Good understanding and accurate prediction of component fatigue strength is crucial in the development of modern engine. In this paper a detail analysis was conducted on an engine component made of gray cast iron with finite element method to evaluate the fatigue strength. This component has notches that cause local stress concentration. It is well known that fatigue behavior of a notch is not uniquely defined by the local maximum stress but depends on other factors determined by notch geometry and local stress distribution. The component fatigue strength was underestimated by only considering the stresses on the notch surface for fatigue life prediction. The critical distance approach was adopted to predict the fatigue behavior of this component. Good agreements are observed between predicted life by the critical distance method and actual field data. It is recommended that the critical distance approach should be adopted in future component fatigue design to accurately predict notch sensitivity effects and determine non-propagating conditions.