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Discussion Starter #1
Hello out there,
I know this has to be a huge subject, so if anyone else in California has gotten a ticket for exhaust, please read my story and throw out any help that I can use in court...
I received my first citation last night for a "modified exhaust" 27151 of the CA vehicle code. I own a 2000 Toyota Tacoma Xtra cab V6 4x2. I had a Flowmaster 2 chamber exhaust installed on it about six months ago. I have driven by, past and next to many CHP and other officers in the past without them batting an eye. Last night I was on the surface streets of downtown Sacramento when I caught a red light next to a CHP. As the light turned, the officer dropped back to my left rear quarter (exhaust exists the other side) in the lane next to me and rolls down his window. Having a second red light, I did not even reach the speed limit (35 mph, but checking on that). He change lanes to get behind me and I already knew what was coming, so I changes lanes to the left because I knew I was going to get pulled over. As the next light turned green, he threw his lights on and pulled me over. The CHP officer told me he had pulled me over for the exhaust and asked for all the standard ID. I complied, being polite and I then mentioned that I thought that the noise level for exhaust was supposed to by 95 decibels. He then replied that anything modified over stock was illegal. Needless to say, I did not argue and he cited me for a modified exhaust. It had stuck in my head that the noise level for exhaust was supposed to be 95 decibels when I read about this same situation in Sport Compact Car. I'm glad I remembered SEMA. I was told it was not a "fix-it" ticket, though I was required to have it fixed and signed off by a CHP officer. I asked if it would be a dollar fine then and the officer replied yes. Do I have a leg to stand on here. Glancing the Vehicle Code I found that the noise limit had to be exceeded at 50 feet. The officer was 7 feet away and rolled down his window to listen. Any help would be greatly appreciated
 

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Ok, here's my take on the laws. Please chime in if you have had different experiences with the judges.

California Vehicle Code 27151 specifies that you cannot modify you exhaust to make your vehicle louder than what is stated in CVC 27200.

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.

CVC 27200 states that the CHP has identified a distance of 50 feet to be the proper testing distance for exceeding Db levels.

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 the California Highway Patrol.

The Db levels established in 1974 are as follows:

27206. For the purposes of Section 27200, the following noise limits shall apply to any other motor vehicle, not specified in this article, manufactured:

(1) After 1967, and before 1973 ........................86 dbA
(2) After 1972, and before 1975 ........................84 dbA
(3) After 1974 .................................................80 dbA


I don't know if there have been any changes to these codes since their 1974 inception. But it looks like you were wronged by the police.
 

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OK, just found this... January 1st, 2002, this should go into effect...

SB 1081, Johannessen, Exhaust and Muffler Systems; Excessive Noise Introduced 2/23/01; last amended 5/22/0; last action 07/23/01 Chaptered by Secretary of State. Chapter 92, Statutes of 2001. EFECTIVE date 1/1/02 Repeals current provisions regarding noise limits. Provides that motor vehicle exhaust systems include nonoriginal exhaust equipment. Requires regulations adopted by the CHP Commissioner to provide that exhaust systems installed on vehicles weighing less than 6,000 lbs. that emit no more than 95 dbA comply with specified requirements. Repeals current provisions regarding a study conducted by the CHP and the filing of regulations with the Legislature. Authorizes a court to dismiss any action in which a person is prosecuted for specified provisions concerning the use of mufflers and exhaust systems, if the vehicle is equipped with an exhaust system that complies with the CHP's regulations. Repeals specified provisions relating to the sale of motorcycle exhaust systems. Provides that for vehicles of less than 6,000 lbs., other than motorcycles, a sound level of 95 dbA or less complies with noise limits.

We'll see what happens until then.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the info RAT. I can use all I can get.
 

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I don't have any help to offer you, but man that sucks. All of my friends have modified exhaust and some of them you can hear coming from blocks away and none of them have ever been pulled over.
 

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il padrino
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(Formerly V666) Well, the verdict is in. I had all my research together and talked to the owner of the muffler shop. I was good to go without changing a thing. I was going to go to the CHP office to have them check it before my court date just to see if it would pass their test anyway (if they even had one). I went in right after work so I was still wearing my uniform (military). I don't know if that's what did it, but the officer took my word for it that the 40 series Flowmaster I had on the truck was good to go. He didn't even listen to it and he signed off on the ticket! I guess this was my Christmas present. Bottom line is, if the cops feel like writing you a ticket, you are going to get one. If anyone ever needs info for CA modified exhaust laws, just ask.
 

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I've already had 2 tickets for altered exhaust! I paid them both off.
"In the state of Virginia, it is illegal to alter your exhaust system in any way"....thats what the cop told me. Would have been 4 but 2 cops (one was a state trooper) let me go with a warning. Ain't that some Sh**!? Its crossed my mind a couple of times to take my dual exhaust out BUT it sounds nice...and looks nice! My taco has that "import racer" sound...with 3" exhaust tips on each exhaust pipe. Maybe...it's a bit TOO noticeable. =) *shrugs* i like'em!! later.
 

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il padrino
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I have driven by too many CHPs to count and no one even looked at me funny until this one cop. Guess he had tickets to write that day. It would also seem that they tend to give a little more leeway to motorcycles and V8s... at least here in Sacramento. My friend has a modified 1966 Mustang with a 5.0 FI Cobra engine and a Paxton Supercharger with dual Flowmasters. He gets pulled over so the cop and look at it and admire it. Bunch of crap!!!
 
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