Platinum, Iridium, Ruthenium, oh my!

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It seems as if we now have four types of spark plugs to consider, if you add the classic copper / nickel to the above list. Does the world really need that many? Somehow I feel safe in assuming that I am far from the only one here who has at least three of these types employed in different applications. If you were forced to live without one of these choices, which one would it be, and why?
 
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The one to drop is platinum. They cost more than the old type, but don't last as long as iridium Iridium and ruthenium are life-savers for cars that are impossible to do the job on, so that you'll never have to pull the intake again! Nothing wrong with the cheap classic kind, and they don't cost too much. There is nothing wrong with having a low-cost option smile
 
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OEM! Whatever the engineers designed for your application. Although; there maybe better alternatives. I defer to the Master Mechanics.......I'm smart enough to know that I'm not smart enough to know. If that makes sense. When in doubt. I always defer to OEM.
 
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Originally Posted by Onetor
OEM! Whatever the engineers designed for your application. Although; there maybe better alternatives. I defer to the Master Mechanics.......I'm smart enough to know that I'm not smart enough to know. If that makes sense. When in doubt. I always defer to OEM.
That's definitely a valid point. On the other hand, it's equivalent to saying that you would run bias ply tires on a '63 Corvette because that's what it came with. No offense intended or implied.
 
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Originally Posted by Onetor
OEM! Whatever the engineers designed for your application. Although; there maybe better alternatives. I defer to the Master Mechanics.......I'm smart enough to know that I'm not smart enough to know. If that makes sense. When in doubt. I always defer to OEM.
Agree. In my GM products go ACDelco platinum plugs.
 
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Originally Posted by SteveG4
In my GM products go ACDelco platinum plugs.
Another safe and valid opinion, but... If someone were to force you to choose which of the above spark plugs to discontinue, would you
  • Discontinue the copper / nickel because it is beneath what you use now
  • Keep the old copper / nickel plugs for less demanding applications but discontinue one of the newer options
 
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Originally Posted by CT8
Run the oem type.
This is a hypothetical question, and one that assumes that the OEM type will be discontinued. Let's not argue the probability of that; let's discuss the choices if it were a certainty. If forced to let go of one of these options, which would you choose and why?
 
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I've said it before and I'll say it again. If I have to take the intake plenum off a transverse V-6 to get to the rear bank, you can bet your hoosegows that ruthenium plugs are going back there. There's only so many times us shade tree type guys need to do that much work to change out 3 plugs. And remember fellas... the only difference is in longevity. You'll see no performance boost in switching between any of these.
 
A lot depends on how much you like changing plugs. If you don"t like it then at least run Iridiums. If you sort of like it, run Platinums. If you never want to wrench on plugs on this vehicle ever again, run Ruthenium's and sell the car before the next 150,000 miles. laugh
 
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Originally Posted by Imp4
I've said it before and I'll say it again. If I have to take the intake plenum off a transverse V-6 to get to the rear bank, you can bet your hoosegows that ruthenium plugs are going back there. There's only so many times us shade tree type guys need to do that much work to change out 3 plugs. And remember fellas... the only difference is in longevity. You'll see no performance boost in switching between any of these.
+1
 
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At one time ~20 yrs ago, I had a brochure on one of the spark plug brands, I don't remember which brand it was without doing a search. It was either Bosch or NGK plugs and they were using Yttrium in their plugs. This brochure made sure that they mentioned Yttrium specifically being "NEW"!
 
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Originally Posted by Char Baby
At one time ~20 yrs ago, I had a brochure on one of the spark plug brands, I don't remember which brand it was without doing a search. It was either Bosch or NGK plugs and they were using Yttrium in their plugs. This brochure made sure that they mentioned Yttrium specifically being "NEW"!
bosch use yttrium in one of their products, platinum/iridium in another, and silver. I like silver plugs
 
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MI
Originally Posted by Imp4
IAnd remember fellas... the only difference is in longevity. You'll see no performance boost in switching between any of these.
In recent threads such as Molakule's "Question of the Day", when compared to conventional nickel tip plugs, it's suggested that fine wire tips offer better combustion and better efficiency. While the performance gain might not be noticeable in traditional metrics like horsepower, mpg, etc., there might be slight improvements in emissions, maybe deposits?, maybe catalytic converter life? Maybe? Remember when people believed that "copper plugs" were still best. Then we learned that most, if not all plugs are copper plugs, just the electrode material and shape differed. Here's a good chart from NGK showing the properties of plug metals: Iridium seems to edge out Ruthenium, yet NGK claims that Ruthenium performs better here: https://ngksparkplugs.com/en/products/ignition-parts/spark-plugs/ruthenium-spark-plugs (download pdf) [Linked Image from sparkplugs.com]
 
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My vehicles come with Iridium and I've gotten 100k miles out them as standard practice and that's what I've replaced them with. Brand of choice NGK. That said, if OEM some other type, that's likely what I'd use. On son's Audis I advised him to replace with OEM, in that case NGK Laser Platinum.
 
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Plats would be my choice to go. Tnank you all for recognising what I've been preaching for years about plugs. - in a round-a-bout way. In the end though - Heat range and proper tip projection are key for a good running motor.
 
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Doesn't really seem like a difficult choice because plugs are ridiculously cheap on a $/mile basis. For example I can buy Bosch Double Platinum (OE) for about $8/each and they need to be replaced every 60k miles. That's $.001/mile. Seems a little silly to agonize over choice of plugs.
 
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I'll admit to pondering the spark plug choice for my next install. I'm involved in three current ongoing threads, LOL. My GEMA 4 cyl. engine came OEM with the conventional nickel plugs just like hemi engines. Some claim it was cost cutting, while others hold on to "copper plugs" ( I know) work best in some engines-stick with them, like most above are advocating. Then you get a thread form Molakule stirring the pot and stating that fine wire electrodes creates better combustion....... I can see where you guys that have OEM precious metal plugs don't have as much to ponder. grin
 

MolaKule

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The more exotic refractory metal tips simply give you more tip life and less gap growth because they erode less during the 'plasma' phase of the spark. As of right now, Ruthenium seems to have the lowest erosion rate of all of the refractory metal center electrode tips. Next year, another more exotic metal or metal compound may be found that surpasses Ruthenium. shocked2
 
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7,672
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Hudson, NH
Originally Posted by SteveG4
Originally Posted by Onetor
OEM! Whatever the engineers designed for your application. Although; there maybe better alternatives. I defer to the Master Mechanics.......I'm smart enough to know that I'm not smart enough to know. If that makes sense. When in doubt. I always defer to OEM.
Agree. In my GM products go ACDelco platinum plugs.
Made by NGK.
 
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