Cat-back exhaust systems are composed of exhaust tips, mid-pipes, tail pipes, and mufflers. With a larger diameter and aerodynamic bends, cat-back exhaust systems reduce back pressure and allow gases to flow through the exhaust mostly unrestricted. This reduces workload placed on the engine and improves horsepower and fuel economy as a result.
Different performance and visual styles include:
- Turn down
- Single side exit
- Middle side exit
- Split rear exit
- Split side exit
- Split down
Aluminum cat-back systems are generally cheaper, but less durable. Aluminized steel does form a high-quality layer of protection for your pipes, but come with the risk of corrosion if the outer layer becomes chipped from debris. Stainless steel pipes traditionally last longer and deliver the best performance.
Fortunately, there are manufacturers who produce single side exits, middle side exits, and all other styles for each Silverado make and model. The selection is nearly endless and it all comes down to personal preference. Both single and split-side exit systems provide high quality performance, but a single-exit system will have less restriction, while a split system will cut out excessive rumbling at high speeds.
It's important to know which pipe diameter fits your Silverado’s engine and make. Too large of a diameter could mean a significant loss in back pressure. Gases will escape your exhaust too slowly, limiting the benefits of the cat-back exhaust system. Of course, the rule of thumb remains the larger the diameter the better the performance. Most manufacturer cat-back exhaust systems are designed for specific engines and are labeled as such. Check with an aftermarket manufacturer or a mechanic for more information.