What is the difference between regular and performance Spark Plugs? This is a question we get asked all the time. We hope the article will help to give you a better understanding of the different types of spark plugs #MidasServiceParts
At Randburg Midas we stock spark plugs for all makes and models of cars. We carry both standard as well as high performance spark plugs. If you are not sure what would be best for your car, give us a call and we will help.
All spark plugs have a threaded metal hex shell to seal the combustion chamber of the cylinder. Plugs also have an insulator and electrodes. The shell is zinc-plated to extend the life of the spark plug. The insulator keeps the ignition voltage grounded across the combustion chamber gap. The insulator also moves the heat from the combustion to the engine’s cooling system. The electrodes make the spark that ignites the air/fuel mixture inside the cylinder. The insulators are made of ceramic. Modern vehicles use either a gasket to sit flat against the machined surface in the cylinder head or a taper-type seal that sits against an angled seat in the head.
A common spark plug features a chromium nickel alloy that reduces corrosion. Nickel-alloy plugs typically have a copper core center electrode. While the most basic spark plug may have a melting point at 960 degrees Celsius, the nickel-alloy version has a 1,450 degree melting point. Conventional plugs begin to have problems igniting air/fuel mixture ratios of 15 to 1 while nickel-alloy plugs can ignite leaner mixtures with a 17 to 1 ratio.
The platinum spark plug is the low end of the performance plug range. However, there is considerable debate whether platinum plugs make much of a difference in engine performance, particularly in emissions and fuel efficiency. For the average driver who thinks of his vehicle as nothing more than transportation, the difference between a standard plug and a platinum one probably is negligible. Consider, though, that the standard spark plug has a melting point at 960 degrees Celsius while a platinum plug has a 1,760 degree melting point. The platinum plug, with a platinum center electrode, has a strong resistance to corrosion and can withstand a harsh environment. The platinum plug should improve fuel economy, give the vehicle a faster start and maintain peak spark performance for more than 90,000 km.
Iridium is a top-end performance spark plug made with an extremely hard precious metal. Spark plug makers use laser technology to weld an iridium tip to the plug. This provides better, more efficient spark for fuel economy. Iridium plugs feature a center electrode with a much smaller diameter than conventional plugs, giving it a more concentrated spark, but about 5,000 volts less than the standard plug. This puts less strain on the ignition system and enhances the vehicle’s throttle response. Its melting point is high at 2.470 degrees Celsius, which is eight times more than platinum plugs.
For more information on our impressive range of car care products and more, please contact us www.midasrandburg.co.za | (011) 789-4411 | email@example.com | 191 Bram Fischer Drive, Randburg.
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