How To Choose An Exhaust System For Your Chevy Silverado – Buyer’s Guide

Exhaust system for chevy silverado

Enhance your Chevy Silverado performances with a brand new roaring exhaust system

The stock exhaust system for Silverado trucks works well enough, but it’s bland.

By investing in an exhaust system you can choose exactly what your Silverado sounds like. Truck owners buy new lights, trim upgrades, decals, and even paint wraps to give their vehicles some personality. Why not invest in exhaust systems to change the way your ride sounds as well?

Imagine roaring down the road in your newly upgraded pickup that sounds more like a rumbling performance truck than it does a work vehicle.

Your Silverado 1500 will turn heads like never before, and you’ll feel a sense of pride and excitement each time you climb behind the wheel and drive down the road. Your Silverado is equipped with a large and powerful engine, why not make it sound like it with the best exhaust kit?

If you’re willing to add the best exhaust system to your pickup, you’ll come to enjoy your Silverado more than ever before. Think of an exhaust system upgrade like one more customization that makes your ride feel like all your own.

It is true that you will find a ton of products from different brands. But the question is, which one to choose? It is a tough and time-consuming question to answer.

To ease your life we have summarized in the infographic below the key elements to keep in mind when selecting an exhaust system for your truck.

You will find later in this post a more detailed explanation of each of them in our buyer’s guide section, as well as some frequently asked questions and finally a review of the major brands available.

Tips For Choosing Your Chevy Silverado Exhaust System

If you are already curious about the models available, I have selected and reviewed for you the best exhaust systems for chevy Silverado in another article. A small hint: make sure to read it before committing on your final choice!

Keep reading for info about top exhaust kits, headers, and how to choose systems for your own personal needs.

Exhaust System – Buyer’s Guide

Trying to buy an exhaust system for Silverado trucks can feel overwhelming. You likely already know why you want a performance cat upgrade or new exhaust tips, but knowing you want more power or a better sounding exhaust system doesn’t tell you what to look for when selecting a kit.

That’s why I created a brief buyer’s guide to make it easier to choose exhaust systems for Silverado trucks.

Learn how to pick a kit for performance, sound, reliability, and durability so you know exactly what’s important to you when buying your next exhaust kit.


The right exhaust system installed on your Silverado 1500 can help make your truck perform more effectively.

Buyers that decide on a performance exhaust system for Silverado pickups often enjoy more power and even improved fuel efficiency. The trick is knowing which cat-back exhaust system upgrades result in those performance improvements.

Compared to the stock exhaust system, the best exhaust systems allow exhaust gases to escape faster. By getting rid of exhaust fumes sooner, your engine can take in oxygen and fuel vapor quicker as well, allowing it to generate more power and create more torque for you to enjoy. Different exhaust systems achieve gas flow improvements in different ways which I’ll cover below, but the important thing to look for when buying a kit is that it’s more efficient.

Exhaust system improves silverado performances
Exhaust system improves silverado performances

Some of the best exhaust systems for Silverado trucks achieve performance gains by utilizing wider pipes or a straighter path of flow, or a more open path thanks to mandrel-bent pipes. Careful improvements to flow efficiency can add up to significant performance gains over stock exhaust systems. An aftermarket cat back exhaust system is likely to use several different optimization techniques to improve the flow of exhaust from the headers out the exhaust tips.

When looking for an exhaust system for Silverado 1500 trucks that will make your ride faster, focus on straight exhaust kits, wider pipes, mandrel bent tubing, and more efficient exhaust flow optimizations for the best results. You may not be able to find a kit with all these optimizations, but you should still see performance improvements by investing in a few of these upgraded features.

Sound Frequency

Most Silverado owners invest in a new system for Silverado 1500 trucks to change the sound of the truck more than anything.

That’s why it’s important to look closely at the sound claims that come with any of the products you’re considering. The best exhaust is a system that gives you the sound you’re looking for when it’s installed.

Exhaust system make your silverado roars
Exhaust system make your silverado roars

Most buyers want to transform their quiet pickup into a growling truck with a throaty roar when driving down the road. This is achieved by investing in exhaust tips and cat-back exhaust systems with wider pipes and a carefully designed muffler that makes more noise while driving.

The majority of aftermarket Silverado exhaust kits amplify the sound of the pickup, but the packages do so in different ways. It’s important to read the product descriptions carefully to help you identify an exit exhaust system that gives your truck the sound you really want.

Non-Stop Service for Longer Run

When choosing from the hundreds of different aftermarket exhaust products, it’s important to select one that’s optimized for your pickup.

That’s why I look at Chevrolet Silverado exhaust kits specifically. These products are designed to maintain safe and reliable engine performance, even when traveling over long distances.

Silverado maintenance and servicing

A poorly matched or designed aftermarket exhaust system can cause the engine to run improperly, create irregular noises, and cause excess heat to build up over time. These issues often go unnoticed when driving over short distances, but become major problems on long-distance trips.

Only look for upgrades that have been optimized for use on your truck specifically. They need a properly functioning catalytic converter, but also need to allow exhaust fumes to flow through at the proper rate that keeps the engine balances and running optimally. Always look to see that the exhaust system is meant for your version of the truck and the right engine. The best exhaust 5.3 Silverado trucks need won’t be the same for other engine variations and this is something for you to keep in mind as well.

Build Materials

Buyers that are considering different aftermarket exhaust products should spend time considering the four different material types used for most systems today.

By aftermarket exhaust systems by the materials they’re formed from, you can balance the cost of the system with its lifespan.

An aftermarket exhaust system is usually made from mild steel, aluminized steel, 409 stainless steel, and 304 stainless steel. Each of these materials creates a usable exhaust system, but some are more durable than others.

Exhaust system build material is an important buying element
Exhaust system build material is an important buying element

Mild steel is normally the most cost-effective and one of the easiest to work with for easy installation, but it isn’t very durable. This material isn’t treated for corrosion resistance and will become rusted over time as it comes in contact with moisture off the road and in the environment. A kit made from mild steel may only last a few years before it needs to be replaced due to rust damage, especially in a Northern climate.

Aluminized steel is also easy to work with, but is more corrosion-resistant. This special type of exhaust material is hot-dip coated with an aluminum and silicon material to protect against corrosion. Exhaust kits made of aluminized steel typically last around five years once installed, which is several years longer than kits made from mild steel. An aluminized steel exhaust system may only cost slightly more to purchase but is worth the investment if you plan to keep your truck for at least five years.

The best exhaust system you can purchase today is going to be made from stainless steel, especially if you live in a climate that experiences regular snowfall. Stainless steel is a special type of steel that makes use of chromium and other elements along with iron to make it much more resistant to rusting than basic steel is. Most stainless steel exhaust system options for Silverado trucks are made out of 409 or 304 stainless varieties. 409 stainless steel is the more affordable of the two options, but it wears out sooner than 304 stainless steel does. Either way, exhaust kits made from stainless tend to last for 10 years or longer, and investing in 304 stainless steel could keep your exhaust pipes in optimal condition for more than a decade.

Exhaust Drone

One of the main complaints that come from truck owners with a recent exhaust system for Silverado 1500 installed is concerning exhaust drone.

This is a monotone sound and an unpleasant vibration that occurs while driving around or even while idling in some instances. Exhaust drone is something that’s carefully avoided when creating the factory exhaust system, but not something all high-performance exhaust makers worry about.

Silverado exhaust drone

When looking at exit exhaust systems, carefully select products that exclaim that they are drone-free. An exhaust system for Silverado trucks is most likely to drone at frequencies between 2,000 and 3,500 RPMs, so selecting kits that produce sounds in other frequencies is another good way to avoid this issue.

It’s important to look for drone-free products when selecting the best exhaust system for your truck. You won’t know whether the performance cat system you purchase drones until after it’s installed and you’re using it. It’s easier to avoid the problem when searching for the exhaust system you want to use initially, instead of having to change it out after installation.

There’s a lot to think about when buying a performance cat kit for your pickup. Hopefully, after reading through this brief buyer’s guide you know more about what to look for when shopping for exhaust systems for Silverado trucks.

See our top 5 exhaust kit picks to get started looking at the best exhaust systems for your ride.

Not ready yet to make a selection?

No problem, read further our Frequently asked questions

FAQ’s – Frequently Asked Questions

While it's impossible to say which system for Silverado 1500 will sound best to you, most buyers are happiest with exhaust kits that produce a deep and rumbling roar of a sound. This is achieved by kits such as the Flowmaster Super 44 that uses wide pipes and a carefully optimized muffler for a sporty sound. Each kit sounds different though, and it's up to you to decide which cat back exhaust system is the one you want for your ride.
Many of the recommended products on this list of best exhaust systems produce an appealing sound that owners will be happy with. I personally enjoy the sound produced by the Flowmaster Super 44, but other buyers prefer exhaust sounds from other kits. Buyers should choose products based on the sounds they produce, noting whether they are deep, loud, gritty, or quiet before purchasing one. It's a good idea to read customer reviews when choosing kits to get an idea of the sound of different products as well.
The best cat back exhaust system for one buyer will be different for another. When choosing a top product I look for durability, price and performance. The Flowmaster Cat-Back Doss Exhaust System is a good example of a durable kit that offers sound and performance improvements, but there are other excellent options available to choose from on our list as well. The best exhaust system is the one that gives you the performance and sound upgrades you want while meeting your budget.

Major Brands

  • Flowmaster – Flowmaster Inc. is a leading exhaust system company that engineers, manufactures, and distributes exhaust kits for most vehicles available today. It’s one of the first companies buyers think of when looking at aftermarket exhaust kits.
  • DNA motoring – DNA Motoring is one of the largest exhaust and lighting suppliers for trucks and performance vehicles. Comprised of motoring enthusiasts, the company focuses on performance and quality.
  • Autosaver88 – Autosaver88 is an aftermarket truck company that offers aftermarket truck accessories for towing and lighting, as well as exhaust systems, and cooling systems among other things.
  • Borla – Borla is one of the leading stainless steel exhaust system experts in the car and truck industries today. The company specializes in no-drone exhaust designs and offers a variety of stainless steel products for exotic and domestic vehicles.


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