- How to choose spark plugs
- Which spark plug is better: platinum or iridium?
- Rating of the best manufacturers of spark plugs
- Top European spark plug manufacturers
- The best Japanese manufacturers of spark plugs
- Top American spark plug manufacturers
- Auto te
- The best domestic manufacturer of spark plugs
- Engels Factory
*Editor’s review of the best diesel oils for winter. About the selection criteria. This material is subjective, not an advertisement and does not serve as a guide to purchase. Before making a purchase, it is necessary to consult with an expert.
Spark plugs are the key component of internal combustion gasoline engines. They are designed to ignite the fuel mixture in the combustion chambers (cylinders) and directly affect the efficiency of the main unit in the car. Needless to say, the occurrence of any malfunction (whether the formation of sludge on the electrode or an increase in the gap between the core and side contact) can lead to the fact that one or more cylinders of the engine will be turned off from work, or the car will not start at all?
Today there are many varieties of spark plugs, and their production is engaged in a number of large and specialized companies. Individually determine the choice in this situation is not easy, and expect sensible help from the staff consultants store too should not. Understanding the problems of users, the Expertology team has conducted its own research into the segment and, based on the assessments of thousands of users and competent specialists in the field, has ranked the 14 best spark plug manufacturers. All the nominees of the rating are divided by geography, and are the real leaders in their competitive circle.
How to choose spark plugs
The choice of spark plugs is based on determining two key characteristics: the number of electrodes and the material of their manufacture.
In terms of the first criterion, all spark plugs are divided into:
- single-electrode– the classic version, in which the insulating ceramic body is completed with a metal cup with one side electrode (which has a standard cross-section of 2.5 millimeters). The spark in this case is extracted by the interaction of the electrode described above with the central electrode that protrudes slightly outside the housing. The advantages of such design are simplicity and low cost of the final product, but durability leaves much to be desired.
- Multi-electrode– spark plugs with two or more side electrodes, having their own geometry in the construction of the working part and arrangement of interacting elements. Although expensive, one of their main advantages is durability, because there are many side electrodes and they wear out one electrode at a time. The main drawback is the difficulty in igniting the mixture, because the spark zone is severely limited…by the presence of several side electrodes which take up part of the generated discharge (it is therefore very important to monitor the gaps between the core and terminals to avoid weakening of the discharge).
According to the materials used for the manufacture of candles come in three varieties:
- nickel– the most primitive, cheapest and most reliable type of spark plugs for cars in the wide consumer segment. The central electrode rod here is made of nickel, which has high temperature stability and hardenability. However, because of the increased diameter (2.5 millimeters) flash quality leaves much to be desired.
- platinum– spark plugs, which came to a wide consumer market directly from motor sport. With a smaller diameter of the central electrode (1.1 millimeters), they produce a more powerful spark, which, in turn, triggers a volumetric flash. In addition, platinum plugs have a much longer service life, which levels out the high price of the set.
- iridium– Technically the most advanced spark plugs, the standard electrode diameter in which does not exceed 0.4 millimeter. Have the biggest stock of heat resistance, give the most volumetric spark and actively undergo all kinds of modifications in order to further improve their performance.
Which spark plug is better: platinum or iridium?
Although the iridium spark plugs have been developed later than the platinum ones, and in fact they are recognized as the benchmark in the whole segment, there is still a lot of debate on the internet about which of the two types is better. In order to close this question once and for all, we have compiled a visual comparison table, which brought all the advantages and disadvantages of platinum and iridium spark plugs – the rest of the decision is entirely up to you.
Type of plugs
+ Lasts up to 50 thousand kilometers
+ Cheaper than its iridium counterparts
+ High resistance to thermal corrosion
– Spark volume is an order of magnitude smaller than iridium spark plugs
– The platinum plating tends to fade from the metal over time
+ Absolute immunity to corrosion processes
+ Up to 100 thousand kilometers on one set
+ A voluminous spark, which provides uniform fuel ignition throughout the combustion chamber
+ High melting point threshold
– High price
Rating of the best manufacturers of spark plugs
|The best European manufacturers of spark plugs||1||Bosch||4.9|
|The best Japanese manufacturers of spark plugs||1||Denso||4.9|
|Best American spark plug manufacturers||1||Champion||4.9|
|The best native producer of spark plugs||1||Engels Factory||4.4|
Top European spark plug manufacturers
The honored leader of the rating is the world-famous Bosch Corporation, whose activities cover the production of spark plugs for gasoline engines of cars, motorcycles and even garden tools. The most important difference between this company and others lies in adherence to tradition, namely, the constant respect of the geometric proportions of the insulator and electrode part. However, there is room for improvement, such as changing the concentration of electrode materials (both side and center), adding alloying elements, as well as playing with the relative positioning of the pins to each other.
Judging by consumers’ reviews and what we have seen in the catalogs, the majority of spark plugs from Bosch belong to the budget segment. And, most importantly, the concentration of fakes here is many times less than other well-known manufacturers. As one of the representatives of the range, we can highlight the iridium plug Bosch FR7LDC+, which has a working life of 100 thousand kilometers. In addition, it has a significant impact on the power gain while reducing fuel consumption (losses of unburned part of the mixture are minimized).
The German company Beru, which likes to experiment on the geometry of the working part of spark plugs almost more than Japanese Denso or American Auto, has stopped in one step from the leader
In its research, Beru takes the position that the flaws in the motor’s performance, be they caused by faulty engineering or gradual wear and tear on the main components. In our opinion, this is the right approach and has led to the appearance of very interesting products on the market. For example, an extremely popular four-electrode candle
- TRA-X79 with an asymmetrical arrangement of the paired contacts in relation to the common core. This operating-part geometry has been recreated to improve stability under low voltage conditions by moving two electrodes closer to the center electrode. This helps reduce breakdown resistance and also makes up for its lack of power. And there are many such examples in the Beru range, as it turns out..
The bronze in the European manufacturers’ dispute goes to the most famous company Finwhale – the largest supplier of automotive consumables for domestic cars. More than consumers themselves, the plugs from this company are loved by service centers, recommending them to put under the hoods not only of VAZ cars, but also many other budget cars in Russia.
According to experts, the main competitive advantage of the Finwhale spark plugs is the low price and high prevalence on the market, coupled with low levels of counterfeiting. The maximum service life of platinum samples (iridium samples do not appear on the free market very often) is 80 thousand kilometers, but in general the situation is such that this figure is not very even. The most popular spark plugs here are F508 and F706, because they can be installed on VAZ models from 2106 to 2110. The performance is fine, there are no serious complaints, and in terms of cost they look much more logical than premium models, say, from
isk or NGK.
Another French manufacturer of spark plugs, very popular on the territory of Europe. However, in the Russian market, it is known as a regular “replacement” spark plugs from Bosch or the Czech
isk. They do have some common features among them – it is immediately obvious that Valeo is trying to make a product based on the models of more well-known companies, but it does not always turn out well. Most consumers pay attention to the unevenness of the work and the presence of skips at higher revs, which is characteristic of the situation when installing “hot” plugs for forced engines.
Be that as it may, the French have enough worthy samples among the assortment of products. For example, R76H11 is a single-electrode spark plug with average parameters, which gives a significant advantage in fuel economy and power compared to analogs of some competitors. optimum electrode gap adjustment gives a consistently good spark formation, which in turn affects combustion parameters in the combustion chamber, allowing you to consume less gasoline due to the notorious reduction of emission losses (and afterburning in the exhaust manifold). Thus, the fuel gain is up to 2.0%, as well as the power gain.
The company that has long and confidently established itself at the Russian market of auto parts. Isk is a constant supplier of spark plugs to famous automakers (including VAZ), while actively supplying the retail market.
Over the years of production the range of SCT spark plugs is divided into four separate classes:
- Classic. Standard nickel plugs with thin copper core, suitable for all consumer cars. Used in the engines of the new generation, but can also be put in fairly old foreign cars.
erfect. Candle models designed for a longer service life due to the peculiarities of the electrode part. The end of the central contact is made in the form of a cone, which affects the working conditions slightly, but allows the candle to clean itself from soot.
latin. Platinum line of spark plugs with service life of up to 100,000 kilometers, designed for operation with ordinary and boosted engines. Supplied to the premium conveyors of VAG-group, Lexus, Jaguar, Alfa Romeo, but often found in the engines of more common foreign cars.
- Tuning. A special limited series of spark plugs for supercharged and turbocharged engines. They have an elongated spark plug, which allows the mixture to be ignited precisely when the piston reaches the bottom dead center during compression.
Although SCT remains, for the most part, a “second-tier” player, but its place in the ranking deserves unequivocally.
A little known French company that produces spark plugs for the Rena assembly lines
- t and Peugeot, and gradually moving beyond the single-country market. The main tenet of Eyquem is to work for quality, which is confirmed by each new development.
If the history of the company is a rather monotonous existence in the realities of the predominantly French segment, then the products are not so unambiguous. After launching a batch of spark plugs in retail, Eyquem immediately won a small percentage of consumers who were “bitten” by the low cost and acceptable performance. Perhaps the most striking representatives of the company are RFC58LZ2E and RFN58LZ, the caliber of which is 17 (the extreme case of “hot” spark plugs). In other words, they are designed exclusively for the city car segment without any pretense to sport. Made of nickel alloy, the electrodes of these models are treated with a special anti-ignition composition that prevents the appearance of defects on the metal. Thus, an increased service life is achieved, and the external similarity with a number of original (factory) plugs also plays an important role. All these characteristics are inherent in other products from Eyquem, so the company is worthy of entering the rating of the best.
The best Japanese manufacturers of spark plugs
A major machine-building company whose founding fell on the post-war year of 1949. Is one of the grands of the Japanese aftermarket and since 2017, in collaboration with Toyota and Mazda, is developing a full electric car. Which, however, does not cancel the work on the production of spark plugs, which are traditionally subdivided into four groups:
- Standard. An ordinary nickel candle alloyed with some copper for better electric discharge. Within the range the side electrodes are made in different cross-sections, but recently the unified type with a U-shaped notch has become more common. An example of such a candle is the model W20EPR-U.
latinum. Platinum plugs with a standard diameter of the center electrode and the highest wear properties. Due to application of new technologies they are enduring and may run (with no loss of efficiency) up to 100 thousand kilometers. Representative of this group is well-known in consumer circles Denso Platinum Long
- Iridium . plugs with a fine, reinforced iridium electrode that allows you to light a denser spark and provide more uniform fuel combustion throughout the volume of the chamber. Very expensive, but can serve up to 130 thousand kilometers. Example – Denso Iridium IW20, used for natural gas vehicles.
- Twin-Tip. A recent development of the company, which made it possible to significantly reduce production costs without loss of quality at the level of iridium analogs. The uniqueness of the TT series spark plugs is the thinning of the side and center electrodes to 1.5 millimeters. The same nickel is used as a material. Ideal for both LPG-powered and standard gasoline engines. Representative: Denso TT Q20TT.
NGK is the undisputed leader in the user’s choice of spark plugs, since it has developed an enormous number of spark plugs with outstanding performance characteristics. All of them in one way or another differed by the originality of the shape of the electrode part, increased or decreased metal content in relation to each other, which is reflected in improved fuel consumption, engine efficiency (up to 6.3% – the maximum result obtained by using four electrodes), as well as the important fact of attractive prices. NGK BKR6EK is a spark plug for gasoline engines with two V-shaped contacts, which allowed to increase the ignition area and completeness of fuel combustion throughout the cylinder volume.
But perhaps the greatest merit of the Japanese company is the development of a special “grade” of spark plugs for natural gas engines. It turned out that to date, the share of this segment, occupied by NGK products, is 85-87%. The NGK LPG model can be mentioned here as an example
The third line of the rating goes to fairly well-known in the domestic market the company HKT, production of spark plugs for which is mostly a side action. This is primarily due to the fact that the Japanese grant is interested in the less competitive environment of diesel engines and, as a consequence, the mass production of glow plugs. Nevertheless, on the market you can find a small number of nickel or platinum plugs for gasoline engines, and at a fairly favorable price.
However, as the consumers themselves say, the cost is the only really serious advantage of HKT products. They can be used as a transition set, the service life of which is not particularly important in the long term. According to experts, even copying of the factory-made plugs is made with slight deviations in geometry, which greatly affects the parameters of the engine (and not always for the better). Unfortunately there is no other manufacturer in Japan that could compete with the segment leaders (NGK and Denso) – except the automobile giants themselves, but parts from them are barely available at retail.
Top American spark plug manufacturers
The absolute leader in the American spark plug segment, actively cooperating with a number of premium car manufacturers and major concerns: Honda, Lexus, Jaguar, General Motors, etc.d. Constantly looking for ways to improve product performance, for which it has opened an entire division to conduct full-time research. One of the strongest Champion products is classic three-pin N9BYC4 spark plug, which has a service life of 50-70 thousand kilometers. There are some modified products in which nickel is combined with copper (which has a higher melting point and conductivity), which increases the service life of, for example, a standard one-electrode candle by several times.
As the experts point out, Champion has never been known for its pursuit of new technology, and year after year was limited to “running in” nickel and very little platinum plugs. However, a few years ago, the competitors’ concept of development urged the Americans to force the pace of their own production and, in particular, to begin research into improving the performance of iridium spark plugs. The world has not yet seen any significant technological advance on their part, but a tendency is certainly emerging.
American manufacturing company, engaged in the production of a wide range of spare parts for vehicles of more than 50 world brands. Among the abundance of brake pads, belts, tensioners and various filters in their range there is a place for ordinary spark plugs. As practice shows, the whole labeled line of spark plugs from ACDelco is nothing but a good analogue of the factory plugs, put into the car at the assembly stage. This interesting conclusion was reached by consumers who assessed the similarity of products by a simple visual comparison (for example, ACDelco 41602 is one of the copies of Toyota 90919-01164).
In reality everything is much simpler: this company is a subsidiary of Genetal Motors, which supplies parts to assembly lines of a number of automotive industry giants (in particular, the same Toyota, Chevrolet (Niva models), Honda, etc.).). If we talk about the resource and serviceability of the spark plugs, then there is nothing special to highlight – the entire line, from nickel to iridium, works very predictably, withstanding the intended lifetime. ACDelco is also trying to actively modify the shape of the side electrodes, but in practice this does not bring any tangible improvement.
The best domestic manufacturer of spark plugs
The first and only line in the category of Russian manufacturers of spark plugs is “Engels Factory”, which leads the policy of creating high-quality analogues of foreign products. The main feature of the company is the cost: it is minimal, and looks favorably against the background of good quality and durability.
Experts note that the “Engels Factory” does not focus on the creation of exclusively simple single-electrode candles, relying on multi-electrode models. To say something definite about the whole line is difficult enough, because each particular sample has a number of distinctive features. For example, T17DVRM is a model with a nickel core and three side contacts, which belongs to the Standard class. Provides precise ignition and allows saving fuel (as compared to its single-electrode analogues) by 1.7-2.1% on average. The company has developed iridium spark plugs, whose working life sometimes reaches 90-100 thousand kilometers without the slightest complaint. The WR7DC+ is such, which peculiarity is the wedge-shaped notch along the whole length of the lateral electrode to provide the best spread of the spark.
In conclusion, it is worth noting that the company is actively cooperating with “AvtoVAZ”, in parallel supplying products to the retail market, where it is often purchased for used foreign cars.