Keep the spark in your engine
From driving to work to taking the kids to school, you count on your car to reliably start every time you jump in the driver’s seat. You probably have never thought about all the parts that it takes for your car to start. There are many auto parts that are involved every time you engage the ignition, but none are as important as spark plugs.
They may be small in size, but spark plugs play a critical role in your vehicle’s engine. Simply put, without spark plugs your car will not start.
What do spark plugs do in my engine?
Spark plugs perform two key functions in your vehicle’s engine. The main function is to provide the spark to ignite the air/fuel combination and start the engine. The spark plug is connected to the ignition coil. The ignition coil generates the voltage necessary to spark the air/fuel and start the combustion that makes your engine run.
A secondary function of the spark plug is to remove heat from the combustion chamber. The spark plugs act as a heat exchanger – pulling thermal energy away from the combustion chamber and transferring it to the engine’s cooling system.
Premium spark plugs – the right choice
Now that you know the important role spark plugs play in your vehicle, you understand that when the time comes to replace your spark plugs, premium spark plugs are the right choice. Don’t find yourself stranded because your car won’t start – use quality spark plugs.
When you choose high-quality spark plugs over economy and standard plugs, you can rest assured that you are getting spark plugs for your vehicle with upgraded features that lower grade parts can't offer. Premium spark plugs not only meet original equipment specifications, many times they exceed them.
If you have your spark plugs replaced by a mechanic or repair shop, insist they use high-quality spark plugs.
Premium spark plugs not only meet original equipment specifications, many times they exceed them.
Don’t be lured by low prices
Don’t grab the cheapest spark plug at the auto supply store: remember, you usually get what you pay for. A lower price spark plug may not have the features and performance you are looking for.
Consequences of using cheap or inferior spark plugs
Cheaper spark plugs are often lesser quality, using inferior materials that over time lose their ability to provide the spark for the combustion process. Lower grade spark plugs may not be built to original equipment specifications which can lead to many issues including decreased fuel mileage, poor acceleration, engine misfires and hard starts.
If you select lower grade spark plugs, you could be missing out on technological advancements that lead to longer life and improved performance. Lesser quality spark plugs can show signs of fouling sooner than premium plugs, meaning that you’ll have to replace them more often.
How to select a quality spark plug for your car
There are three main types of spark plugs for passenger cars: basic copper spark plugs, platinum spark plugs and iridium spark plugs. Each spark plug type offers distinct advantages and disadvantages.
The basic copper spark plug is the most common and cheapest plug available. However, due to the soft nickel-alloy outer material, copper spark plugs have a decreased lifespan of about 20,000 miles.
Platinum spark plugs boast longevity and resistance to fouling. Since platinum is harder, it holds its sharp edge much longer than a conventional spark plug, up to 100,000 miles. Platinum spark plugs come in two varieties - single and double platinum.
Thanks to its strength, iridium spark plugs can last up to 25% longer than comparable platinum spark plugs. Iridium spark plugs also feature excellent wear characteristics. But there is a price for this precious metal. Iridium spark plugs are typically the most expensive ranging from $8 to $15 each.
Do your research to learn which spark plug is right for you. If you aren’t sure where to begin, consulting your owner’s manual is a good starting point. There you’ll learn the recommended spark plug for your vehicle. You can also consult your mechanic for guidance on selecting the best spark plug for your car.
Remember - Parts Matter™
You rely on your car to start every time you put the key in the ignition, so you owe it to yourself to choose spark plugs that will deliver the quality and performance you expect. When you select premium spark plugs for your car, truck or SUV, you can rest easy knowing that you have selected the best part for your vehicle. Remember, Parts Matter™!
The content contained in this article is for informational purposes only and should not be used in lieu of seeking professional advice from a certified technician or mechanic. We encourage you to consult with a certified technician or mechanic if you have specific questions or concerns relating to any of the topics covered herein.