View Full Version : Is it illegal to have cold air intake in california?

02-06-2008, 10:51 PM
My brother got pulled over tonight in his subaru wrx (its not an STI) and the police officer said it was illegal for him to have cold air intake with a cone something or other and there was one other offense. The officer let him go without any problems but now we are wondering. Is it actually illegal in california to have cold air intake or was the cop just in a bad mood? Thanks guys

02-07-2008, 03:59 PM
It could possibly be...but there's other things like: it's illegal to have tinted rear windows in CA but too many people have them for the cops to effectively enforce that law, but if one were really pissed off, they COULD bust you for it. But I honestly think it IS legal cause some of my friends have them.

02-08-2008, 09:08 AM
The air intake is part of the emissions system.It is illegal to modify the emissions system, so it is entirely possible that the cold air intake is illegal in California.

02-09-2008, 02:16 AM
Pretty much any after market part modifying the intake has the potential to be illegal. If the parts are legal, they will have an EPA sticker on them designating them as legal in California. If in doubt simply take it the CHP office and let them inspect it.

02-09-2008, 07:25 PM
If the intake system has a Buearu of Automotive Repair certificate number then it is legal. You can have it checked by your local BAR office. I have a system for my Ranger that I have to remove each time I have to have the car smogged. Good luck

02-10-2008, 12:34 PM
There are a couple of brands that have been approved, but most are not legal in California. If you check the adds they are 50 states legal, California is missing.

02-11-2008, 05:42 AM
It needs the CARB sticker with an EO number on it.California Air Resources BoardExecutive Order"Exempted parts are add-on or modified parts that have undergone an ARB engineering evaluation. If the part or modification is shown to not increase vehicle emissions, it is granted an exemption to emission control system anti-tampering laws. This exemption is called an Executive Order (EO) and allows the modification to be installed on specific emission controlled vehicles. Every Executive Order part or modification has an assigned number that can be verified by Smog Check stations, BAR Referee stations, or by the ARB."http://www.arb.ca.gov/msprog/aftermkt/devices/amquery.php

02-11-2008, 10:51 PM
Eric is correct that such a modification is improper unless a specific authorization has been made. A Google search shows that there are cold air intakes which have been approved for use in CA, so the officer may have been wrong. At any rate, I do not find any statute which makes it an offense to operate a vehicle with an improperly modified emissions system, which would be a reason he was not cited. (It is illegal to SELL unauthorized modifications, Veh C sec. 27156, but I don't find anything about using them.)Your brother's problem is that unless the modification is permitted, the vehicle is not going to make it though a smog check with a modified emissions control system, and he will not be able to register the vehicle until it is corrected. It is an offense to drive an unregistered vehicle. He may want to be proactive and take the vehicle to a smog check station now and see if there is any problem to avoid a later hassle. (Of course, if he has already made it through a smog check, then he already knows there is no problem.)

09-12-2010, 05:43 PM
i was on a site today looking for a cold air intake for my subie, and it specifically said that they will not ship to California or any other state in the united states that follows the california emissions system because it IS ILLEGAL to have a cold air intake in cali.

10-28-2010, 07:21 PM
Yeah Cali. sucks like that. They are far from cool with street cars. You can get tickets for being to low or having your headlights to low is what they tell you! And yes cold air headers aftermarket exhaust ect. will get you in trouble in Cali. Move to Co. they don't care at all here! Well in they do in Denver but not in the mtns.