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PA fender flare laws

18881 Views 21 Replies 17 Participants Last post by  JohnnyWalker
Just wanted to double check, in PA, your fender flares must completely cover your tires, correct? Just wondering as i wanna get Xenon's flat flares, but really like the narrow ones. Unfortunately, I don't think they are gonna be legal here in PA. Trying to decide if I wanna risk it or not.
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Its a $137 inspection violation if any part of the tread sticks beyond the outer edge of the flair/fender. I have gotten a few tickets over the years and a few warnings. Its usually only the small town cops that bother me.The field test is holding a quarter on the outside edge of the flair and dropping it. If it hits any part of the tread, its illegal. Im not sure if that is an "official" test method, but I have had 2 different cops do it.

Most big and small inspection shops will not pass it if the tires stick out at all. My buddy's shop I use doesnt even check anything on my vehicles when the inspect, but they will not pass me if my tires stick out at all. Its crazy.

With all that being said, I have not gotten a ticket or a warning for about 5 years and almost all of my past tickets/warning happenned when I was younger and used to cruise around town alot. The local cops liked to pick on us. It seems most of the people I know, eventually get a ticket or warning if their tires stick out. And yes, my tires still stick out:thefinger:
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Good old Mt. Carmel, somethings just don't change. What are the bumper requirements in PA? Do they need to be full width or ?
Good old Mt. Carmel, somethings just don't change. What are the bumper requirements in PA? Do they need to be full width or ?
Ummm....I hope not.....

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its hit and miss with the cops and inspections around me, my jk tires dont stick out(stock rims/tires with spacers) but my old yj did and i drove it for about 7 years before i got pulled over.
Everything's hit or miss depending on the inspection station and/or where you're located. Technically any flare wider than 3" is illegal unless OEM....ran into this with my TJ. They want the tires covered, yet they don't want extended flares used, sure. Generally, I've found that as long as the tread is covered up by the flares, it's okay. If you get pulled over otherwise, they're just looking for a reason at that point. Don't know how the flare thing's gonna be interpreted with the JK's...since the whole front end is flare *shrugs*. If I've learned nothing else over the years, it's that PA's gotta be the least Jeep friendly state out there.....
'drack is right...hit or miss. From what I was told the tread cannot stick out passed the flares, but i have seen many a vehicles with tires sticking out. As for the bumper...from what I interpret from the inspection codes is that the bumper has to be of equal or greater strength quality, no taller than a certain height(can't remember it) and not stick out passed the lines of the body. I have a stubby too. It passed inspection, but I do get alot of stares from LEOs.
I was just curious as I've started seeing more and more jeeps and trucks in my area with tread sticking out past the fenders. I didn't hear anything about them changing the law, but wanted to check. I guess I'll get the wider Xenon flares just to be on the safe side.
On a side note, a guy at work said when he had his old YJ, he got pulled over for the tires sticking out, and when he asked why its not allowed, the cop said it was because if he were to get to close to the sidewalk, the tires could catch a pedestrians clothing and drag them under the tires. He said yeah right, if he were close enough for that to happen, the mirror would probably smack them in the back of the head before the tires got them. :)
I remember reading about a Jeep club, I believe it was up in Erie, that was in contact with their state reps and were trying to get them to give the flare laws an fresh look. That was a couple years ago and I haven't really heard anything since, so I'm guessing it's been buried.
Ah yes.....good ol PA. You have to have them covered. You will get busted at some point. Almost everyone does. The main reason for coverage is to prevent rocks and debris from being thrown from the tread. Living on colorado now...we basically have no laws ( or inspection:D) but the state flag should be a shattered windshield. ON my 4 mile ride to work i be you see at least 50% of the cars have crack on the glass. PA cops will do the quarter test as stated in an earlier post. I have had it done a few times.

Oh and Hunter..you so illegal its not funny! hahaha:laughing2: rig looks good!
Maine is the same way...Bangor cops just love pulling over any Jeep with what appears to be larger then stock tires, and they too do the quarter test
I have been going rounds with a state cop for the last 8 months, first its for the flares-
The flare is only aloud to be 3" from the body line, that would be the side of the Jeep, not the flare.
I have the Xenon wide flares, got pulled over, and this guy is all over me about how wide my flares are. I try to explain that they are only as wide as the stock ones are, just shaped different. He asks- so since your stock ones are wider than you can put anything on there you want... My reaction is "can I get out" ( I think better on my feet) , as he puts his hand on his gun, steps back a few and asks why.
I say there are a few things that I dont understand and if we can go over things together we can all get along... I get out and he is still looking at the flares as they are to wide, that makes your tires to wide also.
I had the same runaround with my Tj, got a warning.

Anyway, he looks at my front bumper, stock stubby, and says that he doesnt think its legal either, but cant remember the code at this point. If he can have my phone number he will get back to me. He writes his warning for the flares and is on his way.

I took my stock flares and a tape to the cop shop and the trooper on duty looks and measures and says "I dont see a thing wrong with it" signs the thing and I leave.
I get the call a couple days later and first cop leaves a message, says he has called "the guy" in Harrisburg and says my flares are not good, they have to be 3" from the body line if they are not stock. He also said my bumper wasnt wide enough either. He left his # and when he would be in the office that day, well I could call him back at those hours and since my warning was already signed I forgot about it.

8 months later, Im getting gas @ about 2am, and in pulls the same cop. He gets out and is JACKED... "I THOUGHT I TOLD YOU TO GET THOSE FLARES FIXED" - I say I did, well I took it up to the barricks and had another trooper look at it and measured and he said it was ok, I dont know what you want me to do...
Well how about that front bumper- I said yes I did, he walks up front to see my new bumper and his face is red. "Thats not fixed, the tires are still exposed, a rotating shaft has to be covered". I tell him that its as wide as the stock one, his ears start to turn, "do you know the difference between air and steel"? - I have the concept... as he is showing me where the plastic was, he explains that there use to be steel here now ther is air.

I try to tell him that there was never any steel its just a plastic cover and the law states that the bumper has to be as strong as the oem part, and its now 3/16" steel. He took a couple of pics and asked who inspected it. Noone after I fixed it... He is ready to punch me, I can see it, he was freaking out.
He calls me a couple days later and said he did some more checking with Harrisburg and my bumper is to high. I tell him its stock height. he says that since I cut off the stock ends that the bars I put on are now my bumper and they are to high. I say ok, I was busy and didnt have the time to argue, plus its better to see him get jacked in person...
I took it to the dealership and had it inspected, they call Harrisburg and the guy knows who I am and the mechanic says he doesnt see a thing wrong with it and he is going to put a sticker on it. Harrisburg says its good enough for him...

I know Im jinksing myself, but he said that its registered as a stationwagon and it doesnt need mudflaps...
So it really all depends on who the cop is and if his wife will allow him to have one
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I use to live in Indiana, PA and I know how all that goes my friend... Good to hear you are sticking it to em. Jeep looks awesome BTW. I don't see a thing wrong with IMHO
I can't see why they would be giving a hard time about the bumpers. Hell, back in 06, the TJ's were coming from the factory without those stupid plastic end caps on the bumpers that everyone used to take off anyways. those were basically a "stubby" bumper. If he trys to ticket you, I say take him to court.
I talked to another cop in another district and thats what he told me in a round about way, he didnt want to say it, but thats what he ment...and thats my plan if he ever does, just hope its not on the way home from happy hour:innocent:
Didnt wanna make a new thread so I did a search.
I realize this thread is old.
Thinking of getting 33x12.5 Duratracs.
Anyone in Pennsylvania have any problems?
Didnt wanna make a new thread so I did a search.
I realize this thread is old.
Thinking of getting 33x12.5 Duratracs.
Anyone in Pennsylvania have any problems?
Unless you stumble into or live in a region that the local cops have nothing better to do you should be fine on a daily basis. I never had issues in Philly or while traveling state trooper patrolled roads. Its really the yearly inspections you may have issues unless you're friendly with your mech.

The PA law is the tread of your tire must be covered. The sidewall can stick out. Some may argue that the tires with tread on the sidewall (a lot of MT tires have it) count as part of the tread. Never had issues with that though.

If you're asking if they'll stick out....it all depends on what wheel width and backspacing you run.
They will stick out.
Not me, but what exactly what it will look like

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Twisky, as Dan and I mentioned the first time you asked this question, you could have some difficulties with getting it inspected with a 4.5" back spacing. You'll need that back spacing to make sure your tires don't rub when you turn the wheel. If you are friendly with your mechanic or you have your Jeep inspected at a Jeep shop you are more than likely not going to have an issue. But you might. As JDam told you, he had to go home and remove the back spacing to get it inspected.

If you are going to ask a question, and you get an answer, and don't like it, so you go and ask others, you are going to piss off the folks that know better and were trying to help you out.

A 12.5 inch tire with 4.5 back spacing is going to stick out past stock flares. If you are worried about it, don't get the tire. If you want the tire, get some bushwacker flares that are oversized. Or just deal with the ticket when you get it.

You need to understand that this doesn't come all wrapped up in a package for you. Learn, from those more experienced, and your own mistakes, decide what risks you are willing to take, and then take the consequences.
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On my old JK i had 4.5" BS and the edge of my 33's hung out about 1 tread on the fronts. I took mine to the dealer never head a single issue never had a cop bother me other than to compliment me. I also had a stock stubby as far as i could read and have the mechanic read there isn't law on bumper width just height. I believe the height was 24" ? i could be wrong on the exact measurement. I think it all depends on where you are located i am in beaver county and i never had an issue.

Edit i was told the flare law was 4" by the inspection tech has this been changed to 3" ?
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