Cars play an important role in our daily lives and thanks to their invention; we can now travel freely any time to anywhere. That is why it is crucial that your vehicle is in good shape and the parts are properly operating.
This way delays or accidents are avoided. As time goes by cars have evolved into more than just a means of transportation. They are now designed to be long lasting and so are their parts.
When it comes to parts, nothing is more important than choosing the right spark plug. In order to get the best spark plugs for your vehicle, let this article be your guide. Let us begin.
Types of Spark Plugs
Before anything else, know that there are four kinds of spark plugs that are currently sold in the market today. They are the following:
- Copper core spark plugs
- Iridium spark plugs
- Platinum spark plugs
- Double platinum spark plugs
Copper Core Spark plugs – are considered to be the cheapest kind that you can buy. They are sold around $1-3 maximum and can receive 20,000 to 40,000 miles each use. They are also the longest conductors and works well if you don’t really travel that much.
Iridium Spark Plugs – these are less conductive compared to Copper Core but they can operate well in low temperatures. They can last up to 60,000 miles and although they don’t perform as well as the copper ones, you can count that they have longer life compared to copper.
Platinum Spark Plugs – are also able to work in low temperatures like iridium but they are mostly prone to overheating. However they can last longer than copper or iridium.
Double Platinum Spark Plugs – are the improved versions of platinum spark plugs. They are can also last longer and are able to help improve the performance of an engine. However they are not the best conductors out there but they are the best when it comes to lifespans compared to the first three mentioned.
Top 5 Best Spark Plug in the Market Today
Now that you know what the different kinds of spark plugs are, it’s time for you to choose. Here are the top five spark plugs that you can find in the market:
1. Denso (4504) PK20TT Platinum TT Spark Plug
Another great spark plug belongs to Denso. This is made with twin-tip technology that has 11mm platinum center electrode. It also comes with 11mm titanium ground electrode that is more enhanced than others.
It helps in fuel economy so you know that you won’t be using so much fuel when this is attached to your car. Compared to other plugs, the Denso PK20TT works faster.
It is also designed with alumina powder insulator is purified so it provides dielectric strength as well as thermal conductivity. Because of this feature, the plug itself can stand up wear and tear even under extreme stress.
- It works faster compared to other plugs.
- It can help you save fuel.
- It has dielectric strength.
- It can withstand any stress.
- It does not work on all types of cars.
- May cause misfire.
- May not work on bikes.
2. Denso (3297) SK20R11 Iridium Spark Plug
Our next plug comes again from Denso. The SK20R11 are iridium spark plug that is designed to have extremely long life span. In fact it’s 6 times better compared to other Denso plugs and is 8 times stronger compared to platinum plugs in the market.
It is designed to have the durability and strength of iridium so there is no electrode wear. This combined with platinum ground electrodes, the spark plugs can withstand anything even extreme driving or racing conditions.
- It has excellent performance and acceleration.
- It stabilizes combustion even when idle.
- It is designed to be long-lasting.
- It is very reliable.
- It has high melting point.
- It’s sold at a reasonable price.
- It’s cheap and works just like other plugs.
- It does not fit all types of cars.
3. Bosch (4501) FGR8DQI Platinum IR Fusion Spark Plug
This type of plug has fused platinum and iridium center electrode and is sintered into an insulator nose that is extended. This results to self-cleaning temperature that happens after seconds of starting the vehicle.
It is also designed to resistant to wear and tear so you know that it can last a long time. The surface air gap technology that Bosch added to this plug makes it unique as it has four ground electrodes that is designed to deliver powerful spark.
Because of this, it acquires the optimum horsepower even without using or increasing the voltage. It also has four yttrium ground electrodes that is enhanced to resist any oxidation or wear on the spark plug. This way the life span for your plug is longer.
- It is easy to install and does not require adjustment.
- The fusion voltage increases less over time compared to other iridium plugs.
- It has longer life and is very reliable.
- It performs really well.
- May not work on other vehicles.
- Customers complained that the plugs stopped working after 5,000 miles.
4. ACDelco 41-993 Professional Iridium Spark Plug
These spark plugs are ideal for most cars that we have today. They are made with the latest spark plug technology and is a great alternative as replacement for your car’s original parts.
The iridium composition of this plug has the strongest and highest melting point of all metals. Because of this it has the greatest wear resistance and durability. This means they perform better compared to spark plugs that are conventional or made of platinum.
- It provides stable and smooth performance.
- It provides quicker acceleration.
- It improves cold engines.
- It helps reduce use of fuel.
- It’s prevents combustion leakage.
- Customers complained about receiving reject plugs or plugs that are not the same match.
- May not work on all types of vehicles.
5. Autolite APP104 Double Platinum Spark Plug
This plug is one of the favorites. Made of platinum tips with platinum on the side and center electrodes, this spark plugs can reduce the gap wear so that the plug can have longer life.
It works to maximize the engine performance of your vehicle while improving fuel economy at the same time. The center of the electrodes fire quickly and is cleaner compared to other types. It also has lesser voltage so starting your car is easier and quicker.
The platinum alloy of this plug is made to have extended durability. It also has nickel-plated steel shell so it is more durable to corrosion.
- It can start your engine quickly compared to other types of plugs.
- It is sold at a reasonable price.
- It can perform really well.
- It is made to be durable.
- It gets the job done.
- Customers complained that the porcelain part of this plug is weak while others complained about the gap.
Make sure to contact the company if you have encountered such issues so it can be resolved right away.
In case you do encounter problems regarding your spark plugs (like reject plugs for example) make sure to contact the company or site where you have bought the items. This way you can have it replaced or repaired. Make sure also to keep your warranty so they will honor your request.
How to Pick the Right Spark Plug
Picking the right spark plug is important although it may sound as easy as ordering them online, this isn’t always the case. There are times when the spark plug you have chosen may not fit your car. This could be very inconvenient in the end. So in order to avoid that, remember to:
- Examine your car first and see what kind of spark plug you need.
- If there are recommended spark plugs for your car, choose to purchase the same brand instead of experimenting. This will help avoid misfires and waste of money on your behalf.
- If you don’t know what kind of spark plug to get, ask an expert. Let your mechanic examine your car and see what kind of plugs you should buy. This way you don’t have to shop blindly and assume it will work.
- Make sure to review first. Meaning you have to do your research too. Read on the different kinds of spark plugs and know what they are. This way you can avoid picking the wrong one.
- Find out what the most recommended spark plugs are. See also why they are recommended in the first. If people are satisfied with their performance then it could be a good option to take.
- Know if your car accepts replacement plugs. This way you don’t use the wrong ones.
- If you have the budget, find one that can perform well and has long lasting life span. This way you don’t have to spend very often on just spark plugs alone.
How to Install a Spark Plug
Say you have found the best spark plug for your car; it’s time to install it! But how can you do this? If you are a new car owner tinkering around your car can be confusing but if you only want to change the spark plug then it wouldn’t be that hard. Here’s how you can do it:
- Make sure to clean the hold for your spark plug within the cylinder block. You need to clean it with a lint-free cloth. Wipe the hole, removing all dirt from it. Make sure that you don’t shove any dirt into it or it won’t work.
- With a dab of oil, lightly coat the threads of the spark plug. Make sure that you don’t put any oil on the sides or center electrodes.
- Begin to thread in the spark plug into the engine with your hand. Turn it clockwise; this step is called seating the plug. Make sure that the plug is not crooked or ruining the threads. Avoid ruining the threads in the engine’s plug hole too.
- With your hand, engage the plug. Make sure to turn it with at least two full turns before you use the ratchet and plug sockets.
- Slip in the plug socket over the spark plug. Attach the handles of the ratchet and continue to turn the plug clockwise until you feel a resistance. However do not tighten it too much or the porcelain will break. Make sure that it’s not too tight or too loose or it might not work.
- Check the cable of the spark plug before attaching the boot to the plug. If it’s cracked, frayed or brittle have it replaced. Replace it also if it’s saturated with oil. Apply some silicone lubricant inside the boot before attaching it. Push the boot over the exposed terminal of the new plugs and gently but firmly press it into place.
- Repeat all steps until all plugs (depending on your car) are connected.
Additional Information about Spark Plugs
Just like other parts or components found in vehicles, sooner or later, spark plugs tend to wear out, and its functions begin to decline. This means you have a duty as a car or truck owner to check as well as carry out maintenance procedures on the spark plugs and substitute them if necessary.
As stated by the Car Care Council, you should replace spark plugs if you have driven within a range of approximately 30,000 to 100,000 miles. This usually depends on the type or model of vehicle as well as the kind of spark plugs that is being used.
It is crucial for car owners to have access to the right knowledge about the functions of spark plugs, its maintenance procedures and other requirements which will ultimately serve to enhance the performance of the engine, thus resulting in enjoyable driving experience.
A spark plug comprises of the following:
- Terminals – the terminals are connected to the ignition coil
- Jacket – This component is threaded, and this is where the spark plug connects to the cylinder head. You must not touch it when it’s in operation since it allows electricity to pass through it.
- Insulator – The insulator is usually made of an aluminum oxide ceramic and typically originates from the jacket to the combustion chamber. The insulator is powerful enough to sustain 60,000 volts and up to 650o Celsius.
- Ribs – The ribs on a spark plug is fabricated to prevent the leaking out of electricity. It is designed such that it will increase or enhance electrical resistance.
- Seal – The seal does the work of stopping any leaks that are coming from the combustion chamber.
- Central Electrode – The central electrode can be fabricated using nickel-iron or copper and is the location where voltage accumulates and transmits to another electrode known as the side electrode. The voltage jumps through the air at about 60,000 volts.
- Side Electrode – What makes the jacket a dangerous place to touch is the connection it has to the side electrode. To ignite the fuel/air mixture, electricity jumps starting from the center electrode to the side electrode. Afterwards, the electricity is conducted to the engine and then grounded.
Spark plugs are not meant to be fixed to engines and left alone. Regular maintenance checks are required to ensure that you continue to enjoy smooth and trouble-free driving experience anywhere you go!
The safety of your car is important which is why it is also important to choose the right spark plugs. We have given you the best spark plugs that you can find today and so make sure to pick one that will suit your needs. In case you have no idea what to do, consult an expert. Doing so will help you avoid delays and unnecessary expenses in the future.