Copper spark plugs vs. platinum. How to choose the correct spark plug?

This detail is called the spark plug because it creates an electric spark. A spark plug is a mechanical component that screws into the top of a motor’s cylinder. This item ignites a gas when it enters a combustion chamber.

When the mixture of air and fuel ignites, it generates energy that forces the vehicle to drive. Spark plugs are found in most gasoline engines.

Types of spark plugs

The basic idea behind spark plugs in combustion is to produce electric current to ignite compressed gas and fuel in combustion chambers.

It might sound as though the spark plugs would all be identical. However, copper spark plugs differ from iridium spark plugs, platinum spark plugs, and double platinum spark plugs.

Often every standard spark plug performs correctly but a platinum spark plug and an iridium spark plug are more efficient than a copper spark plug. Many car manufacturers prefer iridium spark plugs or platinum plugs for newer vehicles with an electronic distributor ignition system.

Most popular types of spark plugs

There are plenty of spark plugs that you can observe in car shops:

  • Copper spark plugs;
  • Iridium spark plugs;
  • Platinum spark plugs;
  • Double platinum spark plugs;
  • Ruthenium spark plugs;
  • Silver spark plugs.

Copper spark plugs are currently the commonest among types of spark plugs, but other kinds are used such as iridium spark plugs, double platinum spark plugs, etc.

Basically, these types of spark plugs differ according to what car model you drive. All these components have merits and some weaknesses.

Therefore, an efficient list is created that recounts the truth of iridium vs. platinum and platinum vs. copper core, effective results for better gas mileage, maintenance intervals, and cost estimates for changing spark plugs.

Let’s see how this can help you replace spark plugs and save money.

What is a standard spark plug

In cars, spark plugs are used for the operation of the compression stroke’s cylinder. One spark plug is used for each combustion chamber in a basic performing engine. So, the engine that has four cylinders has four plugs in the ignition system.

Most spark plugs feature an electrode – one on the top of the head and one side electrode or ground electrode.

The center electrode with a sharp edge has an electrical copper core. Its physical properties provide good electrical conduction power to ignite fuel mixture during the combustion process.

Voltage required

A spark plug uses electrical energy for the purpose of channeling from the accumulator to the electronic distributor ignition system. At the time of the spark, a voltage of several tens of thousands of volts passes through the electrodes.

Despite almost all metals being excellent conductors, the ignition system with copper spark plug needs a larger voltage than other spark plug types.

According to OEM specs, the manufacturers usually use precious metals with high melting points and good conductivity.

How to choose spark plug types?

Car owners often get a lot of confusion about which spark plug to use for changing instead of worn components. Typically, a short answer should be: stick to the plug recommended by the owner’s manual.

The manufacturer knows precisely what engines prop operating requires and will note exactly what spark plugs you can buy for replacement.

Usually, this is the case with certain modified motors, though the most effective plugs are manufactured. Have you considered the best options? Tell me about the important facts.

How do spark plugs work?

A spark plug ignites compressed air and fuel within an injected gasoline-burned engine. The insulating electrode center runs the length of the spark plug, and the ground electrodes at the bottom end are separated from the exposed edge of the center electrode by a spark gap in the conductive layer.

The energy flowing into the spark plug jumps into the gap and creates an explosion. Electrodes were originally made of copper, but are now made of rare metals such as iridium and platinum.

Copper spark plugs

Standard copper plugs have a copper core inside and a nickel alloy side electrode. Its central electrode is made from a nickel alloy and has the largest diameter of all the other spark plugs. This means it’ll need more voltage to generate an electric current.

Nickel alloy is soft and has a low melting point, so it isn’t very durable. This means it won’t last long. It is best to use these spark plugs in older vehicles which didn’t have high electrical needs.

This spark plug type is better for older vehicles built before 1980.

Copper vs. iridium doesn’t last so long and more voltage is required.

Iridium spark plugs

Iridium spark plugs will last the longest. Iridium is a metal that is harder and more durable than platinum. Although you will have to pay more money for iridium plugs because iridium vs. copper is more expensive.

These spark plugs have an iridium center electrode, which means they use less voltage to generate the electric current. That is why many car manufacturers are starting to recommend iridium spark plugs for their vehicles.

If you already have these spark plugs installed, and you need new ones, do not downgrade to platinum or copper because they will diminish the performance of your vehicle.

Iridium plugs use less voltage. Iridium vs. platinum is harder and lasts longer.

Iridium spark plug isexpensive.

Single platinum spark plugs

A single platinum spark plug is comparable in size and form to a copper spark plug, though its small center electrode is glued with platinum rather than nickel alloy. Platinum vs. nickel alloy is more durable before it is worn off.

The single platinum spark plugs have fewer maintenance problems because reduce carbon buildup. These are suitable materials for the proper maintenance of vehicles that feature coil ignition systems.

Double platinum spark plugs

Double platinum plugs have a platinum disc welded on the central electrode and ground electrode. They can be used to reduce spark ignition costs, and make these plugs an ideal alternative to other ignition systems, which exert more wear on both electrodes than other ignition systems.

The double platinum spark plug is the strongest spark plug.


What is the main disadvantage of platinum spark plugs?

One platinum spark plug has a platinum disc anchored to the center electrode, whereas double platinum spark plugs have platinum discs on the center electrode and side electrode.

The only disadvantage to platinum is that its conductivity is low, so it, therefore, performs less than copper.

Are platinum spark plugs better?

Platinum spark plugs provide superior longevity to all other spark plugs. The platinum disc on the center electrode is smaller than the iridium tip but it creates a powerful spark. Due to its high spark temperature in the combustion chamber, these spark plugs continue to operate even on a lean fuel mixture.

How long will copper spark plugs last?

Copper plug sparks have a lifespan of up to 15,000 miles. For proper maintenance, they need replacement after 15,000 miles.

Are copper spark plugs better?

According to the owner’s manual, the copper spark plug is better for older vehicles built before 1980.


You look through the information about four main types of spark plugs copper spark plugs, iridium spark plugs, platinum spark plugs, and double platinum spark plugs.

Copper spark plugs are fairly cheap, so many car owners prefer to buy these parts because they think to save money. But these plugs have a short lifespan so maintenance intervals for changing will be oftener than with iridium spark plugs for example.

Platinum vs. iridium plugs is not so expensive. If you take into account the number of miles your car has driven between replacements of these parts, you will notice the benefits of buying these types of spark plugs.

The condition of the spark plugs will tell a lot about the car – even if one of them fails, the car will not like it, expect problems and malfunctions in the engine waste spark system. Therefore, when conducting a technical inspection by yourself or in a car service, do not forget to evaluate their condition. Wonder how to clean spark plug hole, read

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