New Muffler Sound Laws and Enforcement

73Coupe

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That was a terrible reporting job! Bubb Rubb or Rubb Bubb, his car wasn't even loud, and he damn near hit cars on the opposite side of the street! Just a little old too, how many 70's wagons are cruising around Oakland these days?

Semi trucks and their Jake Brakes can be heard for almost a mile where I am, those guys just love them too.

That report was from the 90s... but that news gal is still on KRON 4.... Pam Moore

Highway 101 is right behind my backyard fence. The jake brakes (especially late at night) are the only thing that I still can't stand! Sometimes you can hear the semis rolling down the grade a few miles from here, Jakes running full tilt. I'm building a sound wall soon....
 

fury fan

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As a former engine-cooling fan engineer, who has mild understanding of the caveats to *consistently* measuring sound via pressure (which is what dB is) vs measuring sound power (which is consistent and comparable across test results) I seriously doubt that CA knows their level of ignorance on this whole idea.* There is also a huge factor of frequency, which determines whether the sound is displeasing. As an example - fans with non-equally-spaced blades are designed so that the fan's frequency signature makes its noise less objectionable, not quieter (I'm paraphrasing).

As far as the 'testing center' goes, temperature and humidity affect the dB readings. Distance from the sound source plays a HUGE factor in the readings.
While the intent is to prevent noise for the public, and this would seem to be effective on such a goal - it would be the equivalent of having improperly-calibrated radar guns to check speed.

I also find it interesting that the car is banned from the road and 'sport mode' must be removed before it can be driven again.
If we are to take this lunacy out to the fenceline - then any car capable of exceeding the speed limit must return to the dealer to have excess speed capability removed.
Motorcycles will essentially be turned into scooters.

While I appreciate what CA is trying to do, I truly feel sorry for the residents there - their govt is slowly increasing the temperature and gonna boil 'em like frogs.


* granted, I haven't read the law, but if they are doing testing via boxes at intersections and boxes on copcars, that in itself makes their measurement methods highly suspect.
 

CBODY67

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Testing exhaust sounds is nothing new. I recall seeing an article about taking a Shelby GT500 to Europe for a "tour". In Paris, I believe, the local cops pulled the car over for "excessive exhaust sound". They brought out the test microphone. Stepped back from the rear bumper a specified amount of feet, had the driver take the rpms up to about 2000 or so (in neutral), and then the sound was checked for "db" amount. This was in about 1970! The Shelby did pass their test with a few db to spare, as it turned out.

By observation, there are many Mustangs in this area (DFW, TX) which have aftermarket exhaust systems on them. Prior-gen GTs had to have Flowmasters on them or they were not "GT"s. I'm not sure what the current-gen Mustangs have under them, but they have their own unique sound. Seems like many owners (with manual transmissions) drive around in the lower gears just to hear those exhausts "talk". What I find "annoying" they must like, obviously, or perceive it is "the sound of power" and whatever else.

"Engine brakes" on diesels? Many TX cities have posted signs at their city limits that use of such things is not permitted within their city limits (citing the ordinance number).

On the diesel side of things, for about 20 years TX has had a "smoking vehicle hotline" to report any diesel vehicle which emits black smoke for more than 10 seconds. An environmental orientation, plus an issue for other drivers to see through as they are behind offending vehicles.

On motorcycles, they do not need to be silent. How else would you know they were around if they were quiet? But there can be a limit, too.

I suspect that "after the new wears off" and the sound checking equipment does not justify its expense, it will quietly fade away. Not to mention complaints from owners with OEM-stock performance cars who some "intense" checking might catch. IF they can afford one of those cars, they probably can afford litigation, too, I suspect.

I remember back in the 1970s when it seemed to be popular to get some inexpensive glass packs on your new 2" dual exhaust system. On many vehicles, if you "racked them off" by revving the engine and then closing the throttle, they would make particular sounds that could be irritating. AND if they did that in front of a cop, they could get pulled over with a ticket for "loud exhaust system", which might be a warning or a real ticket which would require some different mufflers being installed. OR, they learned when and where they could get away with it!!!

"Discretion" can allow things to happen, in the appropriate place, with no problems, generally. Personally, I don't desire my neighbors to know when I might come home at 2:00am, or whenever. Nor be awakened when I might leave at 6:00am. No need for that, to me.

Years ago, in the automotive exhaust realm of things . . . "You can get away with more if you are not heard doing something you probably shouldn't be doing. But if you want everybody to hear you do what you do, that can get the attention of 'the law' or others", with consequences. (paraphrased).

Of course, if you want some "fun", several operatives with loud exhausts can "buzz" the sound check location at about the same time, overpowering the machine and operator to determine whom to go after. Might work ONCE, but that might be enough.

Y'all be safe now, ya hear!
CBODY67
 

'66 Fury I

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Freedom is sought by all humans. But, it seems, someone is always attempting to limit or remove the freedom of others. Wars have been fought to win freedom. The persuit of freedom has sparked large human migrations. We must realize that one freedom can infringe on another freedom. As a child, I was told that my freedon to swing my fist ended one inch short of your nose. History has shown that many have saccrificed thier freedom to secure the freedom of others. We also must expect that as others exercise thier freedoms, we may have to make concessions to accomodete them. So much for philosophy!
As I enter my eighth decade, I look back on all the "new" restrictions (or losses of freedoms) that have been placed on me. This leaves me thankful to be on the last portion of my life, but also leaves me fearful for my children and grandchildren.
Sorry about the "ramble". I guess I just want to say we will survive this and "battery buggies" too!! Lindsay
 

Fishfan

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I apologize if this was already posted somewhere else, but I didn't see it. Every state has noise ordinances, but most are per the discretion of the community and not by a certain DB level. California has developed an entire sound enforcement department and program, which other states are interested in. The laws were passed in 2019, but because of COVID and budget constraints, police didn't get the testing equipment/inspectors (called by the nice name of "referees") until late 2021. So it goes like this:

1) Sound boxes will be placed at certain intersections and installed on cop cars. This will record your speed and sound db's coming and going with video. If over 95 db, An officer will stop and ticket you.
2) You pay the $100 fine, plus
3) You'll need to pay about $50 for an authorized station to get your DB's checked. The inspector will put your car in the HIGHEST DB LEVEL (certain RPM/cut out for older cars or race mode for newer if applicable). I think emission testing facilities will do this. If it falls, you'll need to change your mufflers (I'm guessing $500 if done yourself) and have it inspected again.
4) You'll need to show the traffic court your "certificate of compliance" within the specified time (I think 30 days) and pay court costs. (I'm guessing $50?)
5) New performance cars are failing. Registration is suspended after 30 days if mufflers not changed. License suspended if caught driving. Car or motorcycle impounded.

California Suspends Registration For Hyundai Elantra N Driver Because The Stock Exhaust is Too Loud


I'm for it. When a motorcycle or crappy car rattles my windows and wakes me up, I'm pretty sure that well over 100 db's.
Good to see California has solved all its other problems and has plenty of resources to go after these.
 

jimmyessbee

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Freedom is sought by all humans. But, it seems, someone is always attempting to limit or remove the freedom of others. Wars have been fought to win freedom. The persuit of freedom has sparked large human migrations. We must realize that one freedom can infringe on another freedom. As a child, I was told that my freedon to swing my fist ended one inch short of your nose. History has shown that many have saccrificed thier freedom to secure the freedom of others. We also must expect that as others exercise thier freedoms, we may have to make concessions to accomodete them. So much for philosophy!
As I enter my eighth decade, I look back on all the "new" restrictions (or losses of freedoms) that have been placed on me. This leaves me thankful to be on the last portion of my life, but also leaves me fearful for my children and grandchildren.
Sorry about the "ramble". I guess I just want to say we will survive this and "battery buggies" too!! Lindsay
There's freedom to and freedom from. Freedom to have loud pipes and freedom from loud pipes. The only way to have both is to remove yourself from the masses.
 

65sporty

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Had a neighbor testing out the new subs in their truck, once.
This is my baby boy, my bass head, he doesn't play it too loud in town. Usually when he wants to bump loud he comes out to the house. My closest neighbor is about 500-1000 ft away and doesn't complain. If I am outside I can hear him coming from about a 1/2 mile away.
 

Justin Plant

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When a stock Hyundai can't pass, there's little hope. I'm glad i live in the country. My dodge isn't loud but my El Camino shakes my house. When I do drive it to work, I idle up the street past all the houses. Then i go for it. It's just respect really.
 

jimmyessbee

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When a stock Hyundai can't pass, there's little hope. I'm glad i live in the country. My dodge isn't loud but my El Camino shakes my house. When I do drive it to work, I idle up the street past all the houses. Then i go for it. It's just respect really.
There was a time I was a tech person for a small school in rural ND. I've always been an early person. I rode in the summer a Honda VTX 1800 with a 2 into one straight pipe. I'd crawl into work at about 5:30am. Beautiful morning for a ride. But, when I'd come into town I'd just idle. I thought it was quiet enough until one morning it set somebody's car alarm off.
 

fury fan

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When a stock Hyundai can't pass, there's little hope. I'm glad i live in the country. My dodge isn't loud but my El Camino shakes my house. When I do drive it to work, I idle up the street past all the houses. Then i go for it. It's just respect really.
It was stock but not just a vanilla car, though. Was a 2022 hi-po model, with a 'sport mode', so apparently has a factory variable-baffle muffler or something controlled by the ECU.
 

fury fan

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This is my baby boy, my bass head, he doesn't play it too loud in town. Usually when he wants to bump loud he comes out to the house. My closest neighbor is about 500-1000 ft away and doesn't complain. If I am outside I can hear him coming from about a 1/2 mile away.
Perhaps he won't listen to Dad, but maybe tell him a guy you know on a forum said that WILL affect his hearing when he's older.
 

3175375

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Continued government foolish spending. The government doesn’t consistently enforce laws that exist. I lost count of how many people are using their cell phones (hands in use and at their ear or flat in front of their face).
I believe that this sound legislation is just another example of the leadership being out of touch with reality. The sad thing is that the same leadership keeps getting re-elected.
 
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Just a little more FYI - Most performance mufflers are 70-95db, so probably nothing to worry about.

95db is LOUD, VERY LOUD. Noises over 70db start to damage hearing. Noises over 120db immediately damage hearing within seconds.

A normal conversation is 50db at 1ft. Screaming is 90-110db at 1ft. Engines with straight pipes are at 105-130db at 3ft. Motorcycles with those single baffle "mufflers" are 95-120db at 3ft. I don't know distance for new law, but I think its at 3ft?

Why someone would be against a 95db law is odd to me, but yeah, I see if you're rebuilding an engine and fire it up without any mufflers, then your a**hole neighbor calls the cops on you, that would suck.

Hopefully, cops will have some discretion.
 
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cbarge

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California and noise requirements can date back to late 60's/early 70's. When Regan was Governor. IIRC
You can tell a "California Mopar" as it had turn down tailpipes when anywhere else the. Performance cars like 'Cuda's, GTX, any R/T Dodge came standard with chrome exhaust tips. E bodies and B bodies mostly.
71 to 74 B tips? Not in the sunny state.
 
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