Spark plugs are the source of ignition and no petrol vehicle can function without them. They generate electricity that is needed to start the vehicle. A faulty spark plug will lead to multiple problems such as rough idling, misfires, and delayed starts.
Since spark plugs are so important, quite a few questions come up. We have answered the most common one here.
Are Spark Plugs Universal?
The answer to this depends on what you mean by “universal.” If you are looking at functionality, we should say yes. All spark plugs are engineered to perform the same function – create a current to start the engine.
But, this doesn’t mean that you can buy any spark plug for your vehicle. They come in different sizes and materials depending on the vehicle you have and what you would like to get from the spark plug. When you look at it from this angle, you will concur that they are not universal.
Types Of Spark Plugs
Spark plugs are commonly categorized based on their electrodes. The electrode material varies and this makes all the difference. The common materials are:
Copper spark plugs are also referred to as standard plugs because they are the most common. The central electrode is made of nickel and the diameter is around 2.5mm. This is the highest of all types. It is an affordable spark plug that you must replace every 40,000 miles or so. However, its heat handling capability is high.
Platinum spark plugs are more durable than copper. The main material is still copper but the nickel alloy is replaced with a platinum disc. This small replacement doubles its durability and can last for up to 80,000 miles. Platinum plugs are known to prevent build-up and keep the engine in top form for a long time.
You can choose from single and double platinum variations in this category.
Iridium plugs are the most expensive and durable plugs of them all. They have extremely fine wire centers and can last at least 100,000 miles. They provide better power, performance, and combustion. If you do not mind the price tag, you should definitely choose iridium spark plugs.
Even though all spark plugs have the same purpose, there are different types that we can choose from based on durability and price. Compatibility is also a huge factor because their sizes vary according to the vehicle they are engineered for. This clearly means that spark plugs are not universal and need to be purchased according to need.