Chevrolet

Best Exhaust for 5.3 Silverado

Replacing an exhaust on your Chevrolet Silverado doesn’t have to be done only when the stock part starts showing signs of age. You can get a new exhaust regardless of how old or new your truck is, if you want a better (more aggressive sound) from the engine, or if you want improved performance. Keeping all of that in mind, we’ve listed some of the popular choices in this feature, which will help you choose the best exhaust for 5.3 Silverado.

Our Recommendations

Preview
Moderately Aggressive
Flowmaster 817669 American Thunder 409S Cat-Back System with Aggressive Sound
Perfect for the street
Flowmaster 817492 Cat-back System 409S - Dual Rear/Side Exit - Force II - Moderate Sound
Popular with a reason
Borla 140343 Cat-Back Exhaust System
Wide compatibility
MBRP S5081304 Exhaust System Cat Back (2009-UP Chev/GMC 1500 Silverado , Pre-Axle Dual Outlet, T304)
Least expensive choice
Dynomax 39499 Stainless Steel Exhaust System
Name
Flowmaster 817669 American Thunder 409S Cat-Back System with Aggressive Sound
Flowmaster 817492 Cat-back System 409S - Dual Rear/Side Exit - Force II - Moderate Sound
Borla 140343 Cat-Back Exhaust System
MBRP S5081304 Exhaust System Cat Back (2009-UP Chev/GMC 1500 Silverado , Pre-Axle Dual Outlet, T304)
Dynomax 39499 Stainless Steel Exhaust System
Our Rating
Prime
-
-
-
-
Compatibility
2014 - 2018
2009 - 2013
2009 - 2013
2009 - 2019
2009 - 2013
Warranty
Lifetime
Lifetime
Million mile
Check with seller
Lifetime
Sound on the outside
Semi-aggressive
Moderate
Moderate
Deep
Deep
Moderately Aggressive
Preview
Flowmaster 817669 American Thunder 409S Cat-Back System with Aggressive Sound
Name
Flowmaster 817669 American Thunder 409S Cat-Back System with Aggressive Sound
Our Rating
Prime
-
Compatibility
2014 - 2018
Warranty
Lifetime
Sound on the outside
Semi-aggressive
Perfect for the street
Preview
Flowmaster 817492 Cat-back System 409S - Dual Rear/Side Exit - Force II - Moderate Sound
Name
Flowmaster 817492 Cat-back System 409S - Dual Rear/Side Exit - Force II - Moderate Sound
Our Rating
Prime
-
Compatibility
2009 - 2013
Warranty
Lifetime
Sound on the outside
Moderate
Popular with a reason
Preview
Borla 140343 Cat-Back Exhaust System
Name
Borla 140343 Cat-Back Exhaust System
Our Rating
Prime
-
Compatibility
2009 - 2013
Warranty
Million mile
Sound on the outside
Moderate
Wide compatibility
Preview
MBRP S5081304 Exhaust System Cat Back (2009-UP Chev/GMC 1500 Silverado , Pre-Axle Dual Outlet, T304)
Name
MBRP S5081304 Exhaust System Cat Back (2009-UP Chev/GMC 1500 Silverado , Pre-Axle Dual Outlet, T304)
Our Rating
Prime
-
Compatibility
2009 - 2019
Warranty
Check with seller
Sound on the outside
Deep
Least expensive choice
Preview
Dynomax 39499 Stainless Steel Exhaust System
Name
Dynomax 39499 Stainless Steel Exhaust System
Our Rating
Prime
Compatibility
2009 - 2013
Warranty
Lifetime
Sound on the outside
Deep

Moderately Aggressive: Flowmaster American Thunder – the best exhaust for 5.3 Silverado

Flowmaster 817669 American Thunder 409S Cat-Back System with Aggressive Sound
45 Reviews
Flowmaster 817669 American Thunder 409S Cat-Back System with Aggressive Sound
  • Stainless Steel Construction
  • Great Performance Tone
  • Patented Delta Flow technology
  • Lifetime Limited Warranty

As the name suggests, this Flowmaster’s exhaust for the Chevrolet Silverado 5.3 takes no prisoners when it comes to offering a good auditory experience. It’s got an aggressive sound on the outside and offers a moderate sound in the cabin. With its compatibility for the 2014 – 2018 Chevrolet Silverado trucks (and also the 2019 Chevrolet Silverado Classic), if you’ve got one of the new Silverados, make sure you check this out.

It’s always a good idea to check with the seller regarding the fit, but Holley/Flowmaster (the makers of this exhaust) mentions that the unit fits Crew Cab and Double Cab models. The 2WD models (with a two-piece driveshaft) or those with a newer body (the model year 2019 onwards — except the 2019 Classic) aren’t compatible.

Limited Lifetime Warranty

There’s a limited lifetime warranty on the product, and it’s mentioned that the exhaust is emissions-legal as well. You can choose between a variety of exhaust choices depending on the exit: rear bumper or behind rear wheels — both dual pipes. Talking about the pipes, they’re 2.5-inch wide, are made of mandrel-bent stainless steel, and have a 3.5-inch exhaust tip, made of polished stainless steel. The system uses factory hangers, and the kit contains all the parts you’ll need to fit the exhaust.

How does it sound?

In terms of the overall sound, it’s not the loudest out there. Having said that, it’s very much noticeable both inside the cabin (and more so from the outside) at low speeds as well as high cruising speeds. The distinct V8 rumble sounds even better with this.

What do we think of it?

This exhaust system looks great on paper, but a few things need to be kept in mind. First, if you aren’t sure of installing it yourself, consult an expert truck shop. Users have complained of the fit, but some of that is likely to be wrong parts — so check with the seller so that they send you the part made specifically for your truck. It’s a cat-back bolt-on unit, and it shouldn’t take more than 3 hours for installation.

Pros

Pros
  • Overall good sound — noticeable V8 rumble
  • Emissions-legal

Cons

Cons
  • You’ll need to pay close attention to fitting it right

Perfect for the street: Flowmaster Force II

Flowmaster 817492 Cat-back System 409S - Dual Rear/Side Exit - Force II - Moderate Sound
41 Reviews
Flowmaster 817492 Cat-back System 409S - Dual Rear/Side Exit - Force II - Moderate Sound
  • Mandrel bent 16 gauge stainless steel tubing
  • Moderate Sound exterior exhaust tone
  • Includes hangers and hardware for easy installation
  • Dyno Tuned For Maximum Performance

The Force II is positioned below other products like the American Thunder and Outlaw in Flowmaster’s wide range of exhausts. That means it not only offers a less intrusive exhaust sound but also makes for a good replacement for the stock unit. Like other Flowmaster products, it’s also backed by a lifetime warranty, is a simple bolt-on kit (more on it below), and is emissions-legal as well.

In terms of compatibility, if you happen to own a 2009 – 2013 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 5.3, this will fit all Extended Cab (6.5-ft bed) and Crew Cab (5.5-ft bed) versions. On the older 2007 – 2008 trucks, it’ll fit all Silverado 1500 2/4-wheel-drive models except the Extended Cab with the 8-ft bed.

Made of stainless steel

The system is made of stainless steel with 2.5-inch mandrel bent pipes and 3-inch polished dual-wall stainless steel exhaust tips. You can choose between the straight exit from the bumper or right behind the rear tires. Flowmaster maintains that the system uses factory hangers only and all the required hardware is included in the kit.

How does it sound?

In terms of sound, the Flowmaster Force II for Silverado 5.3 offers a decent improvement over the stock unit, but it’s not too intrusive inside the cabin. It’s again far from the loudest system out there, but if you’re looking at one for your daily driver, this might be it.

What do we think of it?

The dyno-tuned Flowmaster exhaust for Silverado 5.3 has received mixed reviews from owners, with some claiming the system’s clamps to be weak, it being rust-prone, etc. On the other hand, the easy installation has been appreciated whereas there’s been a distinct improvement in the truck’s sound, claim the owners.

Pros

Pros
  • Not intrusive inside the cabin
  • Sound improvement over the stock exhaust

Cons

Cons
  • Clamps reported to be weak, rust-prone

Popular with a reason: Borla Exhaust Touring

Borla 140343 Cat-Back Exhaust System
16 Reviews
Borla 140343 Cat-Back Exhaust System
  • Feature patented, straight-through and multi-core technology
  • Increased exhaust velocity adds power, driving excitement, and fuel economy
  • Superior to T-400 series
  • Ultra-smooth mandrel bends ensure maximum flow and power
  • Backed by Million-Mile warranty

If there’s one exhaust brand that a lot of truck owners swear by, it’s Borla. The wide range of exhausts from Borla caters to almost every truck owner’s needs. And the Touring Borla exhaust for Silverado 5.3 is made for overall moderate noise.

It’s compatible with the 2009 – 2013 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 5.3 trucks. In terms of variant-wise fit, the system can be installed on both AT and MT models, with or without 4WD, and on 4-door Extended Cab Standard Bed and the Crew Cab Short Bed versions. But as mentioned earlier, it makes the most sense to get in touch with the seller before ordering to get the exact part made for your Chevrolet Silverado.

Side-exit configuration

The system is made with T-304 stainless steel, it’s CNC manufactured, and has mandrel bends throughout. The pipe diameter is 2.75 inches, whereas the exhaust has 4-inch tips, which in this case are made in a side-exit configuration.

How does it sound?

At idle, it sounds different from stock but not necessarily louder. This trait makes the Borla Touring for Silverado 5.3 a great stock replacement. It’s not to satiate those looking for a loud exhaust but instead, it presents a sound very different from the stock system. The V8 is more audible from the outside, but inside the cabin, it continues with a pleasant note unless being pushed hard. Because then it does get more vocal. Having said that, Borla claims there’s no droning on the unit, and at cruising speed it’s bound to be better than the louder choices for your truck.

What do we think of it?

Backed by a million-mile warranty, the Borla Touring for Chevrolet Silverado 5.3 looks like a great choice on paper. It fits well (retains factory components), sounds great (unless you’re looking for a loud setup), and is easy to install. Win-win!

Pros

Pros
  • Million-mile warranty
  • Borla assurance
  • Sounds distinct

Cons

Cons
  • Not the loudest Borla

Wide compatibility: MBRP Pre-Axle Cat-Back Exhaust

MBRP S5081304 Exhaust System Cat Back (2009-UP Chev/GMC 1500 Silverado , Pre-Axle Dual Outlet, T304)
10 Reviews
MBRP S5081304 Exhaust System Cat Back (2009-UP Chev/GMC 1500 Silverado , Pre-Axle Dual Outlet, T304)
  • T-304 Construction
  • T304 Stainless Steel Black Tip
  • Mandrel-Bent 3" Tubing
  • Bolt-On Installation
  • Pre-Axle Dual Exit

Made to fit with all 2009 – 2019 Chevrolet Silverado 5.3 trucks (with single-piece driveshaft; except Regular Cab), the MBRP exhaust brings a lot of goods to the table — good build, great sound (deeper growl if you’re wondering), and as mentioned, wide compatibility. For exact compatibility, we suggest you get in touch with the seller before ordering the product.

Pre-Axle Exhaust Exits

The system gives your truck a unique look, thanks to its pre-axle exhaust exits. It’s made of T-304 high-quality steel, has 3-inch mandrel bent pipes, and is dyno-tested. It uses the factory hangers, so fitting it won’t be an issue, and all the required parts are included in the kit as well.

How does it sound?

It has a deep growl to it, and droning is said to be present (but not in a huge amount). Installation is bolt-on — hence easy — and like most other exhausts mentioned here, if you have added performance upgrades, it’s going to complement those.

What do we think of it?

MBRP is a well-known brand when it comes to exhausts, and this T-304 stainless steel pre-axle exhaust system for the Chevrolet Silverado shows why. Owners are happy with the build, fit, and mainly with the way their trucks sound after installing this. The warranty information isn’t clear, so please check with the seller.

Pros

Pros
  • Deep growl
  • High-quality

Cons

Cons
  • Some droning present

Least expensive choice: Dynomax Stainless Steel Exhaust

Dynomax 39499 Stainless Steel Exhaust System
4 Reviews
Dynomax 39499 Stainless Steel Exhaust System
  • Stainless steel construction for lifelong protection
  • 100% welded design for maximum durability
  • Straight through design ensures unrestricted exhaust flow and reduces back pressure
  • CRF Technology absorbs unwanted interior resonance while maintaining a deep performance tone
  • Dyno proven to flow up to 2,000 SCFM and support up to 2,000 horsepower.

Not by a huge margin, but the Dynomax exhaust for Silverado 5.3 is the least expensive choice here. It’s made of stainless steel throughout, which is a good advantage (at that lower price), comes dyno-proven to support up to 2000 hp, has mandrel bent pipes, and buffed and polished exhaust tips.

90-day performance and sound guarantee

It’s backed by a lifetime warranty, and a 90-day performance and sound guarantee. Users agree with Dynomax’s claims that the interior resonance (droning) is absorbed and the system produces an overall ‘deep performance tone’.

It is a bolt-on installation (rear-exit), and the system is said to be emissions-legal as well. For that and finer compatibility details, you must get in touch with the seller before ordering the system. It’s claimed to work on Chevrolet Silverado 1500 5.3 (the model year 2009 – 2013) with the 143.5-inch wheelbase.

How does it sound?

With minimal droning and an overall deep external noise, the Dynomax exhaust proves that you don’t have to spend big bucks for a decent product.

What do we think of it?

While it’s not as popular as the other products mentioned here, users are happy with the way the exhaust sounds (deep at idle and more pronounced at higher revs). The only issue users have is that the dual exhaust tips are small and a touch too low. Despite this, we think it’s one of the best dual exhaust for 5.3 Silverado.

Pros

Pros
  • Inexpensive

Cons

Cons
  • Exhaust tips reported to be very low

What is the Best Exhaust for 5.3 Silverado?

So you’ve decided on making your truck sound better and have read our thoughts on the choices for the best exhaust for 5.3 Silverado, but what next? If it’s a brief summary of the entire feature (a TL;DR version), here you go. 

The Flowmaster American Thunder offers a semi-aggressive note and works well with the V8 rumble of the truck. And that is a clear win in our book. If you like the build and support by Flowmaster but are looking for something little less loud, the Force II works exceptionally well, more so if you’re looking at using your truck daily. Another solid choice in very much the same arena (stock replacement but with a distinct sound) is the Borla Touring exhaust. It adds a certain appeal to the way the truck sounds but won’t make your ears bleed. The MBRP exhaust offers a nice pre-axle look and a deep growl. It’s loud as well, so if you’re looking for a monster exhaust sound for your Silverado, this has a solid chance of being that one for you. The Dynomax does largely what every other exhaust is doing here but at a lower price. And it doesn’t fare badly at that. So if you’re looking at a cost-effective solution, definitely check this out.

More Silverado Reviews – See our best: