U.S. Code of Federal Regulations
Regulations most recently checked for updates: Sep 22, 2023
(a) Applicability of this section. The interior noise level requirements apply to all trucks, truck-tractors, and buses.
(b) General rule. The interior sound level at the driver's seating position of a motor vehicle must not exceed 90 dB(A) when measured in accordance with paragraph (c) of this section.
(c) Test procedure. (1) Park the vehicle at a location so that no large reflecting surfaces, such as other vehicles, signboards, buildings, or hills, are within 50 feet of the driver's seating position.
(2) Close all vehicle doors, windows, and vents. Turn off all power-operated accessories.
(3) Place the driver in his/her normal seated position at the vehicle's controls. Evacuate all occupants except the driver and the person conducting the test.
(4) The sound level meters used to determine compliance with the requirements of this section must meet the American National Standards Institute “Specification for Sound Level Meters,” ANSI S1.4—1983. (See § 393.7(b) for information on the incorporation by reference and availability of this document.)
(5) Locate the microphone, oriented vertically upward, 6 inches to the right of, in the same plane as, and directly in line with, the driver's right ear.
(6) With the vehicle's transmission in neutral gear, accelerate its engine to either its maximum governed engine speed, if it is equipped with an engine governor, or its speed at its maximum rated horsepower, if it is not equipped with an engine governor. Stabilize the engine at that speed.
(7) Observe the A-weighted sound level reading on the meter for the stabilized engine speed condition. Record that reading, if the reading has not been influenced by extraneous noise sources such as motor vehicles operating on adjacent roadways.
(8) Return the vehicle's engine speed to idle and repeat the procedures specified in paragraphs (c) (6) and (7) of this section until two maximum sound levels within 2 dB of each other are recorded. Numerically average those two maximum sound level readings.
(9) The average obtained in accordance with paragraph (c)(8) of this section is the vehicle's interior sound level at the driver's seating position for the purpose of determining whether the vehicle conforms to the rule in paragraph (b) of this section. However, a 2 dB tolerance over the sound level limitation specified in that paragraph is permitted to allow for variations in test conditions and variations in the capabilities of meters.
(10) If the motor vehicle's engine radiator fan drive is equipped with a clutch or similar device that automatically either reduces the rotational speed of the fan or completely disengages the fan from its power source in response to reduced engine cooling loads the vehicle may be parked before testing with its engine running at high idle or any other speed the operator may choose, for sufficient time but not more than 10 minutes, to permit the engine radiator fan to automatically disengage.