What types of spark plugs are best?
Thursday, 27 June 2019
We all want what’s best for our vehicles and, naturally, that desire extends to wanting a set of spark plugs that will help the car perform at its peak.
But what is available and what would suit your car?
There are actually many variations of the humble spark plug.
Each has its advantages – from price to performance – and here is a rundown of what plugs are available and why they might be better for your situation.
Copper/Nickel: Low in cost and generally have a shorter lifespan, especially if fitted to modern vehicles with high energy distributorless ignition systems or Coil-on-Plug ignition systems.
Single Platinum: Have the advantage of longevity under normal driving conditions.
The lifespan of a set of platinum spark plugs is typically double that of copper ones - some vehicle manufacturers using them specify change intervals of up to 160,000km.
Double Platinum: Although this type of plug represents a step up in price, double platinum spark plugs typically produce slightly higher performance together with the long life for which platinum plugs are known.
Iridium: Offer better power and a more complete combustion that leads to smooth running engines and a longer life-span than copper/nickel plugs.
Iridium plugs are the most expensive spark plugs.
Silver: They have the best thermal conductivity but do not feature the longevity of platinum or Iridium.
Generally, they are specified in older European performance cars as well as some motorcycles.
WHICH ONE SHOULD I GET?
In the older cars we can get an advantage by using a better-quality spark plug.
The Iridium plugs are, in most cases, compatible with these vehicles and last significantly longer while giving a better performance.
However, in modern vehicles, with the very sophisticated ignition systems, we are better off sticking to the manufacturers’ recommendation.
Definitely DO NOT downgrade to a cheaper option.
There are many manufacturers of spark plugs, but a few do stand out from the crowd and, if you’re in the market and looking around, I would highly recommend sticking to a reputable brand such as NGK, DENSO, BOSCH, CHAMPION, or AUTOLITE.
A high-quality mechanic on AutoGuru will be sure to fit only the most appropriate spark plugs for your car.
Quickly and easily get quotes and book online in no time at all!
Zak has been working in the auto industry for 40 years.
For the past decade, he has been in the education business, training apprentices and preparing them for a career in the light vehicle and auto electrical trades.