Heat & Sound Control Products: Delivering Comfort & Joy

Making vehicles cooler & quieter creates a better overall driving experience...

Many drivers use their vehicles not just as transportation, but as an escape from the stress and worries of the outside world.

A cool, calm interior facilitates that peaceful feeling, making heat and sound control products an important part of many builds.

Easy to apply and designed to offer specific real-world benefits, quality heat and sound control products can be integrated into almost any project as a professional touch drivers will appreciate for years to come.

Brushing up on the basics is simple, and suppliers are here to help with product recommendations, sales strategies and related insider information to help bring this product line to your shop.


While rarely seen once a project is completed, heat and sound control products are nonetheless extremely popular—popular enough, in fact, to attract manufacturers from different countries offering varying degrees of performance.

That means the first step for shops is to study up on suppliers.

“We see a lot of inferior products being brought into the U.S. They use the same name and the same verbiage when marketing the products, but the product itself is extremely poor quality, doesn’t last and gives quality U.S.-made products a tough market to compete in,” says Steve Garrett, creative director for Design Engineering Inc.

Chris Schwartz, sales and marketing manager for Heatshield Products, has seen much the same.

Properly treated vehicles feel more solid, tighter and cooler when driving. (Photo courtesy Dynamat Inc.)

“Imported products from outside the U.S. cause people to be untrustworthy of the heat and sound control market,” he observes.  “They buy something that fails, falls apart quickly or does not have the capabilities advertised.”

They may also buy online, notes Tim McCarthy, founder and CEO of HushMat, leading to a less effective installation and overall experience than if they had come to the professionals.

“Many Americans are focused on ecommerce sites for purchasing of parts. However, they need skilled technicians to install these parts. Our custom installation partners are key to the long-term stability and growth of this industry,” he says. “If they don’t offer it to their customers, we tell customers to buy HushMat and bring it to their local body shop or upholstery and restyling shop for installation.”

Ed Shelton, vice president of sales for Dynamat Inc., has also seen “misinformation to consumers from some internet resources and sound control manufacturers that confuse the average consumer.”

Meanwhile, regulatory standards also play a pivotal role, says Randy Pugh, marketing coordinator for Thermo-Tec Automotive.

“Evolving emissions regulations and noise pollution guidelines drive the need for advanced heat and sound control technologies. Compliance with these standards necessitates continuous innovation and the development of more efficient solutions,” he says. “Concurrently, technological advancements in material science and manufacturing processes continue to enhance the performance and durability of heat and sound control products, influencing market trends and consumer preferences.”

A smart sales team armed with accurate information from the customer will ensure a successful project.

“It’s important to know what areas of the vehicle are being covered and why,” says Pat Hill, president of Koolmat Insulation. “It’s also very important that the salesperson is knowledgeable about the products being installed to stop the transfer of heat.”


Hidden under the carpet or by other materials, do the products really make a difference? Suppliers believe so.

No one needs to be uncomfortable when driving a performance or classic vehicle. (Photo courtesy Heatshield Products)

“One unexpected benefit is the ‘wow’ factor you get when you have proper heat and sound control management. It is often overlooked in builds, but people really see how important of a step it is when doing performance upgrades or building a restoration project,” Garrett reports. “We had one of our builders—Jeremy Gerber, co-owner of Roadster Shop—tell us that ‘a car is only as good as how tight it is and how well insulated it is when it’s completed.’”

McCarthy says driver satisfaction with the products “is off the charts positive. Customers feel like you have provided a much higher-quality vehicle and drastically improved driving comfort and experience. When they slam their car door and hear that solid sound they are overjoyed with the experience. They will tell their friends.”

Shelton adds that the products give owners a sense of pride.

“A car without good quality sound and heat control feels ‘cheap,’ while a properly treated vehicle feels more solid, tight and cooler when driving,” he states.

Hill agrees that heat and sound control are just the beginning with quality products properly installed.

Pugh points to the potential improvements in overall vehicle comfort and driving experience.

“While the primary purpose of these products is to manage heat and reduce noise levels, their effects often extend beyond mere insulation,” he notes. “By effectively reducing heat transfer and minimizing external noise intrusion, they create a more pleasant and comfortable environment inside the vehicle cabin.”

Schwartz even points out a potential performance improvement.

Heat and sound control act the same way as insulation in a customer’s home. (Photo courtesy HushMat)

“When you insulate your exhaust, you are helping get the gases out quickly, making your customer’s ride run more efficiently,” he says.


Suggesting heat and sound control products early will expedite builds and make for happy customers, says Shelton from Dynamat.

“Add sound and heat control products up-front in the cost of the build,” he recommends. “Not only will this add value to the car, but it will also save the shop all the heat and noise complaints later when the car comes back because it is too hot and noisy to drive.”

The products are friendly to most people’s budgets, says Garrett from Design Engineering.

“When doing any performance upgrade, engine modification or interior work it the perfect add-on sale. The customer gets the much-needed benefits of quality heat and sound control, making their vehicle perform better, and it also creates the opportunity for additional revenue for your shop.”

Still, shops may need to introduce the options and their benefits to new clients.

“Many consumers may not fully grasp the importance of managing heat and noise in their vehicles or understand the advantages of specialized products,” says Pugh from Thermo-Tec. “Ensuring that staff members are well-trained and knowledgeable about the features, benefits, and applications of heat and sound control products is crucial. Equipping them with the necessary information enables effective communication with customers and addresses their concerns.”

To further awareness, he also suggests establishing partnerships with automotive enthusiasts, clubs and forums, and collaborating with influencers and industry experts to promote expert solutions.

The products’ benefits extend beyond mere insulation. (Photo courtesy Thermo-Tec Automotive)

“By prioritizing customer education and engagement, shops can effectively increase heat and sound control product sales and position themselves as trusted providers of automotive insulation solutions.”

Koolmat’s Hill is always surprised when shops are reluctant to try a new product line like heat and sound control, pointing to successes in other markets, from NASCAR to England.

“It’s not good (not to try it), especially if someone walks in looking for a good product,” she says. “References are available for shops that are skeptical.”

Wondering who might be good candidates for these products? McCarthy suggests starting with… well, all of them.

“Offer it to every customer that comes in the shop. HushMat is needed in 99.9% of the vehicles on the road today,” he says. “Manufacturers don’t effectively insulate vehicles. Create awareness with consumers in vehicles the same way that consumers view insulation in their home.”

For performance-minded customers, there’s no rule that says more power means a less-pleasing environment, says Schwartz from Heatshield Products.

“Push the comfort aspect. You don’t need to be uncomfortable in your ride,” he states. “Take it from the desert racing guys—they pre-run all their events in a sound- and heat-proof truck for comfort.”

Now your customers can, too.

Heat and sound control products have been shown to offer real benefits. (Photo courtesy Koolmat Insulation)

Jef White

Jef White is the executive editor of THE SHOP magazine.

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