Roar wounds

DIY rev-heads making residents’ lives a misery

AN explosion in DIY tutorials about how to remove mufflers is creating a new generation of Perth revheads who’ve taken their chariots to the next level of growl.

But as more residents and business owners say they are fed up with the ear-splitting noise, it appears police have turned a deaf ear to the problem.

Mechanic Simon Wells says he’s noticed an increase of “zooted up” four-wheel drives and high-performance cars on the streets, but reckons fewer people are asking his workshop to do these modifications.

“What’s happening is young kids now have money, are buying old performances cars and cheaply modd-ing them themselves such as removing the muffler or DPF,” Mr Wells said.

He noted the thousands of tutorials on platforms like YouTube teaching car owners how to turn their mum-mobile into a WRX sound-alike.

A quick internet search of “muffler delete” returns 812,000 YouTube tutorials and “DPF removal” 128,000 tutorials.

Amazingly, removing the muffler on a car is not illegal in WA if you can keep the noise down some other way, however removing the DPF (diesel particulate filter) which makes a louder noise is against the law.

WA Police said they’d only really step in for a repeat offender who was easily identifiable by being at the same place regularly.

“While the focus of traffic patrols and traffic enforcement activity across the state remain the key causal factors of serious and fatal crashes, where needed targeted enforcement activities relating to unnecessarily noisy vehicles may be considered where there is evidence such activity is causing a significant and ongoing detriment to residents and/or businesses,” a spokesperson for WA Police said.

“If a pattern to the timing and locations can be shown, it would make it easier to justify the deployment of police resources away from their primary duties.”

Maylands resident Jim (not his real name) told the Voice he was refilling his car at a service station in Guildford Road recently, when a couple of motorcyclists stopped at a nearby intersection and revved their machines.

He reckons it sounded like “a series of loud explosions” going off.  

“The noise would have seriously affected – perhaps permanently – the hearing of any pedestrian within a radius of 200 plus meters and some nearby motorists as well,” Jim said.

He’s sure the machines’ exhaust mufflers had been removed and says that can be dangerous for people’s hearing.

His own pre-existing tinnitus condition was worsened by the noise of the motorbikes.

Jim would like removing a muffler to be banned and drivers caught making too much noise issued with an immediate “no revving” notice and be forced to reinstall an effective muffler in order to renew their car’s license.

Mirjana Matic has lived in her Fremantle home for 25 years, but says the last year has been a nightmare because of revheads.

She says the cars crank up around 3pm and roar past midnight most days, the noise literally shaking her house. As a result she hasn’t had a good night’s sleep for months and says the tiredness is affecting her mental health.

She’s also got high blood pressure for the first time in her life, while she believes the noise is partly responsible for another neighbour’s recent hospitalisation.

“He gave up. His daughter said she did bring it up with the cops and told them what’s going on, and she said nobody replied.”

One local hotrod enthusiast, who didn’t want to be named, admitted he’d removed his Nissan GQ Patrol’s muffler at home using YouTube tutorials.

He also has illegal tyres, a illegal lift, no muffler and no sway bars – something that should make him a magnet for police. 

“I’ve been breath-oed by a copper in my car and they didn’t sticker me,” he said.

Why the modifications?

“Cause it sounds good,” he said.

One YouTuber proudly showing off his mods bragged that his mates “can hear me coming a mile off – so can everyone else”. 

The local DIY modder said he’d driven past any number of police cars and never got a backward look, but the police spokesperson said if they did notice illegal modifications they might take action.

“Any detected breach of this vehicle standard may result in police issuing a defect notice to a vehicle, requiring it to be inspected by a Department of Transport vehicle assessor for roadworthiness,” he said.

by ISABELLA HOLLAND and STEVE GRANT

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