The introduction of adhesive bonding in the automotive industry is one of the key enabling technologies for the production of aluminium closures and all-aluminium car body structures. One of the main concerns limiting the use of adhesive joints is the durability of these system when exposed to service conditions. The present article primarily focuses on the different research works carried out for studying the effect of water, corrosive ions and external stresses on the performances of adhesively bonded joint structures. Water or moisture can affect the system by both modifying the adhesive properties or, more importantly, by causing failure at the substrate/adhesive interface. Ionic species can lead to the initiation and propagation of filiform corrosion and applied stresses can accelerate the detrimental effect of water or corrosion. Moreover, in this review the steps which the metal undergoes before being joined are described. It is shown how the metal preparation has an important role in the durability of the system, as it modifies the chemistry of the substrate’s top layer. In fact, from the adhesion theories discussed, it is seen how physical and chemical bonding, and in particular acid-base interactions, are fundamental in assuring a good substrate/adhesive adhesion.