Iridium spark plugs are well worth the money they cost. They should be your first pick of plugs if you can afford them.
And, if your automobile handbook specifies that an iridium plug is best, resist the urge to stay with platinum, copper, or any other type of plug.
The main property that makes iridium spark plugs so unique is that their electrode material comes with a high melting point.
Due to this, these iridium spark plugs will offer complete combustion along with better performance and longevity. This simply means that you do not have to change the spark plugs in your vehicle too frequently.
But don’t take our word for it, in this article we have compiled all the pros and cons of Iridium plugs so that you make a smart decision effortlessly.
Table of Contents
The Benefits of Iridium Spark Plug
While there are certain limitations, the benefits of employing an Iridium spark plug (over the alternatives) significantly exceed the drawbacks in most cases.
With that being said, let’s jot down its advantages for a clear picture…
1. These plugs might help you save money on gas
Upgrading to iridium spark plugs might increase your gas economy on the interstate or in town right away.
This is because you have a better ignition profile, which enables your fuel to burn more effectively.
Although the efficiency rates aren’t very great, most drivers may expect to save 15% to 18% on a single tank of petrol.
If you already have a high mileage rate, this might result in an additional 6-10 miles per gallon.
How much money might you save each week if you could drive up to 60-100 miles farther on a single tank of gas?
2. It has the potential to enhance your vehicle’s acceleration profile
When you replace your spark plugs with an Iridium one, you may notice an instant improvement in your acceleration profile.
This benefit arises as a result of a speedier reaction to your throttle actions.
You’ll notice a change right away, particularly if you’ve put a lot of miles on your old plugs.
They may make a big impact if you reside in an area where you need to get up to highway speeds rapidly for safety.
3. It uses less power than other plugs
When electrical currents burst from an Iridium spark plug, the voltage required to create power is reduced.
This is due to the unusual design, which incorporates a tiny electrode.
Saving energy during the start-up phase or when accelerating guarantees that you have a reserve on hand which is always a good thing.
When you push down on the pedal, you’ll notice reduced latency and fewer delays in the engine.
This benefit may be combined with your battery’s cold-cranking amps to guarantee that you have more power available throughout the winter months.
4. They provide greater durability
When you make this update, the strength of Iridium assures that you will have a long-lasting installation.
Even though they are manufactured by different manufacturers, you will still get an average of 60,000 miles before the new units need repair.
When making this alteration, some drivers may achieve 90,000 miles or more.
If you use copper or platinum spark plugs instead of Iridium, you may get half the lifetime. As a result, the cost of this product finally balances out over time.
5. They provide greater corrosion resistance
Iridium is the most corrosion-resistant metal we presently produce, even while operating at temperatures as high as 2,000°C.
Although molten salt and halogens are corrosive to the solid metal, it nonetheless performs well in the engine compartment due to these properties.
That means you have access to a highly dependable component that continuously supports the entire performance of your vehicle.
6. They may provide increased engine power
They may boost the power output of your engine. This advantage becomes obvious while climbing steep slopes or dealing with difficult driving scenarios.
With the improvement, you will find that the driving experience gets more pleasant, providing you with a smoother touring ability and better control as you travel.
This benefit is especially useful if your car is equipped with a variable gearbox.
If you drive a manual gearbox, you may still get the advantages as long as your shifting is acceptable for the road circumstances.
7. They may improve the starting of your car
Iridium spark plugs contain ultra-fine center electrodes that work hard to provide you with the greatest ignition experience imaginable.
The majority of car owners noted an instant improvement in an engine’s starting characteristics after doing this update.
Because there is less dispersion in the location of the spark with this product, your idling becomes more steady.
Although you shouldn’t let your engine idle for a lengthy period due to the risk of damage, the roughness that may occur with normal plugs tends to decline when you use Iridium.
The Iridium Spark Plug’s Drawbacks
Iridium spark plugs, like any other product, have several disadvantages.
Some of the common ones include…
1. The biggest drawback of iridium spark plugs is their high cost
Although the expense is mitigated by the increased lifetime, it may become an expensive experience for some car owners.
If you upgrade voluntarily before a required tune-up, the fee is an optional expenditure that may or may not be essential.
2. There may not be a huge improvement in performance
Because many manufacturers already require the use of Iridium components, you may not notice a big performance improvement when installing new plugs.
When some drivers make this purchase, they discover that they are just replacing the OEM components.
You’d still get the slight gains that come with getting rid of pieces that have aged over time, but it wouldn’t be the enormous promises that someone switching from platinum or copper would get.
3. Various layering approaches may provide inferior outcomes
When you find pricey spark plugs at a store or from a supplier, it usually means that the item has additional layers of precious metals on it.
The most expensive versions are frequently double- or triple-coated to provide high-quality output.
If you buy the cheapest Iridium plug accessible, you may obtain inferior outcomes when compared to the potential advantages that are mentioned above.
Some copper spark plugs employ various shapes and arrangements to achieve comparable outcomes at a fraction of the cost.
4. Some coatings have the potential to be fragile
When applied appropriately to spark plugs, Iridium may be hard. Because of the properties of this metal, the production process may also generate brittleness in each layer.
If that happens, any bumps or scratches on the component might have a significant influence on the unit’s functioning.
You’ll want to take additional precautions throughout the installation procedure to avoid causing any unexpected harm that might affect your engine’s performance in the future.
5. Iridium spark plug dust has a greater flammability risk
Another reason to be cautious while handling these plugs is the dust generated when the item is scraped against other engine components.
This metal’s dust is more prone to corrosion and flammability.
At higher temperatures, damaged Iridium dust is also more prone to oxygen corrosion and fluorine contamination.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is it necessary to gap Iridium spark plugs?
Iridium spark plugs do not need to be gapped. No gapping is required due to the pre-gapping procedure that they go through when they are manufactured.
If you try to gap these plugs incorrectly, you risk damaging the spark plug to the point that it is no longer functional.
When should Iridium spark plugs be replaced?
Iridium spark plugs have an average lifetime of 50,000-140,000 miles. Changing your spark plugs is ultimately determined by the plug and your car.
However, it is critical to update your Iridium spark plugs between 50,000 and 140,000 miles.
Is it possible to blend platinum and Iridium spark plugs?
If the heat range is the same, you may mix platinum and Iridium.
Due to the longer longevity of Iridium spark plugs, you will most likely notice the platinum spark plug expiring before the Iridium one.
Iridium spark plugs are said to provide several advantages over other types of spark plugs. They are intended to boost performance, albeit they may only provide a little benefit at first.
The major benefits are gained via usage. For starters, the Iridium spark plug will survive longer, which means you won’t have to replace the spark plugs as regularly.
They are also constant, which means that, unlike copper spark plugs, there will be no excess obvious degradation.
The most significant disadvantage of the iridium spark plug is its high cost.
They are often more costly than normal spark plugs, however, this is slightly compensated by the Iridium version’s lifetime.
On top of that, they also enhance the car’s functionality which is always a good thing.
Based in Orem (Utah) John Paterson graduated from Utah Valley University and has begun writing in 2009. He has a large wealth of experience in writing articles related to cars, automotive repair, wheels, cleaning/maintenance, and much more. He has also written instructional articles in a similar niche for a few online publications as well. Currently, he works as a mechanic in his personal garage shop where he loves serving his countrymen from his heart.