Don’t listen to that one person who told you to get copper spark plugs. They might cost less but they’re not worth it in the long run.
On top of that, it doesn’t make sense to copper spark plugs when you get options like platinum or iridium. Although a lot of still debate about platinum vs iridium spark plugs.
So, let’s put an end to this once and for all. By end of this post, you’ll be the top player when it comes to different types of spark plugs.
Here’s where to start-
Platinum vs Iridium Spark Plugs
Spark Plugs- The Basic Knowhow
People who are new to engines might think that all spark plugs are the same. But in reality, it’s much more complex than that. Let’s start with the basics and we’ll figure out everything on the way.
Spark Plug Definition
Despite being a simple device, a spark plug has a few crucial and difficult tasks. But the most important is to create artificial lightning inside the cylinder head also known as the combustion chamber.
The interesting point is it has to create a high voltage electrical energy in order to ‘light the fire’. From 20,000 to 100,000 voltage, the voltage can be anything depending on the situation.
Materials Used in Making Spark Plugs
If you haven’t figured out yet, the entire spark plug isn’t made out of copper or platinum or iridium. In fact, the central core is made out of one of these three. Someone who handles wires will know what a great electricity conductor copper is. On top of that, it’s excellent at transferring heat.
However, copper can’t last long as it comes with a low melting point apart from being soft. So, depending on the plug you buy, it’ll either have an iridium or platinum tip for optimizing the performance. And sometimes the center electrode itself is made out of platinum or iridium.
Purpose of Metal in Spark Plugs
When you get down to the basics, the main purpose of metal in spark plugs is to transfer the electrical energy from the wires to the spark plugs. The spark plug then boosts the energy to the engine as a ‘spark’. That being said, you could use any kind of metal as a spark plug.
We also have article on best spark plugs for gas mileage
So, why don’t people do that?
It’s because most metals tend to overheat, compromising the electrical energy. The bottom line, not all metals are suitable to do this job.
Platinum vs Iridium Spark Plugs: Which One Wins?
The first step to finding the right spark plug is to know about them. While the mechanic might know a lot more, still you need to have the basic knowledge about these things.
|Longevity||90,000-100,000 miles||100,000-120,000 miles|
|Durability||Quite durable||6 times stronger than platinum|
|Melting Point||1,768 °C||2,466 °C|
|Price||Affordable but more pricey than copper||The most expensive spark plug in the market|
Platinum Spark Plugs
Turns out platinum spark plugs are significantly better than copper spark plugs. Anyhow, here are the details-
As I’ve already said platinum spark plugs last longer than copper ones. If we get down to numbers, you’d have to change a platinum spark plug every 90,000-100,000 miles. Whereas copper spark plugs don’t last longer than 20,000 miles.
Heat Scrapes off Debris
Platinum has a tendency of heating up quickly. But I’m talking about overheating.
As a matter of fact, this heat burns up any debris or contaminants that might’ve been on the spark plug. So, it’s a win-win situation for you.
When it comes to price, platinum spark plugs stay in the middle. While it’s cheaper than iridium, it’s much more expensive than copper ones.
However, the durability and longer lifespan of a platinum spark plug make it worth it over copper sparks any day.
Not as Durable as You’d Want
No matter how durable it is, at the end of the day, it’s not as durable as iridium. Even though it lasts up to 60,000 miles, it’s less than what iridium offers.
I’m not saying it’s not worth it. But when you think of value for money, iridium makes more sense.
Iridium Spark Plugs
When it comes to durability, nothing can beat the hardness of iridium. Let’s talk the insider information now-
Built to Last
Iridium spark plugs are known for lasting up to 100,000 miles. That’s quite a lot more than platinum spark plugs. In fact, some people even say that their iridium spark plugs last even 120,000 miles.
When you really think about it, 120,000 miles is a long way. Most people get a new car long before that happens. This means that once you get one of these, you may never have to replace it.
That being said, iridium spark plugs are great value for money. Considering it as an investment will make much more sense.
You see iridium spark plugs don’t need as much voltage as copper or platinum spark plugs. Thanks to having an electrode, it gets things done with less voltage.
But the interesting part is, this actually gives you a much more consistent spark. On top of that, it’s amazing in terms of reliability.
If you want to get the most durable spark plug in the market. Every mechanic would tell you to go for iridium spark plugs.
These reliable spark plugs are known for their long-lasting features. But most importantly, iridium itself is an extremely durable material.
The math here is simple. Iridium as a material is more durable than other spark plugs materials in the market. So, you get the most value for money out of these guys.
I guess you saw it coming. The best spark plug in the market would obviously be pricey. In fact, it’s the most expensive you’ll find. But when you think about the value, it’s worth every penny.
So What’s the Final Verdict?
If you’ve stuck around till now, you know everything there is to know about platinum vs iridium spark plugs. Being a better material, iridium spark plugs will always outrun platinum spark plugs. But they are close competitors no matter how you look at it.
Before I go away, I do have one suggestion for you.
If you’re someone who has to replace your iridium spark plug. Don’t replace it with a platinum spark plug. Changing the stock spark plug can drastically decrease the performance of your vehicle.
So, it’s better to stay away from that lane. Goodbye for now.