Platinum Vs. Iridium Spark Plugs – What’s the Different?

Platinum and iridium spark plugs are two of the most popular. They give reliable engine performance. Platinum has better heat conductivity and erosion resistance. Iridium spark plugs have new tech to improve ignition.


Let’s compare the pros and cons of each:

Definition of spark plugs

A spark plug is vital for an internal combustion engine. It creates sparks to light up the fuel and air mix in the combustion chamber, which provides energy for the engine. Spark plugs are important for controlling and managing vehicle performance, engine output, and efficiency.

Spark plugs can be metal or ceramic, such as copper cores, platinum tips, or iridium alloy tips. Each has its own advantages and disadvantages for certain vehicle performance applications. Let’s compare the advantages and disadvantages of platinum and iridium spark plugs for vehicles.

Types of spark plugs

Spark plugs can hugely influence an engine’s performance. There’re two main types: platinum and iridium. Knowing the advantages of each will help you choose wisely when repairing or upgrading your vehicle.

  • Platinum spark plugs have a small amount of platinum on both the center electrode and the ground electrode. This forms an electrical connection that lasts longer than copper plugs. It keeps the plug cooler, helping to increase maximum RPMs. This leads to more fuel efficiency and fewer emissions.
  • Iridium spark plugs have a much smaller center electrode made from iridium. This allows electricity to travel quickly from source to tip, creating a strong spark. This can be more powerful than a platinum plug. The result is quicker flame speed with more complete combustion, plus improved fuel efficiency – although they are slightly pricier.

Platinum Spark Plugs

Platinum spark plugs are suggested for more modern engines and are famed for their toughness. The center electrodes of these plugs are made from platinum, as opposed to iridium spark plugs with iridium center electrodes. Platinum spark plugs have a longer recommended replacement time of up to 100,000 miles and are more affordable.

Now, let’s glance at the pros and cons of using platinum spark plugs:

Advantages of platinum spark plugs

Platinum spark plugs have numerous benefits that make them a great choice for your vehicle. They are tough and dependable which means you don’t have to replace them as often, saving you money! Plus, they last between 30,000 and 100,000 miles, sometimes even up to 120,000.

The metal has brilliant heat transfer characteristics, helping your engine stay at peak efficiency regardless of driving conditions. In addition, the firing tip of platinum spark plugs discharges heat generated by electricity faster than iridium. This helps prevent voltage losses due to misfirings better than copper or nickel-alloy designs.

Thanks to its superior build, you get:

  • Improved fuel economy
  • Longer performance life under higher stress
  • Better starting power in cold weather
  • Less tune-ups due to more efficient burning off of buildup in combustion chambers
  • Smoother acceleration and more power when going uphill due to increased air/fuel flow dynamics in the combustion chamber.

Disadvantages of platinum spark plugs

Platinum spark plugs have drawbacks when compared to iridium ones. One is that their life is shorter, meaning replacements are more frequent. They can’t handle long trips or engine strain like iridium plugs. They’re also less accurate, leading to less performance and fuel use. Lastly, they cost more, so the expense may not be worth the benefits.

Iridium Spark Plugs

Wanna know the perks of Iridium spark plugs? These are the premium version! They have a finer tip on their center electrode, letting you have more efficient combustion and better control of spark. Plus, they last longer than standard platinum ones, so you don’t need to replace them as often.

Here’s more of what these spark plugs can do for ya!:

Advantages of iridium spark plugs

Iridium spark plugs are the newest generation of aftermarket plugs. They have an iridium center electrode that ensures a strong and consistent spark, which means better performance than platinum or conventional spark plugs. Iridium plugs also help reduce fuel consumption and emissions with their hot sparking temperature.

The benefits of iridium spark plugs include:

  • Durability due to iridium, one of the hardest metals, which is perfect for higher temperatures.
  • Stronger spark due to the fine wire center electrode, six times smaller than standard nickel plugs.
  • Longer lifespan due to its hardness-to-tension ratio and its corrosion resistance.
  • Burning efficiency at lower temperatures, with decreased fuel consumption and lower emission levels.
  • Increased acceleration due to faster engine response time, especially for vehicles with larger displacement engines.

Disadvantages of iridium spark plugs

Iridium spark plugs are pricier than the traditional ones. They’re tough to make and require special machinery. Plus, they don’t last as long because of their thin electrodes and high temp tolerances. But the benefits, such as more engine power and fuel economy, make up for the cost.

Their downside? Iridium can break up during regular use, causing cylinder fouling. To avoid that, you should change them every 30,000 km or less for better performance and efficiency.


Deciding between platinum or iridium spark plugs can be hard. To aid you in making a wise decision, let’s compare the pros and cons of each.

Let’s look at the distinctions between platinum and iridium spark plugs. Then, we’ll talk about the advantages and drawbacks of each:

  • Platinum
  • Iridium

Cost comparison

The cost of platinum or iridium spark plugs depends on the car model. On average, a platinum plug can cost up to $7 less than iridium. But, pricing can vary greatly depending on the year and model. For example, Audi A4 B7 spark plugs are $14 for platinum and $30 for iridium. BMW M3 E90 replacement spark plugs can be four times as much for iridium compared to platinum. Roughly, platinum is 80% cheaper than iridium. But, labor costs and experienced mechanics might be needed to hand-install lost wax castings with epoxy-shellac coatings to protect against corrosion.

Performance comparison

Iridium and Platinum spark plugs both have pros and cons. Usually, Iridium spark plugs beat Platinum in terms of performance, durability, and fuel economy. But, they are more expensive. To reduce this cost, you can install a cold air intake system.

Iridium spark plugs have higher operating voltage, so they offer better fuel economy. Plus, they give improved engine response and acceleration. Their higher melting point makes them suitable for higher temperatures; leading to less wear-and-tear on the engine.

On the other hand, Platinum plugs are cheaper. They are durable and can fire consistently in all temperature ranges when used correctly. So, if you want basic reliability at an affordable price, then Platinum spark plugs are for you!

Durability comparison

Platinum and iridium spark plugs both are way more durable than copper spark plugs. People think iridium is even more durable, due to its harder metal that can handle heat, vibration and erosion better. Iridium is the best material for spark plug production – it’s the most wear resistant one.

When looking at the performance of platinum and iridium spark plugs over time, it’s important to consider certain factors. Platinum spark plugs can provide good results initially, but they can fail earlier due to engine combustion pressure, temperature, and vibration. Iridium spark plugs, on the other hand, last twice as long as platinum – up to 40-45k miles – without erosion affecting their performance or lifespan.


Comparing platinum and iridium spark plugs, both have great merits. Superior performance and long life are benefits of both. Deciding which one is for you depends on your needs and preferences.

  • Platinum spark plugs offer great performance at a lower cost than iridium plugs.
  • If you need a long-term solution or superior performance in extreme conditions, iridium plugs are a great pick.

Weigh the pros and cons when making your decision and remember to get advice from professional mechanics for the best spark plug for your car.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between platinum and iridium spark plugs?

Platinum spark plugs are made of a platinum-iridium alloy that is designed to provide more durable spark plugs with longer life. Iridium spark plugs are made from an iridium-platinum alloy that provides a more focused spark. Platinum spark plugs tend to last longer than iridium spark plugs, while iridium spark plugs provide a better spark.

Which is better, platinum or iridium spark plugs?

It depends on the application. Platinum spark plugs last longer and provide a more reliable spark for daily drivers, while iridium spark plugs provide a more focused spark for higher performance applications.

How often should I replace platinum or iridium spark plugs?

Platinum spark plugs typically need to be replaced every 60,000 to 100,000 miles, while iridium spark plugs typically need to be replaced every 30,000 to 50,000 miles.