Reducing noise with soft fabric on plastic trim
A quiet car is a curse, you end up picking up on other noises that would be imperceptible as they are drowned by the engine, rolling or wind noise.
With the Ampera two areas were annoying me, the storage area under the armrest and the seatbelts. The storage area is made of plastic and the seatbelt anchor points have a rubberized material but can still make some noise if they hit the plastic structure of the seat in the right spot.
I was a bit spoiled with the C6 and it's SAAB-esque armrest that was covered in a sort of velour, as did the door cards. Those were just perfect, you can store stuff there and close the wood half moons, out of sight and enclosed in fabric for zero rattles.
So it was time to use the C6 as inspiration and transform the interior of the Ampera. My first idea was to source some soft fabric with some kind of padding, but I didn't know how to apply it, so I started watching some videos to get some pointers and most of them were about jewelry boxes, and I noticed something. Those could be made out of wood and with a single layer of velour the noise of a ring dropped inside it was heavily dampened.
So I sourced some soft fabric and with a lot of trial and error I covered the plastic with fabric.
It's not perfect, but it was my first time. And most importantly, it works! On more spirited drives the cards and the remote for the garage door would move along and make an unpleasant noise (plastic hitting plastic). Not anymore!
It also makes it more comfortable to use. I store things there all the time and it's much nicer than touching plastic.
I was so happy with the result that I also added some fabric to the bottom of the door cards. Not that I store things in there, but my wife sometimes does on long trips and the rattles annoy me.
On the C6 the seatbelt anchor points had some fabric glued to them to avoid scratching the trim and dampen any noise. So I did the same on the Ampera. It's amazing how such a thin piece of fabric can make any difference at all, but it does.
And to improve the comfort inside the car I also got some new floor mats, custom made by TapetesAutomóvel.com. These are quite thick and heavier than the ones the car came with, and better than the ones on my 406 and C6. They won't make much difference in terms of sound deadening as there is already 3 layers of material under them but they also feel more comfortable.
Better than this only Rolls-Royce sheepskin mats.
All of this won't reduce the noise level entering the car (the floor mats could, if the car wasn't already deadened) but will avoid rattles and other noises that stand out in an already quiet car and make the Ampera feel a bit more luxurious.
Done in 18 of April, 2021