Are Cold Air Intakes Illegal In Texas? (2022 Updated)

People want to know if the cold air intake is illegal in Texas. And if you are one of the people who want to know about this matter, then this article is definitely for you. So let us know more about it.

So are cold air intakes illegal in Texas? The answer to this question is yes. Therefore, cold air intake is illegal in Texas.

Many people are curious if cold air intake is illegal in Texas. Modifications on every vehicle are already a part of integral parts of the vehicle’s culture. It is also tough to go outside every day and not see one vehicle that has not received any modifications in the automotive aftermarket world. 

It is no wonder that car drivers would want to modify their vehicles. After all, one would wish for an upgrade on their vehicle. Modifications of the vehicle are prevalent, but it does not mean that all of them are legal. 

Unfortunately, some have become illegal in some states, and others have become illegal. And so, if you are planning to install a cold air intake or strap-on lightbars on your vehicle, you have to consider if such modifications are legal and illegal in your state. 

Let us learn more about cold air intake and if it is illegal in Texas. Let us start.

Are Cold Air Intakes Illegal In Texas

Are Cold Air Intakes Legal In Texas?

You might be planning to move into the state of Texas, or you might be currently living in Texas today, then you will have to follow a lot of rules and laws for that specific place. And you have to follow those laws, and you have to make sure that the modifications on your vehicle are legal in every state. And cold air intake is illegal in Texas. 

It will also depend on the year of your vehicle. The aftermarket air intake systems or AIS and thermostatic air cleaners (TAC) 1996 and new vehicles do not have a thermostatic air cleaner or TAC system. The TAC system went away in 1996. 

There are many different brands of aftermarket open-type air filter/intake systems. If the air intake system says “For Racing Purposes Only” or “Off-RoadRoad Use Only,” then it is not made to be used on public roadways, and it is also not legal on the street. If the air intake system is “CARB approved” and fifty states legal, it is street legal in all the fifty states. 

The year 1995 and older vehicles are equipped with a TAC system, and they are required to have all the components in place to pass the visual emissions component inspection. And it is part of the annual safety inspection. The TAC system has an enclosed air cleaner/filter assembly and a heat shroud at the exhaust manifold. 

There is also a heat duct hose connected from the heat shroud to the air cleaner assembly. The TAC system has a fresh air duct hose connected from the front or the side of the air cleaner assembly to the front or the side of the vehicle. The TAC system is a closed air type cleaner/filter assembly made to reduce hydrocarbon (HC) and carbon monoxide (CO) emissions during cold engine operation.

List Of Legal Cold Air Intakes In Texas

Unfortunately, there is no list of cold air intakes in Texas. The intake system is legal for street use in most states, but it is not legal in the streets of Texas.

Can Cold Air Intakes Be Shipped To Texas?

A cold air intake is just a small investment with a big payoff. A cold air intake can provide a decent horsepower boost for a small investment. 

All the K&N series intakes for North American vehicles are receiving CARB EO numbers, and they are street legal in fifty states. There are some intake systems that we are selling in the beginning with the prefixes 63, 69, 77, and RK but are not legal to use in California and some other places like Texas.

Why Are Some Cold Air Intakes Illegal?

The pods are not illegal. It is illegal to have two intake mods. If the air flows through the cold air intake, it will get denser as it turns colder. 

With that, there will be more oxygen in a smaller air volume, and because the cold air intake will affect the engine, a clogged, dirty, or failing cold air intake will then decrease the performance of the car together with its fuel economy. 

What Car Mods Are Illegal In Texas?

If you are currently living in Texas today, or you might be planning to move into the state of Texas, then you will have to follow a lot of rules and laws for that specific place. And you have to follow those laws, and you have to make sure that the modifications on your vehicle are legal in every state. But unfortunately, some car modifications are illegal in Texas.

1. Sounds and Noises

Texas has regulations that will limit the sound levels that your car can make. Texas requires all cars to follow the specific sound requirements to ensure that they are not significantly loud if it is on the roadways. Therefore, these regulations will include both the muffler and the sound system.

2. Sound System

The sound level coming from a vehicle stereo system must not exceed sixty-eight decibels within fifteen feet of the vehicle. The violations are considered a misdemeanor and can be punished by a fine of fifty dollars to one thousand dollars. 

This is the first offense. The fines can be one hundred dollars to two thousand dollars for each subsequent offense. 

3. Muffler

The mufflers are mandated for all vehicles, and they must prevent unusual or excessive noise. The muffles are required to work correctly, and the flexible pipes are only allowed if they will be used by the manufacturer of the vehicle or on diesel tractors. In addition, the mufflers must extend beyond the outside or the rear of the vehicle, and mufflers are not allied with excessive or annoying sounds. 

Mufflers with bypasses or cutouts are not permitted. You must always check with your local county laws in Texas, and you have to make sure that you are following any municipal noise ordinances that are more stringent than state-level laws.

4. Frame and Suspension

In terms of frame and suspension, Texas does not limit the frame, the bumper, or the suspension lift heights. However, the vehicle can be no taller than 13 feet six inches.

5. Engine

There are no regulations mentioned about engine modifications, and swaps by many areas in Texas will require emission testing.

6. Lighting and Windows

All the bulbs must have an SAE or a DOT stamp, and red bulbs are currently not DOT approved. Off-road and show-only equipment is not permitted to use on roadways. 

The stop lamps and the tail lamps must emit an amber or red color. An illuminated license plate frame, including neon colors, is not permitted.

7. Window Tinting

The non-reflective tint is permitted on the windshield above the AS-1 lies from the manufacturer or along the top of the five inches. The front side and the back side window must be allowed over twenty-five percent of light to pass through, and the rear window tint can be any darkness. 

The side mirrors are required with a rear window tint, and the tint on the front side and the backside windows must not be over twenty-five percent reflective. The sticker identifying legal tint levels is required on the driver-side window between the glass and the film.

8. Antique.Classic Car Modifications

Texas offers a lot of different antique and classic car plates. The vehicle must be over twenty-five years old, and the vehicle is not required to pass annual inspections. 

In the classic, the vehicles must be able to pass an annual safety inspection. In addition, there are specific criteria like the seatbelts that will determine if they are included originally by the manufacturer.

9. Street Rods and Custom Vehicles

The street rods were manufactured before 1949 or manufactured before 1949. Therefore, these vehicles will require titles and safety inspections.


In summary, people have been curious whether cold air intake is illegal in Texas. And yes, the answer is that cold air intake is illegal in Texas. 

Vehicle drivers should know this. They should know and be aware of the prohibited modifications. And they should also be aware of the unprohibited modifications.



Image credits – Canva

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My name is Hank, and I've been in the automotive industry for 27 years. I've been working in my own auto repair shop for the last 13 years, and now I want to help you here, on my blog. Let me know if you have any questions. Read more