Do I really need to install hood insulation on my car? What does it do, exactly?
Although not all cars are factory equipped with insulation or a liner under the hood, installing one on your car has several benefits. Made of a thin dampening material, the insulation under the hood mainly reduces engine noise, providing you with a quieter drive. It can also help keep the paint under the hood last longer. This is especially true if you have a show car, and you just decorated the underside of the hood with a graphic design or decal. Another reason, although debatable, why some motorists install or replace a busted insulation is that it acts like a fire retardant. In some cases, some motorists have found out that once a fire starts under the hood, the liner or insulation material can suppress the fire for a few more seconds. These precious seconds can give motorists more time to get out of the car before the fire blazes out of the hood.
When do I need to replace my hood insulation?
Take a closer look under the hood and see if there are huge cracks, holes, or severely frayed areas. If you see these obvious signs of deterioration, it's time to replace the insulation. Keep in mind that a severely frayed insulation might cause pieces of the material to fall into the various engine parts. Before an insulating material clog any engine valve or pipe, replace a worn-out liner as soon as possible.
What is the hood insulation made of?
Insulation materials for the hood can range from high-grade rubber to polyether urethane reinforced with aluminum skin. Some alternative types use materials found on airplane walls for more efficient noise suppression.
What should I look for in an aftermarket hood insulation?
When planning to replace the liner under the hood, features such as UV resistance and a high-quality sound soaker foam should be on top of your checklist. Other features worth their salt are lightweight board materials that act as flame retardants and are water resistant. Insulation with high chemical resistance is also a good choice since this liner will regularly be exposed to plenty of hot automotive chemicals and fluids. If you have a show car, equipping it with a hood liner that has a customized design is a good idea. Easy-to-attach mounting tabs are also a plus since they will make for a hassle-free installation.
What's the best type of product to use when cleaning the hood insulation? How much product do I need to use when cleaning?
Any non-solvent cleaner should do. Using a solvent-based cleaner might result in fire. Don't use water and detergent to clean the liner because the water will just get stuck on the material, which can then lead to premature deterioration. For a thorough clean, lightly spray the entire liner under the hood, making sure that every surface is covered. However, don't saturate the insulating material; a light mist all over should be enough. Then use a clean rag to gently wipe away dirt and grime from the liner. Never scrub because it may damage the insulation.