical contaminants can deteriorate the chassis. Especially if there are dents and chips from road debris in the exterior paint.
Another way to counter water ingress to your car is to apply a sealant. Also known as car polish or car wax, this coating is produced to repel any liquid from the exterior shell of the car. Then you can also regularly wash your car to get rid of mineral deposits before corrosion sets in. Keep your car in a sheltered area as much as possible or use a protective cover.
To make sure none of this water makes its way to the interior, you need to ensure every opening in the car is watertight. This goes for car doors, car windows, windshield and any other part exposed to water (like the undercarriage). If the rubber seal is on its right place, the chances of getting water inside the car are low.
The stick-on heat shield provides acoustic insulation as well, however, that is not its primary role. There are sound deadening tapes which come as a vibration (sound) dampening mat. The main difference here is that the heat insulation is directed at the heat source and covering the whole car depends on your preferences. On the other hand, sound-deadening tape needs to be applied across as much surface as possible to get optimal results.
When you have all of these protective layers installed in your car, you can start making it cozier inside. You can go for a new sound system at any time, but doing this after you’ve insulated the interior will have a remarkably greater impact on your driving experience. Same goes for dust-proofing the interior – it will make cleaning your seat covers way easier.