California's new Exhaust law

Discussion in 'RT/10 and GTS Discussions' started by Solid Red 98, Jan 7, 2019.

  1. Solid Red 98

    Solid Red 98 Viper Owner

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    So..., California is at it again. Has anyone been hassled by cops for noise yet? I run a Corsa on my 98 and know that it is too loud for Laguna Seca, as well as the street, after Jan 1. Now frickin what? Between smog, front plates, pothole ridden roads, electric/hybrids cars, proliferation of SUVs and x-overs causing manufacturers to drop whole segments of offerings, and now exhaust noise. It seems that the 21st century is closing in on our love of cars, and the truly fun and "free spirited" days may be behind us soon. In any event, I wonder if they will buy the, "I bought this car with this exhaust" line will work on the dickhead cops that have time to screw with us out there. JUst fo giggles, can you still even get a stock exhaust for a Gen 2 anymore?
     
  2. KyViper

    KyViper Viper Owner

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    Why do you need to have an exhaust system that is so loud that it bothers most everyone that hears it. Especially late at night or early in morning?
    I think we need to improve noise laws.
    I like any one else on these boards appreciate a finely tuned exhaust system on our performance cars, but the obnoxious cars running in essence straight headers need to go. Take them to the track, but stay off public streets.
    People who continue to jack up the Db’s from their cars are the ones who will hasten stricter laws.
    Just my opinion.
    Ky
     
  3. Solid Red 98

    Solid Red 98 Viper Owner

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    You are right, I'm just bummed that our cars may be ensnared in the net intended for these idiots running straight pipe on supercharged v8's of various ilk, and doing doughnuts and mashing on it at all hours of the day. In the end laws are passed because of unchecked bad behavior.
     
  4. ViperJeff

    ViperJeff VCA Legacy Member - UT/AZ Staff Member

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    IN California the government has made it clear, it's about control. It's not that you have loud exhaust, it's because it's a back handed slap because you're not green. So they find little enoying ways to force you to give up on what you love for something that will get you down the street hassle free.
     
  5. Bonkers

    Bonkers VCA Venom Member - Northeast

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    I know this is the standard cliche reply, but if youre a car
    guy you really need to think about relocating. California has
    been anti-car for years now (as you well know) but this new
    Liberal vs Conservative mindset taking root is going to make
    the situation insane here soon. I fully expect V10s, then V8s,
    then maybe even V6s to be outlawed sooner than later. I
    have a friend out there who was notifed he could no longer
    use his Peterbilt for work because the motor was older than
    2011 - meaning theyre pushing through grandfather laws now
    too. Good luck man, personally i dont see how anyone can live
    out that way anymore...
     
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  6. diamond head

    diamond head Enthusiast

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    We have 6 trucks that we can't register in CA unless we spend more money to upgrade them.
     
  7. Solid Red 98

    Solid Red 98 Viper Owner

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    As it should be generally known, California is a car culture in the extreme (Southern California, in particular). I think the exhaust law is more a function of the proliferation of extremely loud straight pipe running vehicles, ranging from tuners to pickup trucks. Thanks to youtube posts, a spike in the availability of high horsepower cars, SIDE SHOWS, and idiotic doughnuts being performed in neighborhoods, the sheer volume of loud performance vehicles has more than gotten the attention of the general non-car loving populace. The cops have been turning the other cheek for years. Many are car guys and Harley riders. But recent public outcry has erupted due to inconsiderate and irresponsible behavior on the part of so called, car enthusiasts; the same morons who show up to car meets reving, doing burnouts, and ruining all of the larger meets. The cops have had their ears bent repeatedly at council meetings across the country. There is a lot of cheap , loud speed out there to be had by folks who really aren't committed to the long-term participation in and preservation of the car culture. Laws get passed in response to something. It was a matter of time. In California, driving is a privilege, not a right. That used to be taught in driver's training class back in the olden days......
     
  8. MoparMap

    MoparMap VCA National President

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    I think some of it too is just how you drive your car, even if it is loud. You could probably get by with driving an "illegal" car if you just don't jump on it all the time and make a point of it being loud. I know I crept out of my neighborhood every morning in my car because I left at 6:00 am and felt bad for people, so I'd try to keep it as quiet as you can keep an 8+ liter performance V10. When I'm driving in a parade and have everyone yelling to wind it up I'll let them know how loud it can get.
     
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  9. Tom and Vipers

    Tom and Vipers Enthusiast

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    WARNING: Tirade follows:

    Although Kalifornia is notorious, I'm sad to say it is us, We The People who are to blame.

    We blabber that we love Freedom and Liberty yet cannot explain what that actually means.

    Ironically, the Chinese do - and it can be explained with a single word:

    TOLERANCE

    When Tolerance breaks down, people start complaining about Freedom and Liberty.

    Since we are one of the most intolerant nations, we might as well admit it and start building concentration camps. Oh wait... we've already done that with our proliferation of prisons and have incarcerated percent wise almost the most of any country on the planet. We are a joke.

    So much for the Land of the Free and Home of the Brave...

    ... and Brave??? Don't get me started....

    Apologies,
    Tom

     
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  10. ViperJeff

    ViperJeff VCA Legacy Member - UT/AZ Staff Member

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    Don’t forget that China uses the early release program....... one bullet at a time
     
  11. MoparMap

    MoparMap VCA National President

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    I was reading up on this some and apparently nothing in the law changed. The decibel limit has always been there, what changed is just how it can be enforced. Before it was a "fix it" ticket like a bad light bulb. Now it can be an on the spot fine, so it's not like they lowered the sound limits or anything. If you've been driving your car fine before you can drive it fine now.

    Tolerance says something about it, but at the same time there is a point at which it just becomes annoying/obnoxious. I think decibel limits on a race track is a joke (looking at you Lagune Seca, you're out in the middle of nowhere, why do you need sound limits there?). I can see it being enforced in neighborhoods and cities, but only for people that are doing it intentionally to be obnoxious. If you have a good sounding car that's loud but are driving it normally I don't think most would care. If you have straight pipes and are laying into the throttle every chance you get I think I'd have a talk with you if I was an officer.
     
  12. Solid Red 98

    Solid Red 98 Viper Owner

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    What You Need To Know About The New California Noise Law And Aftermarket Exhausts
    I found this article (excerp)on the Chilton's website Still not awesome, but it seems a tad better:
    http://blog.chiltondiymanuals.com/n...yGv4mcPWPYhS8flQD285q4L8f1rmhIuKKp8VwBLHdt2M8


    The internet has been very active recently with rumors of all sorts regarding a change to the way California enforces the excessive exhaust noise laws regarding motor vehicles. Bloggers, YouTube video makers, forum pundits, and social media commentators are all up in arms about the state, California Highway Patrol, and local police forces coming for their mufflers and cat back systems, and slapping them with $1,000 fines. We reached out to anyone and everyone we could find to try to get to the bottom of this for you, including representatives from Borla, Magnaflow, DynaMax, CHP, AAA, SEMA and even a local legislator in West Virginia who helped draft the law that California’s was based on. What follows is what we have found so far, and it will get updated when we know more.

    Almost none of the rumors are true. You can still install aftermarket exhaust systems without breaking the law, and if you do get pulled over for your car being loud, contrary to widespread claims, it is not an automatic, mandatory $1,000 fine, and you won’t have to put your car back to 100% stock.

    The only law pertaining to exhaust system noise that changed in California on January 1st, 2019, is that now it is a fine and an order to visit a referee station to have the noise level measured. Instead of a fine, before the first of the year, you would pay a filing fee of $25, and get an law enforcement authority to sign off that it had been fixed/quieted.

    The law governing what is excessive noise has not changed and dates back to 2003, it is based on a simple test done at idle speed with the car parked. A dB sound meter (you can download an app for your phone) about 20″ away from the exhaust tip, and 45 degrees away from directly behind it, can read no more than 95 dB. This law was written and passed in several states (not just California) with input from SEMA and aftermarket exhaust manufacturers to replace a vague law that dated back to the 1970s. SEMA Director of Government Affairs Steve McDonald had this to say about it when it passed:

    “The new law forces compliance with an objectively measured standard in a fair and predictable test. Through this procedure, cited motorists who drive vehicles legally equipped with modified exhaust systems can confirm that those vehicles comply with California’s exhaust noise standards. For years, the enforcement policy used by police officers deemed nearly all exhaust system modifications illegal, even where the noise levels were not excessive or unusual. That policy left exhaust system manufacturers, dealers and their customers without recourse.”
    [​IMG]Under the old system, you would be given a “fix-it” ticket based on the whim of the officer issuing the citation. There was no official testing procedure or sound limit that was deemed “quiet enough” by law. If you failed to correct the violation and file the paperwork within 30 days, a “failure to appear” ticket would be issued which carried a fine of hundreds of dollars and a mandatory court appearance.

    The law now in place set a standard of 95dB for a car at idle and has been on the books since 2003. This is also the federal DOT standard that motorcycles have been required to pass for decades. If you do get a ticket you are directed to take your car to a “referee station” to perform the sound test and give you a certificate of compliance. The certificate, filed with the court, will negate the citation, and it is not a moving violation so there are no points involved. It is assumed that if you test and do not meet the noise limit you will have to pay the fine, but it is not known if you can pay the fine and not fix the noise violation.

    The fines start as low as $25 and can run to nearly $200, not including the fee you would pay the referee station to test your car for compliance.

    We downloaded a free dB sound meter for an Android smartphone and tested the loudest car we had on hand, a Camaro ZL-1 with aftermarket system. The fifth generation Camaro registered well below the legal limit at idle (81dB), and even when revved to a reasonable degree was well within compliance (89dB). If you wish to test your car, download an app and follow this procedure.

    Here is the official FAQ from SEMA debunking many of the rumors people have been spreading. The referee testing instruction to those who have gotten a ticket is here.

    UPDATE:

    It seems that what many people are really worried about is a referee station finding other parts that do not comply with smog regulations. We reached out and this is what the Bureau of Auto Repair (who run the referee program) told us:
     
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2019
  13. Viper90265

    Viper90265 Enthusiast

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    Yes, agreed. All that, PLUS the peoples republic of California is a communist sh*t hole that doesn't REALLY care about noise but rather wants to eliminate the internal combustion engine all together from the roads.
    Nevada, Arizona, Texas: Here I come!
     
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  14. Viper90265

    Viper90265 Enthusiast

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    great info! Thanks!
     
  15. Viper90265

    Viper90265 Enthusiast

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    AGREED!
     

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