98 Subaru Engine: Aluminum or Alternative Materials?

As a car enthusiast, you may be wondering whether the engine of your 98 Subaru is made of aluminum or another material. The engine material has a significant impact on the car’s performance, fuel efficiency, and even potential maintenance costs. In this article, we will investigate the engine material of the 98 Subaru and compare it to other alternatives.

Is the 98 Subaru Engine Aluminum?

The answer is no – the 98 Subaru engine is not made of aluminum. The EJ22 engine used in the 98 Subaru is made of cast iron. Cast iron is a strong, durable material that can withstand high temperatures and pressures, making it a popular choice for engine blocks.

While aluminum is a lighter material that offers better fuel efficiency and performance, it is not always the best choice for all car models. The decision to use cast iron in the 98 Subaru engine likely had to do with the overall design and performance goals of the vehicle.

Benefits of Aluminum Engines

Aluminum engines have become increasingly popular in recent years due to their numerous benefits. One of the most significant advantages of aluminum engines is their weight. Aluminum is a much lighter material than cast iron, which can significantly improve a car’s handling and fuel efficiency.

Additionally, aluminum engines offer improved performance due to their increased heat dissipation. Aluminum is a highly conductive material that can quickly dissipate heat, allowing the engine to run cooler and potentially last longer. Aluminum engines also have the added benefit of being corrosion-resistant, which can help extend their lifespan.

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Potential Drawbacks of Aluminum Engines

Despite the many benefits of aluminum engines, there are also some potential drawbacks to consider. One significant drawback is their cost. Due to the complexity of manufacturing aluminum engines, they are typically more expensive than cast iron engines.

Additionally, aluminum engines can be more prone to damage from overheating, as they can warp or crack at high temperatures. These engines also require specific coolants to prevent corrosion, which can add to maintenance costs.

Alternative Engine Materials Used in Other Cars

While aluminum and cast iron are the most common engine materials, other alternatives can be found in some car models. One of the most common alternative materials is magnesium, which is even lighter than aluminum and can offer improved performance.

Some car models also use hybrid engines, which combine different materials to achieve the best balance between weight, performance, and cost. Hybrid engines can utilize cast iron for the block and aluminum for the heads, for example.


In conclusion, while the 98 Subaru engine is not made of aluminum, there are still several benefits and drawbacks to consider when choosing an engine material. Aluminum engines offer improved fuel efficiency and performance but can be more expensive and require specific maintenance. Cast iron engines, such as the one used in the 98 Subaru, offer durable and reliable performance but may not offer the same level of efficiency.

When choosing an engine material, it’s essential to consider your specific needs and goals for your vehicle. Regardless of the chosen material, proper maintenance and care can help extend the lifespan and performance of your car’s engine.

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Alton Brobst

As a longtime Subaru enthusiast, Alton brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to our blog. From his early days of tinkering with engines to his current role as a certified Subaru technician, Alton has seen it all when it comes to Subarus. When he's not working on cars, he enjoys hiking and exploring the great outdoors.

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