Chevy Silverado Broken Exhaust Manifold Bolts: Reasons & Solutions

The exhaust manifold of a truck collects the exhaust gases from multiple cylinders and routes them all to one pipe so they can go out easily. But on Chevy Silverados, there’s a common issue where they suddenly break.

This can damage your Chevy Silverado a lot, so many people ask the question, “why are exhaust manifold bolts breaking on Chevy Silverados?” In a nutshell, it’s caused by excessive heat on the exhaust manifolds, which is more common on Chevy Silverados than on a lot of other trucks.

There’s more to it than just that though. So today, I’ll be going through all about exhaust manifolds and why they might randomly break on your Chevy Silverado, how to prevent it, and much more.

Without further ado, let’s get straight into it.

Why Are Exhaust Manifolds Bolts Breaking On Chevy Silverado?

As mentioned above, exhaust manifolds break most of the time due to these two things —

  • Heat

When the heat from the gases or the engine is too high, your exhaust manifold bolts can break.

Although these bolts are specially made to be able to withstand serious heat and other temperature conditions, they can’t tolerate the heat for too long. So when it gets hot for an extended period of time, it can break.

This usually takes at least 1-2 years of time until it completely breaks off, but it’s still something to look out for.

  • Leaking

Since your exhaust manifold breaking from heat can take up to 2 years, it’ll start to deform before it completely breaks off. This can often cause it to have holes and leaks, especially considering how Chevy Silverados get hot fast.

Leaks can cause the exhaust gases to trigger the O2 sensors. Since these sensors usually only trigger when the engine isn’t running with enough power, it’ll cause the sensor to dump more fuel into the engine causing harm to the engine and leak sounds.

But aside from leaks and excessive heat, there isn’t much else that can cause your exhaust manifold to break. Both of these can be prevented by simply checking the hood of your Chevy Silverado and changing the bolts when necessary.

Ensure to remove the bolts properly to avoid further damage to all your other vehicle parts, such as the parking brake lights staying on your Chevy Silverado.

How To Remove Broken Exhaust Manifold Bolts On Chevy Silverado

Now that you know why broken exhaust manifold bolts are caused, you should know how to remove the broken bolts if you ever get them. If you don’t remove them in time, driving the car with them won’t be safe, and you’ll overall damage most of the parts in your Chevy Silverado.

In some cases, you may even cause it to get Chevy Silverado brakes soft, so here’s a detailed step-by-step explanation on how to remove broken exhaust manifold bolts on cars and trucks, including Chevy Silverados —

  • Get To The Engine

The first step to removing a broken exhaust manifold is to access the engine first. If you already know how to access your engine on your Chevy Silverado, you can skip this step. But if not, here’s how to do it.

First, remove the front tires of your Chevy Silverado. Then take out the inner fender liner, and you should see some leakage from the exhaust manifold bolt area. After seeing this, you should apply some penetrating oil.

This will make the broken bolts much easier to pull out.

  • Remove The Exhaust Manifold & Extract The Bolts

Now, remove the exhaust manifold by unscrewing the studs holding it in place with a regular flat head or Phillips screwdriver. After doing so, you can finally remove the broken exhaust manifold bolts.

If you’re unlucky, the bolts can be deep within the head of the cylinder. But most of the time they’re exposed and you can just grab them easily. If it’s not, you’ll have to drill it out or use something else to spin it out.

Drilling it is incredibly risky, though, and if you mess up, it can cost hundreds of dollars to replace the exhaust manifold. Because of this, I recommend you to call in a professional to remove the broken bolt for you.

If you don’t want to spend extra money, you could weld a nut onto the broken exhaust manifold bolt and spin it out from there. This is much less risky, but it doesn’t always work. But since it doesn’t cost anything, so it won’t hurt to try, and you can always just call a professional anyway.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Now that you have a good idea about exhaust manifold bolts, here are some of the most frequently asked questions to help you remove any further confusion —

How much does it cost to replace the exhaust manifold?

Depending on the quality of the exhaust manifold and the model of your Chevy Silverado, it will usually cost between $100 to $300. You can get them from any local shop or just get something like the Dorman 674-915.

How much do professionals charge to repair broken exhaust manifold bolts?

Exhaust manifold bolts cost about $25 each, so it may take you around $100 to get all of them replaced. This surprisingly still is less than an entirely new exhaust manifold, so I wouldn’t recommend you to try and drill a broken bolt out and just call a professional.

How do I make my exhaust manifold bolts last longer?

When your exhaust manifold bolts get hot, you should make sure to take better care for them. You can cool it up in many ways, and you should overall clean other parts of your Chevy Silverado too. Taking proper care of the bolts instead of letting them deform from heat can last them longer.

Can I DIY the fix?

Yes, you can try if you have enough expertise. But be sure to follow a guide and use the correct tools for the job.


Hopefully, now you have a good idea of the question, “why are exhaust manifold bolts breaking on chevy silverado” It’s caused mostly by heat and leaking, but this usually occurs after years of intense heat.

So if you get exhaust manifold issues on your new Chevy Silverado, it might not be caused by heat and rather by something else. This is why it’s important to always check the hood of your truck every few weeks and look for any broken or damaged parts.

With that all said, good luck fixing the broken exhaust manifold bolts, and cheers!

Hi, this is Johnny Norris grew up in a car-oriented family. I love helping people by solving different problems they face in their Chevy car. Following my suggestions, how-to guides, you can save up on a lot of money that would have been spent on paying a professional.