The duration of piston durability tests is often shortened by increasing mechanical and thermal engine loads and loading frequency. Such durability tests are useful for assessing the structural integrity of new piston designs, but test results are generally not indicative of the expected service life. Furthermore, improper test procedures can introduce illegitimate failure modes which are not present in actual service.Two aluminum pistons were analyzed to gain a fundamental understanding of piston response due to accelerated test loads. The influence of engine speed, fuel/air ratio, intake manifold pressure and crankcase oil temperature on piston fatigue life was studied. Guidelines were established to aid in developing a more effective durability test procedure for natural gas engine pistons.