You know that spark plug is the main part that makes your vehicle move. You want to learn about the types of spark plugs that are available in the market.

If this is the case, you’ve come to the right place.

In this post, we are going to discuss in detail about the types of spark plugs available in the market, what is a spark plug and much more.

So without any delay, let’s get into it!

What is a Spark Plug?

It is important to know about spark plug and its functionality. This will actually help you to understand how the motor of your vehicle starts.

A spark plug is a small device that produces electrodes, or in other words, a bolt of lightning within the combustion area of an engine. Then, the electricity is transfered to create a spark from the air and the fuel mixture in the combustion chamber of the engine. The spark fires the fuel and air mixture and the motor of your vehicle starts.

The firing of the air and fuel mixture is called the starting stage in the production of combustion process. The consistent combustion production eventually powers your vehicle.

A good spark plug is capable of giving you smooth start and utilizing your vehicle’s fuel efficiently and economically.

This invariably increases the lifespan and good health of the engine.

Nowadays, you have a lot of options when it comes to spark plugs. So if you know the types of spark plugs you’ll find in the market, you’ll be able to take an informed decision on which one you need based on your requirements.

Types of Spark Plugs

Traditionally, the primary manufacturing material of the spark plugs is copper. But these days, they are also manufactured with iridium and platinum.

There are actually 4 types of spark plugs you will find in the market. And they are,

  • Copper spark plugs.
  • Platinum spark plugs.
  • Double platinum spark plugs.
  • Iridium spark plugs.

Let’s look at each type in detail.

Copper Spark Plugs

This type of spark plugs are mainly manufactured with solid copper. The central electrode of a copper spark plug is made of nickel alloy. It is the largest among all 4 types when it comes to size.

What it means is that it requires more voltage to generate the electric current to start the motor of the vehicle. Also, the nickel alloy is a soft material. Hence, it isn’t durable. You can’t expect a copper spark plug to last for a longer lifespan.

To avoid this scenario, you can use a copper spark plug in an older vehicle that doesn’t have higher electrical needs.

Related: What Are the Signs of Bad Spark Plugs?

Platinum Spark Plugs

A platinum spark plug is very much like a copper spark plug. The only difference is that the central electrode has a platinum disk. It is welded to the tip area of the spark plug.

When you notice closely, you’ll see that a copper spark plug has a nickel alloy material in this area. The slight advantage with this type of spark plug is that it is durable for a considerable amount of time.

A platinum spark plug produces more heat and hence, debris building will be avoided. So if you have a new model car equipped with electronic distribution ignition system, then platinum spark plug is the right one to have.

Related: How often to change the spark plug

Double Platinum Spark Plugs

If you have a vehicle that has a waste spark ignition system, then the recommended spark plug that you need to have is a double platinum spark plug. This system fires the spark plug twice. It happens first in the compression stroke cylinder and then in the exhaust stroke cylinder.

The spark for the exhaust stroke cylinder gets wasted due to the fact that there is no ignition. The waste spark system is beneficial in a way.

It is highly reliable and it won’t be affected by environmental conditions like rain or dampness.

Even the cool air or water gets into the combustion chamber of your vehicle, the waste spark system ensures that the motor starts and functions as usual.

Iridium Spark Plugs

Among all the types of spark plugs we have seen so far, the iridium ones are going to last for a longer duration. Iridium is stronger and it is hard to break. So the longer durability is inevitable.

There is no doubt that iridium spark plugs are the pricier ones. But as the saying goes you get what you paid for, it’s high price tag is absolutely worth it.

The iridium spark plug has a small central electrode. This means that it’ll use lesser voltage to generate the electric current. For this exact reason, many vehicle manufacturers these days recommend iridium spark plugs to use.

If you have a vehicle with iridium spark plugs installed and if you want to change it, then go for the same spark plug rather than downgrading to platinum or copper. If you do so, then you’ll experience a significant hit in your vehicle’s performance.

See alsoNGK 6619 Iridium Spark Plug Complete Review


We hope that our detailed guide on the types of spark plugs would have provided you the necessary answers for all your questions. Although iridium spark plugs are the best, you need to keep your needs and budget in mind before you plan to purchase a spark plug for your vehicle.

Want to include your thoughts about this guide? Put them in the comments section below.

FAQs About Spark Plugs

What is the General Size of a Spark Plug?

The general size of a spark plug is equivalent to the size of a human pointing finger.

How Many Spark Plugs a Car Needs?

If you have a car with internal combustion engine, then you need a spark plug for sure. For every cylinder, you’ll need to have one spark plug.

So if you have a 4 cylinder internal combustion engine, then you’ll have 4 spark plugs.

Where can You Locate a Spark Plug in a Vehicle?

Generally, the spark plug can be located on top of the piston. They will be covered with electrical wire connections. Depending on the size of the engine, the spark plugs will be there on top of it.

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Lara Herrington
With over 12 years of experience, she is a proficient content writer and editor specializing in a diverse range of subjects, including technology news, country news, arts, science, travel, and automobiles.


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