Since the invention of the automobile, spark plugs have been a crucial aspect, of a properly operating engine. As time progressed, they have evolved into much more heavy duty components that works extremely well with light to heavy duty vehicles.
Whether you are looking for high-performance spark plugs, or regular everyday use spark plugs, there’s definitely a spark plug that will fit your need. Before we dive deep into the best spark plugs you should buy, were going to cover some basics in order to help you be aware of what choice is right for you.
Types of car spark plugs
There’s three types of spark plugs that are current on the market. The three are:
Copper core spark plugs
Iridium spark plugs
Platinum spark plugs
Double platinum spark plugs
Allow us to explain the true benefit for each type of spark plug, as these vary in cost.
Copper core spark plugs are by far the cheapest ones you can buy. Costing anywhere between 1-3 dollars per plug, you can expect to receive 20,000-40,000 miles per use. By far the longest conductors, you are capable of getting the best performance out of them.
Iridium spark plugs are are made of a much less conductive material. Because of this, they operate optimally at a much lower temperature, lasting in average of 40,000 – 60,000 miles (compared to copper). Performance is not as great, but longevity is by far the greatest when compared to copper.
Platinum much like iridium, operate under lower temperature. Although prone to overheating, they can last 2x longer than an ordinary copper spark plug. Performance may be down, these spark plugs will enable you to get the most out of them before having to get a new pair.
Double platinum spark plugs are improved versions of single plated platinum plugs. A MUCH longer life span and improved engine performance are what makes these plugs very good. Again, not the best conductors but by far the greatest life span you can get from any set of plugs.
How do you know your plugs needs to be changed?
In the past, even moderately worn spark plugs had a noticeable effect on engine performance. But onboard computer control systems can compensate for a lot, including borderline spark plugs. In many cases, the plugs have to be extremely worn before they’ll cause a noticeable misfire.
The problem is, if left un-serviced, worn plugs can cause major problems. For example, the metal portion of the plug can weaken over time. In extreme cases, this fatigue may cause part of the plug (usually the electrode) to break off and enter the engine. When this happens, extensive damage to pistons, valves, and other internal components may occur. Bad plugs can also damage sensitive onboard electronics, such as coil packs.
So, the moral of the story is, don’t wait until your engine is running rough to change your plugs. Also, don’t base your service interval solely on the look of the plugs. Instead, replacement should be performed according to the manufacturer’s recommended service schedule (usually found in the vehicle owner’s manual).
To help you diagnose your vehicle’s spark plugs a little better, take a look at the spark plug chart above. This chart indicated what a true bad spark plug is.
TOP 10 BEST SPARK PLUGS FOR 2018
The seemly humble spark plug plays a big role in engine performance. When it comes time to tune up your vehicle, its imperative you have the best. That’s why we’ve done the legwork to bring you the top spark plugs for 2018. Don’t forget – before ordering any of these plugs, make sure they are designed for your particular application.
NGK is infamous for their wide range of spark plugs. With so many to offer, we narrowed it down to their CR9EK copper core spark plug. Having the highest conductivity of any type of spark plug, you can also expect to receive the best performance. Being copper cored, you’ll get the shortest life span which is a sacrifice you’ll have to make for best top end performance.
Dual ground electrodes allow for a more consistent spark, along with the triple gasket seals eliminating combustion gas leakage. This spark plug type is ideal for motorcycles and similar all-terrain vehicles like ATV’s and Four Wheelers.
9. NGK BKR5E-11 V-Power Spark Plugs (BEST VALUE SPARK PLUG)
– Exceptional performance
– Limited service life
– Requires gapping
Another NGK spark plug is in our top 10 list, but this time it’s a more cost-effective plug. Costing around 2 dollars for each spark plug, the copper core is excellent in withstanding heat. The long, hardened porcelain nose insulates the copper core, at the same time, also prevents fouling. Put these in any ordinary vehicle and begin to notice a smoother idle, smoother acceleration, and even better fuel economy. Again, these last about 20 to 30k miles before needing to be changed.
Idea for anyone, but primarily for vehicles that are low performance and everyday commuter. From over 100 user ratings, the average review is 4.8 of 5.0 stars. A near perfect score.
8. NGK BKR5EIX-11 Iridium Spark Plugs
– Great for performance applications
– Improved throttle response and extreme ignitability
– Short service life compared to other iridium plugs
Stepping it up to an iridium spark plug, NGK’s BKR5EIX-11 spark plug is for somebody, who wants to reduce the replacement frequency of the spark plugs. With some performance enthusiasts in mind, these set of plugs are more durable, good for performance vehicles, and help to sharpen up the engines idling and driving characteristic (although, this varies for each vehicle).
Iridium is a very hard retrial, the .6mm laser welded fine conductor tip will last an average of 40,000 to 60,000 miles before needing to be replaced, making it deal for the “set it and forget it” crowd.
Not the cheapest set of plugs costing about 6 to 7 dollars each, this is all because of the longer life span you’ll get in return. From over 200 user ratings, this model has received an average rating of 4.6 of 5.0 stars.
7. Autolite APP5224 Double Platinum Spark Plugs
– Double platinum
– Long service life
Coming in at number 7 for our top 10 spark plugs list, Autolite APP5224 Double Platinum Spark plugs offerMUCH greater durability than your ordinary copper core, iridium, and even single plated platinum plugs. Unlike single plated platinum plugs, this spark plug has a platinum coated core, platinum electrode, and even platinum conductor arch. This all results in much quicker sparks, less voltage for easier start-ups, quicker acceleration, and better fuel consumption.
Life span of these plugs are exceptionally good, lasting anywhere between 40 and 80 thousand miles (sometimes, much more). Costing about 4.7 dollars per plug, they have received an average 4.5 stars of 5.0.
6. ACDelco 41-993 Professional Iridium Spark Plugs
– Reliable cold starting and excellent acceleration
– Long service life
– Mostly for General Motors applications
Moving down to our number 6 contestant for the best spark plugs to buy, ACDelco’s (41-993) Professional Grade Iridium Spark Plugs. These spark plugs cost about 5 to 6 dollars each, are designed to last longer than ordinary copper core and even some platinum coated plugs. ACDelco
as a credible brand they are, have introduced this spark plug as an excellent source for regular commuter and sports cars alike.
Because they are iridium, your vehicle can experience better engine idling stability, smoother acceleration, and a longer life span (compared to copper core plugs). The small iridium coated electrode is more efficient, which improves cold starting and quicker acceleration. From over 100 user ratings, this model received an average rating of 4.7/5.0 making it almost perfect overall.
Highly recommended for any vehicle they can become compatible with.
5. Denso SK20R11 Iridium Spark Plugs
– Exceptional performance
– Long service life
– At about $7 a pop, they’re not the cheapest plugs
Dense is not new to the spark plug market. In fact, they took the number 5 spot in our best spark plugs to buy today. In specific, the SK20R11 model is a iridium coated plug which has far greater longevity compared to copper cored plugs. Switching over the Denso’s SK20R11 plug, you’ll be able to experience excellent acceleration, much smoother engine idle, increase fuel economy, and overall engine performance.
Due to the tiny iridium coated ignition electrode, quick starts are easier to achieve using less electricity. This iridium material has a higher melting point, making them excellent for lasting at the very least 40K miles. Costing about 7 dollars per plug, from over 170 user ratings this spark plug received 4.8 of 5.0 stars.
4. Bosch FGR7DQP Platinum +4 Spark Plugs
– German-engineered performance and efficiency
– Well priced
– Limited service life
Bosch is known for their well-built power tools, automotive exterior accessories like wiper blades, and also their engine performance products like oil filters, and spark plugs. In specific, Bosch 4417 Platinum +4 Spark Plugs are made to be unique compared to ordinary plugs. The electrode gap is factory set to provide ease of installation, never requiring any adjustment. Instead of a single electrode arches, this plug has 4 yttrium-enhanced ground electrodes which provide optimum access to the air/fuel mixture for the most efficient combustion.
Platinum makes for a much longer life span for the spark plug, however, performance will not be maximized using this spark plug. With that being said, it’s not night and day noticeable.
Great overall user satisfaction from over 140 user ratings and reviews. This gives it an average score of 4.6/5.0 stars.
3. Bosch FGR8DQI Platinum IR Fusion Spark Plugs
– High Performance
– Long service life
– The design is overly elaborate for basic applications
Very similar to the Bosch spark plug mentioned above, the 4501 Platinum IR Fusion model is yet another middle priced plug. The iridium and platinum infused center electrode make an excellent conductors for quicker sparks and better performance. Three gap electrode arches make the spark happen using less electrodes, which in turn, enable you to have easier start-ups.
Installation is very easy, and fitment works with a lot of vehicles. Average rating is about 4.3 stars of 5.0 from over 170 users.
2. Denso PK20TT Platinum Spark Plugs
– Double platinum
– Excellent value
– Sometimes, gap is not set correctly
Moving down to our number 2 most recommended spark plugs to buy today, are Denso’s PK20TT Platinum TT Spark Plugs. Twin tip platinum 11mm center electrode and 11mm titanium enhanced ground electrode improve spark efficiency. Results such as improved fuel economy, acceleration, and faster start-ups can be experienced by switching to these particular spark plugs
It’s important to understand how to change spark plugs properly to ensure perfect engine operation. With these Denso plugs, an average rating of 4.7/5.0 stars is given and an average spark plug cost is only about 3 dollars.
Moving down to our #1 best spark plug you should consider buying, is Automate APP104 Double Platinum spark plugs. Unlike with regular single platinum plugs, these double platinum plugs are able to withstand MUCH longer engine operation. In top of that, durability is drastically increased with the full platinum tips on the center conductor and side electrode arches.
With necked-down center electrodes, these spark plugs are able to fire quicker and cleaner, using less voltage for start-ups, quicker acceleration, and even better fuel consumption. Overall life of these types of spark plugs are 2-3 x more than copper core design. For high performance requirements, double platinum spark is the way to go.
An average rating of 4.8/5.0 stars is given to the Autolite Double Platinum plugs, as well as fair pricing at around 4 to 5 dollars per plug.
Making sure your engine is breathing clean and fresh air is absolutely crucial to get the most out of your vehicles spark plugs. Be sure to see which engine filter is best to use with your automobile. Always ensure your car is in the best of health and make sure it has brake pads that are up to standard.
For those who don’t want to read an entire article devoted to spark plugs, we’ve comprised a handy-dandy summary.