Last Updated: 10.12.2020

The Chevrolet Silverado is exactly the truck you’d want to get if you wanted a wide array of capabilities. It is promising, works well in the long run, and if you choose the right spec, you’ll never feel the need to look at anything else. The 5.3 Silverado is exactly that. With a proven GM V8 sitting under the hood, the truck can be as multifaceted as it can get. But what if you yearned for a bit more power — because when it comes to power, it’s never enough, they say. They better be right, because what we have here is a list of some common upgrades for a 5.3 Silverado. Some of these help the 5.3 V8 produce more power. If you’re looking for an upgrade that not just complements the Silverado’s existing capabilities but also makes it a more complete truck, you have landed on the right side of the Internet. We’ll start with some upgrades that improve the truck’s overall appeal and then move on to the more power-focused modifications.

Lift Kit

The lift kit isn’t just the keen off-roader’s best friend, it also works well if you want your truck to look mean and aggressive. What a lift kit does is that introduces some added ground clearance to the truck. With that, not only can you fit larger tires on the Chevrolet Silverado 5.3 but also clear larger obstacles off the road. If you are looking at the aesthetics alone for your Silverado, you can opt for a leveling kit instead. This levels the front of the truck with the rear, and hence losing the sloping stance that the trucks come with from the factory.

Tonneau Cover

The best part about pickup trucks is that you have the option of dumping heavy cargo in the loading bay/truck bed and drive wherever you want. With a tonneau cover, you can make the bed more secure and make the truck look even better. Tonneau covers come in different styles, and some even have a remote-controlled folding mechanism as well. If you want to make your Silverado more practical, it’s easy to do that with the help of a tonneau cover. Just keep in mind to order the exact model for your truck — because in the case of these covers, the fit can essentially make or break the cover. 

Running Boards

Do you daily your Silverado? If yes, there’s a solid chance you or your passengers don’t appreciate climbing into the truck — as opposed to stepping into it. And the problem can be easily resolved with the help of running boards. This aftermarket accessory is also available in various types and forms. You can even have individual steps for each door or even get a full-fledged automatically retractable running board. The former is a cost-effective option but not the safest, whereas the latter can be expensive. There’s a wide range of intermediate choices that will let you enjoy the practicality of a running board but without spending too much. Just note that running boards/nerf bars don’t work well off the road, as there’s an increased chance of these rubbing against the ground, especially when tackling difficult terrain. 


Do you want to add some more firmness in the way the Silverado rides on the road? Or probably you want to add to its ability to tackle the rough road smoothly. That’s when you must consider switching the shocks on your truck. Ideally, a lift kit has to be accompanied by new shocks, if you want to improve the ride and handling of the truck. But you can easily carry on with a shock upgrade without changing the ground clearance of the truck. The stock setup is made keeping in mind a wider customer base, but if you want the Silverado to be more focused, getting new shocks is a good start. You can read more about the best shocks available for the Chevrolet Silverado 5.3 here.

Cold Air Intake 

With a cold air intake, you can increase the Chevrolet 5.3 V8’s ability to breathe. With that the engine’s bound to get more responsive, and if you have other upgrades planned on the engine, it’s only going to help if you’ve got the basics sorted. Most modern aftermarket cold air intakes come with enclosed air boxes that protect the air filter from the elements and the engine heat. You can choose between a cleanable oil filter or a dry filter, depending on your requirements and the driving conditions. The benefits of installing a cold air intake include better engine response to the gas pedal, a more pronounced intake/induction noise, and of course, a slight increase in performance. You can read more about the best cold air intake available for the Chevrolet Silverado 5.3 here.


The great thing about modern trucks like your Chevrolet Silverado 5.3 is that you can control a lot of parameters without even stepping out of the truck’s cabin — let alone head for the spanner or wrench. Tuners make this possible, and you can control everything from how much power the truck makes (this can be increased), how the power is delivered (with the help of various engine maps), and correct a lot of things like speedometer error, vary how firm the gear shifts are, and even monitor how well the truck is performing — in real-time. For more intensive modifications, getting a tuner is a must. And the best part is that a lot of tuners will allow you to return to the stock engine map within a few minutes. So if something doesn’t feel okay, you can go back to the factory settings. You can read more about the best tuner available for the Chevrolet Silverado 5.3 here.


Who doesn’t like a great-sounding truck! Even if you aren’t into competition events, and just use the truck as a daily, there’s a lot that an exhaust upgrade can offer. To start with, it’ll make the Silverado perform slightly better and nothing can beat the sonorous note of a V8. A good-quality cat-back exhaust is bound to last you long, and won’t be too difficult to install — as long as it uses the factory hangers. You can choose an extra loud one but that can be a problem with the local authorities — and the in-cabin noise can be bothersome as well. But even with something that claims to be moderate in terms of overall sound output, you’re bound to enjoy the truck more. And since a lot of these exhausts don’t affect the overall emission status, you can drive your now-better-sounding truck without having to worry about failing emission tests. You can read more about the best exhausts available for the Chevrolet Silverado 5.3 here.

Spark plugs

Possibly the most important component in an engine, the spark plug is responsible for the combustion process in your truck’s gas engine. A good plug is always going to help the truck perform flawlessly. And a more premium plug (with Platinum or Iridium tip) will even have some performance improvements. But more than that, the premium plugs are bound to last longer. That means if accessing the spark plug is a problem and taking it to the local shop is an expensive exercise, choosing a premium spark plug will not just help your Silverado 5.3 perform better but will also save you a few bucks on labor charges. You can read more about the best plugs available for the Chevrolet Silverado 5.3 here.