Our goal at ATVA is to provide quality product reviews that will not only improve your vehicle, but also make it sound and perform better. We'll review our best-selling exhaust system for Chevy Silverado 1500 trucks so you can see why ATVA is known as the #1 choice in truck exhaust system reviews.
If you’re not sure where to even start looking, we have your back. This article takes a look at seven of the best available exhaust systems currently on Amazon for you to choose from.
We’ve also put together a useful buyer's guide that will help you understand some of the key features to look out for when looking for a new exhaust system for your Silverado.
In a hurry? Don't waste too much time trying every product review--simply check out our top pick and find which is our favorite option and why!
PS. If you own a Toyota 4Runner, you will definitely want to check out our 2021 Guide to the Top 4Runner Off Road Tires here.
OUR TOP PICK
We chose the Flowmaster 817689 cat-back exhaust system as our top pick because of the superior sound it has to offer for your Silverado.
This is a brand that focuses on its commitment to developing high-performance products, utilizing the most advanced automotive technology currently available.
Best paired with the Flowmaster Performance Air Intake Kit, this exhaust kit features the iconic Flowmaster tone and offers maximum performance.
It’s capable of producing aggressive sound by amplifying the power of your Silverado, which previous customers absolutely love.
In terms of design, the whole exhaust system looks sleek and smooth, and you can choose between polished or black tips to match whatever aesthetic you’re going for. It’ll be a great addition to any suped-up car.
It’s easy to install so you won’t have to fork out for installation, although if you did want to pay someone else to do it for you, this Flowmaster exhaust system comes in somewhere around the middle of the typical price range, which is pretty reasonable considering the quality.
- Stainless steel construction
- Aggressive sound
- Backed by a lifetime limited warranty
- There’s a choice of white or black tips to suit your preference
- We couldn’t find any!
Okay, we know we’ve literally just looked at a Flowmaster exhaust system, but we couldn’t resist following up with the Super 44 exhaust kit.
We absolutely love our top pick, but we understand that not everyone will want to spend that amount of money. Our second option is a more affordable choice for those who have a stricter budget.
The fact that it was manufactured using aluminum does mean that it’s a little bit less durable than a stainless steel exhaust system would be, but it’s a material that retains heat well and plays a large part in why this option is more affordable.
You’ll just need to keep an eye out for rust and take action by regularly clearing your exhaust.
This kit comes with a single 3-inch/dual 2.5-inch Flowmaster Super Muffler, two 2.5-inch Mandrel-bent tailpipes (cut and swedged), two 3.5-inch x 18-inch weld-on angle-cut black powder tips, and multi-depth insulated hangers and muffler clamps. That’s some kit!
With that being said, it doesn’t supply the exhaust components in front of the muddler.
With an aggressive rumble that is deeper and richer than the original Flowmaster 40 series, this exhaust system features double Vs which are equal in size instead of a single V. It boasts one of the highest performing street mufflers in addition to impressive horsepower and airflow.
The design sees the pipes exit under the rear of your Silverado for a neat, streamlined look. However, it is recommended that you have it installed by a professional and further parts or fabrication might require separate purchase, which the installer can determine for you.
- More affordable alternative
- Sound upgrade since the Flowmaster 40 series
- Impressive performance for the price
- Streamlines look
- Aluminum construction is less durable
- Difficult to install
If the main reason behind wanting a new exhaust system is for improved sound, then the Borla 140537 cat-back exhaust system is a perfect choice.
Described by some as an asonic shot of adrenaline, you’ll be pumped to hear the soundtrack to this high-quality motoring performance as you drive in your Silverado.
Enjoy this amplified, acoustic cover of your engine and use it to better judge things like gear changes or rev-level. A perfect blend of practical and beautiful - yes, beautiful - your eyes will thank you just as much as your ears due to the pleasing aesthetics of this exhaust.
It features patented straight-through technology and multi-core technology to ensure maximum power and flow. The engineers at Borla spent hours upon hours refining and perfecting exhaust systems until they’re fine-tuned to run smoothly with your Silverado.
You do have to pay a little more for such high sound quality, but it’ll be worth it for any audiophile as it provides impressive levels of sensory feedback of the sound. Besides, customer reviews suggest excellent customer satisfaction and long-lasting performance.
- One of the best choices for sound
- Combines function and form
- Features straight-through and multi-core technology
- High sensory feedback levels
- Expensive option
Okay, guilty! We know we have another repeat brand, but Borla really has a lot to offer in terms of car exhaust systems.
If you can afford to go one step better than the last option we reviewed, then the Borla 140537BC might just be for you. If you’re on a strict budget, look away now…
The pipe diameters, which are 2.75 inches going into the muffler and 2.25 inches coming out, are wide enough to encourage better exhaust flow which will improve the overall performance of your Silverado.
It does mean that your fuel-consumption may be increased as a result of installing this Borla exhaust system, which is something to keep in mind.
They’re resistant to rust and corrosion, although if the proper maintenance isn’t carried out then you can keep this exhaust system in tip-top condition for a very long time. Plus, it comes backed by a manufacturer’s warranty.
In an orchestra of steel, gears, and combustion that plays on the stage of deserts and highways all around the world, the Borla 140537BC produces a powerful sound.
Not only does this make your driving experience more enjoyable, but it helps you monitor your engine and modify your driving as required for a smoother journey.
- More affordable choice
- Rust and corrosion-resistance
- More expensive option
- Not as long-lasting or as durable as other exhaust systems we’ve included
- The fit could be better
Next, we took a look at this option from MagnaFlow which is known for its powerful sound.
The smooth, deep tone is less aggressive than some of the other options we’ve looked at in terms of noise, which is perfect if you have neighbors you don’t wish to disturb whenever you have to pop out and take the car.
The MagnaFlow’s ability to make power has been proven by Dyno tests, and the straight-through flow designs deliver ultimate smooth sound, improved economy, as well as high-quality performance.
You’ll improve both the horsepower of your exhaust system and the torque as well by installing this MagnaFlow offering. You might want to get a professional to do this for you as they’re welded for enhanced durability, which means once they’re on they’re not coming off.
This further enhances the durability, and this MagnaFlow exhaust system was designed to last and made in the USA. It’s to be expected really when you consider how much it costs, but if you have the budget for it it would be a great investment in your Silverado.
- Components made of heavy-duty, durable material and welded together
- Easy to install
- Dyno tested
- Improved horsepower and torque
- More expensive option
The cheapest option on our list is the Glasspack exhaust kit, which is still surprisingly good-quality despite its low cost. However, it is recommended that you hire a professional for installation, so while the initial upfront cost isn’t too bad, it can quickly start to add up
It’s economical when it comes to fuel, so you won’t burn through as much as with some of the other exhaust systems we’ve looked at. That doesn’t mean you have to compromise on sound, though!
It features a simple and straightforward design that includes a straight-through, zero-restriction flow and a louvered core and fiberglass information for the original sound that’s been associated with it from the 1950s. Plus, it’s custom bent so they can suit most applications.
Aluminized pipes further add to the durability of this well-constructed exhaust system, although they’re not as hard-wearing as stainless steel, and it boasts a longer lifespan than most of the other options in this price range.
- Best budget option
- Fuel economy
- Great sound
- Simple, clean design to improve the flow
- Less durable than some stainless steel options
- Professional installation required
Last but not least, we have another Flowmaster exhaust system to come full circle in the search for the best available system for your Silverado. The 717787 cat-back exhaust system is part of their new line designed with the Chevrolet Silverado 1500 in mind.
The dual 2.5-inch tailpipe system is great for anyone who prefers a moderate to aggressive noise level and sound both inside and outside. Plus, it offers the same performance standard and all the benefits that Flowmaster systems are well-known for.
Manufactured using stainless steel, it’s a durable exhaust system with a long-lifespan. Finished with dual 4-inch black tips made of ceramic coated stainless steel, it’s also stamped with the Flowmaster logo.
Power is maximized thanks to the design of this system, which features mandrel bent tubing which flows into a straight-through performance muffler. This is how you’ll get the deep, rich sound you want.
The simple design also means it’s easy to install, and you’ll receive all the necessary parts with your purchase.
- Durable construction
- Manufactured with stainless steel
- Offers excellent performance
- Not as expensive as other options
- Easy installation
- Not as loud or aggressive as other models if this is what you’re looking for
Best Exhaust Systems for Silverado Buying Guide
Pickup trucks are powerful vehicles and as such, they produce a lot of waste gas, which is why it’s important to have an exhaust system that’s capable of removing these toxic fumes as quickly and efficiently as possible.
Not sure how it works? The catalytic converter is the part of the exhaust system that works to remove some of the toxins and harmful substances, and emissions are carried here via the manifold. They’re then transported through the muffler which alters the sound, either reducing or boosting the noise produced.
Finally, there are the tailpipes and tips to think about which are available in wide versatility with different construction methods, diameters, materials used in the construction, and the overall effect it will have on the performance of your truck.
Now that you’ve seen seven of the best exhaust systems you could possibly purchase for your Silverado, you may be wondering which factors are the most important in making this decision.
It should go without saying, but you’ll need to make sure that any exhaust system you choose is compatible with your vehicle, which means checking your make and model before you click add to cart.
Type of Exhaust System
Before you can make this decision, you’ll need to think about what you’re looking to get out of it. How loud do you want the exhaust to be? Is it the performance you’re hoping to improve, or the overall look of it? And perhaps the most obvious question to ask, what type of budget do you have?
Keeping these questions (and a few others) in mind, the following types of exhaust systems are what we’ve found to be the best options for your Chevrolet Silverado.
1. Axle-Back Exhaust
Easily the most basic option currently available on the market, the axle-back exhaust is an affordable upgrade that will improve the exhaust flow of your vehicle.
They feature a larger muffler than your stock exhaust system and exhaust tips, which is far more simple than you’d think from its name as ‘axle-back’ refers to the fact that you’ll need to replace the whole system from the rear of your vehicle to the rear axle.
2. Cat-Back Exhaust
Cat-back exhausts are probably the best option for a Silverado due to the fact that this type of car has a bigger engine, and therefore benefits from the less restrictive cat-back systems which are larger to match.
They’re a slightly more expensive option, but if power and sound are important to you then it’s definitely worth paying the extra cost as you’ll get more components, power, and sound in return. Plus, they look better! You can choose from either a single or double tailpipe, either way, you’ll greatly improve the exhaust flow thanks to the wider tubes.
3. Turbo-Back or Header-Back Exhaust
If you’re more of a boy racer (or girl racer, for that matter) then you may want to consider a turbo-back or header-back exhaust which are best for off-road driving. However, it’s important to note that in some cases, turbo-backs are illegal for road use.
The header-back exhausts that are legal will have headers, pipes, mufflers, catalysts, and tailpipes. They’re seriously impressive when it comes to powerful sound, ensuring an exhilarating experience.
As with any purchase, you’re going to want to find the best quality product within your budget. This is especially true when it comes to cars considering how much time, energy, and money some people put into their vehicles. Just like it would as if it was for your real child, only the best will do for your pride and joy.
We’ve previously mentioned how the stock exhaust of your Chevy Silverado is pretty decent to begin with, so if the exhaust system you’re looking at is going to be lower-quality than that then there’s really no point in buying it. Why waste your money for an upgrade that isn’t going to improve the quality of your vehicle and may in fact be to its detriment?
Look for exhaust systems that are made using austenitic stainless steel, as this is similar to the standard of quality you’d find on an aircraft. It’s an extremely durable material and will help to prevent any rust or corrosion both internally and externally, even in snowy or humid areas. Aluminum is a cheaper alternative, and it’s easier to customize as you can weld it with minimal resistance. However, while it retains heat well, it’s definitely a less durable option and it will rust quicker than stainless steel will.
Everyone who’s into cars like to show off their new toys and additions, so quality can also refer to the look of your exhaust system and whether or not it adds to the rest of the vehicle. Choosing a high-quality material such as stainless steel is also going to be visually appealing due to its sleek, polished nature. Plus, if it’s designed well, it’s likely going to work well and last for longer.
The design of your exhaust system is more than just how it looks, as it can also determine how suitable it is for your car. One important thing to remember is that the exhaust tip should extend no further than the rear bumper, as this could cause a number of safety issues in a short space of time as well as damage to your vehicle.
The design of the exhaust system will also indicate how easy it will be to clean, which is good to know before you buy. It’s recommended that you clean your exhaust system at least once a week due to staining, which can be difficult to get rid of if they’re not dealt with early.
Muffler size will play a large role in how much noise your exhaust system produces, although there are a number of other factors that will influence its sound. The general rule is that the larger the muffler, the more it muffles the noise.
If you want to hear a roaring growl when you rev your engine then look for a smaller muffler, or opt for one that’s a bigger size if you’d prefer more of a gentle purring.
The pipes also influence the type of sound your exhaust system will produce. If you prefer a lower exhaust tone, consider getting an X style pipe design, or alternatively, try an H style pipe design for a more high-frequency sound.
Ease of Installation
While some people may regularly carry out maintenance on their own car and are therefore familiar with the workings of its engine and other components, others may find the thought of installing their own exhaust system a terrifying prospect.
Don’t panic if that sounds like you, as you can always have your new exhaust professionally installed. The extra costs incurred are well worth it if you’re nervous about attempting to install it yourself, although you might need to factor this into your decision if you have a tighter budget. This brings us to the final thing you should consider, which is the cost.
Nothing in life is free, but if you’re choosing to upgrade parts of your car then the costs can start to add up quickly. Really think about how much you’re willing to spend on your exhaust system before you even start looking, as otherwise, you could end up falling in love with one that exceeds your budget!
Your exhaust system is an incredibly important aspect of your Silverado, but spending more on this may mean that you can’t spend as much money on something else. While you do get what you pay for to a certain extent, there’s no reason why you can’t find a high-quality exhaust pipe without a high price-tag to match.
We’ve included options that range from around $200 to over £1000 to suit every budget, and you can be confident that even the more affordable systems we’ve reviewed are of a certain standard in terms of quality.
Frequently Asked Questions
How many parts make up an exhaust system and what are they?
There are four main parts that feature in an exhaust system, including the pipes, the exhaust manifold, the muffler, and the catalytic converter.
What happens if you have a bad exhaust system?
Bad exhaust systems can result in a reduction of engine airflow which means it won’t work as effectively, and the decreased combustion can lead to a decrease in power.
What is an exhaust leak?
An exhaust leak is bad news for you and your car due to the toxic fumes and the exhaust system’s reduced pressure which means your fuel consumption will be higher.