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Iridium vs Platinum Spark Plugs

Iridium vs Platinum Spark Plugs


Spark plugs play a crucial role in the ignition system of an internal combustion engine, providing the spark necessary to ignite the air-fuel mixture. Two popular types of spark plugs are iridium and platinum spark plugs.

In this comparison, we will explore the characteristics and differences between these two options.

Also, read – Common Spark Plug Misfire Symptoms

Types of Spark Plugs

1. Copper Spark Plugs:

Traditional copper spark plugs have been used for decades. They are relatively inexpensive but have a shorter lifespan and lower performance compared to iridium and platinum plugs.

2. Iridium Spark Plugs:

Iridium plugs feature a fine electrode made of iridium, a highly durable and corrosion-resistant metal. They offer improved ignitability and longer service life compared to copper plugs.

3. Platinum Spark Plugs:

Platinum plugs utilize a platinum electrode, which provides excellent durability and resistance to wear. They are a step up from copper plugs but generally have a shorter lifespan than iridium plugs.

Iridium vs Platinum Spark Plugs

  1. Material Composition:
    • Iridium Spark Plugs: Iridium is an extremely hard metal, known for its high melting point and resistance to corrosion. It enables a smaller electrode diameter, promoting efficient combustion.
    • Platinum Spark Plugs: Platinum is also a durable and corrosion-resistant metal. Platinum plugs typically have a larger electrode diameter than iridium plugs, which can enhance longevity.
  2. Longevity:
    • Iridium Spark Plugs: With their fine electrode, iridium plugs have an extended service life, ranging from 60,000 to 100,000 miles.
    • Platinum Spark Plugs: Platinum plugs are long-lasting but generally have a slightly shorter lifespan than iridium plugs, typically lasting between 30,000 and 60,000 miles.
  3. Performance:
    • Iridium Spark Plugs: Iridium plugs offer excellent ignitability and consistent sparks due to their small electrode diameter. This can result in smoother engine operation, improved fuel efficiency, and enhanced power delivery.
    • Platinum Spark Plugs: Platinum plugs provide reliable ignition and decent performance, though they may not match the performance level of iridium plugs.
  4. Price:
    • Iridium Spark Plugs: Iridium plugs are generally more expensive than platinum plugs due to their advanced technology and longer lifespan.
    • Platinum Spark Plugs: Platinum plugs are relatively more affordable than iridium plugs, making them a popular choice among car owners.

life span

The lifespan of spark plugs can vary depending on several factors, including the type of spark plug, driving conditions, engine design, and maintenance practices. Here’s a general guideline for the lifespan of iridium and platinum spark plugs:

1. Iridium Spark Plugs:

  • Iridium spark plugs are known for their long service life.
  • On average, iridium spark plugs can last between 60,000 and 100,000 miles (or 96,000 and 160,000 kilometers) before needing replacement.
  • However, it’s important to note that the actual lifespan can vary depending on driving conditions and engine factors.

2. Platinum Spark Plugs:

  • Platinum spark plugs also offer a relatively long lifespan.
  • Typically, platinum spark plugs can last between 30,000 and 60,000 miles (or 48,000 and 96,000 kilometers) before requiring replacement.
  • Again, the actual lifespan can be influenced by various factors specific to your vehicle and driving habits.

It’s worth mentioning that these mileage ranges are general estimates, and some vehicles may experience shorter or longer spark plug life depending on individual circumstances. It’s always a good idea to consult your vehicle’s manual or follow the recommendations of your vehicle manufacturer for the specific spark plug replacement intervals.

Regular maintenance and inspection of the spark plugs are essential to ensure optimal performance and longevity. If you notice signs of poor engine performance, misfires, or rough idling, it may indicate that the spark plugs need to be replaced or serviced.


Both iridium and platinum spark plugs are viable options, offering advantages over traditional copper plugs. Iridium plugs excel in terms of longevity and performance, providing improved ignitability and a longer service life.

Platinum plugs offer good performance and durability at a more affordable price point. When choosing between the two, consider factors such as your budget, vehicle requirements, and personal preferences.

Consulting your vehicle’s manual or a trusted mechanic can help you make the best decision for your specific vehicle.

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