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Unleashing the Power: Standard vs. Upgraded Spark Plugs

Standard vs upgrade spark plugs

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Spark plugs are one of the essential components of your vehicle’s engine, and choosing the right type can significantly affect your car’s performance and efficiency. But with so many options available in this market, it can sometimes take time to choose whether standard or upgraded spark plugs are the better choice overall for your car.

What are Spark Plugs?

Spark plugs are the tiny but valuable heroes under your car’s bonnet. They do a simple job: igniting the air/fuel mixture in the combustion chamber of your engine. This little spark is what powers your vehicle, turning fuel into motion.

Your spark plugs work when you start your car and throughout every journey. They need to withstand extreme temperatures and pressure, all while delivering precise sparks thousands of times per minute. Without functioning spark plugs, your engine won’t run.

Spark plugs also have a secondary role in removing heat from the combustion chamber. The heat range of a spark plug indicates its ability to dissipate heat from the tip. A properly functioning spark plug is crucial for maintaining balance within your engine’s operating temperature.

What are the different types of Spark Plugs?

There are three main types of Spark Plugs:

Copper spark plugs

Copper spark plugs are good at conducting electricity, making them a top pick for older cars with simpler ignition systems. The middle part of these spark plugs is made from copper, with a nickel alloy coating to help it last longer.

But, because copper is softer, these spark plugs usually last less than those made from platinum or iridium.

Iridium spark plugs

Iridium spark plugs are a big step up in technology. Iridium is a solid metal that doesn’t rust easily and can handle much more heat than platinum. This means they can last up to 25% longer than platinum ones.

The thin wire in the middle of iridium plugs needs less power to spark. This is great for newer and more powerful engines that require exact timings. They support your car to respond faster when you hit the gas and can even make it use fuel more efficiently and reduce pollution occasionally.

Platinum spark plugs

On the other hand, platinum spark plugs are the middle ground. They cost and perform more than copper but less than iridium plugs. They last longer than copper plugs because platinum is a more rigid material.

These plugs are a great compromise, giving you a good mix of lasting power and affordability. They have a platinum piece attached to the middle part, which means they stay in good shape longer and keep making sparks reliably.

Comparison Table


Copper Spark Plugs (Standard)

Iridium Spark Plugs (Upgraded)

Platinum Spark Plugs (Upgraded)


Older models and some high-performance engines

Modern vehicles, especially from the mid-2000s onwards

Late 1980s to early 2000s vehicles and some modern engines


Best conductivity for optimal spark generation    

High efficiency with a fine wire centre electrode       

Good conductivity with a focus on durability


Shortest lifespan among the three      

Longest lifespan, can last up to 25% longer than platinum

Longer than copper, but shorter than iridium


Less durable due to quicker electrode wear  

Highly durable with a hard iridium alloy 


Durable due to platinum disc welding


Excellent performance, preferred for the best spark     

Superior performance with efficient combustion

Balanced performance with a focus on longevity


Most affordable       

More expensive due to longevity and performance

Mid-range, offering a balance between cost and performance

Best Used For

Vehicles that do not require long-lasting spark plugs and some performance vehicles        

Newer, fuel-efficient, and high-performance engines        

Vehicles requiring reliability and longevity over extreme performance

Manufacturer Recommendation

Check vehicle’s manual, often chosen for older cars    

Recommended for newer models by many manufacturers           

Often recommended for vehicles from the late ’80s to early ’00s

Iridium Spark Plugs highlighting improved throttle response, anti-fouling, and high ignitability. Source: NGK Spark Plugs at APD

NGK Laser Iridium spark plug and packaging with a used spark plug. Essential for optimal engine performance. Source: NGK Spark Plugs at APD

Standard vs Upgraded Spark Plugs – Making the Right Choice

1: Heat Dissipation

  • Upgraded spark plugs usually have a smaller electrode, resulting in improved heat dissipation.
  • This characteristic prevents the spark plug from overheating and reduces the risk of pre-ignition or detonation, especially in high-performance engines.

2: Enhanced Ignition

Upgraded spark plugs possess a finer centre electrode, allowing for a sharper, more concentrated spark. This promotes better combustion, improving throttle response, increased power output, and enhanced fuel efficiency.

3: Durability

The advanced materials used in upgraded spark plugs, such as iridium or platinum, increase erosion and corrosion resistance. As a result, they have a longer lifespan than standard plugs, reducing the need for frequent replacements.

4: Consistency

Upgraded spark plugs are engineered to offer consistent performance across various operating conditions. This stability ensures reliable ignition, even in extreme temperatures or high-stress situations, resulting in a smoother and more reliable driving experience.

Where can I buy Upgraded Spark Plugs?

Upgraded spark plugs are widely available and can be purchased at auto parts stores, service centres, and online retailers. When shopping for spark plugs, ensure you’re buying from a reputable source and that the plugs are compatible with your vehicle’s make and model.

Remember, quality matters regarding your vehicle’s maintenance and performance. So, don’t settle for less.

Upgraded spark plugs are everywhere and can be purchased at auto parts stores, dealerships and online stores. When buying spark plugs, make sure you are purchasing from a reputable source. Also, check that the plugs work with the make and model of your vehicle.

Remember that when it comes to maintenance and performance, quality matters. So, don’t settle for less.

At APD, we offer everything your car requires, from Spark Plugs and Batteries to Bulbs, Wipers, and more. Our range of standard upgraded spark plugs will keep your engine running smoothly and efficiently. Whether you’re looking for platinum’s durability, iridium’s performance, or the reliability of conventional spark plugs, we’ve got you covered. Contact us today to unleash the full potential of your vehicle.

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