Top Ten Best Spark Plugs for Your Car
Since the use of combustion to move automobiles, spark plugs have been a very critical part of your vehicle’s engine. They do exactly what they’re named after, as spark plugs deliver an electric current from your car’s ignition to the combustion chamber, thus “sparking” the mixture of compressed air and fuel within the engine to ignite, powering up the engine.
Spark plugs are an important aspect of your vehicle’s tune up, needing to be replaced anywhere from 20,000 to 80,000 miles depending on the quality and materials they are made out of. Different types of spark plugs last longer than others, while some perform better. Keeping your spark plugs in good shape will improve how your car runs, the power your car has and even improve it’s fuel efficiency.
Changing your spark plugs, (and typically your spark plug wires as well) or even upgrading them as part of your general automotive tuning and maintenance is a pretty easy DIY task for most auto enthusiasts. If you learn how to change them yourself, it will be extremely inexpensive to change them often, and keep your car in top performance.
Different Types of Spark Plugs
There are 4 different types of spark plugs on the market, all classified by the conductive material that sits within the core. These types are copper, iridium, platinum and double platinum.
Sparks created by the spark plugs jump from the sharpest point on the center electrode to the sharpest point on the side electrode, so when choosing a spark plug that is top of the line, you want a plug that will retain its shape for the most miles. Precious medals like platinum and iridium are harder and have higher melting temperatures than copper spark plugs.
Secondly the smaller diameter of the center electrode, the lower the voltage needed to start the spark. Something to think about when exploring your options.
Copper Spark Plugs – Copper spark plugs tend to be the most inexpensive spark plugs you can buy, costing about $1-2 sometimes $3 per plug, however, what you may not be expecting is that they get the best performance. The catch 22 is that they get about half as much mileage per use compared to other spark plugs, needing to be changed 2 to 3 times as often. Typically copper core spark plugs will last about 20,000-40,000 miles before needing to be replaced.
However, the center electrode on a copper spark plug is 2.5 mm in diameter. It’s the largest of all the spark plug diameters meaning it will take more voltage to get this spark plug to work.
The reason they wear out so quickly is because the nickel alloy used in the firing end of the copper plugs are soft and tend to wear out quickly.
Copper spark plugs do have a calling. The material used is actually more “conductive” than platinum or iridium plugs, despite what marketing companies will say, which is why people feel that they perform the best. You just need to change them out more often. Platinum and iridium plugs have been known to overheat and damage performance components in the engine, while copper spark plugs can withstand tremendous temperatures. They perform at a higher level. So best performance, worst longevity…
They tend to be seen a lot in older cars with low voltage distributor-based ignition systems. Don’t use copper spark plugs in high-energy distributer-less ignition systems or coil-on-plug ignition systems. They’re wear out way too fast.
However, you will find some late-model high-performance engines were specifically designed for copper spark plugs, in which case they actually become “high-performance” spark plugs. If your owner’s manual specifically calls for copper, don’t upgrade to platinum or iridium. Your engine will burn them right up.
Platinum Spark Plugs – Platinum is the opposite of copper. Worst performance, but best longevity. These spark plugs also operate at a lower temperature, and last much longer than or copper
Double Platinum Spark Plugs – Double platinum spark plugs are amped up versions of the regular, single plated, platinum spark plugs, but have an even longer life span, and improved performance over iridium and regular platinum spark plugs. By far the longest lifespan, these plugs were specifically designed for “waste spark” distributor-based ignition systems.
If your owner’s manual calls for double platinum spark plugs, then those are the best ones you can use. Never downgrade to single platinum spark plugs, they aren’t able to handle the waste spark in that particular DIS. You can, however, upgrade to an iridium/platinum combo (an iridium electrode with a platinum-tipped side electrode).
When getting or performing a tune-up on your car, or if you just want to improve your car’s performance, make sure you use high quality spark plugs. Poor or worn out spark plugs will misfire, cause your car to lose fuel efficiency, create exhaust issues, and cause your car to lose power or run poorly. Continued misfire in your car’s engine will lead to an whole line of issues, so make sure you choose the best set that fits your needs.
Iridium Spark Plugs – Iridium spark plugs are made of a material that is much less conductive than copper, but much harder than copper or platinum, making them a top choice. They are the most expensive because they sort of average out the best features of the copper and platinum plugs, providing decent performance, with decent longevity. Because of this, they operate at a much lower temperature, and last the longest – 100k+ miles in their lifespan before needing to be replaced.
Since iridium is costly, iridium spark plug manufacturers reduce the diameter of the center electrode to as little as .4mm, which actually increases firing efficiency. However, because it’s not recommended to gap iridium plugs because of the potential to damage the tips of them, they tend to have inferior conductivity. For that reason they’re not always the best choice for modified engines.
You’ll find many cars actually require iridium spark plugs for (COP) ignition systems. If your car requires iridium, don’t downgrade to copper or platinum. Your car won’t perform like it should.
Spark Plug Manufacturers
While there are many out there, NGK, Bosch, Denso, ACDelco, and Autolite tend to be the most popular brands you’ll find on the market today. They all make different types and performance levels of spark plugs, and sometimes preference to brand and type depend on what is right for your vehicle’s make and model, and usage. If you’re interested in they can be purchased online using the links below on Amazon.
What are the Best Spark Plugs for Your Car?
Part of what makes a spark plug great as we discussed before is it’s lifespan, the materials and how it’s made and the overall performance it provides to your car. Not all makes and models perform great for all vehicles so a little trial and error over the years testing differing plugs in your vehicle that are recommended by your manufacturer will ultimately help you decide on what works best. Some people swear that Bosch don’t perform well with Japanese cars while others will swear by the GSK’s they put in their Honda. Some people prefer the way iridium performs in their cars while others will only use copper or platinum. Finding the best spark plug will definitely take some time and research but here are our top picks out of all the makes and models we’ve had the opportunity to try over the years. Please double check your manufacturer recommendations as all plugs may not be suitable for all vehicles. For this reason, we refer our visitors to Amazon to make their spark plug purchases because there’s a “part fitter/verifier” on each automotive product that lets you double check if the particular spark plug you’re interested in is a fit for your make and model car.
TOP 10 BEST SPARK PLUGS IN 2017 FOR YOUR CAR
Price: $3.37 each on Amazon (with a $2.00 post-purchase rebate which makes them cost only $1.37 each) – You really cannot argue that price for a high performance spark plug!
Hands down, the Autolite Double P’s are one of the best spark plugs you can buy on the market to boost and maintain your car’s performance. They have dramatically increased durability with the full platinum tips on the center conductor and side electrode arches and lifespan much longer than most other spark plugs on the market.
SPARK PLUG FEATURES
- The necked-down center electrodes allow the Autolite Double Platinum spark plugs to fire quicker and cleaner, using less voltage for ignition, quicker acceleration, and ultimately better fuel economy.
- The full platinum tips with platinum on both the center and side electrodes also promotes reduced gap wear for improved spark plug life.
- Platinum alloy pad on ground electrode for extended durability and service life and platinum-to-platinum firing.
- Nickel-plated steel shell for ultimate corrosion resistance.
While they still may not outperform a copper core plug, they do meet high performance requirements with ease, and will last you three times as long.
Price: About $9-14 each on Amazon (Buy Now)
A hybrid spark plug if you will, mixing the best of both platinum and iridium into one solid high-performance spark plug, the Bosch FGR8DQI Platinum IR Fusion spark plug makes the top of our list.
One major bonus is that the spark plug actually cleans itself of build up at high temperature, allowing it to last longer and have a higher resistance to oxidation than standard platinum or iridium spark plugs.
- Spark plugs are a breeze to install, coming pre-gapped right from the factory, never needing adjustment
- Fusion of both iridium and platinum to create the center electrode
- Revolutionary surface air gap firing technology delivering the most powerful spark for the most efficient combustion, highest horsepower without increasing voltage requirement.
- Powerful spark from four-pronged ground electrode
- High resistance to oxidation
- High resistance to wear at extreme temperatures
- The electrodes are self-cleaning, burning off build up or residue at high temperatures.
Price: $2.99 each on Amazon (Buy Now)
For those of you looking for added fuel economy, power and efficiency in your high-performance engine, Denso Platinum TT Spark Plugs will help you get to the next level.
They contain a twin-tip platinum center and a titanium ground electrode to promote quick and clean ignition sparks than single platinum plugs.
They can take more of a beating in higher performance engines due to their high-quality insulation and thermal protection. They are built to withstand the heat emitted from high-performance engines unlike lower quality spark plugs that will misfire and melt under the tremendous temperatures.
- Twin-tip technology with 11mm platinum center electrode and 11mm titanium enhanced ground electrode
- Cleaner and faster acceleration than single platinum plugs
- Improved fuel economy
- Purified alumina powder insulator provides exceptional dielectric strength and excellent thermal conductivity, ensuring that the spark plugs hold up in the most extreme conditions
- Extended life-span
Price: $3.95 each (Buy Now)
Bosch Platinum +4 Spark Plugs are fantastic in terms of combustion. The ground electrodes can easily access and allow the air/fuel mixture to ignite, giving your vehicle a really smooth ride. The electrodes are constructed with yttrium alloy, which both extends their life and makes them highly resistant to wear and oxidation.
These plugs contain a four-pronged design for its ground electrodes to prevent misfires and make them extremely tolerant to wear at the highest of engine temperatures.
- Four-pronged for extreme combustion power and efficiency
- Long and powerful spark to increase engine performance
- Surface air gap firing technology featuring four yttrium-enhanced ground electrodes to deliver the longest most power spark to enhance engine performance
- Yttrium alloy ground electrodes reduce gap wear and oxidation for extended life
- Electrode gap is factory set and will never need adjustment.
- Very easy installment
Price: $7.54 each (Buy Now)
Looking to save a little money, but still want an amazing set of spark plugs with extreme longevity and performance? The Denso Iridium Spark Plugs may be a great option.
Their iridium core and tip aids in acceleration as well as performance output with its ability to keep a stable combustion rate.
- Has great ability to withstand high temperatures than other iridium brands.
- Iridium tip provides quick acceleration
- Produces stable combustion that promotes smooth performance and idling.
There have been reports of this spark plug being shorter than most so make sure you match it to your car before buying to ensure proper fit. It has 4.7 out of 5 stars on Amazon with 245+ reviews. To learn more or to purchase Denso Iridium Spark Plugs: CLICK HERE
Price: $5.98 each with $3.00 post purchase rebate from Amazon – for a final cost of $2.98 each (Buy Now)
For anyone living in colder climates, or areas with harsh and frigid winters, ACDelco spark plugs may be perfect for you. They feature a small electrode that is specifically designed for easy startup in cold temperatures.
The plugs feature a suppressor seal with a single-piece design, which helps to prevent radio interference as well as combustion fuel leaks.
- Iridium provides high and smooth engine performance and idling
- Small electrode creates faster acceleration
- Carbon deposits are self-cleaned by Iridium fine-wire electrode at higher temperatures preventing buildup, improve fuel economy and enhance ignition
- Suppressor seal blocks radio interference, protecting your car’s electronics.
Price: $5.84 each (BUY NOW)
Extremely well constructed, the NGK Iridium IX Spark Plugs are very durable, and include a laser-welded iridium tip, making them a favorite of high-performance car owners. They enhance your vehicle’s throttle, and provide a stable spark during ignition.
With a triple gasket seal and a longer insulator nose than many other plugs o the market, they are less likely to malfunction, misfire or seize.
- Designed specifically for the performance enthusiast, Iridium IX offers extreme ignitability and improved throttle response
- Corrosion and seize resistant trivalent metal plating has anti-corrosion and anti-seizing properties.
- Iridium allows durability at the most extreme temperatures of high-performance engines
- Long insulator nose prevents fouling
- Corrugated ribs on insulator prevent flashover
- Triple gasket seal prevents combustion gas leaks
Price: $4.79 each with a $2 post purchase rebate, making them only $2.79 each on Amazon. (Buy Now)
Autolite’s Double Platinum Spark Plugs offer much greater durability than standard copper core, iridium or single plated platinum spark plugs. The lifespan is great, between 40 and 80k miles and as far as double platinum plugs go, definitely reasonable in cost. I’ve even seen them last longer.
They operate on platinum to platinum firing, with both platinum tips, a platinum center and platinum side electrodes.
- Full platinum tips on both center and side electrodes promoting reduced gap wear and improved plug life
- Optimizes engine performance and increases fuel economy
- Necked-down center electrode fires quicker and cleaner with les voltage for easier ignition, faster acceleration and improved fuel economy.
- Platinum allow pad on ground electrode extends durability and life
- Nickel-plated steel shell for corrosion resistance
These plugs received a 4.2 star review on Amazon, with very minimal 3-2 star reviews, and all 4 star reviews having no complaints about the product at all. To learn more about the product, read the reviews, or purchase directly from Amazon: CLICK HERE
Price: $4.32 each (Buy Now)
A great spark plug, the NGK is a high-performance plug designed to operate at a much wider range of heat than ordinary plugs. Unfortunately what you lose in the life span of this copper core plug, only lasting between 20k-40k miles, you gain in speed and performance. If you choose to go with a copper plug, this is one of the best.
- High heat tolerance for high-performance engines
- Resists carbon buildup
- High alumina ceramics for top heat transfer and electrical insulation
- Solid copper core and nickel tipped electrode provide a longer life-span
- Patented triple gasket sealing process eliminates combustion gas leaks
- Trivalent metal plating provides superior anti-corrosion and anti-seizing properties
With over 176 reviews, the NGK 11 V-Power Spark Plug maintains an astounding 4.7 out of 5 star review on Amazon, holding its own with mechanics, tuners and performance enthusiasts alike. To learn more about this spark plug, read more reviews, or to purchase directly from Amazon: CLICK HERE
Price: $8.96 each (Buy Now)
One of our more expensive spark plugs to make our list, but definitely worth the money is NGK’s Laser Iridium Spark Plug. While the name says iridium, this particular spark plug actually contains a platinum disc on ground electrode extending the life and performance of the plug itself.
- Laser welded iridium center electrode tip for high durability and greater spark
- Platinum disc welded to backside of ground electrode to extend life-span
- Long insulator nose prevents fouling
- Corrugated ribs on insulator prevents flashover
- Triple gasket seal eliminates combustion gas leakage
- Provides improved starts and quicker acceleration
- Better fuel economy
- Improved (lower) emissions
- Trivalent metal plating for extreme anti-corrosion and anti-seizing enhancements
With over 163 reviews, the NGK Laser Iridium Spark Plug holds strong at 4.7 out of 5 stars on Amazon. Overall sentiment was that it was a great spark plug for a great price, and gapped perfectly from the box. To learn more about this spark plug, read more reviews, or to purchase directly from Amazon: CLICK HERE
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