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Old 03-20-2015, 12:27 PM   #1
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Pulled over for roush axle backs

Got a fix it ticket and have to remove my exhaust. Who knows the legal sound for exhaust in California?


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Old 03-20-2015, 01:09 PM   #2
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It can't exceed 95DB, but read below...

CA. V.C. 27151 No person shall modify the exhaust system of a motor vehicle in a manner which will amplify or increase the noise emitted by the motor of such vehicle so that the vehicle is not in compliance with the provisions of Section 27150 or exceeds the noise limits established for the type of vehicle in Article 2.5(commencing with Section 27200) of this chapter. No person shall operate a motor vehicle with an exhaust system so modified.

This shows that there are other characteristics that the exhaust system must conform to truly show a violation. This also shows that other vehicle codes must be considered when in violation of this vehicle code.

CA. V.C. 27150 (a) Every motor vehicle subject to registration shall be equipped with an adequate muffler in constant operation and properly maintained to prevent any excessive or unusual noise, and no muffler or exhaust system shall be equipped with a cutout, bypass, or similar device.


(b) Except as provided in Division 16.5 (commencing with Section 38000) with respect to off-highway motor vehicles subject to identification, every passenger vehicle operated off the highways shall at all times be equipped with an adequate muffler in constant operation and proper maintained so as to meet the requirements of Article 2.5 (commencing with Section 27200), and no muffler or exhaust system shall be equipped with a cutout, bypass, or similar device. (c) The provision of subdivision (b) shall not be applicable to passenger vehicles being operated off the highways in an organized racing or competitive event conducted under the auspices of a recognized sanctioning body or by permit issued by the local governmental authority having jurisdiction.




Part (a) states that the muffler must suppress any excessive or unusual noise. This refers to part (b) which states that the muffler must meet the requirements of Article 2.5, which refers to noise levels. Part (a) and (b) also refer to a cut-away, bypass or similar device commonly known as a "dump."

CA.V.C. 27200 (a) The Department of Motor Vehicles shall not register on a dealer's report of sale a new motor vehicle, except an off-highway motor vehicle subject to identification as provided in Division 16.5 (commencing with Section 38000), Which produces a maximum noise exceeding the applicable noise limit at a distance of 50 feet from the centerline of travel under test procedures established by the Department of Highway Patrol.

(b) The Department of Motor Vehicles may accept a dealer's certificate as proof of compliance with this article. (c) Test procedures for compliance with this article shall be established by the Department of the California Highway Patrol, taking into consideration the testing procedures of the Society of Automotive Engineers.


Part (c) of this section says that the California Highway Patrol shall set the testing standards in the for of California Code of Regulation, Title 13, Article 9, Section 1036 as denoted in letter from the Department of California Highway Patrol file 60.A9190.A9181.062.9610186.

CCR 1036 Passenger Cars and Light Trucks and Buses

Exhaust systems for motor vehicles, other than motorcycles, gross vehicle weight rating of less than 6,000 LB (2,722 kg) shall comply with the specified noise limits when tested in accordance with the following specifications:

(a) Measuring Site. The vehicle under test shall be positioned either on outdoor pavement or on a shop floor ( but not over a hoist or pit) in a location where the exhaust outlets are near an open shop door. No sound-reflecting surface other than the pavement and the vehicle being measured shall be within 10 ft (3.0m) of any part of the vehicle.

The testing is done in an environment in which there is minimal sound contamination. Please note that there is nothing stating highways or other public roads as being an exception to this criterion.

(b) Microphone Location. The microphone for the sound level meter shall be at the same height as the center of the exhaust outlet. The microphone shall be no closer to the pavement than 8 in. (203mm) when the exhaust outlet is lower than this height. The microphone shall be positioned with its longitudinal axis parallel to the ground, 20 inches plus or minus 1 inch (508mm plus or minus 24mm) from the nearest edge of the exhaust outlet, and 45 degrees plus or minus 10 degrees from the axis of the outlet. For exhaust outlets located under the vehicle body, the microphone shall be located at the specified angle and at least 8 in., (203mm) from the nearest part of the vehicle. For exhaust outlets that make an angle of 45 degree or less with the longitudinal axis of the vehicle, the microphone shall be outboard of the exhaust axis. For exhaust outlet angles of more than 45 degrees, the microphone shall be on the side of the exhaust axis to the rear of the vehicle.

This denotes where the sound measuring device is relatively close to the exhaust outlet. Notice that it does not make any references to provisions for sound level testing done from distances greater than 21 inches. <

(c) Engine Operation. The engine shall be at a normal running temperature with the transmission in neutral. System sound level measurements conducted for certification by exhaust manufacturers shall be made at an average steady-state engine speed of three-quarters of maximum rpm. Sound level measurements conducted by licensed muffler certification stations shall be made at an average steady-state engine speed of 3,000 rpm for vehicles manufactured before 1972 for which the station does not have a maximum rpm data.

Please notice that the engine is supposed to be running and the law has no provisions for parked vehicles. Note that the certification can be done by the manufacturer of the exhaust system. There is no requirement that the manufacturer sound test each individual vehicle. Re: "licensed muffler certification stations," the letter from the California Highway Patrol file Number 60.A9190.A9181.062.9610186 states in the third paragraph that these facilities were canceled in 1978 due to budgetary cut-backs.

(d) Exhaust Sound Level Measurement. The recorded exhaust system sound level of a stationary vehicle shall be the highest reading obtained during the test, disregarding unrelated peaks due to extraneous ambient noise. When there is more than one exhaust outlet, the reported sound level shall be for the loudest outlet. When there are two or more exhaust outlets separated by less than 12 in. (305mm), measurements shall be made on the outlet closest to the side or rear of the vehicle. (Figure 4). The sound level for the motor vehicles with the manufacturers' gross vehicle ratings of less than 6,000 LB (2,722 kg) except motorcycles, shall not exceed the following limit:

The statement stating extraneous ambient noise refers to noise coming from places other than the exhaust. For this reason, testing cannot be done in a sound-contaminated environment. It would be logical that a roadside or a highway would be a sound-contaminated environment.

(1) Sound Level Limit. The exhaust noise shall not exceed 95 dB(A).
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Old 03-20-2015, 01:13 PM   #3
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California's Modified Exhaust Law

Interesting. I think one of the first and last paragraphs sums it up. I'm glad I live in Maine, we don't even have to hook up to a machine.
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Old 03-20-2015, 01:18 PM   #4
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So, the cop never actually performed the test as prescribed, and presumably used an estimation of the noise level when issuing the OP a ticket. I would think that this could be argued in court, unless the specified noise test is performed and shows the exhaust to be out of compliance (>95 dB).
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Old 03-20-2015, 01:18 PM   #5
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Interesting, Ive also been pulled over when i had the roush exhaust, Officer must of recognized the "roush" logo on the tips and assumed my car was a roush and let me go. Simple fix would just be to install the stock exhaust and get the ticket signed off. Good thing its only a total of 6 bolts/nuts.
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Old 03-20-2015, 01:46 PM   #6
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What part of Cali are you in?
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Old 03-20-2015, 01:52 PM   #7
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So, the cop never actually performed the test as prescribed, and presumably used an estimation of the noise level when issuing the OP a ticket. I would think that this could be argued in court, unless the specified noise test is performed and shows the exhaust to be out of compliance (>95 dB).
You would think but reality is CA is broke...they dont car, and will NOT let it go no matter how much proof you have or argue...UNLESS you hire a lawyer. Better call Saul buddy...
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Interesting, Ive also been pulled over when i had the roush exhaust, Officer must of recognized the "roush" logo on the tips and assumed my car was a roush and let me go. Simple fix would just be to install the stock exhaust and get the ticket signed off. Good thing its only a total of 6 bolts/nuts.
Thats generally how you get around MOST fix it tix in Cali. Also heres a fun tip...If you get a "REFEREE" for modifications..."Sell" your car to a family member or friend, go to court tell them the car is sold and no longer in your possession. There is a 75% chance they will drop it then and there...then you can just have your family member gift the car back to you. It also helps that the family member or friend has a different last name.
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Old 03-20-2015, 04:21 PM   #8
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This is one of many reasons why I'm never living in CA


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Old 03-20-2015, 04:34 PM   #9
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This is one of many reasons why I'm never living in CA


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Yeah I was born & raised there and I miss it now that I'm in VA but I don't miss smog checks or this kind of crap. But I'd still move back. Its beautiful there.
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Old 03-20-2015, 04:42 PM   #10
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This is one of many reasons why I'm never living in CA


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Have you ever been here? I grew up in the crap of the Midwest, Id never go back, I love it here in Cali...

That being said I've lived here for 25 years and never got a ticket for a loud exhaust or anything else I've done to a car. Window tint here is illegal on the front but the cops never hassle you for it, well maybe some. I've had tint for over 10 years on various vehicles and never got a ticket for it.
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Old 03-20-2015, 05:16 PM   #11
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CA has by far the stupidest legislation of any state in this country.

and i'm from the ****hole that is NJ.
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Old 03-20-2015, 05:32 PM   #12
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Pulled over for roush axle backs

.. I live in Northern California. And I find it dumb that I got pulled over for the roush. I've heard fart can Hondas that don't pass smog louder than anything and I don't see them get pulled over for sound. Maybe it just wasn't my day. What do you guys think though. Should I fight it or just "fix" it


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Old 03-20-2015, 06:04 PM   #13
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how are you going to fix it? remove them completely?

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Old 03-20-2015, 06:07 PM   #14
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Put the stock exhaust back on


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Old 03-20-2015, 06:08 PM   #15
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Regardless on whether you fix it or fight it, this information will now be in the California DMV. If your pulled over again, the officer will know you have been ticketed before. As for the "Fun Tip", only a moron would do that. Going into court and lying to deceive the judge is not worth it.
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Old 03-20-2015, 06:24 PM   #16
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This sucks. I'm still going to put the exhaust back on idc. Lol


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Old 03-20-2015, 06:39 PM   #17
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Be thankful you don't live in KY...


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Old 03-20-2015, 06:40 PM   #18
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All this work for a fix it ticket. Those are the cheapest and most easiest to take care of and usually issued in lieu of a normal non fix it , non reduce able fine.
Slap the stock ABs on, get it signed off on, slap the Roush back on afterwards.
Too much techno babble about db levels etc.... If a reasonable and prudent person heard your Roush ABs, they would have no doubt whatsoever that they do not meet CA law. If an officer can testify under oath as a reasonable and prudent person, then his testimony would suffice. Seriously? Who fights a fix it ticket? The officer did the least possible ticket.
No need for a meter here......
" equipped with an adequate muffler in constant operation and properly maintained to prevent any excessive or unusual noise"
Now who can say with a straight face that Roush axle backs aren't excessive and unusual? When you get on it, it sounds like you're at a NASCAR race.
I run them too but I know it may mean a ticket.
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Old 03-20-2015, 07:00 PM   #19
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I've had a few fix it tickets in Cali, mostly for tint or whatever, but I had a friend who was a cop and he would just sign my ticket as fixed. It was just an excuse to pull you over. Most cops won't bother writing this ticket. If you do swap them get it signed off then swap back if bet you don't get pulled for them ever again unless that same cop sees, or should I say hears you again.
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Old 04-29-2015, 12:37 PM   #20
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I had to take mine to a shop to get a letter stating I had a legal exhaust system when I changed mine


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Old 04-29-2015, 04:54 PM   #21
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So, the cop never actually performed the test as prescribed, and presumably used an estimation of the noise level when issuing the OP a ticket. I would think that this could be argued in court, unless the specified noise test is performed and shows the exhaust to be out of compliance (>95 dB).
This! Before the official sound limit and the method of determining it was published into law, the cops issued tickets left and right because all they had to do was say it was too loud in their opinion. I even got a ticket one time for loud exhausts on my completely stock Yamaha RD350 motorcycle. When I told the officer the bike was stock he accused me of drilling the baffles and issued me the ticket anyway. I was so pissed off I drove straight from receiving the ticket to the local CHP office (which was close by) and had the officer there immediately sign it off.

Now that they have the specific law, the effect has been the opposite of what was intended. The method of measurement is so specific it cannot be performed correctly at the side of a road conveying traffic. As a result the cops can't prove objectively that you're over the limit without the measurement data and consequently don't bother enforcing it very often knowing it'll probably be thrown out in court. There are now more loud cars and bikes on the road than before the law was changed.
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Old 04-29-2015, 05:37 PM   #22
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.. I live in Northern California. And I find it dumb that I got pulled over for the roush. I've heard fart can Hondas that don't pass smog louder than anything and I don't see them get pulled over for sound. Maybe it just wasn't my day. What do you guys think though. Should I fight it or just "fix" it


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welcome to the life of a mustang owner in CA
NorCal is just not the place to be driving a loud mustang
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