Can You Get Ticketed For Using A Muffler Delete?

June 8, 2022

aFe Power Apollo GT Series muffler delete

Legality of Using Truck Muffler Deletes In All 50 States

The good news about truck ownership is that there are so many different mods and alterations you can do to it to truly make it yours. If you're as big a truck enthusiast as we are, the last thing you want is to have your truck sound like it did when it rolled off the lot. Stock setups just won't cut it, and that's why so many drivers across the country turn to aftermarket exhaust kits to help their trucks sound louder, stronger, and more aggressive.

However, the bad news about truck ownership is that some of these exhaust modifications are illegal. This makes sense but is also a bummer. One of the most popular mods you can do is a muffler delete, which can instantly help your truck get that menacing tone that you've been wanting to hear. But are muffler deletes illegal? And if so, why? Today, we'll be taking a look at the legality of these systems, as well as some similar ones you can do to keep yourself out of avoidable trouble on the road.


Table Of Contents:

-What Is A Muffler Delete And What Does It Do?

-What Are The Benefits Of Using A Muffler Delete?

-Are Muffler Deletes Illegal and Why?

-What is the Legal Sound Level for Truck Exhaust Systems?

-How Can I Make My Truck Sound Louder Without Using A Muffler Delete?

-Shop Top Truck Exhaust Kits and Upgrades At Custom Offsets


What Is A Muffler Delete And What Does It Do?

We'll start by taking you through what a muffler delete actually is - as the name suggests, muffler deletes are exhaust systems that work by removing the muffler and replacing it with either a single pipe or one with two exhaust tips. Removing the muffler is one of the easiest things you can do to quickly improve the sound of your truck, and it's no surprise that many drivers choose this route.

Keep in mind, though, that a muffler delete shouldn't be confused with a straight pipe system. Muffler deletes only remove the muffler, while straight pipes remove most of your exhaust system and replace it with a single pipe, including the catalytic converter. For this reason, muffler deletes are also much cheaper and a bit easier to install.

Read More: Best Performance Mods For Your Truck

What Are The Benefits Of Using A Muffler Delete?

There are a few distinct advantages that come packaged with muffler delete systems, the biggest of which is the improvement in noise level and sound quality that your truck will produce when you press the gas. This is because mufflers are exactly what they say they are - they're resonators that work to muffle the engine noise your truck makes, decreasing the noise level it produces while filtering out bad chemicals from your engine. With a muffler delete, you can really let your truck scream.

You might not think so, but there are also a few performance advantages that a good muffler delete (or any exhaust, really) system can provide. On older trucks made before 2000, stock exhaust setups are usually very restrictive and, with the way they're constructed, they can actually increase the back pressure on your engine, which diminishes its performance capabilities. Muffler deletes can help to alleviate this pressure, allowing your truck from the 80s or 90s work to its full potential.

Muffler delete used on Jeep Wrangler

Are Muffler Deletes Illegal and Why?

This all sounds really good, but unfortunately, using a muffler delete is illegal in all 50 states. If you live in a state where emissions regulations are particularly restrictive, a muffler delete won't pass the inspection because you're allowing more pollutants to be sent into the air, as they're not being filtered through a muffler - this is also why all states have regulations that require you to have a muffler on your truck.

However, the biggest issue that muffler delete users run into is the noise level that their trucks inevitably produce. Though there's no federal regulation for how loud your exhaust can be, each state has its own set of rules that restrict your truck from getting too loud. For example, Wisconsin's law on the subject is mentioned below:

"No person shall operate on a highway any motor vehicle subject to registration unless such motor vehicle is equipped with an adequate muffler in constant operation and properly maintained to prevent any excessive or unusual noise or annoying smoke. This subsection also applies to motor bicycles."

What is the Legal Sound Level for Truck Exhaust Systems?

The actual noise limit for trucks on the road varies from state to state, but most of them require that your truck stays under 95 decibels at all times when measured 20 inches from the end of the exhaust system. If you're traveling at 35 miles per hour or below, this limit is around 70 decibels.

However, even if you've tuned your exhaust to stay under these limits, you can still get ticketed at the police officer's discretion - if they determine that your truck is too loud, you'll end up with a citation, and you really can't get around it easily.

Check out our full inventory of truck exhaust systems and upgrades!

How Can I Make My Truck Sound Louder Without Using A Muffler Delete?

Say you still want to get your truck sounding as loud and strong as it can while still remaining street-legal - what are your options here?

Well, there are plenty of aftermarket exhaust kits that are fully legal in all 50 states, including Cat-Back and Axle-Back exhausts. Both of these work to optimize airflow from your engine while reducing pollution and increasing sound and performance in many cases. Top manufacturers here include Flowmaster, Borla, MBRP, and Rough Country, all of which make high-quality exhaust systems that can help your truck perform just how you want it.

Shop Top Truck Exhaust Kits and Upgrades At Custom Offsets

If you're looking for an exhaust kit to get installed on your truck, we've got you covered with plenty of the best ones money can buy in our inventory right now. Check out our selection of aftermarket exhaust kits and let us know if we can help you on your search - we're always happy to help. Free shipping and financing are available on all exhaust kits as well!

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