The Guide to Legal Car Modifications in Ohio

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Whether you live in Ohio or plan to move to the state, you need to know the laws concerning vehicle modification. The following information will help you keep your car street legal when driving on Ohio roads.

Sounds and noise

Ohio has laws and ordinances in place to control the sound levels that are permissible for vehicles.

Sound systems

The regulations for sound systems in vehicles is only that the sound emitting from them cannot be sustained at a volume that causes noise levels that are annoying to others or make conversation or sleep difficult.

Mufflers

  • Mufflers are required on all vehicles and must prevent unusual or excessive noise.
  • Muffler bypasses, cutouts and amplifying devices are not permitted on highways.
  • Passenger cars cannot exceed 70 decibels when traveling at 25 MPH or less.
  • Passenger cars cannot exceed 79 decibels when traveling more than 25 MPH.

Tip: Always check with local county laws in Ohio to make sure you are following any municipal noise ordinances that may be more stringent than state-level laws.

Frame and suspension

  • Vehicle must be no more than 12 feet 6 inches in height.

  • There are no suspension lift or frame lift laws. However, vehicles do have bumper height limits based on Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR).

  • Cars and SUVs – Maximum front and rear bumper height is 22 inches.

  • 4,500 GVWR and under – Maximum front bumper height is 24 inches, rear is 26 inches.

  • 4,501-7,500 GVWR – Maximum front bumper height is 27 inches, rear is 29 inches.

  • 7,501-10,000 GVWR – Maximum front bumper height is 28 inches, rear is 21 inches.

Engine

Ohio does not have engine modification or swap regulations. However, the following counties require emissions testing:

  • Cuyahoga
  • Geauga
  • Lake
  • Lorain
  • Medina
  • Portage
  • Summit

Lighting and windows

Lights

  • Headlamps must emit white light.
  • Spot lamp is permitted when emitting white light.
  • Fog lamp must emit yellow, light amber or white light.

Window tinting

  • Windshield tint must allow 70% of light through.
  • Front side windows must allow over 50% of light through.
  • Back side and rear window can have any tint darkness.
  • Reflective tint cannot reflect more than a regular, untinted window.
  • Sticker signifying legal tint limits must be between glass and film on all tinted windows.

Antique/classic car modifications

Ohio offers historic plates for vehicles 25 or more years old. The plates allow driving to exhibitions, parades, club activities, and for repairs only – daily general driving is not permitted.

If you want to make sure your vehicle modifications are legal in Ohio, YourMechanic can provide the mobile mechanics to help you install the new parts. You can also ask our mechanics what modifications may be best suited to your car using our free online Q&A system, Ask a Mechanic.


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Arturo

25 years of experience
42 reviews
Arturo
25 years of experience
Volkswagen Tiguan - Brake Pads Replacement (Rear) - La Jolla, California
Arturo was efficient and extremely professional. I'll refer him to friends and family and call him for any issues related to my car. I am very happy with the service!
Kia Forte - Brake Pads Replacement (Front) - San Diego, California
ARTURO is great! very professional , fast, replaced my front brake pads and oil an filter change. everything now works and works well. Brakes have much improved stopping power and engine is smooth and quiet.Arturo is also kind and thoughtful. "Your mechanic" is very fortunate to have Arturo Lopez represent your company. I enthusiastically recommend him and "Your mechanic> as a fine operation Best regards to the Team Peter Marto

Travis

11 years of experience
312 reviews
Travis
11 years of experience
Ford Explorer Sport Trac - Brake Pads Replacement (Rear) - Minneapolis, Minnesota
Travis is great! This is the second time he has come and serviced our truck. I recommend Travis for any service ned you may have!
Subaru Forester - Brake Pads Replacement (Front, Rear) - Rosemount, Minnesota
Thank you Travis for your fast, easy, honest work on my vehicle today!! The first thing you did upon arrival to my home was find me a discount coupon for $50 off my service estimate. You did only what needed to be done in record time. You not only saved me lots of money, but did things in a profession manner. I've been looking for an honest auto mechanic for my whole life and would love for you to be it!! Thank you, thank you, thank you!! You're the best!!!

Scott

32 years of experience
346 reviews
Scott
32 years of experience
Hyundai Sonata - Brake Pads Replacement (Front, Rear) - Denver, Colorado
Arrived on time and worked quickly. Gave me detailed information on his completed work and the details of my car. Answered all of my questions thoroughly.
Lexus IS250 - Brake Pads Replacement (Rear) - Denver, Colorado
Always on time, speedy, professional, and pleasant to interact with. The work is always consistent and we'll done. I can't reccomend Scott highly enough!

Nicholas

9 years of experience
251 reviews
Nicholas
9 years of experience
Lexus GX470 - Brake Pads Replacement (Rear) - Clayton, North Carolina
Nicholas texted me 30 minutes prior to arrival. Showed up on time as scheduled. He confirmed the work that I requested be performed. He completed the work, performed the road tested, and delivered my keys along with recommendations of other work that might be in my best interest. Was very pleasant, professional, and cleaned up after he was done. I was so impressed with the service he performed and the speed at which the services were completed. I have already scheduled a future service with Nicholas and will schedule any and all future repairs with him if he is available.

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