wtf re: exhaust and legality

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avriette
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wtf re: exhaust and legality

Post by avriette » Thu Mar 20, 2008 11:17 am

I have now been pulled over twice for having an "illegal muffler." Last night, heading home from tacos, I was doing 50 in a 45 when a crown vic (I thought it was a Taurus) glued itself to my rear bumper. When I pulled over into the right lane to let them by, he followed me into the lane and turned his lights on. He asked me if I knew why he had pulled me over, and I was frankly kind of confused, so I said, "I dunno, 50 in a 45?" He asked me for my license and registration, which I gave him. He then told me that he had pulled me over because I had an "illegal exhaust. You can see how big it is, that's not legal."

I replied that I had actually ordered the car from Subaru this way, and indicated the "big wing," "hood scoop," and said, "it all comes as a big package from Subaru." In fact, I had ordered the car, from the factory, with the SPT catback, which actually says SPT on the exit. It even has the catback on my window sticker (we didn't buy it off the lot; we ordered everything and waited eight weeks).

At this point, another FFX cop pulled up and started examining the back of the car. I was more concerned with the first cop, and Sandy said that the second cop spent quite a bit of time going over the rear underside of the car with a flashlight. My guess is it was equally as dirty as the rest of the car, it said something that didn't look like HKS or GReddy, or whatever he was looking for.

What bothered me is the speed limit had decreased from 45 to 35 in the half-mile or so I had used to pull over, and I was waiting for him to say that I was doing 50 (admitted) in a 35 (not quite). It really struck me that this was his intent from the beginning. When he came back, he handed me my registration and license, and said, "slow down." I said thanks, turned the car back on, and left.

I've now been pulled over five times in the two years we've had the car. I've never gotten a ticket (well, the last ticket I got was in California in 1998), and three times I've been accosted for modifying the car. Every time they instructed me to slow down, but only once was I actually doing anything egregious (I've been "pulled over" at DCA when I was hardly moving, and for 5 or so over the rest of the time, except once when I was doing 75 in a 45 or so, and the cop was I guess so pissed – he was homicide, not traffic or anything – he told me to get the fuck out of the city, in those words).

First, wtf is the story with the exhaust? I can't imagine it's illegal. It's hardly louder than the stock exhaust, and every single person at Tacos last night had a louder, less-stock exhaust than I did. I park next to a guy with a 4" exhaust at work (an STI), and another guy with a 4" exhaust at home (a WRX). The car has the cat, and is entirely stock, including the catback.

Second, and I hate to ask, why in the hell do all of these guys just tell me to slow down, go home, etc? The only thing I can think of is they pull my license, see that I have no traffic convictions, that my registration is current, etc., and that I have a carry permit (and thus am not a felon or anything, uh, indecent). I would think that nominally these people are out to give me a ticket, and finding somebody with a spotless record is a good way to put that person in their place. Or something.

On the other hand, he probably also saw that last night was the 19th and my birthday is the 20th. But I have a hard time believing a cop – a fairfax cop at that – would give me a break on my birthday. Especially without letting me know what a nice guy he was.

The location, for those interested, is at Little River Turnpike right as I came upon the beltway. It's 45 before, and after the beltway, it slows down to 35. I had been thinking, I should just get on the freeway, set the cruise control, and let the car drive itself home. Next time, I will stay the goddamn hell off of that road.

Grr.
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Mr Kleen
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Post by Mr Kleen » Thu Mar 20, 2008 1:04 pm

1. the wing draws attention
2. FFX cops are extra... special :roll:
3. it's closing in on the end of the month.

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Post by chicken n waffles » Thu Mar 20, 2008 1:09 pm

4. you're lucky as BALLS to not get tickets from ffx county nazicops. seriously, wtf? give me some of your mojo.
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Post by Sabre » Thu Mar 20, 2008 3:12 pm

First off, HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!!!!

Second, get the SPT brochure and keep it in the glove compartment.

And this is advise to everyone: Keep the rev's below 4k unless you know the coast is clear. When you accelerate, there is no reason to be on boost. When I accelerate, I'm usually sitting at 0 (not in vacuum, not on boost). I have never been pulled over for my exhaust or for any other reason (other than speeding) because I follow these rules.
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Post by chicken n waffles » Thu Mar 20, 2008 3:29 pm

it's hit or miss in this area. some exhausts are louder than others. some cops pull sti's over and claim the STOCK exhaust is too loud and is illegal. usually it comes down to the driver was being an asshat, or the cop is profiling. like el presidente mentioned, it's best to stay out of boost around town.
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Post by drwrx » Thu Mar 20, 2008 5:25 pm

You have every right to bitch. The law and those who are currently enforcing it are useless. I carry a copy of Subaru's Performance magazine with the SPT cat-back article in it stating that it is 50 state legal and meets Federal decibel standards. But then I have never been pulled over. Wagons are invisible to cops.

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Post by avriette » Fri Mar 21, 2008 1:05 pm

drwrx wrote:You have every right to bitch. The law and those who are currently enforcing it are useless. I carry a copy of Subaru's Performance magazine with the SPT cat-back article in it stating that it is 50 state legal and meets Federal decibel standards. But then I have never been pulled over. Wagons are invisible to cops.
This is one of the things that keeps me away from getting the new hatch, although from the numbers I like it. I can't imagine getting away with an "illegal exhaust" on a black hatchback.

As for boost, doing 50 in a 45, I was in vacuum, not boost. I had a hard time figuring out whether I wanted 6 or 5, so we were hovering between 3500 and 2250 rpm.

Makes me wonder if the reason we kept getting a warning is that the car just doesn't fit the profile of your average rice mobile.
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Post by drwrx » Fri Mar 21, 2008 1:22 pm

avriette wrote:This is one of the things that keeps me away from getting the new hatch, although from the numbers I like it. I can't imagine getting away with an "illegal exhaust" on a black hatchback.
I think the hatch would be more like my wagon and be less visible to the police. There is no big wing to attract attemtion.

I hate to say it, but I think it's the STi wing that makes the cops see red.

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Post by complacent » Fri Mar 21, 2008 2:01 pm

I'm going to agree with the good Dr.'s opinion here.

I had much fewer looks from lawman once I got rid of the shopping cart handle on my old STi.

WRX swap/STI limited spoiler/wingless = less cognito, not quite incognito.
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Post by Mr Kleen » Sat Mar 22, 2008 3:52 pm

avriette wrote:Makes me wonder if the reason we kept getting a warning is that the car just doesn't fit the profile of your average rice mobile.
you're getting pulled over because the STi fits the cop's profile of an average rice mobile.
you're getting warnings because you don't fit the cop's profile of an average rice mobile driver.

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Post by Phibs » Sun Mar 23, 2008 9:50 pm

Mr Kleen wrote:
avriette wrote:Makes me wonder if the reason we kept getting a warning is that the car just doesn't fit the profile of your average rice mobile.
you're getting pulled over because the STi fits the cop's profile of an average rice mobile.
you're getting warnings because you don't fit the cop's profile of an average rice mobile driver.
Until he meets up with the quality officer of the law that I did :) Enjoy living in VA, basically the law says you're F*CT unless you lie and say it's stock. That worked once for me after my original ticket which I fought and lost and once for my friend with an STI as well. Yep it's OEM wanna go to the dealer and look at other new cars? This state blows for cars.
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Re: wtf re: exhaust and legality

Post by Phibs » Sun Mar 23, 2008 9:52 pm

avriette wrote: He then told me that he had pulled me over because I had an "illegal exhaust. You can see how big it is, that's not legal."
Holy jumpin jesus on a pogo stick, that's exactly what the cop said about my Cobb ( smaller than stock )!!!! I wonder if they are being given the same training course regarding "Loud Ass big exhausts... YO!"
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Post by chicken n waffles » Sun Mar 23, 2008 10:54 pm

complacent wrote:I'm going to agree with the good Dr.'s opinion here.

I had much fewer looks from lawman once I got rid of the shopping cart handle on my old STi.

WRX swap/STI limited spoiler/wingless = less cognito, not quite incognito.
+53billion, speaking from experience

wrx wing = cops don't give me a 2nd look*








*most of the time
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Post by Phibs » Mon Mar 24, 2008 12:43 am

chicken n waffles wrote:
complacent wrote:I'm going to agree with the good Dr.'s opinion here.

I had much fewer looks from lawman once I got rid of the shopping cart handle on my old STi.

WRX swap/STI limited spoiler/wingless = less cognito, not quite incognito.
+53billion, speaking from experience

wrx wing = cops don't give me a 2nd look*

*most of the time
Ditto, unless yer doing 30 over ;)
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Post by avriette » Mon Mar 24, 2008 8:07 am

Phibs wrote: Ditto, unless yer doing 30 over ;)
I made sure to use the uppercase conjugation of the word "driving" with the kind officer.
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