I would like to know what engine would last longer and with less problems? A 3 or a 4 cylinder engine? Thanks. Alik.

  • Please explain why you voted the question down Jan 23, 2013 at 8:56
  • Is miles per cylinder a major or minor factor in durability? Consider a 6 cylinder SUV versus an 8 cylinder SUV. assume the same work load for both engines.
    – user3698
    Sep 14, 2013 at 22:03

3 Answers 3


The number of cylinders is completely irrelevant when determining the durability of an engine. Workload, used materials, building process, maintainance, etc. are far more important.

  • If all the factors are the same (Workload, used materials, building process, maintainance, etc), is there still a difference? For example, perhaps the 3 cylinders need to work faster to give the same output, I would expect it to ware out faster. Jun 1, 2011 at 11:38

4-cylinder, cycles are more balanced, and load is distributed across 4 instead of 3 cylinders, all other things being the same.


I've seen this question before. The debate is

Smaller engines have less moving parts to break, bigger engines have more parts to distribute load. Choose your side.

Really though, what are you going to be doing? Drag racing with spray or huge boost? Probably not gonna want a smaller engine (at least, a smaller block that is...)

  • It's not a question about big or small engines. I wanted to buy a small (engine) car for private genral use. I had 2 general options: 3 or 4 cylinder engine. I wanted to know which one is more durable. Jan 23, 2013 at 8:59

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