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What Are The Different Types Of Spark Plugs? Your Ultimate Guide!

What Are The Different Types Of Spark Plugs? Your Ultimate Guide!

There are five common types of spark plugs, including:

Auto Repairs Are EXPENSIVE


  1. Copper spark plugs
  2. Iridium spark plugs
  3. Single platinum spark plugs
  4. Double platinum spark plugs
  5. Silver spark plug

Your vehicle contains hundreds of interacting components. Some of these components might be obvious, and you might be familiar with, like the engine, the transmission, etc. However, some minor smaller components play major roles, but not everybody knows about them.

The spark plug is one of the minor components responsible for igniting the air-fuel mixture., without a working spark plug, your vehicle doesn't run. However, some people still think that all spark plugs are just spark plugs, although that's not the case.

This article walks through the five most common types of spark plugs that you might encounter in the automobile market. Then, we will highlight the main pros and cons to help you make an informed decision about what spark plug works best for you.

What are the different types of spark plugs?

Many people think that the spark plugs are all the same, and they produce the required electric spark to ignite the air-fuel mixture. However, there are plenty of types of spark plugs that you might come across. Each one has its pros and cons, and there are some high-quality ones that you might need to learn about.

Let's take a closer look at the five common types of spark plugs:

  1. Copper spark plugs

Many vehicles are equipped with copper spark plugs, which is considered not very expensive. These spark plugs contain a copper core covered by a nickel alloy. Unfortunately, the nickel alloy is not very durable, which means that this type of spark plug is expected to face major breakdowns more frequently than others mentioned in this list.

Before you switch to a better spark plug car, you must consult your vehicle owner’s manual because sometimes manufacturers design certain vehicles to comply with this type of spark plug, not others, which means that it could be a waste of money to install more expensive spark plugs.

In general, copper spark plugs are considered the cheapest, and you'll see them more in older vehicles designed before 1980. The copper spark plugs are relatively OK, and you don't have to worry about them under very high commissions or conditions where you're using a turbocharge.

Unfortunately, these spark plugs do not have the best lifespan, and you will need a higher voltage to create this part because they come with their largest diameter.

  1. Iridium spark plugs

Think about the Iridium spark plugs as the most expensive and the highest quality spark plugs you might encounter in the automobile market. Manufacturers use this type of spark plug because it does not require a lot of energy. That's right, the spark since the core is relatively thinner. Therefore, if you're driving a vehicle with an Iridium sparkplug, you must consider choosing the same spark plug type when replacing the old ones so you don't deal with complications.

Some of the common benefits of using a narrative spark plug include achieving a complete combustion process, getting the longest lifespan, and not needing a very high electric supply to generate this park.

However, the only drawback about the Iridium spark plug is the price tag because they're much more expensive, which is not surprising.

  1. Single platinum spark plugs

The third type of spark plug that you might encounter is the single platinum spark plug. Those spark plugs are very similar to the copper spark plugs, but instead of the nickel alloy, they have a platinum disc connected to the tip.

Typically, you'll see single platinum spark plugs in modern vehicles that contain a coil-on plug ignition system. The main benefit of the single platinum spark plugs is that you can achieve a very long lifespan without needing to replace them up to 100,000 miles. Also, with these spark plugs, you don't have to worry about heat generation or any carbon buildups.

Like the Iridium spark plugs, single pleasant new spark plugs are relatively more expensive, which might not be the most affordable for every driver.

  1. Double platinum spark plugs

As the name suggests, the double-platinum spark plugs have two platinum components: the center and the ground electrodes. Obviously, with more platinum in the spark plug, you achieve a longer lifespan without worrying about premature wear-outs.

The main pros of the double-platinum spark plug are that they're very reliable and available for vehicles equipped with a wasted spark ignition system.

If the single platinum spark plug is expensive, the double Clinton spark plug is even more expensive.

  1. Silver spark plug

Finally, silver spark plugs are the less common type of spark plugs that you might find. It doesn't provide the top benefits as the Iridium or the platinum spark plugs, but they're much better than copper.

One of the best benefits of the silver spark plugs is that you don't have to worry about thermal issues, but you might deal with decreased longevity.

What is the spark plug, and what does it do?

Your vehicle's spark plugs are one of the very small components that play a major role in your engine's performance. As the name suggests, the spark block is responsible for generating the initial spark of electricity to burn and create the ignition that burns the air-fuel mixture to generate the engine power.

Without a healthy, perfectly working spark plug, your vehicle cannot run at all. If the spark plug is not working properly, you entered my deal with misfiring, cold starts, and other issues related to acceleration. That's why with a bad spark plug, you'll notice a significant reduction in fuel economy and the vehicle's power.

Along we know that the spark plug is responsible for generating the electric shock to ignite the air-fuel mixture, there are some additional benefits, including:

  1. Enhancing the vehicle's performance

There aren't some spark plugs made of certain materials that provide you with many benefits to enhance the combustion process without producing a lot of emissions. Furthermore, depending on the spark plug type, you can even achieve a better fuel economy.

  1. Improving the fuel economy

If the spark plugs are made of good material, they don't wear out prematurely. Therefore, your engine will receive the right spark at the right time without wasting a lot of fuel. Therefore, whenever the spark plugs are healthy, your vehicle will work with its maximum capacity, and you won't use too much fuel.

  1. Reducing bad emissions

By choosing a higher quality spark plug, you don't have to worry about emissions related to engine misfiring or any other troubles due to overconsumption of fuel.

  1. Better acceleration

When the spark plugs are not in good condition, you'll notice that your vehicle is sluggish or does not respond fast to your acceleration. Therefore, every time you hit the gas pedal, you'll see that the vehicle might take time before it responds.

Obviously, since the spark plug doesn't work properly or doesn't have the best quality, it might not generate the required spark at the right time when your engine needs it.

  1. Better engine idling

One of the common benefits of switching to a higher quality spark plug is improving your vehicle's idling. Have you ever noticed that your vehicle experiences some rough idling? Then, you should consider switching to a better spark plug.

  1. Extending the lifetime of the engine

Finally, a good spark plug doesn't challenge or stress out the engine. Therefore, when switching to a slightly more expensive spark plug, you won’t worry about premature damages to the engine because of overstressing.

Common spark plug brands

If you're ready to shop for your next spark plug, we recommend that you consider some of the common brands that used to produce spark plugs many years ago.

Here are some of the biggest companies that you should consider:

  • ACDELCO
  • BOSCH
  • NGK

What are the best 2021 spark plugs?

If you're planning to shop for your next spark plug, it's recommended that you go through the main pros and cons of each specific spark plug by brand because some of these spark plugs might provide additional benefits that enhance the vehicle's performance.

Let's take a closer look at what thedrive.com put together in terms of the best 2021 spark plugs:

  • NGK Iridium IX Spark Plugs
  • Denso PK20TT Platinum Spark Plugs
  • Bosch ZGR6STE2 Copper with Nickel Spark Plug
  • Bosch X5DC Copper with Nickel Spark Plug
  • NGK ZFR6F11 V-Power Spark Plug
  • Acdelco 1 Professional RAPIDFIRE Spark Plug
  • Champion Copper Plus C33-438 Spark Plug
  • Motorcraft SP546 Spark Plug
  • NGK Laser Platinum PZFR5F-11 Spark Plug
  • Denso SK20R11 Iridium Spark Plug
  • Bosch Double Iridium OE Replacement Spark Plug

How much does a spark plug cost?

Spark plugs costs vary significantly depending on the type of material and what is compatible with your vehicle. In general, you can breakdown spark plug costs into three main categories:

  1. Spark plugs under $3

The cheaper spark plugs usually cost something less than $3, but they don't come with the best quality. That's why few experts recommend that you go through the pros and cons of each spark plug before going with this and not to keep the price as your top priority because it might not be worth your investment.

  1. Spark plugs between $3 and $9

Usually, most spark plugs should cost you somewhere between $3 and $9. Thus, you can achieve good quality spark plugs in this category that provides you with a good characteristic in terms of performance, longevity, value, et cetera.

  1. Spark plugs more than $10

Finally, if you're planning to purchase the most durable and most efficient spark plug, you should expect a price higher than $10. Think about that you will need more than one spark plug, which means that if you want to switch to the highest quality spark plug, prices can pile up and become a good number. Therefore, before switching to the most efficient type of spark plug, you should review the main pros and cons and check whether you can install it in your vehicle or not before making a final decision.

Conclusion

Spark plugs are critical components in any vehicle, and they're responsible for igniting the air-fuel mixture. If your vehicle doesn't have a healthy spark plug, you cannot drive it at all. Understanding the different types of spark plugs help you determine which ones are better for your vehicle because they're not the same.

This article walked you through the five common types of spark plugs that you might see when driving any vehicle. It's highlighted the main pros and cons of each one to show you that there is a clear difference between the efficiency and performance of every spark plug.

Despite the type of spark blog, if your vehicle has major mechanical problems in the transmission or the engine, it might not be worth investigating or replacing any of the spark plugs because there are more important things to take care of. That's why automotive experts recommend comparing the total repair costs to your vehicle's overall value and confirm whether it's worth the repairs or not. If you realize that repair costs are approaching 75% or more from the value of your vehicle, you’d sell this car and use its value to purchase a better vehicle.

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