Iridium Vs. Platinum Spark Plug: What Are The Differences?

Are you wondering why iridium spark plugs are becoming increasingly popular compared to traditional platinum spark plugs? Do you want to know the differences between them and which one is better for your vehicle’s performance? If so, then this article is perfect for you!

Iridium spark plugs are costly, but they offer six times more hardness and eight times the strength of platinum, along with a melting point that’s 700° higher and can last up to 25% longer than platinum spark plugs.

In this article, we will explore the differences between iridium and platinum spark plugs. We’ll compare their features side-by-side in order to give you a better idea of how these two types of spark plugs can affect your vehicle’s performance. By the end of it, you should have a clearer understanding of which type would be best suited for your needs. So let’s get started!

What Is a Platinum Spark Plug?

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A platinum spark plug is a type of spark plug that uses a platinum-tipped electrode in place of the traditional nickel or copper electrode. Platinum is a precious metal known for its durability, high melting point, and resistance to wear.

What Is an Iridium Spark Plug?

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Iridium spark plugs are a type of spark plug used in internal combustion engines, such as those found in vehicles. They are made with a small amount of iridium on the center electrode, a rare metal highly resistant to wear and corrosion. This makes iridium spark plugs ideal for high-performance engines and vehicles requiring high durability and reliability.

What Are the Differences between Iridium and Platinium Spark Plugs?

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Platinum and Iridium are the most common materials used to construct spark plugs. While both provide improved performance and lifespan compared to copper spark plugs, there are several key differences between these two materials.

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>This rare metal is perhaps eight times stronger and six times harder than platinum. 
>Its melting point stands at a remarkable 700 degrees Celsius – significantly higher than that of platinum.
>Platinum spark plugs are more resilient than copper, yet not as solid as iridium. 
>Not as strong or durable as iridium, with a strength that is only 60-70% of iridium.
Melting Points
>Iridium’s melting point of over 4,400 F makes it capable of withstanding the most intense ignition systems.>The platinum tip has a melting point of around 3,215 F.
Lifespan – Mileage
>It has a longer lifespan compared to platinum and copper spark plugs, lasting up to 120,000 miles. >It has a shorter lifespan compared to iridium spark plugs, lasting up to 100,000 miles.
> Iridium is much pricier than platinum. At the start of 2020, a troy ounce was valued at $2,550, but by March 2021, it had skyrocketed to an unbelievable high of $6,000 per ounce!
>When obtaining a single iridium spark plug, the price tag can range anywhere from $20-$100.
>Platinum is being sold at roughly $1,015 per ounce, making it six times cheaper than its counterpart.
>A price tag of $10 marks the beginning point for a single platinum spark plug.
>Double platinum plugs can cost you approximately $20 each.
Voltage Requirement
>The iridium spark plug is designed with a small central electrode, allowing it to generate an electrical current that requires less voltage.
>This could give your engine more consistent and dependable sparks for improved functionality.
>It requires a higher voltage than iridium spark plugs for normal functioning. 
>This also provides a constant and precise spark leading to better ignition than copper spark plugs. 

Platinum or Iridium – Which One Is the Best Choice?

Platinium or Iridium Spark Plug?

Now that you’ve weighed the key differences between platinum and iridium let’s determine which one is best suited for your situation.

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An engineer specifically chooses the spark plugs that come with your vehicle when it is manufactured to ensure optimal performance and durability. They will guarantee a smooth-running engine, maintain the correct temperature range, and last for several intervals before needing to be replaced.

  • If your vehicle is equipped with copper spark plugs, you can upgrade to either platinum or iridium for a better performance than the originals.
  • If your car comes with factory-fitted platinum plugs, then an increase in power and durability may be attained by upgrading them to iridium ones; however, going lower (copper plugs) from this point could cause permanent damage to both the car’s endurance and functioning capabilities. 
  • Similarly, if they are already made of iridium, switching to any other material (platinum or copper) could have unfavorable consequences on your car’s efficiency and longevity.

How Do I Select the Best Spark Plug Material for My Vehicle?

Guide to Choosing Spark Plugs

Choosing the best spark plug material for your vehicle depends on several factors, such as

Driving Conditions

Spark plugs are subjected to high temperatures and high voltage, which can lead to wear and tear. Consider iridium spark plugs for their increased strength and durability if you drive in harsh conditions such as hot weather, high speeds, or heavy loads.

Engine Type

High-performance engines typically generate higher temperatures, making them better suited for iridium spark plugs.

Personal Preference

Some drivers may prefer iridium spark plugs for their improved performance and longer lifespan, while others may prefer platinum spark plugs for their lower cost.

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Vehicle Manufacturer’s Recommendations

It’s important to note that the type of spark plug you choose can affect the performance and efficiency of your vehicle. It is always best to consult your vehicle’s owner’s manual for the manufacturer’s recommendations on the best spark plug for your specific make and model.


Iridium spark plugs are the superior choice for any given day; however, they can be expensive compared to platinum. If you need an upgrade but have a budget in mind, then look no further than a platinum spark plug! It is also one of the top-recommended options if your car has an electronic distributor ignition system – so you get reliability and affordability all in one package!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can I Use A Platinum Spark Plug Instead Of Iridium?

Replacing iridium spark plugs with platinum ones is strongly discouraged due to an expected decrease in engine performance. On the other hand, if you have already installed platinum plugs, it might be worth upgrading them to iridium for better performance; however, this comes at a higher financial cost.

Do Iridium Spark Plugs Really Make a Difference?

Iridium spark plugs can start engines more efficiently than other traditional spark plug designs due to the high concentration of energy in their central electrode. This enhanced level of power requires less voltage and leads to faster, smoother ignitions with a lower drain on battery life.

Is Iridium Cheaper Than Platinum?

Iridium and platinum are both exceptional materials used in sophisticated spark plugs, making them superior to traditional ones. Yet, iridium is not only expensive, costing around 25-100$, but also significantly stronger and harder than its counterpart – platinum.

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