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Massachusetts people, exhausts, and your experiences and opinions


Proven Member
Sep 24, 2002
everywhere, Massachusetts
(Please read whole post before commenting, I also realize there is an emissions thread for your experiences). Living in Massachusetts I was wondering what other DSMers experiences were with the exhaust and the local authorities. Basically, because all I have been reading about MA and its exhaust laws is that basically anything other than stock your F*****. What I have found law says is :

No person shall sell, offer for sale or install on, or in, any motor vehicle or trailer: (1) a muffler from which the baffle plates, screens or other original internal parts have been removed and not replaced; (2) an exhaust system which has been modified in a manner which will amplify or increase the noise emitted by the exhaust; or (3) a muffler cut-out or by-pass. Antique motor cars, as defined by Section One of this chapter, are excluded from this provision.

Obviously, many other states have some kind of exhaust laws regarding noise, etc. Law says louder than stock, which seems quite subjective to me. Massachusetts latest attempt is to ban the sale and installation of all aftermarket exhausts. From what I have read in other forums, specifically (MA car enthusiast forum), unless you have a "straw in a soda can" looking muffler, cops are gonna give you an altered exhaust ticket regardless of sound. Clearly, there should be some laws in place for this sort of thing, just seems like why even bother trying to have a hobby. I really want to get the thermal exhaust for my 2g gsx, which i hear is on the quiet side, but with a 5" tip every time I see a cop I might as well just start to pull over. I could always install a resonator or do what one member did and install another muffler in the B pipe. However it still isn't going to be stock. I guess you just have to pay to play. After all this rambling please post your opinions, specifically if you are from Massachusetts.


Proven Member
May 1, 2004
lancaster, Pennsylvania
just buy the thermal and put on a smaller tip. i think the muffler outlet on it is 2.5 or 3 inch either way just cut off the 5 inch tip and weld on a dual 2.5 outlet that will look like stock. my car had on a thermal catback with 2.5 dp and testpipe and it was QUIET. if you keep a cat which will quiet it down more you shouldnt have any problems

EDIT>>> i just saw you have a 2g and my thermal was on a 1g so your mileage may vary. i would expect it to be pretty close to the same though


Proven Member
Apr 20, 2002
Natick, Massachusetts
There have been numerous threads on this in the local boards.... but as long as you're not being a jackass, and it's not extremely loud.. then you'll be fine. I guess it also depends on which areas of MA you are in. I frequent downtown and the neighboring districts a lot.. and have never gotten hassles. I think my exhaust is too loud as it is (I used to have a 2000 model thermal and it was the quietest) Of course now I have a lot more into the car, bigger turbo and a different exhaust due to the thermal rusting out (before they went stainless steel). I've been pulled over ONCE in a very boondock town when my car was down for a month or so, so I just got it started literally 10 mins before the cop saw me. Sure he was being an ass, the car was running rough etc, but I told him so and he just let me go with a verbal warning.

It will also depend on which inspection sticker station you go to. There are a lot that are "cool" and understand.. there is no law against it, just their own right to refuse or tell you that they won't pass it. If you have all the cats, it's not resonatingly loud (which my car is decent at idle, but not so good once we get rolling or decel).

Hope all the info helps you out... I would keep your stocker just in case, but I wouldn't be so afraid of MA unless you really are one of those attention grabbing Masshole drivers :)


Proven Member
Apr 4, 2005
Fort Worth, Texas
I just got pulled over by a state cop last night for having a modified exhaust. its not even that loud.


Proven Member
May 30, 2004
St. Louis, Missouri
when I had a round straight through exhaust I was pulled over on 190. the main reason I think is because even though there were other cars, i saw the cop and let off the gas. the decel made it extremely loud. i got a warning, but ticket for not registering in state.

i was pulled over in northboro, downtown i suppose, either because i didn't have a sticker or because of the exhaust (still with the staight through, but with a resonator now). warning for the exhaust, ticket for the no inspection sticker. ironically i was on my way to meineke to get a new muffler, i told him that so maybe it helped.

oh also i was pulled over in clinton right in front of the police station. i think before the northboro incident, and it was like 11pm, no one around. just got a warning.

lately i've driven by many cop cars without getting pulled over. i now have a 3 inch inlet, oval, 1 big tip, muffler. i think it's the 'v' baffle muffler, because it doesn't quiet it down hardly. sometimes i put it in neutral and coast by the cop, sometimes i leave it in gear, but perfectly don't accel or decel. now i also have a FMIC, so that makes me nervous since it's so visible. also, my car has a spray paint silver body and black roof, and lot's of flakes revealing the red underneath.:D i'm pushing the envelope, next i'm lowering it 1 to 1.5 inches :cool: which i'm afraid will make me more suspicious looking.
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