The magnesium alloy AE42 (nominally a 4 % aluminum, 2 % rare earth alloy of magnesium) is a developmental die cast alloy with good strength and creep resistance at elevated temperatures. Standard salt spray corrosion tests have been used with controlled purity AE42 die castings to define the critical iron, nickel and copper contaminant levels below which excellent corrosion performance can be obtained. As previously observed with the magnesium alloys AZ91, AM60, and AS41, the critical iron content is dependent upon the manganese content of the alloy. While the iron:manganese tolerance for AE42 is about the same as that of AM60, the tolerance for the nickel and copper contaminants is greater than that of AZ91. When each of these contaminants is less than the critical level, the salt spray performance was equal to or better than die cast 380 aluminum and cold rolled steel.