Should I be wary of an aluminum engine block?

I have been using Nissan sunny and I want to buy Toyota corolla but im little more afraid of the engine block is aluminum

Simple , if you are concerned then don’t buy it .

Maybe someone else can weigh in about assessing concerns about aluminum engines. I know we’ve had discussions about this in the past.

Aluminum engine blocks were problematic when they first appeared (like just about any new technology) but they have been in use for many decades now and are pretty much ubiquitous…nothing to fear…

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Yeah, back in 1962 my junior high shop teacher told us about wear problems in an aluminum block engine, fairly new on the general market. Some aluminum block engines - Renault? - had cast iron sleeves for the pistons. But we don’t hear about those problems any more, in many years, it seems.

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Aluminium blocks have been sorted for years. The issues people have with modern engines aren’t usually because of the block.

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Actually an aluminum head AND block helps eliminate head gasket problems seen with aluminum heads on a cast iron block.


I’m not aware of any concerns, other than the fact that you really need to address any overheating issues immediately.

The reverse is true too. Cast iron heads on an aluminum block were problematic as well. Gasket technology has improved as well.

But to the original question, there is nothing to fear about a modern day aluminum engine block.

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Now that you mention that, my shop teacher may have been talking about problems with aluminum heads on cast iron engines… been a while. He may have been talking about a particular American carmaker that put that combination on a popular car - so the numbers of problems were noteworthy.

The majority of car engines are all aluminum (aluminum heads and block), it’s a very common thing these days. The Corolla has had aluminum blocks and heads for the gas/petrol models for the past twenty years.

Shades of the Vega perhaps?? Yeah, great idea to put the heavy metal on TOP of a shakey 4 cylinder! :roll_eyes:

Didn’t the early 4.1 liter Cadillac V8 do that as well? Carried to the 4.5?

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On an experimental basis, Chrysler made some of their slant-six blocks out of aluminum in the early-mid '60s. Nobody seems to have noticed any difference in durability between the conventional slant-sixes and the aluminum ones, and most of the people who had these engines under the hood of their Plymouth or Dodge probably never even knew that they had an aluminum block engine.

nothing to worry about, but if it is going to be a concern for you long term, then perhaps you should buy something else.
This kind of depends on your personality, but you don’t want to spend money on something that you are going to be constantly concerned is going to fail on you- like shopping for a new parachute…

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There are lots of old Corollas on the road. If you take care of it you will get great service from it. My son inherited my 2008 and we have a 2015 Corolla. Both are doing great. Keep up on oil changes and other maintenance and you will be fine.

The only issues with aluminum blocks and heads are the bolt threads. Steel bolts in aluminum parts are more likely to seize together. The weak link is the threads that hold the heads down and the threads that hold the spark plugs in. It is mostly a non issue until it becomes and issue.

These modern import engines are often good to go for 250,000++ miles with virtually no issues if you change the oil.

Well, it’s easier to knock a hole in an aluminum block if you throw a rod. Of course if you throw a rod, you’re kinda screwed anyway…:laughing:.

I do kind of wonder why ford went to a CGI (modern and stronger cast iron) block on the 2.7 truck Ecoboost engine. The bigger (3.5) ecoboost still has an alum block, I think. Strange…but I suppose they have their reasons.

As much as everyone like to bad mouth the Vega, it actually was a huge breakthrough in Aluminum engine technology. The Vega project developed the 319 Aluminum alloy that is used in most engines today.

Prior to the Vega, a few cars, like Fiat, used Aluminum for the heads, but they were plagued with blown head gaskets and warped heads. There were some Aluminum heads made for American V8 engines but were limited to the racing circuits, and they weren’t very reliable either. Mostly because they were Aluminum copies of existing cast iron heads.

The 319 alloy and designing heads and blocks to be optimized using Aluminum has made all the difference. The Vega was a failure as a car because the engineers hadn’t quite figured out the best way to build with this new alloy, but it was the breakthrough.

The 319 alloy is still used today but there are newer alloys that work better for high performance applications.

Since the majority of engines are all-aluminum these days, you are limiting your choices drastically by looking only a cast iron.

Well, as my first new car, an orage fastback Vega, I agree that it was certainly innovative but not necessarily in a good way.

Rushed to market as an “Import Fighter, Imported from Lordstown Ohio” it was price and fuel competitive with the Toyotas and Hondas that were flooding the market but with a more attractive body and new technology. Unfortunately, in the rush to market that technology wasn’t tested.

Besides the disposable engine, which would start to burn oil at 50,000 miles and couldn’t be rebored, it also included plastic body panels that in 2 years faded to pink and a build quality and dealer support that were Typical American for that time. Misaligned doors and an entire exhaust that fell off the car during the first 2 weeks, which the dealer said were “Adjustments” and not covered under the warranty.

The plus side is that it taught me a valuable lesson on buying “Bleeding Edge” technology.

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