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  1. #1
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    Why do Officers always ask to pop my hood in SoCal?

    Gentleman,
    I drive a Mitsubishi Evo and it is bone stock appearing from the outside. I have been pulled over numerous times for some legitimate speeding reasons and sometimes for no legitimate reason at all. Everytime the officer speaks with me, he ALWAYS asks me to pop the hood. I know he is looking for illegal modifications to my car, but i do not have any modifications to my engine and or exhaust. So far, i have given all officers consent to search my engine bay, but they have found nothing since my engine is stock.

    Here is my car and everything on the outside is bone stock, including the big wing/ large intercooler in the front bumper which the car comes from the factory:


    Yes my intercooler is stock, why does every officer think its an illegal modification??


    This is a stock OEM exhaust system. Yes it has a big tip on it, but the car came like this:



    Just because of the car i drive, does that give the officer the right to search my engine bay? Is my car or myself being profiled as a streetracer? I do not street race.

    If the officer asks me to pop the hood, and I do not give consent for him to search my car, what are the consequences of saying no to consent? Is a warrant required for an officer to search my car or will the officer have the car towed if i say no?
    Last edited by Skiracer; 09-04-2007 at 09:25 PM.

  2. #2
    Forum Member Fuzz's Avatar
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    They are asking you to pop the hood because of the huge number of modified vehicles which are in violation of smog laws. Most vehicles do not have intercoolers mounted as yours does (or intercoolers period)so they are probably using that as their reason to look for additional modifications.

    California Vehicle code allows CHP and other law enforcement to inspect your vehicle if they believe a violation of code exists.

    2804. A member of the California Highway Patrol upon reasonable
    belief that any vehicle is being operated in violation of any
    provisions of this code or is in such unsafe condition as to endanger
    any person, may require the driver of the vehicle to stop and submit
    to an inspection of the vehicle, and its equipment, license plates,
    and registration card.

    2806. Any regularly employed and salaried police officer or deputy
    sheriff, or any reserve police officer or reserve deputy sheriff
    listed in Section 830.6 of the Penal Code, having reasonable cause to
    believe that any vehicle or combination of vehicles is not equipped
    as required by this code or is in any unsafe condition as to endanger
    any person, may require the driver to stop and submit the vehicle or
    combination of vehicles to an inspection and those tests as may be
    appropriate to determine the safety to persons and compliance with
    the code.

    The answer to your question is yes you have to let them inspect your vehicle. If you refuse it will be inspected anyway and you will be cited/arrested for failure to comply with a lawfull order. I inspect vehicles all the time and cite for the smog violations. Most vehicles that are modified are used at some point for street racing so yes they can be singled out. There are even specific grants out there developed to target modified vehicles. You happen to drive a vehicle that is legally modified to be a performer from the factory. That is the difference.....yours passes all smog requirements and vehicle codes as long as you don't modify your timing,turbo, fuel/air,etc.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fuzz View Post
    2804. A member of the California Highway Patrol upon reasonable
    belief that any vehicle is being operated in violation of any
    provisions of this code or is in such unsafe condition as to endanger
    any person, may require the driver of the vehicle to stop and submit
    to an inspection of the vehicle, and its equipment, license plates,
    and registration card.

    2806. Any regularly employed and salaried police officer or deputy
    sheriff, or any reserve police officer or reserve deputy sheriff
    listed in Section 830.6 of the Penal Code, having reasonable cause to
    believe that any vehicle or combination of vehicles is not equipped
    as required by this code or is in any unsafe condition as to endanger
    any person, may require the driver to stop and submit the vehicle or
    combination of vehicles to an inspection and those tests as may be
    appropriate to determine the safety to persons and compliance with
    the code.

    .
    Thanks for responding. I'd like to know what "reasonable cause" an officer has to search my car when my car is bone stock?

    Here's the car on Mitsubishi's website:
    http://www.mitsubishimotors.com/MMNA...x.do?loc=en-us

    Oh, below is the bottom of a speeding ticket i received. Yes i deserved the ticket, but i don't think i deserve the comments written by LAPD about my car
    Last edited by Skiracer; 09-04-2007 at 11:52 PM.

  4. #4
    perspicacious pedagogue exComptonCop's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Skiracer View Post
    I'd like to know what "reasonable cause" an officer has to search my car when my car is bone stock?
    Since each individual LEO, based on his/her experience, determines whether or not reasonable cause exists, it's not possible to answer your question.

    If you're looking for a way to beat your ticket, you've come to the wrong forum. If you feel you've been wronged, contest the cite...simple.

    I have a strange feeling, this thread will end badly
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  5. #5
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    No i'm not looking to beat my ticket since it was resolved months ago. I am just wondering why i keep getting pulled over and my hood popped for no reason.

  6. #6
    Forum Member wspd913's Avatar
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    Because at first glance, your car matches a perfect description of a street racer. Not to mention, the type of car you are driving. It is an attention getter, however, it also gets the attention of law officers.

    And if you got a ticket before, well that was reason to pull you over. I have a feeling you get stopped because of your speed, not "for no reason at all."

  7. #7
    The .40 Dog Whisperer School Cop's Avatar
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    Thanks for responding. I'd like to know what "reasonable cause" an officer has to search my car when my car is bone stock?
    That's kind of like asking, "What cause does an officer have to pat me down when I'm not carrying a weapon?" He won't know you're legal unless he checks. You probably realize, your car sure LOOKS like it has mods, and he just is checking it out.
    If trees could scream, would we be so cavalier about cutting them down? We might, if they screamed all the time, for no good reason.

    ---Jack Handey

  8. #8
    Forum Member SgtScott31's Avatar
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    I don't know much about street racing modifications. Fortunately there is not enough of them in my neck of the woods to worry about it. I DO know that CA officers are trained enough to recognize those vehicles that may be modified and will take action to make sure such modifications are not in violation of CA code.

    You sound like you hold a grudge because you keep getting pulled over due to the looks of your car. You are just going to have to deal with it. Not to say that it is fair, but your car looks like those that meet the criteria for modifications/street racing. You have also received some speeding tickets, a couple of which you admitted you were guilty. The speeds, along with the looks from your car are definitely going to get you some extra attention.

    Two things that would definitely solve your problem, if you are looking for an answer from here: (1) don't speed, and (2) sell your car and find something else.
    I'm 10-8 like a shark in a sea of crime..

  9. #9
    Former Deputy Sheriff VA Dutch's Avatar
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    If you live in CA, you should probably find a way to attach your front license plate. I believe that CA still requires two tags.

    While I am a bit of a gearhead myself and appreciate the attributes of performance-oriented vehicles, I acknowledge that a car such as the Mitsubishi EVO, Nissan Sentra SE-R, Toyota Supra or Honda Civic coupe is going to earn a second glance from the local constabulary.

    There is a huge street racing problem - particularly in CA, and looking the part of a "ricer" will get you stopped more often than some chap driving a white Ford Taurus. A slow car that looks fast will often get you in more hot water than a fast car that looks ordinary.

    If speed is in your blood, try buying a "sleeper" vehicle - such as V6 Maxima or even an Accord or Camry. You'd be surprised at how many ponies you can get from an otherwise sedate commuter engine. You're still running the risk of getting cited for driving too fast, but at least you will lessen your risk of having to comply with an underhood search or getting pulled over just for driving by a cop car at or below the posted speed limit. Better to have Officer Friendly think your car belongs to a 50-year-old college professor than a 20-something hot rodder.

    But, as I said, please properly attach your front license plate.
    Last edited by VA Dutch; 09-05-2007 at 04:10 PM.

    The comments above reflect my personal opinion as a private citizen, ordinary motorist and all-around good guy.

    The aforementioned advice should not be construed to represent any type of professional opinion, legal counsel or other type of instruction with regard to traffic laws, judicial proceedings or official agency policy.

    ------------------------------------------------

    "Ignorance on fire is hotter than knowledge on ice."

  10. #10
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    Thanks for the replies. I'd love to hear more. As for the plates, the pics were taken when the car was 1 day old, so i only had temporary tags at the time. I currently have 2 plates on the car.

    Yes in the past i have received a few deserved speeding tickets, but most of the time when i get pulled over, the officer is only interested in what's under the hood of my car. They offered me no explaination why they pulled me over, they simply directed me to pop the hood. From the times i felt i have been pulled over for no legitimate reason, i did absolutely nothing to invoke or attract an officer's attention to my car. Is driving my STOCK 4door Mitsubishi with a big wing on it down the road and obeying all traffic laws enough "reasonable cause" for someone to pull me over? As for the wing, it is not an "optional accessory", it comes with the car whether you like it or not. If you were in my shoes, wouldn't you be a tad frustrated knowing that nothing wrong has been done. And no i don't dress like a gang banger as most of the time i'm wearing a shirt and tie going to and from work.

    So, is the only one to blame here is myself just because of the car i drive? Is it illegal to drive the Mitsubishi that i own?

  11. #11
    perspicacious pedagogue exComptonCop's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Skiracer View Post
    And no i don't dress like a gang banger as most of the time i'm wearing a shirt and tie going to and from work.
    No one said you did?


    Ricer: from the latin word Ricarius meaning to suck at everything you attempt

    A person who makes unnecessary modifications to their most often import car (hence the term "rice") to make it (mostly make it look) faster. The most common modifications are (but not limited to):

    - Huge exhaust that serves no purpose but to make the car louder
    - Large spoiler on the back that looks like something Boeing made for the 747
    - Lots of after-market company stickers they don't have parts from, but must be cool
    - Expensive rims that usually cost more than the car itself
    - Body kit to make the car appear lower, usually accented with chicken wire
    - Clear tail lights and corner signals
    - A "performance intake"- a tube that feeds cold air to their engine usually located in areas of excessive heat (behind or on top of the engine)
    - Most of these riced cars (a.k.a. rice rockets or rice burners) are imports; Honda Civics, Accords, Integras, CRXs, RSXs, Del Sols Mitsubishi Eclipses, Lancers, Subaru Imprezas, however there are some domestics such as Chevrolet Caviliers, Dodge Neons, Ford Focus; small, slow, economy cars designed specifically to go slow. Please note that some Supras, Skylines, WRX's and other higher performance imports are designed to go fast, and are therefore not always considered rice. It really depends on the severity of the case.

    (courtesy urban dictionary)


    No, it's not "illegal to drive the Mitsubishi" you own. However, whether you like it or not, you car appears modified.(to the untrained eye) And since you don't plan on parting with it, you're going to have to deal with all the attention it attracts

    BTW, I'm not completely satisfied you're driving your faux ricer as conservatively as you claim
    "Think like a man of action, act like a man of thought" ~Henri Louis Bergson
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  12. #12
    Half Way to AARP Guams's Avatar
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    That's not the "bone stock" Lancer Evo I'm used to seeing. I see the intercooler on the cars and know it's OEM, but your car doesn't appear to be bone stock to me. I would look at that and think/assume there's some mods.

    For example, in the first picture I can see a small antenna on the roof that does not appear in the 3rd picture. Those small, compact antenna's are seen more on go-fast cars, not you're typical economy car. The rims to me also appear after-market. I've never seen stock wheels like that.

    Now, don't get me wrong, I'm not saying you're a liar or anything. I'm just noting some of the small differences in the pictures that indicate why it might have some hidden gems.

  13. #13
    Forum Member SgtScott31's Avatar
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    Is driving my STOCK 4door Mitsubishi with a big wing on it down the road and obeying all traffic laws enough "reasonable cause" for someone to pull me over?
    Your question has already been answered by a CA LEO. The answer is yes.

    Get a new car or get used to being stopped.
    I'm 10-8 like a shark in a sea of crime..

  14. #14
    Forum Member Fuzz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Skiracer View Post
    Thanks for responding. I'd like to know what "reasonable cause" an officer has to search my car when my car is bone stock?
    I already explained that to you. If the officer thought your vehicle was modified that is his probable cause. Probable cause does not mean you are guilty or that there is a violation just that the officer reasonably believed you had a modified vehicle. Once the hood was popped and no violations found you would be finished as there was no longer probable cause. (unless it was one of your speeding tickets and then you would have to wait for your ticket).

    Another way to look at it.............. is it illegal to walk down the street and pretend to punch/push your girlfriend if you both are playing around. NO..... but if an officer sees you horseplaying around like that you are going to get stopped because it LOOKED like you committed a violation (domestic violence).

    Your comments asking if its illegal to drive your stock Mitsubishi is showing your immaturity. Have a mature conversation while getting good factual information from someone who does this for a living without being a smart-butt.

  15. #15
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    Quote:
    Is driving my STOCK 4door Mitsubishi with a big wing on it down the road and obeying all traffic laws enough "reasonable cause" for someone to pull me over?



    Quote Originally Posted by SgtScott31 View Post
    Your question has already been answered by a CA LEO. The answer is yes.

    Get a new car or get used to being stopped.

    I still do not understand why driving a completely stock looking car gives an officer "reasonable cause" to an engine bay search. Sure if i'm caught doing a moving violation, i can understand a further search of my car, but if i have not done anything wrong, why should i have to suffer thru this process?

    The reason why i'm very concerned is that a few officers have commented that my aluminum upper intercooler piping and my OEM exhaust is a modified piece. However, they are both stock! A few years ago, I was issued a ticket for "modified exhaust" for my OEM exhaust. I was not speeding or driving recklessly. He pulled me over and immediately asked me to pop my hood. Yes a lot of cars in SoCal have "illegal" exhaust, but mine is OEM. I feel like i have been given a guilty sentence when the ticket was handed to me since it is an extreme hardship for me to leave work during the day to bring my car to a referee station to prove my innocence and i had to pay the ref a small fee for this! Why should i have to pay the ref and waste my time to prove my innocence when i was innocent to begin with? Its not my fault that the officer cannot identify what is/is not stock. So, why should he issue a ticket if he cannot properly identify violoations? I personally think the officers need more training so that we don't waste civilians, officers, and referees precious time.
    Last edited by Skiracer; 09-06-2007 at 01:17 AM.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Guams View Post
    That's not the "bone stock" Lancer Evo I'm used to seeing. I see the intercooler on the cars and know it's OEM, but your car doesn't appear to be bone stock to me. I would look at that and think/assume there's some mods.

    For example, in the first picture I can see a small antenna on the roof that does not appear in the 3rd picture. Those small, compact antenna's are seen more on go-fast cars, not you're typical economy car. The rims to me also appear after-market. I've never seen stock wheels like that.

    Now, don't get me wrong, I'm not saying you're a liar or anything. I'm just noting some of the small differences in the pictures that indicate why it might have some hidden gems.
    Not trying pick a fight with you, but just pointing out what you conceive to be aftermarket when it is stock:

    You don't see the antenna in the 3rd picture because my gigantic wing is covering it from the camera angle i shot the picture.

    Below is the OEM Rims/Tires/brakes


    Ok, i'll admit the mudflaps are aftermarket...

  17. #17
    DPD Shaidon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Skiracer View Post
    I still do not understand why driving a completely stock looking car gives an officer "reasonable cause" to an engine bay search.

    As was said before...it DOES NOT LOOK STOCK. Several Officers gave you a response. It doesn't look stock...it looks like there were mods. If it looks like there are mods, that is good enough to stop you and check. End of story. Even if it IS stock, it doesn't LOOK like it, therefore the Officers have plenty of reason to check it out. If you don't like that, sell the car, or do away with the parts that look like mods. Otherwise, realize that you will garner attention because your car does look like it has modifications. Clear as mud?

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by SgtScott31 View Post
    I don't know much about street racing modifications. Fortunately there is not enough of them in my neck of the woods to worry about it. I DO know that CA officers are trained enough to recognize those vehicles that may be modified and will take action to make sure such modifications are not in violation of CA code.

    .
    I've also heard CA officers have been trained to recognize illegal modifications. If the officers have been trained, then how come i keep getting pulled over for non moving violations when my car is stock? I think more training is needed.
    I'm showing this thread pictures to try to educate you on what is stock on my particular car so that I don't waste my time and you don't waste yours.
    Last edited by Skiracer; 09-06-2007 at 02:12 AM.

  19. #19
    An Obvious problem mdrdep's Avatar
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    First off you make a mistake in thinking stock = legal. Almost all mods are illegal, but even a brand new car in Ca coming off the lot probably has at least one violation of the C.V.C. It's a very big book, without actually seeing your vehicle going down the road I couldn't tell you for sure, but as others have said if your vehicle appears to have any mods to it you can be stopped and your car can be checked out,
    Today's Quote:


    "Government exists to protect us from each other. Where government has gone beyond its limits is in deciding to protect us from ourselves."


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  20. #20
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    Just because of the car i drive, does that give the officer the right to search my engine bay? Is my car or myself being profiled as a streetracer? I do not street race.

    If the officer asks me to pop the hood, and I do not give consent for him to search my car, what are the consequences of saying no to consent? Is a warrant required for an officer to search my car or will the officer have the car towed if i say no


    Just as an FYI I profile your POS rice rocket and YES I would have you pop the hood. It is not a search in MD to have you pop the hood. I am allowed by MD law once I have my PC for a stop to conduct a FULL vehicle inspection on the side of the road to include driving it for a breif distance if I so choose to. However thats a bit much. Poping the hood looking for the turbo or the NOS tubes is plenty enough for me.

    If you refuse? Then you get to go to jail for failure to obay a lawful order and I yank you through the vent window, you go to jail, and I impound your car......after I inspect it.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Darkside View Post


    Just because of the car i drive, does that give the officer the right to search my engine bay? Is my car or myself being profiled as a streetracer? I do not street race.

    If the officer asks me to pop the hood, and I do not give consent for him to search my car, what are the consequences of saying no to consent? Is a warrant required for an officer to search my car or will the officer have the car towed if i say no


    Just as an FYI I profile your POS rice rocket and YES I would have you pop the hood. It is not a search in MD to have you pop the hood. I am allowed by MD law once I have my PC for a stop to conduct a FULL vehicle inspection on the side of the road to include driving it for a breif distance if I so choose to. However thats a bit much. Poping the hood looking for the turbo or the NOS tubes is plenty enough for me.

    If you refuse? Then you get to go to jail for failure to obay a lawful order and I yank you through the vent window, you go to jail, and I impound your car......after I inspect it.
    I would be glad to point out the turbocharger in my car since it comes from the factory equipped with one. Here's a picture

  22. #22
    Forum Member SgtScott31's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Skiracer View Post
    I've also heard CA officers have been trained to recognize illegal modifications. If the officers have been trained, then how come i keep getting pulled over for non moving violations when my car is stock? I think more training is needed.
    I'm showing this thread pictures to try to educate you on what is stock on my particular car so that I don't waste my time and you don't waste yours.
    Jesus, how many times do you have to be told? The officers believe there are modification, so they stop you to make sure. It's legal. Quit asking the same question or trying to justify it. You're beating a dead horse.
    I'm 10-8 like a shark in a sea of crime..

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Darkside View Post


    Just because of the car i drive, does that give the officer the right to search my engine bay? Is my car or myself being profiled as a streetracer? I do not street race.

    If the officer asks me to pop the hood, and I do not give consent for him to search my car, what are the consequences of saying no to consent? Is a warrant required for an officer to search my car or will the officer have the car towed if i say no


    Just as an FYI I profile your POS rice rocket and YES I would have you pop the hood. It is not a search in MD to have you pop the hood. I am allowed by MD law once I have my PC for a stop to conduct a FULL vehicle inspection on the side of the road to include driving it for a breif distance if I so choose to. However thats a bit much. Poping the hood looking for the turbo or the NOS tubes is plenty enough for me.

    If you refuse? Then you get to go to jail for failure to obay a lawful order and I yank you through the vent window, you go to jail, and I impound your car......after I inspect it.
    So, I am being profiled?

  24. #24
    perspicacious pedagogue exComptonCop's Avatar
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    Thumbs down Some OP's simply cannot be helped

    Quote Originally Posted by Skiracer View Post
    So, I am being profiled?
    ***sigh*** Yes, that is correct. Every LEO in the City, perhaps the County of LA, wants so badly to look under the hood of your bone stock Mitsubishi Evo, that you are being subjected to pretext stops...adapt.
    "Think like a man of action, act like a man of thought" ~Henri Louis Bergson
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  25. #25
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    Be honest here. You bought the car because it looks fast and you love the attention you get with it. Now you seem to be upset that the attention is from the police. If you are street legal and not doing anything wrong, take it as a compliment and move along. It's like a guy who wears a shirt that says "f*** the police", then wonders why he gets a little extra attention.
    Jerry
    "If all else fails, stop using all else!"

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