Tyre road noise issue


New member

I've got a Golf MK6 1.6 TDI which initially had 16" alloys with tyre size - 205/55/16, I have now upgraded them to 18" Nogaro alloys from MK7 and the current tyre size is 225/40/18. The biggest issue I've got is road-noise, it's loud to the point people have to speak up in order for me to hear them, especially at higher speeds. If I don't play music at a high volume, the noise is really annoying. I have changed tyres twice and only use premium such as Michelin, Pirelli, Continental and Bridgestone. I did expect more road noise due to low-profile tyres but not to this extent.

I've driven a Golf MK6 GTD with the same tyre size and the inside cabin is virtually quiet, why have I got this loud noise. While I'm driving, I feel every bump, if the road surface has tarmac then the noise decreases a lot. I feel the noise is coming back from the back of the car. I have taken the vehicle in for inspection and nothing seems to be wrong with the car. My car can take 18" wheels, can I change tyre size to compensate the tyre noise or could the issue be related to somewhere else. I have changed the tyres already twice but the issue is still there. I've been to a few garages and they all say 225/40/18 is the best size. Wheel balance & 4 wheel alignment has already been done.

Please help.

Any questions, I will get back to you as soon as I can.

Thanks all

Wascally Wabbit1

Drag Racing Champion
Wheel bearing would be my guess as well as it sounds exactly like road noise. That was what I thought when I had a bearing start to go out. Another issue would be if you were running ZP rated tires (run flats). Run flats are loud as hell compared to normal tires. I had a set of continentals I replaced and they accidently put the run flat version on by mistake and I took them back because they were so loud. I didn't notice the small ZP on the tire when I picked up the car.

One trick to see if it is a wheel bearing is to see if the noise eases up when turning one direction. It can be difficult to diagnose a bad wheel bearing.


Ready to race!
Just remember that a wheel bearing can be tight and still very noisy. Their noise will perfectly mimic tire noise in a lot of cases.


Passed Driver's Ed
But, would a bad wheel bearing noise suddenly get much quieter when encountering smoother pavement? I would think that if the tire noise changes depending upon how smooth of a road surface you're on then you could rule out a bad wheel bearing. No?


Go Kart Champion
This is one reason why I'll be going down to a 17" wheel soon. Even if your bearings, and everything else are in good shape, going from 16" to 18" would make a noticeable increase in noise. Aside from a touring style tire that is engineered for low noise there isn't much you can do unless you want to rip up all of the carpet and do some serious sound deadening.