Hood Insulation Buyer’s Guide
- Hood insulation is a thin sheet of material that covers part or the entire bottom surface of your car’s hood. It provides many useful benefits including sound deadening and heat insulation.
- Hood insulation is particularly useful if you have a particularly loud engine, have decals or custom paint on the hood, have a high-performance vehicle, have a car that gets really hot under the hood, or drive under too hot or too cold temperatures.
- If you really want to get all the benefits of excellent hood insulation, you should consider upgrading your factory-issued one with an aftermarket hood insulation upgrade.
- A hood insulation pad can cost anywhere from $30 to $250 depending on the material. Materials that are flame retardant and those that provide better soundproofing can increase the price of hood insulation.
What is Hood Insulation?
Hood insulation, also known as a hood liner, hood pad, or hood shield, is a thin sheet of material that covers part or the entire bottom surface of your car’s hood. Although a hood insulation pad isn’t considered a necessity for your vehicle, it still provides many useful benefits including sound deadening and heat insulation.
Do You Need a Hood Insulation Pad?
A common question that car owners search for is, “is hood insulation really necessary?” Technically, hood insulation isn’t needed for your vehicle to run. However, there are some people who can really benefit from having a hood insulation pad installed.
Hood insulation is particularly useful if you:
- Have a particularly loud engine
- Have a show car with decals or custom paint on the hood
- Have a high-performance vehicle
- Have a car that gets really hot under the hood
- Drive under too hot or too cold temperatures
Having a hood insulation pad can definitely help you with all the situations listed above.
Benefits of Car Hood Insulation
While many drivers and mechanics agree that hood insulation is not essential to a car, there are still several benefits of having one. Here are some things that under hood insulation does for your car:
Reduces Sound Coming from Engine Bay
The main purpose of a car hood insulation is sound deadening. Hood liners help reduce the rumble and vibrations from your car’s engine bay to give you a smoother, more peaceful drive.
Protects Your Hood from Engine Heat
Another one of the key features of a hood liner is protecting the bottom part of your hood from excessive heat coming from your engine bay. This helps keep the paint under your hood intact for longer and provides a neater appearance as well.
Another advantage of having hood insulation is that it protects even the top of your hood from becoming too hot. This is especially useful if you decorate your car’s hood with decals or a custom paint job.
Helps Retain Heat Under the Hood
A car hood liner with good insulation properties can also help retain heat under the hood. This is really helpful during the cooler months because it allows you to warm up your car faster. With good temperature management under the hood, your car is also less likely to overheat.
Acts as Fire Blanket in Case of Engine Fire
High-quality hood insulation pads can also act as a makeshift fire blanket in case of an engine fire. Some hood liners melt due to high heat and help smother the engine fire. While they won’t be able to completely diffuse big fires, they’re extremely useful in buying the driver and passengers a precious few seconds to get out of the vehicle before the engine blows up.
Upgrade Your Car’s Look Under the Hood
Many hood liners, especially aftermarket ones, have the added benefit of making your car look cooler under the hood. There are many choices of hood insulation materials to choose from, so you can definitely get one to upgrade your vehicle’s under-the-hood aesthetic.
Take note that not all types of stock hood insulation are able to do the things above. Some just reduce the sound while others just protect the paint under the hood from the heat coming from your engine. If you really want to get all the benefits of excellent hood insulation, you should consider upgrading your factory-issued one with an aftermarket hood insulation upgrade.
Choosing Your Under Hood Insulation
If you’re doing DIY under hood insulation replacement, it’s important to know what your choices are. One of the main things that affects your choice in hood insulation is the material. Many factory-issued hood liners are made with a thin insulating material covered with a felt-type fabric. This is the basic choice for hood insulation replacement, but it’s not really helpful when it comes to heat distribution under the hood.
Hood Insulation Materials
If you’re looking to upgrade your hood insulation, you can choose a hood liner made with a high-quality rubber material or polyether urethane enforced with an aluminum foil material that reflects heat. Some hood insulation pads also have a layer of thick acoustic foam to provide better sound and vibration insulation. Other less common hood insulation materials are fiberglass and chrome.
When choosing your hood insulation material, it’s important to take note of the weight as well. Adding too much weight for insulation can have an impact on the aerodynamics and handling of your vehicle, so choose lightweight materials as much as possible.
Hood Insulation Features
In terms of features, a key quality of excellent under hood insulation pads is heat resistance. Check the thermal range of the hood insulation to see if it can take too cold or too hot temperatures. Chemical resistance is also important. Choose a hood liner that can withstand solvents, coolant, engine fluids, oil, and other common chemicals present under the hood.
Another feature that’s becoming more popular in high-quality hood insulation pads is waterproofing. You can now find several hood liners that have hydrophobic properties. This helps keep your hood insulation last much longer even in extreme weather conditions.
Ultimately, choosing which hood liner to go with depends on your particular application. If you’re looking for the quietest experience, go with hood insulation pads that offer the best sound deadening properties. Although this usually means denser and therefore heavier material, this gives you the best chance at completely muffling engine noise.
On the other hand, if optimum heat insulation is your main goal for getting or replacing your hood insulation, choose a hood liner that’s made with fire-resistant, thermally insulated materials. Another option is to install both a sound deadener and cover it with a fire-resistant hood insulation pad. This way, you can ensure optimum sound reduction and heat protection under your hood.
Cost of Hood Insulation Pad Replacement
A hood insulation pad can cost anywhere from $30 to $250 depending on the material. Materials that are flame retardant and those that provide better soundproofing can increase the price of hood insulation.
The size of your hood insulation will affect the price as well. Some car owners prefer to insulate the entire surface under the hood, while others insulate just around the engine area. Of course, less insulation material means lower costs.
Hood Insulation: How Much Should You Spend For This Accessory?
There are two kinds of automotive owners: those who care about their automobiles and those who really, really care about their automobiles. Those who belong to the former are content of having decent-looking vehicles that run adequately. On the other hand, those who belong to the latter want everything about their automobiles to be perfect. People who seek perfection for their cars go the extra mile in order to keep their rides not only in tip-top shape, but also stylized to their liking. Perhaps you belong to the same group of automotive owners if you’re looking for hood insulation.
Functionality and Style
Hood insulation is just the thing for those who want to keep their rides protected as well as looking stylish. Hood insulation shields your hood’s paint job from terrible engine heat, thus preventing the paint’s deterioration. And as you now, a paint job—even just for the hood—can be quite pricey. With those said, this accessory definitely comes in handy when things get too hot under the hood.
Another practical use for hood insulation is to muffle engine sound. Noise can be a real bother when driving after all. Hood insulation is particularly useful for automotive owners that possess loud motors.
As stated above, hood insulation is a stylish addition to your automobile. Hood insulations come in different colors and designs. In fact, there are literally thousands of variants to choose from! You’d certainly find one in the market that would nicely complement your ride.
Since hood insulations come in numerous variants, prices for these accessories vary immensely. Basic hood insulations can go for as low as $30 while the more high-end (and stylish) ones can set you back for as much as $100. When talking solely of practicality, even the cheapest variants can provide the hood protection and muffling that you’re looking for. There’s no need to go for fancy and pricey hood insulation when you don’t have extra cash to spare.
Attaching Hood Insulation to Your Ride
At first glance, hood insulation may seem like a very basic accessory. However, it can benefit your vehicle greatly—more so than you perhaps imagine. Hood insulation can preserve your hood’s paint by shielding the hood from engine heat. As you know, engine heat can be particularly damaging to your car’s paint, and hood insulation is definitely cheaper than a new paint job. Hood insulation is a must-have for car owners that have noisy motors as it does a good job in muffling engine sound. Aside from those, hood insulation can also be a stylish addition to your vehicle. You can personalize your automobile through hood insulation as there are literally thousands of designs available in the market that you can choose from.
Installing hood insulation to your vehicle is a breeze. That’s obviously good news if you constantly want a fresh look for your hood because swapping your old hood insulation for a new one can be done in just a few minutes. We’ll guide you on how to do it as well as how you can keep your hood insulation clean.
Step 1: Park your car in a space where you can work properly. Make sure that the engine is cool before you start removing and installing stuff as you surely wouldn’t want to hurt yourself.
Step 2: Pop the hood once the engine is no longer hot. Using the appropriate upholstery tool, remove all the clips that keep the hood insulation in position. Place all the clips in a box so that you wouldn’t lose them, you’d still need each and every single one of them after all. Your old hood insulation should come off after all the clips have been removed.
Step 3: Position your new hood insulation properly. Hold it up (you can ask a friend for help) as you place each clip that you removed back into their respective places.
We told you it was a breeze, didn’t we? Well, cleaning your hood insulation is just as easy. Follow the steps below on how to do it.
- Clean Rag
- Non-solvent based cleaner
Step 1: Pop the hood and spray the non-solvent based cleaner all over your hood insulation. Don’t overdo it though. Light mists are sufficient.
Step 2: Gently wipe the hood insulation with a clean rag. Don’t scrub too hard as doing so can cause damage to the hood insulation.
Step 3: If necessary, repeat the previous steps.