Best Exhaust Systems for the Chevrolet Silverado

Originally published on Aug 25, 2023 | Updated on Sep 21, 2023

The Chevy Silverado is an icon in American automotive history, known for its exceptional reliability, build quality, and performance that earned the pickup its title as one of the ‘big three,’ alongside the RAM and Ford F-Series. 

Such a well-regarded, heavy-duty pickup deserves a deep, rugged exhaust note to match; however, recent years have seen the Silverado’s Vortec V8 smothered by restrictive factory exhaust systems, resulting in a quiet, hardly registerable exhaust note. Luckily, Real Truck carries several premium exhaust systems for the Silverado, bolstering performance, decibel levels, and aesthetics. But which is right for you? 

In this guide, we’re tackling Silverado exhaust systems, including reasons to upgrade your exhaust, various exhaust system types, and some of our top products for the Silverado.

Why Install an Aftermarket Exhaust System?

Some of the most common benefits of an aftermarket exhaust include improved performance, increased sound, and enhanced aesthetics. Let’s dig deeper into how aftermarket exhaust systems impact these factors.


Aftermarket exhaust systems capitalize on the notion that more exhaust flow equals more power. In the case of your Silverado, this creates more room for fresh, dense air on the next intake stroke, thus optimizing combustion and increasing performance. Unfortunately, factory exhaust systems can be restrictive due to their use of small-diameter piping, restrictive oversized mufflers, and unnecessary bends. 

Instead, aftermarket exhausts utilize large-diameter mandrel-bent tubing and high-flow mufflers/resonators, ensuring unrestricted exhaust flow.


Aftermarket exhausts are also aesthetic upgrades. Most factory exhausts feature aluminized steel piping and mufflers, which hold up fine in dry climates but corrode in cold, wet parts of the country. Not only does this corrosion negatively impact aesthetics, but it can also wear holes in piping and mufflers, creating exhaust leaks.

Most aftermarket exhaust systems on Real Truck utilize corrosion-resistant stainless steel, which resists corrosion due to its high chromium content for a long-lasting finish. Additionally, most aftermarket exhausts include a stylish exhaust tip, significantly improving aesthetics at the tailpipe.

Sound Quality

Naturally, most Silverado owners install aftermarket exhaust systems to improve sound quality. Aftermarket exhausts allow your Silverado’s Vortec engine to breathe, utilizing high-flow mufflers and resonators that significantly increase decibels without adding excessive drone. 

However, it’s important to note that every exhaust system is different; while some may produce tones that are too aggressive for daily drivers, others are quiet, composed, and only incrementally louder than factory exhausts.

Exhaust System Types

There are three primary types of exhaust systems on the market: axle-back, cat-back, and header-back. Each title refers to the furthest forward that an exhaust system stretches, but there is a bit more nuance to these distinctions.


Axle-back exhaust systems are the shortest and least expensive exhausts on the market. These systems replace only the tailpipe and, often, the muffler, gradually increasing sound and performance. 


Cat-back, or catalytic-converter-back, exhaust systems replace everything behind the primary catalytic converter, including the B-Pipe (mid-pipe), resonators, mufflers, and tailpipe. These systems are pricier than axle-back exhausts; however, they produce notable performance gains without altering emissions equipment, making them the most popular exhaust type. 


Header-back exhaust systems replace every component behind the cylinder heads–basically the entire system. These comprehensive exhaust systems include headers, Y-pipes, B-pipes, mufflers, resonators, and all necessary piping to construct an entirely new exhaust system.

Unfortunately, they’re getting harder to come by. Considering most header-back exhaust systems eliminate the factory catalytic converters, which is a federal offense, most header-back exhaust systems are gone from the market.

Top Silverado Exhaust Systems

With some background information under our belts, let’s get into our expert’s top exhaust system recommendations for the Silverado! These systems are hand-selected based on overall build quality, performance, sound quality, and aesthetics, ensuring only the best system ends up on your pickup.

Borla S-Type Exhaust System

The S-Type Exhaust is the flagship system from industry leader Borla, offering dyno-proven gains, a deep exhaust note, and next-level durability. This system is constructed entirely from durable T-304 stainless steel, ensuring maximum corrosion resistance in even the harshest climates. All tubing is mandrel bent for maximum airflow, increasing performance and efficiency. 

Borla S-Type mufflers are custom-tuned to your setup to provide the best possible sound. While deep and performance-inspired, S-Type systems produce minimal in-cabin drones for a comfortable driving experience. 

Borla S-Type exhaust systems are proudly made in the USA and are backed by the confidence of a one-million-mile warranty.


  • Corrosion-resistant T-304 stainless steel construction

  • Provides a throaty, performance-inspired exhaust note

  • S-Type mufflers deliver the ideal sound and noise level

  • Mandrel-bent tubing for smooth, uninterrupted exhaust flow

  • Dyno-tested performance gains 

  • Available with polished or black-chrome exhaust tips

  • One-million-mile warranty

  • Made in the USA

Borla ATAK Exhaust System

The Borla ATAK is the ultimate exhaust system for those who crave a deep, aggressive exhaust note. The ATAK is Borla’s loudest off-the-shelf exhaust system featuring premium ATAK mufflers for maximum sound. 

Like the rest of Borla’s exhaust systems, the ATAK is manufactured from premium materials for longevity. This system is constructed entirely from T-304 stainless steel, preventing the typical rust and corrosion of aluminized steel systems. All tubing is mandrel bent to maximize exhaust flow, netting dyno-proven performance gains. 

Borla ATAK exhaust systems are proudly made in the USA and are backed by the confidence of a one-million-mile warranty.


  • Constructed from T-304 stainless steel

  • The most aggressive Borla exhaust system

  • ATAK mufflers are custom-built to deliver the perfect growl

  • Mandrel-bent tubing ensures peak exhaust flow

  • Dyno-tested to improve horsepower and torque

  • Polished or black-chromed tips are available

  • Backed by a one-million-mile-warranty

  • Made in the USA

Gibson Performance Stainless Exhaust System

Give your Silverado a performance boost with the Gibson Performance Stainless Exhaust System, promoting efficient exhaust flow, unparalleled durability, and a deep, aggressive exhaust note. 

Gibson’s Performance Stainless Steel Exhaust System is manufactured entirely from T-409 stainless steel, promoting years of corrosion-free service. All tubing is mandrel bent, promoting superior exhaust flow. Gibson includes high-quality T-304 stainless steel exhaust tips with each Performance Stainless Steel Exhaust System, offered in polished and black ceramic-coat finishes. 

Gibson backs its Performance Stainless Steel Exhaust Systems with the confidence of a limited lifetime warranty. All systems are manufactured in the USA, ensuring maximum quality.


  • T-409 stainless steel construction

  • Provides reliable performance

  • Gives maximum torque & horsepower gains at low RPM

  • Deeper, aggressive exhaust note

  • Mandrel bent tubing for improved flow

  • Six styles to choose from for most applications

  • Tips available in polished and black ceramic on certain models

  • Tips are constructed of T-304 stainless steel

  • Backed by a limited lifetime warranty

  • Made in the USA

AWE FG Exhaust Systems

AWE is dedicated to producing high-quality, industry-leading products, and the FG Exhaust System is no exception. Each FG system is constructed entirely from American-sourced T-304L stainless steel, offering exceptional durability in even the harshest climates. All tubing is mandrel bent for superior exhaust flow, ensuring dyno-proven performance gains. 

This system features AWE’s patented drone-canceling technology, eliminating tones and resonance for a quiet, comfortable driving experience. However, don’t think your Silverado will be quiet on the outside! This system produces a deep, aggressive rumble that sets your Silverado apart from other pickups on the road. 

The AWE FG Exhaust System is backed by a limited lifetime warranty.


  • T304L stainless steel

  • 3" CNC mandrel bent steel

  • Patented drone-canceling technology

  • No cutting required

  • No check-engine-light guarantee 

  • Multiple tip and exit options

  • Lifetime warranty

  • 1 year tip finish warranty

Flowmaster American Thunder Exhaust System

Give your Silverado that classic Flowmaster growl with a Flowmaster American Thunder Exhaust System! This high-quality exhaust system is available in aluminized steel or stainless steel constructions, depending on your climate and price range. Both materials are precision mandrel bent to promote smooth, efficient exhaust flow, boosting horsepower and torque. 

Flowmaster American Thunder Exhaust Systems feature a simple bolt-on installation on most applications with little to no welding required! These systems are engineered for an easy at-home installation in the comfort of your driveway or garage. 

Flowmaster American Thunder Exhaust Systems are backed by a limited manufacturer’s warranty. All aluminized steel systems are covered for three years, while stainless steel systems are covered for the product’s lifetime.


  • Classic Flowmaster sound

  • Throaty exhaust note

  • Moderate sound

  • Mandrel-bent stainless steel or aluminized steel piping

  • Dyno-proven performance increases

  • Little to no drilling or welding

  • Three-year warranty on aluminized steel; limited lifetime on stainless

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