Spark plugs are an essential component of any running vehicle, which is quite interesting considering how small and simplistic they look. Yet every engine needs them, not only to ensure that your engine runs properly but also to prolong the engine’s longevity long-term. With such an inexpensive item, some of you might be inclined to quickly choose the first one they come across, which would be quite a mistake in itself. Spark plugs have been crucial components throughout the evolution of engines over time and such they have changed in ingenuity and construction according to specific characteristics. To make matters easier, however, we would like to present you with what in our opinion are the ten best spark plugs the market has to offer at this point in time.
Best Spark Plugs – Top List
10Autolite APP104 Double Platinum Spark Plug
Due to its full platinum tip, this plug ensures a virtually inexistent gap erosion, which is great when considering how often such a thing can occur. This plug also works to optimize engine performance by aiding with its fuel consumption over time. At the same time, we should point out that its necked-down center electrode is built in a way that fires quicker and cleaner with less voltage than a regular plug would need.
9NGK (4548) CR9EK Standard Spark Plug
Equipped with a solid copper core for a greater, faster spark and a superior heat dissipation and conductivity, this particular plug stands out as not only one of the most efficient but also as one of the most inexpensive. It also features a longer insulator nose which prevents fouling along with corrugated ribs on its insulator to prevent flashovers. Not only that but its dual ground electrodes are bound to provide a more consistent spark than you would expect from any other spark plug in this price range.
8DENSO 3297 Iridium LONG LIFE Spark Plugs SK20R11
Thanks to its patented iridium alloy construction, this plug is sure to deliver a much more consistent spark and a much more reliable conductivity. It does so by employing a revolutionary 360-degree laser-welding process that isn’t like any other plug out there in regards to consistency of conductivity. It is also about six or seven times harder and about eight times stronger than conventional Platinum plugs.
7Autolite XP5224 Iridium XP Spark Plug
With this particular plug, you get the OQ equivalent design with a much more versatile interface. This is partly due to the patented V-trimmed platinum side wire technology that not only provides a superior conductivity but also resists wear much better than most. Furthermore, this plug is designed to benefit from an almost inexistent gap erosion to ensure a much longer plug life overall.
6Bosch 4417 Platinum+4 FGR7DQP Spark Plug
This plug uses a revolutionary surface air gap firing technology featuring four yttrium-enhanced ground electrodes delivers a long, powerful spark to boost the overall performance of virtually any type of engine. Speaking of which, this gap also reduces the wear and oxidation of the plug itself, thus providing an optimum access to the air/fuel mixture most high-end engines require for an efficient combustion.
5NGK (6953) BKR5E-11 V-Power Spark Plug
Designed to operate within a much wider heat range than ordinary plugs, the BKR5E-11 stands out by being among the few plugs that resist carbon buildups and pre-ignition. Thanks to its high alumina ceramics, it guarantees a much better heat transfer and electrical insulation while eliminating the possibility of a combustion gas leakage ever occurring. At the same time, this plug benefits from a trivalent metal plating that offers a superior anti-corrosion and anti-seizing properties.
4ACDelco 41-993 Professional Iridium Spark Plug
What makes this plug stand out is its unique and guaranteed engine idle stability along with a much smoother performance overall. This is owed to a small yet efficient electrode design that boasts a very reliable cold starting and quick acceleration without compromising the structural integrity of the plug at any point. It also features a one-piece suppressor that blocks radio frequencies that would otherwise affect the vehicle’s electronics.
3Denso (3297) SK20R11 Iridium Spark Plug
Boasting a durable iridium construction with a very high melting point, this plug is seen as one of the most durable on the market today. As such, it is guaranteed to offer a much better acceleration than pretty much any other plug in this prince range. It also offers a stable combustion during idling, a much-needed feature for any modern spark plug. Not only that but it also benefits from a design that prolongs its long-term durability to an impressive standard.
2Denso PK20TT Platinum TT Spark Plug
The PK20TT Platinum TT Spark plug features a twin-tip design with an 11mm platinum center electrode paired with an 11mm titanium enhanced ground electrode. Combined with a purified alumina powder insulator, this plug offers an exceptional dielectric strength and thermal conductivity, a construction that enables it to stand up to extreme stress. As such, it offers an improved fuel economy, better acceleration, and faster start times.
1NGK (5464) BKR5EIX-11 Iridium IX Spark Plug
Designed for performance above everything else, the NGK BKR5EIX-11 is without a doubt one of the most reliable spark plugs the market has to offer. It features among others a longer insulator nose than most plugs, a feature that prevents fouling. It also benefits from corrugated ribs on its insulator to prevent flashovers, and a triple gasket seal to eliminate combustion gas leakage as much as possible. At the same time, its trivalent metal plating offers a superior standard of anti-corrosion and anti-seizing properties that recommend it as one of the best spark plugs out there.
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What To look For In A Spark Plug
Everybody who has ever changed a spark plug should know just how important these plugs are in regards to the proper running of your vehicles. Now, we should point out that spark plus changed quite a bit over time and so did their intended purpose. Nowadays, spark plugs are much stronger and durable than the spark plugs of old, many thanks to the heavy-duty components used in their making. Even so, there are a few things you should know about spark plus because they are in no way identical to one another, quite the contrary:
Spark Plugs Types – Whether you are looking for regular everyday use spark plugs or high-performance plugs for a quick acceleration, you should first take the time to find out what spark plug you actually need. We say this because although similar in their intended purpose, spark plugs can differ quite a lot in terms of design and mechanical construction. To cover the basics sort of speak, we should perhaps find out what categories spark plugs fall into and what each plug is supposed to do:
Copper Core Spark Plugs – These are by far the cheapest plugs you can get, plugs that aren’t really supposed to meet any high-functioning standards. Seeing how inexpensive they are, you also can’t expect them to be as durable as high-end plugs, nor can you expect them to resist erosions or buildups all that well. As such, you can expect a copper core spark plug to last you between 20,000 and 40,000 miles.
Iridium Spark Plugs – Better than copper core plugs in more ways than one, iridium spark plugs can be expected to last between 40,000 and 60,000 miles. This is because iridium is a much less conductive material and operates at a much lower temperature. Even though iridium spark plugs aren’t exactly top-notch, they can still be expected to perform and last a lot more when compared to copper plugs.
Platinum Spark Plugs – Judging by the conductive properties of platinum as a conductor, you can expect platinum spark plugs to be much more efficient overall. These sparks operate at a much lower temperature, which makes them last twice as long as a regular spark plug. Although we should point out that platinum spark plugs are somewhat prone to overheating, they represent a long-term investment in the sense that you get much more out of them before having to buy new ones.
Double Platinum Spark Plugs – These are without a doubt, the best spark plugs when it comes to durability. Just like the name suggests, these plugs operate as improved versions of single plated platinum plugs, which offers a much longer lifespan along with a guaranteed improved engine performance overall. While perhaps not as conductive as technology currently allows, they are by far the most durable out there.
Choosing The Right Spark Plug
The first thing you want to do when buying a spark plug is to check the electrode gap, the efficiency of the insulation, and the materials used in its making. Seeing how the market is overflowing with sub-par models, you might have your work cut out for you unless you take the time to educate yourself on what constitutes a great spark plug. In this respect, good spark plugs almost always channel the electric current produced by the distributor or coils without overheating or stalling. For this reason, you should always opt for a super-conductive model, one that preferably isn’t a regular copper plug.
Another thing you want to do is to check the size of the gap on the electrode as it is the sole component responsible for the overall conductivity of the plug. You also have to keep in mind that a spark plug that operates normally in a four-cylinder engine is sure to behave differently in a high-performance eight-cylinder engine. This is a good enough reason as any to perhaps check the manufacturer’s recommendation in regards to what type of spark plug to use.
Perhaps the best indicator of a spark plug’s overall quality is the construction of the plug itself. We established already that some metals are much more conductive than others, which is precisely the case with platinum spark plugs that operate at a much lower temperature than copper ones. These plugs seldom benefit from ingenious additions intended to maximize their conductivity while resisting carbon buildups and pre-ignition, which should say a lot about the overall quality of a spark plug long-term.