Why do people hate loud cars

Quiet cars are possible, but many drivers prefer it loud The pleasure of tubes

Saving fuel has a positive side effect: Less noise in traffic. The developers now often rely on engines with a small displacement and exhaust gas turbochargers. With this so-called downsizing, petrol can be saved and noise is reduced at the same time. Modern diesel injection technology has not only significantly reduced fuel consumption, but also the often loud nailing in the past.

The better insulation, for example in the wheel arches, also makes cars quieter, as does modern silencers in the exhaust, some with electronic noise reduction.

Measurable progress

Advances in automotive technology are bringing quieter cars, at least if you believe the data from official noise measurements.

According to a study commissioned by the Swiss Federal Office for the Environment for the years 2005 to 2015, the EU-wide noise limit values ​​will be repeated in two stages by 2024 halved.

If you have more horsepower, you can make more noise

However, the registration requirements are not uniform, but allow more noise, the more power a car puts on the road. And so the manufacturers of high-horsepower cars in the south-west use the possibilities of modern technology to design a characteristic car sound that does not necessarily have to be particularly quiet.

In fact, new sports cars with twice the sound pressure are on the road like low-noise compact cars and that is completely legal. In doing so, the manufacturers want to meet the needs of affluent customers, as they say. Even if the example of Tesla shows that even quiet electric sports cars can certainly find buyers.

Cheating like with exhaust

In addition, the official noise measurements are not always realistic. Each new type of car is accelerated on a test track before approval and the resulting noise is measured for everyone at a comparable speed of 50 km / h. But this by no means covers all driving situations. Many cars therefore make more noise in the streets than when measuring.

The difference between measurement and reality is very reminiscent of the diesel emissions scandal, even if the regulations were tightened three years ago. It is still possible for manufacturers to control vehicles with remote-controlled flaps in the exhaust, for example, so that they are particularly quiet during the test drive.

Here, too, the line between permitted technique and prohibited trickery is fluid. And once the approval for a new model has been granted, there is no effective follow-up inspection, as is the case with exhaust gas, as is required for lights or brakes during regular general inspections.

Noise or sound?

After complaints from residents and passers-by, the police in Mannheim and Mainz, for example, mainly checked suspicious vehicles. A whole series of drivers went into the network, who upgraded their cars to real noisemakers.

From simple holes in the exhaust that multiply engine noise to sophisticated flap systems, there are many varieties. For example, the Mannheim police measured 138 decibels in a seized car - a plane taking off a short distance away, on the other hand, "only" managed 115 decibels.

In order to generate such a noise, special sound systems are offered in the accessory trade. They electronically amplify engine noise and, at the push of a button, also generate explosive misfire noises, which auto posers like to use, especially in city centers.

Even if it is now forbidden to install such systems, they are still freely available. In addition, they can be switched off without further ado during controls by remote control. At the beginning of April, the federal states' transport ministers demanded stricter sanctions from the federal government against such posers.

Street noise of the future

Are the new electric cars now the salvation for all those plagued by traffic noise? Not quite. For example, the EU has recently prescribed artificially generated driving noises because electric cars roll so quietly in city traffic that they can easily be overheard and thus pose a risk to pedestrians. Since July 1st, electric and hybrid cars have had to make themselves noticeable with an acoustic signal.

The specifications for this are rather broad. It is true that no pieces of music may be played, but the sound with which pedestrians are to be warned of approaching electric cars is essentially up to the manufacturers. If you want to know what it might sound like on our streets in the future, you can listen to the example of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe here.