Texas Muffler Regulations

by Roger Porter
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A muffler is a series of chambers that receives the exhaust emitted from an internal combustion chamber engine and releases it through a pipe toward the back of the vehicle. This process effectively reduces the noise from a working engine. Properly functioning mufflers also reduce the amount of harmful emissions released into the environment. The Texas Transportation Code requires all registered vehicles to have a muffler and comply with the standards outlined by the law.

Muffler Requirements

Texas law stipulates that no part of an exhaust system can pass through the passenger compartment. The exhaust, likewise, can only be emitted from the back, sides, or top of the vehicle. A muffler must be mounted to the vehicle with special exhaust system brackets. These requirements are quite stringent to ensure that the muffler is in constant working order.

Emission Standards

Texas emission standards for mufflers are designed to reduce the level of hydrocarbons and carbon monoxide released into the atmosphere. Eliminating malfunctions in the exhaust system avoids harmful emissions. A muffler and its adjoining parts, e.g., the tailpipe, resonators and catalytic converter, must not have any cracks, leaking sections or patches. The law states that the muffler must not be perforated. Even if a perforated muffler was repaired, Texas law requires the vehicle owner to replace it with a new muffler. Vehicles with mufflers that do not follow these standards can be cited by police or will fail a vehicle inspection.

Decibel Rule

Unlike other states that enforce a decibel limit on the noise produced by exhaust systems, Texas does not have a decibel law. However, the Texas Transporation Code states: "A motor vehicle shall be equipped with a muffler in good working condition that continually operates to prevent excessive or unusual noise."

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