What Are the Iridium Spark Plug Advantages And Disadvantages?

Everyone wants to ensure optimal performance of their vehicle, and the best components are preferred for that purpose. Among all the details, a standard spark plug plays a vital role in the overall optimal performance of the car’s engine.

However, for premium performance and to keep a car up-to-date, Iridium spark plug sets are the best choice. These plugs help the car engine run smoothly, don’t need a high voltage electrical spark, and accelerate fast. But the other hand, there are some downsides to these plugs.

If you want to explore more about Iridium plugs, their advantages, and disadvantages, then you’ve landed in the right place.

Iridium Vs. Platinum: Which is Better?

Nowadays, different spark plugs are available on the market, which sometimes confuses the users. When updating your vehicle for optimal performance, you will have two options: platinum and iridium spark plugs.

But which one is better for optimal functioning? Let’s discover about Iridium and Platinum spark plug and then conclude which one is better.

Iridium Vs. Platinum

Iridium is a chemical element that is known for its hardness with the atomic number 77. It is one of the transition metals related to platinum that also qualifies as a precious metal. Discovered back in 1803, Smithson Tennant named the metal after the rainbow because of its diverse colors.

Iridium plugs are specially designed for a vehicle’s better performance. They run smoothly for a longer period meaning that you don’t have to change them too often.

Moreover, iridium spark plugs feature consistency which means there is no deterioration, unlike copper spark plugs.

Just like the name suggests, a platinum spark plug has platinum electrodes that handle heat better than copper or any other spark plug. As compared to copper, platinum’s melting point is 3215 degrees Fahrenheit. That means, Platinum plug can last longer than a copper plug.

Platinum spark plugs come in two varieties; single and double platinum plugs.

The single platinum spark plug has a platinum disc welded on the center electrode, while the double platinum spark plug has platinum discs on the center and side electrodes. However, one downside of platinum is that it is less conductive than copper.

What Are the Advantages and Disadvantages of a Copper Spark Plug?

As the name indicates, a copper spark plug is mainly copper, and its central electrode is made of a nickel alloy. However, it has the largest diameter among all sparks plugs, requiring more voltage to generate an electric spark.

Moreover, the copper plug is used in older cars with distributor-based ignition systems. Coming towards the pros and cons of the copper plug; count as an advantage. They perform better in older vehicles. With that said, the copper spark plug is not durable and requires more voltage due to its larger diameter.

Importance of a Spark Plug

A spark plug is a small but essential part of a vehicle that plays a vital role in overall functioning. However, most people don’t consider it as crucial. A spark plug helps run a car smoothly. In this section, you’ll learn about the importance of spark plugs, why it is necessary to change them timely, and what different types of spark plugs are?

Importance Of A Spark Plug

In the combustion chamber of a vehicle, the spark plug ignites compressed fuel and air with an electric spark. There are different types of spark plugs with other efficiencies and durability. However, all spark plugs contain a side electrode as well as a center electrode. These electrodes are mainly copper-based, but nowadays, they are made of platinum and iridium.

Furthermore, the electrodes at the center are usually smaller than before. Consequently, the combustion chamber consumes less voltage while creating an electric spark.

Examples of Spark Plugs

Following are some of the common types of spark plugs:

  • Copper spark plugs
  • Platinum spark plugs
  • Iridium spark plugs
  • Double Platinum spark plugs

1. Copper Spark Plugs

Copper spark plugs mainly have a copper core center electrode paired with a nickel alloy. The diameter of copper plugs is larger than any other spark plug, so it needs additional voltage to create the electrical spark.

Copper Spark Plugs

If we talk about durability, these spark plugs come up short because nickel alloy is soft and does not last long. So, copper spark plugs are used in vehicles with older technology instead of higher voltage plugs.

Pros
  • Suitable for an older vehicle with minimum need of voltage

Cons
  • These are not durable

2. Iridium Spark Plug

Iridium is a hard material and more sustainable than copper or platinum. Consequently, Iridium spark plugs are durable and last longer than conventional ones. However, one needs to pay more for this type of spark plug.

Iridium Spark Plug

Due to their small center electrodes, these spark plugs require less voltage to create an electrical spark. Iridium spark plugs are highly recommended by car manufacturers since they contribute to optimal vehicle performance in the long run. As well, they have both economic and environmental benefits.

People normally think that all iridium spark plugs are the same, but no. Iridium spark plugs are further categorized into several types:

3. Laser Iridium spark plugs

Laser Iridium spark plugs are high-ranking spark plugs options in the iridium type spark plugs. They follow the laser technology that ensures a high ignitability rate and durability.

Laser Iridium Spark Plugs

These spark plugs have a tip with a minor diameter that creates lower emission, low voltage, and better fuel efficiency.

4. Double Iridium Spark Plugs

Another type of iridium spark plugs are the double iridium spark plugs that contain laser welded iridium on the central and ground electrodes. This makes them more durable and reliable in harsh conditions.

Double Iridium Spark Plugs

Double iridium spark plugs give vehicles great performance and consume less voltage than other spark plugs. They contain two rare metal discs that increase their performance and overall lifespan. This is how the vehicle performs better at a higher speed.

Pros
  • They are more complex than platinum or copper spark plugs
  • Durable
  • Consume less voltage
Cons
  • Expensive than other available spark plugs

5. Platinum Spark Plugs

Similar in function to copper spark plugs, platinum spark plugs feature a platinum disc welded into the tip area as the center electrode. However, copper spark plugs only feature nickel alloy here.

Platinum Spark Plugs

Consequently, platinum spark plugs exhibit more durability than copper spark plugins, and they last more than 100,000 miles. Moreover, these types of plugs also produce heat to minimize debris buildup.

If your vehicle has an electronic ignition system, then platinum spark plugs are best.

Pros
  • Minimizes the debris buildup
  • More durable than the copper spark plug

Cons
  • They are not the most robust spark plug

6. Double Platinum Spark Plugs

These spark plugs are recommended for those vehicles whose ignition system is a wasted spark system. In a compression stroke cylinder, these plugs fire twice, and one of them fires in an exhaust stroke cylinder.

Double Platinum Spark Plugs

Therefore, these spark plugs are reliable under severe conditions like heavy rain.

Pros
  • Reliable
  • Durable in rainy weather
Cons
  • Not suitable for the electronic ignition system

Advantages of Iridium Spark Plugs

After knowing about the iridium spark and other specific types of spark plugs, let’s explore whether or not an iridium spark plug is worth the investment or not!

Advantages Of Iridium Spark Plugs

Here are some of the advantages of iridium spark plugs:

Better Acceleration of the Vehicle

An Iridium spark plug provides better vehicle acceleration by giving a faster response to the throttle operations. It also has a positive effect on the vehicle’s engine.

If you are not an iridium spark plug user, you’ll immediately feel the change. Moreover, the difference will be visible if you cover some miles on your older conventional spark plug and some miles on the iridium plug.

Improves Engine Performance

The Iridium spark plug is also known to improve overall engine power and its performance. This advantage is prominent when driving a car on a steep hill. Under this condition, the driver will feel that the wheels are comfortable with the improved iridium spark plug, and the car is easily driven even in a challenging situation.

Improves Fuel Economy

By upgrading to an iridium spark plug, you can also improve your vehicle’s fuel economy. The gas mileage on the highway gets better because of the improved ignition profile.

An Iridium spark plug helps the fuel to burn more efficiently. Additionally, if we look at the statistics, drivers experience a gain of 10% to 20% over an entire gasoline tank using an iridium spark plug.

However, if your vehicle already has a higher mileage rate, the results can increase by 6 to 8 miles per gallon. This is how you can save your fuel every week and ensure optimum performance.

Requires Less Voltage

An Iridium spark plug requires less voltage than the other traditional spark plugs. When an electric spark passes from an iridium spark plug, it does not need much voltage to generate power.

Because of its unique design, small electrodes save energy. This saving energy in the initial stage ensures that drivers have a better driving experience in the long run.

Moreover, less lag will happen when the pedal is pressed. This benefit also works with the batteries’ cold-cranking, ensuring more power in the winter season.

More Durability

Iridium spark plugs are famous for their durability in the car industry. As compared to copper and platinum spark plugs, Iridium spark plugs provide 50% more lifespan. This is the reason that customers compromise over its high prices.

See AlsoHow long does it take to change spark plugs

Disadvantages of Iridium spark plugs

Along with the advantages, Iridium spark plugs also have disadvantages discussed below;

Disadvantages Of Iridium Spark Plugs

Dust Presents a High Risk of Flammability

Spark plug users are careful when using Iridium plugs because there is dust created when engine parts collide.

Moreover, the dust is susceptible to corrosion and flammability, which reduces the durability of iridium plugs. Following this, damaged iridium plug leads to oxygen corrosion and fluorine contamination. It is one of the primary disadvantages of the iridium plugs.

Final Thoughts

A spark plug is an essential component that adds to a vehicle’s optimal performance. There are several types of spark plugs available on the market that provide better vehicle acceleration by giving a faster response to the throttle operation as well as greater engine power.

This article has covered everything about the Iridium spark plug and its comparison with other plugs. The iridium tip needs less voltage in order to perform well and provide better highway speeds.

What were you most excited to learn about the Iridium spark plug? We would love to hear your thoughts as well as any questions you may have. As such, feel free to leave a comment down below.

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