Recent Topics
Android issues reconnecting to 802.1X secured wifi
by Colt45ws
28 minutes 2 seconds ago
Road Rage incident from 2 yrs ago - court actions?
by 69GTX
Yesterday at 11:47 PM
Elio Motors?
by OneEyeJack
Yesterday at 11:39 PM
What do I do wtih a worn out ATV?????
by Vern_in_IL
Yesterday at 09:47 PM
Help with oil filter
by Snowball
Yesterday at 09:35 PM
Honda GCV160 Mower - White Smoke at startup
by ThirdeYe
Yesterday at 09:30 PM
12 HP Briggs IC surging
by spk2000
Yesterday at 08:57 PM
Better MPG with age and miles
by otis24
Yesterday at 07:27 PM
My VW GTI hit the 100K mile mark
by skyactiv
Yesterday at 07:26 PM
Tire recommendations 2016 Grand Caravan
by otis24
Yesterday at 07:17 PM
Bad Experience with Supertech 5w-20 Synthetic Oil
by Jay
Yesterday at 07:11 PM
Welders, help! Vise repair advice.
by Bandito440
Yesterday at 07:02 PM
3 Liters VW Manual Transmission Fluid
by cpayne5
Yesterday at 06:48 PM
Traveller THF / UTF, Walmart UTF
by CT8
Yesterday at 06:46 PM
Foam guns and pre foaming
by JHZR2
Yesterday at 06:31 PM
Lawnmower - No Start
by The Critic
Yesterday at 06:25 PM
Clay bar?
by demarpaint
Yesterday at 05:22 PM
Gas Station Gift Cards
by AirgunSavant
Yesterday at 04:56 PM
SUV rear sway bar delete
by Superflan
Yesterday at 04:45 PM
Couldn't put my battery charger on my DD
by 69GTX
Yesterday at 04:19 PM
Newest Members
nolimit06, Eedd, mising, Newbie_ttk11, nitrousnut
61690 Registered Users
Who's Online
22 registered (bdcardinal, Brad_C, Bailes1992, chrismo, Bandito440, chrisri, 3 invisible), 793 Guests and 11 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Forum Stats
61690 Members
66 Forums
265808 Topics
4392789 Posts

Max Online: 3590 @ 01/24/17 08:07 PM
Donate to BITOG
Page 1 of 3 1 2 3 >
Topic Options
#2583605 - 03/29/12 01:29 PM Copper versus Platinum spark Plugs
bobbob Offline


Registered: 06/07/10
Posts: 259
Loc: Az, from NJ, via NYC
A mechanic just told me that copper is the best conductor so
I don't need Platinum plugs. Is this true?

Top
#2583607 - 03/29/12 01:33 PM Re: Copper versus Platinum spark Plugs [Re: bobbob]
SLCraig Offline


Registered: 12/21/08
Posts: 5627
Loc: London, ON, Canada
It is true.
Platinum just lasts longer.
I always use copper in my cars.

There may be some instances where platinum is spec'd but I would assume it would just be exotic cars. Most regular vehicles on the road usually come with copper from factory, or at least can use copper as a replacement if they are available.
_________________________
2010 Civic SI sedan 6MT
PP 5w30 | Fram TG | Pennzoil MTF

Top
#2583608 - 03/29/12 01:33 PM Re: Copper versus Platinum spark Plugs [Re: bobbob]
dparm Offline


Registered: 04/19/10
Posts: 13080
Loc: Chicago, IL
Copper is indeed the best conductor but it does not last long. Platinum is used as a trade-off between conductivity and long-life.

Iridium is better than platinum but does not come close to copper.

Some companies offer platinum-coated copper as another trade-off.

Platinum is factory in tons of cars, with some even using iridium so the maintenance intervals are very long. Toyota is using iridium for sure -- I think the interval is over 100k. I see no reason NOT to use platinum these days. Most street vehicles do not need the copper plugs and the average person doesn't want to change them out every 10k.
_________________________
2011 BMW M3 sedan ZCP -- FOR SALE!!
2017 Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport

Top
#2583609 - 03/29/12 01:36 PM Re: Copper versus Platinum spark Plugs [Re: bobbob]
NateDN10 Offline


Registered: 01/10/10
Posts: 1685
Loc: Rochester, NY
Copper is a better conductor. The tradeoff is that you have to change your plugs every 30K miles.
_________________________
2016 Mazda3 - 8000 mi.
2012 Mazda5 - 95,000 mi.

Top
#2583612 - 03/29/12 01:38 PM Re: Copper versus Platinum spark Plugs [Re: bobbob]
tenderloin Offline


Registered: 12/16/02
Posts: 6368
Loc: Huntington Beach, CA
Very few new cars come with copper. The way the price has come down on platinum and even Iridium, it makes no sense to use copper in a daily driver.

Top
#2583614 - 03/29/12 01:39 PM Re: Copper versus Platinum spark Plugs [Re: SLCraig]
SteveSRT8 Offline


Registered: 10/10/08
Posts: 18272
Loc: Sunny Florida
Originally Posted By: SLCraig
It is true.
Platinum just lasts longer.
I always use copper in my cars.

There may be some instances where platinum is spec'd but I would assume it would just be exotic cars. Most regular vehicles on the road usually come with copper from factory, or at least can use copper as a replacement if they are available.


Sorry man, but you're WAY behind the times.

The overwhelming majority of new cars ship with plats or platinum/iridium hybrids. Very few vehicles come with ol' coppers anymore.

It is absolutely true that copper vs. plat is no performance gain, though. There are no real differences in their actual performance, just longevity.

And BTW, almost all plugs are copper cored. I'm only talking about the tips.
_________________________
"In a democracy, dissent is an act of faith."
J. William Fulbright
Best ET-12.79 @ 111 mph
4340 pounds, Street tires
Just like we go to Publix

Top
#2583619 - 03/29/12 01:42 PM Re: Copper versus Platinum spark Plugs [Re: bobbob]
dparm Offline


Registered: 04/19/10
Posts: 13080
Loc: Chicago, IL
Copper is better for performance but you will need to change them very frequently, perhaps every 10k. Here are some of the thermal conductivities of some commonly used metals (Watts / centimeter*Kelvin). As you can see, copper is untouchable. Iridium gives you the best trade-off between performance and lifespan.


Zinc = 1.16
Aluminum = 2.37
Copper = 4.01
Steel = 0.70 - 0.82
Platinum = 0.716
Iridium = 1.47


Platinum-coated copper is actually not a bad trade-off either since you sort of get the best of both worlds.
_________________________
2011 BMW M3 sedan ZCP -- FOR SALE!!
2017 Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport

Top
#2583623 - 03/29/12 01:43 PM Re: Copper versus Platinum spark Plugs [Re: bobbob]
Ursae_Majoris Offline


Registered: 03/28/09
Posts: 1350
Loc: South
Yes, copper conducts electricity better than platinum, but no on the plugs.

What vehicle and what year?

There are many other reasons, besides conductivity as to why use non-copper sparks. If OEM sparks are platinum or iridium, more often than not, they need to be replaced with the OEM plugs for optimum performance. My Axiom uses a waste spark system, so I will replace my current plugs with the OEM Denso PK16PR11 Double platinum plugs, since WSS is very sensitive to the plug type.

Platinum and iridium plugs also last 2 to 3 times longer than copper plugs, so there is less labor and expense involved into replacing spark plugs.
_________________________
2011 Chrysler T&C, Dealer bulk fill/, OEM filter
2002 Isuzu Axiom, PureOne, 5w-30 G-Oil

Top
#2583629 - 03/29/12 01:48 PM Re: Copper versus Platinum spark Plugs [Re: SteveSRT8]
SLCraig Offline


Registered: 12/21/08
Posts: 5627
Loc: London, ON, Canada
Originally Posted By: SteveSRT8
Sorry man, but you're WAY behind the times.


I suppose.
I've yet to pull the plugs on any car built after 2002, well, ever..
My Saturns came with copper from the factory and the only car I've owned that had platinum from the factory was my Maxima/Altima. I have yet to pull the plugs on the Civic but I assume they are copper. Who knows.

Either way I will replace with copper, as they are stupid easy to replace on the Honda 1.8L. And the plugs are dirt cheap.


Edited by SLCraig (03/29/12 01:49 PM)
_________________________
2010 Civic SI sedan 6MT
PP 5w30 | Fram TG | Pennzoil MTF

Top
#2583631 - 03/29/12 01:49 PM Re: Copper versus Platinum spark Plugs [Re: SteveSRT8]
Ursae_Majoris Offline


Registered: 03/28/09
Posts: 1350
Loc: South
Originally Posted By: SteveSRT8
It is true.It is absolutely true that copper vs. plat is no performance gain, though. There are no real differences in their actual performance, just longevity.


I have to disagree with you on this. Refer to my prior post, with waste spark ignition systems, spark plug type does matter.
Some engines maybe more tolerant of different spark plug types than others. 2005+ Tacos come with iridiums in I4 and copper in V6. Properly gapped iridium plug in the correct heat range gives worse gas mileage in a V6 than OEM copper.
_________________________
2011 Chrysler T&C, Dealer bulk fill/, OEM filter
2002 Isuzu Axiom, PureOne, 5w-30 G-Oil

Top
#2583633 - 03/29/12 01:50 PM Re: Copper versus Platinum spark Plugs [Re: bobbob]
Loobed Offline


Registered: 07/20/07
Posts: 3742
Loc: Northern California, USA


Doesn't heat effect the flow of electrons? Would copper still conduct better than platinum at engine temps?
_________________________
Engine: 2001 GM 5.3L LM7
Current Fill: Valvoline Synpower 5w-30 w/Pure-One PL25288 filter

I.M.N Oil Enthusiast

Top
#2583636 - 03/29/12 01:55 PM Re: Copper versus Platinum spark Plugs [Re: bobbob]
OVERKILL Offline


Registered: 04/28/08
Posts: 33492
Loc: Ontario, Canada
Doesn't matter, the TIP on a "copper" plug is STEEL. The TIP on an iridium plug is iridium. The CORE of both plugs can still be (and likely is) copper.

If we are debating the TIP material, then why is everybody talking about copper? The tips are either steel, platinum or iridium. With either steel, or iridium/platinum "pucks" on the ground electrode.
_________________________
2016 Durango Limited
2016 Grand Cherokee SRT

Top
#2583637 - 03/29/12 01:56 PM Re: Copper versus Platinum spark Plugs [Re: bobbob]
Quest Offline


Registered: 12/19/04
Posts: 7358
Loc: beaver land EH?
LOL! The real terminology for the so-called "copper" plugs is, copper-core plugs, not copper plugs all the way to the electrodes.

(**all copper plugs electrodes incl. the grounds, are made of nickel alloy (could be plated also) for erosion resistance**)

Copper is the preferred choice simply because of its thermal properties, not so much on the electrical side of things.

Platinum, Iridium, etc. are the chosen one nowadays mainly for the sake of electrode erosion resistance (which leads to the consistency of firing which deemed especially important to the emission-sensitive OBD-II vehicles).

My takes is to go with at least Platinum or Iridium (depending on vehcile types). I would only use copper core resistor plugs on my OPE such as B&S flatheads, Honda GV pressure washer, etc.

Q.
_________________________
"Internet discussion boards act as echo chambers for conspiracy dittoheads" A.Allen

Top
#2583638 - 03/29/12 01:58 PM Re: Copper versus Platinum spark Plugs [Re: bobbob]
dparm Offline


Registered: 04/19/10
Posts: 13080
Loc: Chicago, IL
Iridium also allows for extremely sharp tips -- Denso offers the sharpest at 0.4mm.
_________________________
2011 BMW M3 sedan ZCP -- FOR SALE!!
2017 Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport

Top
#2583648 - 03/29/12 02:05 PM Re: Copper versus Platinum spark Plugs [Re: OVERKILL]
Trav Offline


Registered: 11/20/06
Posts: 15917
Loc: MA, Mittelfranken.de
+1000
_________________________
ASE L1, Master. Deutsch Meisterbrief.

Top
Page 1 of 3 1 2 3 >