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The Best Spark Plugs for High-Performance Engines

closeup view of a spark plug

If you drive an internal combustion engine, the fuel you put in your car needs a spark to ignite it and keep your car running. Spark plugs use precisely crafted ceramic insular bodies and punched steel casings that house two electrodes with a gap in between them. When voltage is sent to the plug, an electrical arc is formed between the two electrodes on the firing end of the plug, which ignites your fuel. 

Just like many of the replacement components in an engine, spark plugs have a limited lifespan. After prolonged use, built-up deposits, as well as the widening of the electrode gap, can affect the performance of your spark plugs or cause them to fail. Replacing the spark plugs in your car is an essential part of routine vehicle maintenance. If you’re experiencing a dip in your fuel economy, your vehicle is slow to start or starting roughly—or you’ve noticed a lag in responsiveness—you may want to consider replacing your spark plugs. Get some NAPA Know How on this DIY project, and let us be your go-to option when it’s time to shop for a replacement spark plug set. 

When Only The Best Spark Will Do

A Chevrolet Cavalier wouldn’t be the ideal car to race in the Indianapolis 500, right? It works the same way with spark plugs; a replacement set of spark plugs for a 2010 Honda Civic probably won’t go the distance on a 2015 BMW M235i. While NAPA AUTO PARTS is proud to offer a truly impressive selection of spark plugs for all years, makes and models of sedans, pickup trucks, minivans and SUVs, we also carry a competitive array of spark plugs for those high-performance machines

Different types of spark plugs are constructed using different materials. Here are the four main types of spark plugs:

  • Copper
  • Platinum
  • Iridium
  • Silver

As you might imagine, the intricate ignition systems of performance vehicles require specialized spark plugs that use quality materials like platinum and iridium. Single platinum spark plugs are similar to copper and nickel spark plugs, but their electrodes have a platinum disc welded to the tip. Platinum is used because it’s much harder and more resilient than nickel alloy, so it doesn’t erode as fast, giving platinum spark plugs up to 100,000 miles of servicemuch farther than copper and nickel. These plugs are engineered to generate more heat and operate in a hotter environment, minimizing the carbon deposits that build up, so they give a better spark for a longer period of time. Newer vehicles that use electronic distributorless ignition systems are the ideal application for these types of spark plugs.

Double platinum spark plugs work much the same way, but both the center and the ground electrodes have a platinum coating. This improves resilience in extreme conditions and allows for added efficiency. These plugs work well in wasted spark ignition systems where each ignition coil fires two spark plugs at the same time, one in the compression stroke cylinder and the other in the cylinder of the exhaust stroke. The spark for the exhaust stroke cylinder ends up wasted as the fuel was already ignited on the previous stroke.

Because iridium conducts energy better than platinum, it’s the optimal choice if you want to get the most out of a performance engine. Iridium spark plugs are designed with iridium discs welded to their electrodes. Iridium is six times harder and eight times stronger than platinum! Add that to the fact that the melting point of Iridium is 700 degrees hotter than platinum. That means it’s the ideal material to use for a spark plug as it can withstand the punishing job of igniting a high-performance engine. Read more about the different types of spark plugs here

The Perfect Performance Plugs for Premium Rides

If it’s time to change your spark plugs, let NAPAOnline help you figure out which kind of replacement spark plugs are right for your car. Once you have the NAPA Know How to find what you need, choose from our great deals on high-performance spark plugs: 

Don’t let old or failing spark plugs rob your premium vehicle of its performance. Check out all the best deals on spark plug replacements by stopping into one of our friendly neighborhood NAPA AUTO PARTS stores or order all the parts you need from the palm of your hand by downloading the NAPA KNOW HOW App today!

Photo courtesy of pxhere

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