G4LA 1.2 Engine Specs, Problems, Reliability

The 1.2-liter 4-cylinder Hyundai G4LA engine has been produced in India and Korea since 2008 and is installed in almost all compact models of the concern, such as the i10, i20 and Kia Picanto. There are two generations of this engine, the second is equipped with Dual CVVT type phase regulators.

In 2008, the 1.25-liter engine of the new Kappa series debuted on the Hyundai i10 and i20 models. By design, this is a common engine for that time with distributed fuel injection, an aluminum block for 4 cylinders with cast-iron sleeves and an open cooling jacket, an aluminum 16-valve cylinder head equipped with hydraulic compensators and a timing chain drive. The first version of such a engine did not have a variable valve timing system.

In 2011, the second generation of the engine appeared, which received Dual CVVT phase regulators. The advent of this system made it possible to add 7 hp to the engine. and fit into the Euro 5 economy.

Read Also: 4G69 2.4 Sirius Engine Specs, Problems, Reliability

The G4LA engine was installed on:

Hyundai cars:

  • i10 PA (2008-2013);
  • i20 PB (2008-2014);
  • i10 BA (2013-present);
  • i20 GB (2014-present).

KIA cars:

  • Picanto TA (2011-2017) ;
  • Rio UB (2011-2017) ;
  • Picanto JA (2017-н/вр.);
  • Rio YB (2017-present);
  • Stonic 1 (2017-present).

The cylinder block is made of aluminum alloy, lined. Cast iron sleeves, “dry”.

Aluminum cylinder head, two camshafts (DOHC).

The timing is equipped with two phase regulators. Chain drive. There are hydraulic lifters, but there is evidence that they were not installed on the earliest versions of the engine.

The pistons are standard, with a protective layer of molybdenum disulphide.

The intake manifold is plastic. It has an intake geometry change system (VIS). Thanks to this innovation, fuel economy has increased significantly and the environmental standard has increased.

The engine has a compact size and low weight.

The assembly of internal combustion engines is made only in Korea.

G4LA Engine Specifications

ManufacturerHyundai Motor Co
Engine volume, cm³1248
Power, hp85
Torque, Nm121
Cylinder blockaluminum
cylinder headaluminum
Cylinder diameter, mm71
Piston stroke, mm78.8
Compression ratio10.5
Valves per cylinder4
Valve timing regulatorDual CVVT
Timing drivechain
hydraulic lifters+
PeculiaritiesVIS system
Fuel supply systeminjector, port injection (MPI)
Fuelgasoline AI-95
Environmental regulationsEuro 4
Service life, thousand km250-280

Fuel Consumption Internal Combustion G4LA Engine

On the example of Kia Picanto 2012 with automatic transmission:

City6.7 liters
Highway4.5 liters
Mixed5.3 liters

The G4LA Engine Pros And Cons


  • With good care, a resource of up to 300,000 km
  • No problems with service or spare parts
  • Great choice of secondary donors
  • And hydraulic lifters are provided here


  • The engine does not tolerate overheating
  • Oil and antifreeze leaks often
  • Relatively modest timing chain resource
  • Oil pump body molded directly into the block

G4LA Engine Most Common Problems And Reliability

  1. As for the features, the power of our internal combustion engine in the maximum configuration is 86 horsepower. But there is a potential for uncovering a simple chipovka up to 109 horsepower. The most interesting thing is that the dealers themselves offer factory Korean firmware. The engine is assembled in Europe, under the control of Korea. Distributed injection is used as a fuel supply. The main feature is that the nozzles are installed directly in the manifold. The internal combustion engine has a modern type injector. The fuel is started at several points, and the fuel supply is controlled by electronics. The compression ratio is quite high, which has a positive effect on engine power and torque.
  2. The cylinder block is aluminum, with dry cast-iron liners – in fact, like the Gamma versions, but the weight of the BC is lightened by as much as 14 kg! Probably, the designers dreamed of reducing the weight of the internal combustion engine with the help of aluminum even earlier, but did not dare to implement it, since durable and cheap cast iron was an indispensable material. However, its large mass – it is 3 times heavier than aluminum – corrosion instability, lower thermal conductivity and other characteristics have done their job. On the other hand, with the introduction of the winged material, new problems also appeared: quick damage to the gasket, low rigidity of the block, and expensive production.
  3. Let’s talk about failures. The Koreans have not learned how to make excellent engine sound insulation, so the power plant strains its owners with quite serious noise and vibrations. The fuel supply system does not differ in ideal calibration, therefore, over time, fuel consumption increases significantly. To prevent this from happening, you must contact the car service station. It should also be noted that scoring often forms on the outlet walls of the cylinders. If they are not localized in time, you can get into a major overhaul. And as the last feature, it is necessary to note the rather loud operation of the nozzles and the whistle of the timing belt.
  4. Also, the engine vibrates during operation. However, if you know what is one of the most common causes of engine vibration, you can not only avoid worrying too much, but also learn how to explain the problem and symptoms to a car mechanic when it’s time to fix the problem. So, here is a list of some of the most common reasons why an engine might shake or vibrate.
  5. Worn out spark plugs. Worn or defective spark plugs are a common cause of engine vibration. Worn or dirty spark plugs can cause misfiring or misfiring of each cylinder engine. This can usually be fixed by installing new spark plugs or fixing other spark or compression related issues.
  6. Loose or disconnected hoses. Loose or disconnected hoses can also be a common cause of many types of engine vibration. A loose or disconnected air hose or vacuum hose can cause severe shaking and vibration from your vehicle’s engine. To fix the problem, simply locate loose or disconnected hoses, then reconnect and replace if necessary.
  7. Also pay attention to the timing gear drive. Most motorists recommend changing the timing chain in their car every 40,000-60,000 kilometers. If you live in areas where the temperature is very hot or very cold, you need to watch the timing chain more closely and change it more often. The timing chain has less life in extreme temperatures, as in milder climates.
  8. What to pay attention to? You should check the timing chain in the car periodically to make sure it is in good condition. When inspecting the belt, look for cracks or chips, and for teeth or ribs that don’t seem to be present. You should replace the timing chain if you notice cracks or wear to avoid a possible break. If you notice problems, don’t delay. Buy a new chain and install it yourself, or take it to a service station to have a professional mechanic replace the timing belt.
  9. Symptoms of a bad timing chain. As the timing chain wears out, it begins to make a high-pitched squeal or buzzing sound. You should hear it, especially when you start the engine. When the engine is idling, you may also hear a sound. If you think you’re hearing some unusual sound, this is the best time to stop and inspect the engine. Leave the engine running and open the hood, being careful not to touch anything that may be hot. This will allow you to better determine what the sound is doing.

G4LA Engine Chip tuning

Some craftsmen, in addition to several types of firmware, decide to make a turbocharged version of this engine. Reviews are pretty mixed. Yes, the process costs a lot of money. But we will tell you about this procedure.

Initially, you need to weld a turbo manifold, for a TD04L, Garrett GT15 or 17 turbine, oil supply to the turbine, intercooler, piping, 440cc injectors, exhaust on a 51 (63) mm pipe, you can’t do without shafts, you need to custom-make camshafts with a phase of about 270 and rise more and, accordingly, consumables.


As for the technical characteristics, the G4LA engine has an exact displacement of 1248 cm3. The driver does not need to adjust the valves, as the system is equipped with automatic hydraulic lifters. The G4LA uses a strong, metal chain to drive the gas distribution mechanism. Dual CVVt acts as a phase regulator.

As for consumption, the Kia Picanto, which left the assembly line in 2017, consumes about 5.8 liters of fuel in the urban cycle and 3.7 liters on the highway in urban conditions. Another feature of this engine is the presence of the VIS system, which is designed to increase torque by changing the geometry of the intake manifold. The Korean company borrowed technology from Toyota.

The engine capacity is 1248 cubic centimeters. The engine is powered by an injector. The power of the internal combustion engine varies from 76 to 86 horsepower. Torque also depends on the engine speed, where at the bottom it develops 115 Newtons, and at high revs it reaches its peak of 128 Newtons per meter of torque.

The cylinder block is made of aluminum and is represented by an in-line four. The cylinder head is made of aluminum and has 16 valves. The cylinder diameter is 71 mm and the piston stroke is 78.8 mm. The power plant has a compression ratio of 10.5 to one. The internal combustion engine is equipped with hydraulic compensators. A belt acts as a drive for the timing mechanism.

The phase regulator is also installed on the engine and is marked DUAL CVVT. There are no turbines on the power plant. An internal combustion engine consumes about 1 liter of oil marked 5W-30 for every 1000 kilometers.

As a recommended fuel, the technical documentation recommends gasoline with an octane rating of at least 95. The engine complies with the Euro 4/5 environmental class, and its approximate resource is about 200 thousand kilometers.

Consider the fuel consumption of our protagonist using the example of a 2017 Kia Picanto, which is equipped with a manual gearbox. On-board computer data showed 7 liters for every 100 km in the urban cycle. In the mixed mode of use, the engine consumes a democratic 4.5 liters for every 100 kilometers.

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