Any vehicle with an internal combustion engine is going to need spark plugs. When the internal combustion chamber of an engine has gasoline and compressed air that is mixed together, there needs to be some source of electricity to ignite the mixture. This is where the spark plugs become useful because they produce the electric current that serves this very purpose. Without spark plugs, the internal combustion process would never be completed, and the engine would not be able to function.
Not all spark plugs are made the same. There are different types of spark plugs which are suitable for different kinds of engines. Sometimes there is more voltage required for a particular spark plug to produce the necessary electric current. To help you avoid choosing the wrong type of spark plug for your vehicle, we will go over all the different types of spark plugs below. This list includes iridium spark plugs, copper spark plugs, double platinum spark plugs, and regular platinum spark plugs.
Iridium Spark Plugs
If you want spark plugs with the longest lifespan, then purchase the iridium spark plugs. They are going to be more expensive, but that is expected whenever you purchase something of high quality. In case you didn’t know, iridium is one of the hardest metals available for a spark plug. Its center electrode is small, so producing an electric current will not require as much voltage as the other spark plugs would. It is okay to upgrade your existing spark plugs to iridium; however, never downgrade from iridium because that will impact your engine’s performance in the future.
Copper Spark Plugs
The solid copper spark plugs each have a big central electrode in the middle. No other type of spark plug has a diameter as big as the copper spark plug’s diameter. You may think this large nickel alloy diameter makes it a better spark plug, but it doesn’t. The voltage needs to be higher if you are going to produce an electric current from them. Since the material in the center is nickel alloy, it is not going to have a long lifespan. New cars have more electrical standards which copper spark plugs cannot accommodate. That is why copper spark plugs are more suitable for older cars.
Double Platinum Spark Plugs
You may think that double platinum spark plugs would be better than single platinum spark plugs. However, double platinum is only recommended if your vehicle uses a waste spark system instead of an electronic distributor ignition system. Double platinum spark plugs will send two electric currents instead of one. The first current goes to the cylinder of the compression stroke and the second current goes to the cylinder of the exhaust stroke. People often say the double platinum is highly reliable and never loses its functionality regardless of what the weather conditions are outside. This means that dampness or rainy weather will not impact these spark plugs whatsoever.
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Regular Platinum Spark Plugs
The platinum spark plug is considered a small upgrade to the basic copper spark plug. They are both very similar spark plugs, but their center electrodes are what make them different. The platinum spark plug has a platinum disc in the center, while the copper spark plug just uses soft nickel alloy material there. As a result, the platinum spark plug is extra strong and has a longer lifespan than copper. In fact, you could likely drive 100,000 miles on platinum spark plugs before needing to replace them. If that isn’t good enough, the excessive heat generated from the platinum material will burn up any debris that builds up there. As a result, you will have less debris to clean.