In the present work, Mn and Cr were added to a commercial A356 (Al-7.0Si-0.38Mg-0.12Ti-0.02Sr in wt.%)-0.20Fe cast alloy to control the crystallization of beta-Al5FeSi. The tensile properties are compared in terms of the way the microstructures changed before and after the addition of 0.20Mn and 0.13Mn-0.13Cr. The addition of 0.20Mn causes the acicular P-Al5FeSi to be replaced by granular or skeletal alpha-Al(Mn,Fe)Si in solidification, and the additions of 0.13Mn-0.13Cr acts as an effective replacing element of beta-Al5FeSi. Moreover, the addition of 0.20Mn functionally improves the strength, and the addition of 0.13Mn-0.13Cr improves the strain as well as the strength compared to a commercial A356 cast alloy. (c) 2005 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.