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BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > BMW E90/E92/E93 3-series General Forums > Regional Forums > UK > UK Law on Sports Exhausts!



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      01-28-2016, 06:07 PM   #1
Dukey_L10
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UK Law on Sports Exhausts!

I have been looking at getting the BMW Performance exhaust or similar for my E90 330i (N52). I would be declaring it on the insurance to make sure all is good but after some browsing I have come across the following statement on a number of constabularies websites in relation to the legality of fitting a new exhaust...

"All exhaust silencers must be maintained in a good and efficient working order. You will be breaking the law if you remove a silencer or make any modification that would make that vehicle emit a noise louder than the original exhaust before it was modified."

"There is no requirement for a police officer to measure the sound level from the exhaust system, it only requires an opinion that the system is not standard and that it is noisier than a normal vehicle of the same specification"

Does anyone know or have any experience of this, and would it apply given that it is a genuine BMW part?

Seems wrong that it just requires the "opinion" that it's louder! Knowing my luck I'll get pulled by a copper with a hangover!
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      01-28-2016, 06:25 PM   #2
shrimpvende
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I've never heard that before or heard of anyone getting done or even questioned for it in years of being on car forums. If you think about all the chav mobiles and all the scoobies and similar with huge exhausts if that were really enforced they would be constantly pulled.

I'm running a PE on my 330i - get one, you won't regret it. If in doubt just don't light it up if you see any police around, but honestly it's not really loud enough to draw enough attention under normal driving.
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      01-28-2016, 08:34 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dukey_L10
I have been looking at getting the BMW Performance exhaust or similar for my E90 330i (N52). I would be declaring it on the insurance to make sure all is good but after some browsing I have come across the following statement on a number of constabularies websites in relation to the legality of fitting a new exhaust...

"All exhaust silencers must be maintained in a good and efficient working order. You will be breaking the law if you remove a silencer or make any modification that would make that vehicle emit a noise louder than the original exhaust before it was modified."

"There is no requirement for a police officer to measure the sound level from the exhaust system, it only requires an opinion that the system is not standard and that it is noisier than a normal vehicle of the same specification"

Does anyone know or have any experience of this, and would it apply given that it is a genuine BMW part?

Seems wrong that it just requires the "opinion" that it's louder! Knowing my luck I'll get pulled by a copper with a hangover!
No you can definitely get it, the exhaust system is not that loud...only when u step on it(over4k rpm) it will be noticeable, other then that it will sound completely stock , i have it on my 328xi 07' and I absolutely love it ! U should really go for it
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      01-29-2016, 04:19 AM   #4
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I had different exhausts on my E36 and never had an issue with police or MOTs.
One of them was loud enough to set off car alarms.

Stop worrying and buy one.
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      01-29-2016, 10:29 AM   #5
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me and my cousin were approached by traffic police while parked and engine turned off. They made him turn it on and check the decible reading. He had 2 weeks to either put standard exhaust on or pay 500 fine. Quite riddiculous really considering some exhausts you get on some Civic's in London revving the crap outta them.
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      01-29-2016, 10:46 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by S4DNX View Post
me and my cousin were approached by traffic police while parked and engine turned off. They made him turn it on and check the decible reading. He had 2 weeks to either put standard exhaust on or pay 500 fine. Quite riddiculous really considering some exhausts you get on some Civic's in London revving the crap outta them.
1st time I've heard of this and a little crazy. I've always run aftermarket exhausts and if this is truly the case and they plan to enforce it rigorously then most aftermarket exhaust manufacturers are going to be going out of business...
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      01-29-2016, 12:39 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by S4DNX View Post
me and my cousin were approached by traffic police while parked and engine turned off. They made him turn it on and check the decible reading. He had 2 weeks to either put standard exhaust on or pay 500 fine. Quite riddiculous really considering some exhausts you get on some Civic's in London revving the crap outta them.
How did they measure the decibel reading ?
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      01-29-2016, 12:43 PM   #8
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This doesn't sound right. My brother has a fully Civic you can hear from the next county and he's never been pulled up on it.
The only time he's been stopped was when doing over a ton and having an unmarked car pull him over.
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      01-29-2016, 01:28 PM   #9
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My MG has a straight through pipe with no baffles whatsoever - just a couple of expansion boxes. It is a little crisp, particularly when it comes "on the cam". My wife says she can always hear when I come into town - whichever direction I approach from. This exhaust has been on for the past 25 years or so and I've never been pulled - for noise or anything (in that car anyway). I did ask an Officer some years ago, and he said that as long as there were no leaks, there would be nothing he could do about it. He then asked where I was parked, and when I pointed, he walked off in the opposite direction!

Of course, the MG, being a V8, only emits music from the exhaust - keep your sixes, tens and twelves, there's nothing like V8 music!

Mike
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      01-29-2016, 01:29 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dann View Post
I had different exhausts on my E36 and never had an issue with police or MOTs.
One of them was loud enough to set off car alarms.

Stop worrying and buy one.
This ^

The Milltek on my E39 M5 was not exactly quiet and I've had loads of cars with aftermarket exhausts over the years, not a single issue with Police or MOT's.
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      01-29-2016, 01:40 PM   #11
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Cheers guys, that puts my mind at ease!
Now the only issue I have is that BMW reckon that my car needs a new centre section to fit the PE back box which is 745!!!!
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      01-29-2016, 01:47 PM   #12
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you could have an exhaust place knock you up a custom section for a fraction of that cost!
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      01-29-2016, 01:57 PM   #13
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I think they'd be more concerned with bean can exhaust and cherry bomb likes. Your safe with the BMW PE.
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      01-29-2016, 02:20 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shrimpvende View Post
you could have an exhaust place knock you up a custom section for a fraction of that cost!
Yea I've been quoted 475 for a custom cat back but want to try and keep it genuine BMW if I can. Plus with it being a N/A engine could stand to lose power on a custom job if not done properly.
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      02-01-2016, 05:20 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SO8 View Post
How did they measure the decibel reading ?
Made him switch it on and held a device by the exhaust
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      02-01-2016, 05:23 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RajB View Post
1st time I've heard of this and a little crazy. I've always run aftermarket exhausts and if this is truly the case and they plan to enforce it rigorously then most aftermarket exhaust manufacturers are going to be going out of business...
Baring in mind this was 3/4 years ago, he's had and got a few Skylines GT-R's and integra DC5's and not had any problems, even with aftermarket exhausts that pop and bang.

I think it was personally the bored Enfield police looking for things to do out of jealously in their Astra's lol
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      02-01-2016, 06:29 AM   #17
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I've heard of this before and you can actually fail an mot if the exhaust is deemed too loud. Never heard of anyone actually getting done by it though and I've had some loud exhausts in the past. Eg. Japspeed K1 on a 350z.
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      02-01-2016, 07:08 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by S4DNX View Post
Made him switch it on and held a device by the exhaust
Many years ago in my youth i had a nova, with the typical loud exhaust. I was pulled over leaving a local meet (as were many others that evening) and they went over the car looking for issues.

I generally kept my car in good nick and there was nothing wrong, so then they started on the exhaust.

Much like you describe, he held a handheld decibel meter near the exhaust and asked me to "rev it a bit", then declared it was over the limit and handed me a fine. I was raging.

Knowing my physics, i realised that the distance from the sound source matters greatly and the closer the meter is to the exhaust pipe, the higher the reading will be. Thus any law governing how loud an exhaust can be, must have a written test procedure involving set distances.

So i went and did some research, and dug out the actual statutory instruments that govern how loud a car exhaust can be in the library at uni, and sure enough there was a stipulated test procedure, involving taking multiple readings from each side of the car, at a specific distance.

So i decided i wasnt paying the fine and i'd see them in court. Got a letter back from the PF saying they weren't pursuing it any further.
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      02-02-2016, 12:05 PM   #19
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The MPE on my M3 was a factory fitted option, so if the police decided it was too noisy/illegal, I think that could be an "interesting" scenario.

BMW supplying an illegal new car , my comment to the officer would be "see you in court".
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      02-02-2016, 12:35 PM   #20
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Yeah. They'd have no chance against a factory exhaust. Absolute twaddle.
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      02-03-2016, 11:36 AM   #21
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Well after all your comments the PE has now been purchased! Can't wait to get it fitted!!
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      02-03-2016, 12:56 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dukey_L10 View Post
Well after all your comments the PE has now been purchased! Can't wait to get it fitted!!
Congrats, you'll love it. And the beauty of a PE (if the fuzz ever challenged you) is you can point to the BMW OEM manufacturer's plate on the silencer box!
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