Improve Your Car’s Performance and Efficiency By Changing Your Spark Plugs.
Does your car seem to be running rougher than it used to? Are you experiencing bunny hops, backfires or stalling? Or you think you’re spending too much at the pumps? It may be time to replace your spark plugs! The benefits of doing this yourself are three-fold: you’ll improve your engine’s performance, you’ll save money on fuel, and you’ll keep service and maintenance costs at a minimum.
The role of the spark plugs is essential to running your engine: the plugs are simply a pair of electrodes which make a high voltage spark which ignites the fuel, powers the engine and gets those wheels turning. Each time a spark is sent between the plugs, it erodes tiny amounts of metal from each plug. Over time, this causes the gap between them to become too large for efficient sparking and you start getting rough running, misfires, excessive gas consumption and, eventually the “check engine” light. But, all you need to do when this starts happening is replace the plugs, and this essential piece of maintenance is surprisingly easy to do yourself. Mechanics and vehicle manufacturers recommend checking and replacing spark plugs every 25,000 – 40,000 miles.
DON’T PAY A MECHANIC: DO IT YOURSELF
Checking, cleaning, and changing spark plugs are actually among the easier engine maintenance jobs and you can save a lot on your vehicle service by doing it at home. You don’t need a huge amount of mechanical knowledge to replace your spark plugs. All it will take is a bit of patience, the willingness to learn how, around $15 for replacements, and less than an hour of your time. It’s a no-brainer!
THE TOP TEN SPARK PLUGS ON THE CURRENT MARKET
Today, we count down the ten best-rated spark plugs on the market, taking into account specs, materials, durability and consumers’ voice. Read on to find out which wins first place:
CHOOSING THE BEST SPARK PLUGS FOR YOUR VEHICLE
There are a number of factors that affect which spark plugs are best for which car. These include the thread diameter and reach, the insulator nose projection and either an incorporated gasket or conical shape. If your engine is the factory standard to the make and model of your car and your goal is to improve fuel economy and performance, it’s fairly easy to use the Amazon part finder to discover which spark plugs are best for your car. Note that there is no “one size fits all” spark plug – you need to buy a model that fits your specific car. However, if your engine is modified, and you’re into high-performance driving, there are a few other factors to consider when choosing the best spark plugs for your beast.
One last thing: the size of the gap between the electrodes is essential to how well your car runs and all engines are different. Now days, many spark plugs come with this gap pre-configured, but some still require “gapping” for which you’d need to refer to your car model’s manual for the right specs. If you don’t have your car’s manual, or don’t want to have to tinker around with too much technical stuff, we strongly recommend going for “pre-gapped” spark plugs!
IMPORTANT: MAKE SURE THE SPARK PLUGS YOU CHOOSE ARE COMPATIBLE WITH YOUR CAR!
There’s nothing worse than ordering something online and then finding it’s not fit for the purpose you ordered it for! Luckily, Amazon.com has a handy little tool to ensure you get it right the first time. When you go to the sales page of any brand or model of spark plugs, there’s a place for you to select the year, make, and model of your car just below the search bar. Buying online can save a lot of money compared to mechanics and auto shops as their parts markups tend to be exorbitantly high. Always check your vehicle to avoid frustration, disappointment and (worst of all!) wasted time!
# 10: Autolite HT15 Platinum High Thread Spark Plug Review
These spark plugs are designed predominantly for use with Ford engines and are geared towards better performance in 6.8L, 5.4L, and 4.6L 3-valve motors. They feature minimized gap erosion, solid steel construction and a fine-wire platinum tip. After 60 customer reviews on Amazon.com, these spark plugs have an average consumer rating of 4.3 stars and 75% of users rated them the full 5 stars.
Some buyers commented that they can be difficult to replace, that it’s easy to break the electrode sleeve as you work and that you need specific tools for the job (socket tool). That said, most buyers were very impressed by the improved performance of their cars and, as long as you have the right tool and are careful and methodical, these plugs are a good option for the Ford engine models listed above. These spark plugs are sold singly and retail for around $8.50 each.
# 9: Motorcraft SP-515 Spark Plug Review
Motorcraft also designs their engine components specifically to fit Ford vehicles and these spark plugs have had very good reviews among drivers of Tritons and Expeditions in particular. After well over 200 customer reviews on Amazon.com, these spark plugs have an average buyer rating of 4.4 out of 5 stars and 75% of users gave them a full five-star rating.
A number of buyers have commented that there is no need to “gap” these plugs as they come calibrated, making installation super simple. Note that, although these spark plugs are designed specifically for Ford vehicles, that does not mean they will automatically fit every single Ford model. The ratings for this product are brought down by a number of buyers who say that they ordered the plugs only to find they did not fit – we can’t stress enough to check your year, make and model before making a purchase. These spark plugs are sold separately and cost just under $10 each.
# 8: Bosch 4417 Platinum+4 FGR7DQP Spark Plug Review
These spark plugs fit a wide range of engines with the right specifications, including Honda, Mitsubishi, Toyota, and BMW. They feature Yttrium-enhanced ground electrodes which provide better access to the air/fuel mixture, leading to effective combustion and also have a factory set electrode gap.
After 175 customer reviews, these spark plugs have an overall rating of 4.3 out of 5 stars and 76% of buyers gave them a 5-star rating. These spark plugs are sold singly and are very reasonably priced at just $5 each.
# 7: NGK 3403 G-Power Platinum Alloy Spark Plug TR55GP Review
If your main reason for replacing your spark plugs is to save money at the fuel pumps, then these NGK models are a great option.
Buyers of these spark plugs frequently note that, while horsepower improvements are not as significant as other models, noticeable fuel savings are hard to beat! It is worth noting that these spark plugs are not factory gapped and a small amount of calibration will be needed.
After 85 customer reviews on Amazon.com, these spark plugs have an average consumer rating of 4.6 out of 5 stars and 79% of users gave them a full five-star rating. They are sold in eight piece packs which can be purchased for just over $20 with free shipping in the United States.
# 6: NGK 7090 BKR5EGP G-Power Spark Plug Review
Another model from industry leaders NGK. This one features G-power platinum alloy which is purported to give you significant gains in both performance power and fuel efficiency. These spark plugs are not factory gapped but, once you have set your vehicle’s optimum gap, platinum alloy ground electrode design ensure that the gap stays precise for the life of the spark plug.
After well over 150 customer reviews, these spark plugs have an average consumer rating of 4.6 out of 5 stars on Amazon.com and 81% of users rated them 5 stars. They are sold singly and retail for just under $4 each.
# 5: Denso (4504) PK20TT Platinum TT Spark Plug Review
These spark plugs are nothing fancy but they are reliable and do the job they were designed for. They come factory gapped and most buyers find them very easy to install. Perhaps that’s why they’re the number one best seller on Amazon.com and have more than 200 customer reviews.
Their average rating is 4.6 out of 5 stars and 81% of buyers gave them the full five stars. As well as being among the most popular, these spark plugs are also the cheapest of the ten we’ve reviewed today. They are sold singly and currently retail for around $2.50 per spark plug.
# 4: NGK (5464) BKR5EIX-11 Iridium IX Spark Plug Review
Now we’re getting down to the serious petrolhead stuff. These NGK spark plugs are designed especially for performance enthusiasts. They are made from high-quality iridium alloy, which has a higher melting point, ensuring great combustion as well as preventing erosion and ensuring durability.
They also feature Trivalent metal plating which helps to prevent corrosion, soiling and combustion leakage (awesome if you just can’t resist showing people what you’ve got under the hood!). After close to 300 buyer reviews, these spark plugs have an average consumer rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars and 83% of users rated them the full 5 stars. They are sold singly and currently retail for just over $5 each.
# 3: NGK (6418) BKR6EIX Iridium IX Spark Plug Review
Winning the bronze medal, these spark plugs from NGK are also ideal for serious performance enthusiasts. The only major difference between this model and number four is that they are calibrated for different vehicles, so make sure you check your year, make and model carefully before you commit.
vThey are factory gapped. After close to 150 consumer reviews, these spark plugs have an average buyer rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars and 84% of users rated them the full five stars. They are sold singly and cost around $7 per unit.
# 2: NGK 3403 NGK G-Power Platinum Spark Plug TR55GP Review
In the second place, we have another trusted and popular model from NGK. These plugs are also G-power platinum so are super durable and will give you a noticeable gain in power, a smoother ride, and a drop in fuel consumption.
The major difference is, unlike many of the other NGK models, these spark plugs come factory gapped and ready for easy installation. They seem to be particularly popular among drivers of Lincolns, Buicks, and even Fords. After 125 customer reviews, they have an overall rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars and 84% of users gave them a full five-star rating. They are currently retailing for under $20 for a six-piece set.
# 1: NGK 6619 Iridium Spark Plugs LFR6AIX-11 Review
And, you guessed it, the top prize goes to yet another NGK spark plug! We swear we’re not biased – this brand comes out on top again and again when ranked by genuine customer reviews on Amazon.com. Like some of the models reviewed above, these ones offer the benefit of Iridium’s higher melting point.
After more than 100 reviews, this model has an average consumer rating of 4.8 stars and 90% of users are so satisfied that they gave it the full five stars. Drivers of everything from Toyotas to BMWs have found these spark plugs to be the perfect fit for their engines and rave about their performance, reliability and durability. The manufacturer does not advertise these plugs as factory gapped but users of all sorts of vehicles comment that they were correctly gapped right out of the box and needed no calibration – so we can only assume that they are factory gapped! They retail for around $40 for a set of six spark plugs.
SUMMARY AND A FINAL WORD OF ADVICE:
Replacing spark plugs is a simple job that any handy man or woman can do with the right advice, the right equipment, and an hour or so to spare. Just remember to make sure your engine is completely cool, you’ve disconnected the battery, and that you purchase the right spark plugs for the make, model and year of your car. We strongly advise using the vehicle check function on Amazon.co to avoid disappointment. In summary, based on our unbiased research and customer reviews, NGK is America’s most trusted and reliable spark plug manufacturer. However, their components tend to be designed for high-performance driving and, if you just want to keep your car running well and save a little at the pumps, one of the cheaper models will be perfectly sufficient.