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SAQ: Are there San Antonio laws about noise-making mufflers?

Inspections don’t cover vehicle noise; there are laws, SAPD says

SAN ANTONIO – They’re a nuisance, and can sometimes keep neighbors up at night, so people wondered what the laws were about people who like to rev up the noise.

“Any laws about noise-making mufflers?” David asked. “It throws the sound to a skyrocket high!”

Ben who lives on the Northwest Side had a similar complaint.

“I’m wondering why San Antonio doesn’t have a sound ordnance on vehicle exhaust,” he asked. “Or why there isn’t one incorporated into the vehicle inspections?”

Well, there are laws on the books when it comes to this issue. One is from the Texas Transportation Code. Section 507.604 requires a muffler be in “good working condition that continually operates to prevent excessive or unusual noise.”

It is only a misdemeanor, and a law enforcement officer has to observe the violation in order for a citation to be issued, according to the San Antonio Police Department.

“We understand the frustration such noise nuisances cause for citizens,” said Officer Alisia Pruneda, a public information officer for SAPD. “We strongly encourage citizens to call such offenses in to our non-emergency number (210-207-7273) providing the location, time of offense and the best possible description of the MV (violator).”

As for inspections, they don’t cover vehicle noise, leaving the standard for “excessive or unusual noise” in the eye of the beholder.

Again, Texas law requires you to have a muffler in working order, so if it’s patched, removed or modified, your vehicle won’t pass inspection. Also, any changes to the exhaust system must comply with state emissions laws.

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