What You Need to Know about Spark Plugs for Your Car

What You Need to Know about Spark Plugs for Your Car

one, two, three, four!
Rev up your engines!
It’s time for the Scotty Kilmer Channel
today I’m going to show you what
spark plug you should buy for your car
now spark plugs play an important part
in how your car runs so you want the
right ones in you don’t want to waste
money on buying something that’s too
expensive but you don’t want to buy
cheap junk that isn’t going to work
right so I’m going to show you how you
can pick the right ones and save money
at the same time now engineers spent a
lot of time and energy designing the
right spark plug so of course the
original equipment ones will always work
right now this Toyota Matrix originally
came with Nippon Denso Iridium spark
plug so of course if you bought them
they’d be great for the car when I pull
these out you’ll see they’re Iridium and
they’re Denso so they’re nip and Denso so
they’re the factory spark plugs but when
you replace them you don’t have to buy
Nippon Denso
and GK Iridium plugs are fine or any
other quality manufacturer they all have
very good quality control you just want
to make sure that it’s the right one for
the vehicle people can look it up for
you and that it’s an Iridium plug
because iridium plugs last the longest
for example this Toyota has 68 thousand
miles on it
the plugs have never been changed they
still got plenty of life left in them
I’ve seen some cars with iridium plugs
that had 200 thousand miles on then with
the original spark plugs and they still
ran fine and I wouldn’t push a dead fire
and here’s the reason why
as spark plugs wear, the gap where the
spark goes gets wider and wider over
time if it gets too wide it makes the
ignition system work a lot harder and it
can burn parts of the ignition system
out and computer ignition parts on
modern cars aren’t cheap so me I just
change them every hundred thousand miles
regardless now if you’re curious about
where you can use one of these gauges
see what the wear is, in this case it’s
about 40 thousands of an inch and the
specs for this car is 39 thousands of an
inch to fifty one thousandth of an inch
so since it’s 40 thousands of an inch
these babies are hardly even worn at
60,000 miles and if you noticed I use
these water gauges not a good idea to
use these cheap $2 flat ones because
when you check them a lot of times you
can bend stuff the wires are much more
accurate and safe to measure the spark
gap, since Iridium spark plugs last the
longest even longer than platinum I’ll
use them in most cars that I tuned up
these days just because it’s going to
last such a long time why not spend the
extra few bucks on iridium plugs and not
have to think about it for a hundred
thousand miles
so whatever brand you decide on using
here are some tips on how to change the
spark plugs right, first be cautious as a
cat you don’t want to break anything
take your time and work on a cold engine
most heads are made of soft aluminum
alloys work on a hot engine you can rip
the threads do it when the engine is
cold and on most modern cars don’t put
any kind of lubricant on the threads
these threads generally already have
zinc or something else plated on them
and if you put a lubricant on you’re
actually going to torque them on the
head incorrectly which can cause
problems later and when you put the new
spark plugs in I’ve been doing it for a
long time so I just get them tight then
I get a little bit snug to make them
right but you can use a torque wrench if
you’re not sure this one uses 18
foot-pounds so we’ll turn it until it’s
at 18 and it locks in place then we turn
it until it clicks and now we know the
spark plug is set in perfectly and I’ve
got another tip for everybody out there
– don’t be suckered in by this nonsense
that oh these special spark plugs will
get more horsepower and better gas
mileage it’s a load of baloney the OEM
equipment ones are what they were
designed for and they run best with that
design and like I said it doesn’t matter
who manufacture them as long as it’s a
quality manufacturer plenty of guys make
good spark plugs but you want to make
sure it’s the same exact design that the
car originally came with so the next
time you’re changing spark plugs on your
car now you know how to do it right
remember if you’ve got any car questions
just visit the Scotty Kilmer channel
before it’s too late and I end up in

100 Replies to “What You Need to Know about Spark Plugs for Your Car”

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  2. I have just gotten into the habit of changing the plugs every 12-18 months. Because of this I tend to "buy cheap". And, in a 4 banger, it really is cheap as well.

  3. What if you have to take the intake manifold off just to get to the plugs. I use to change my plugs every other year because it only took an hour. Now it would take days.

  4. One feature of his videos is all the wild ones start at 00:20. Sometimes I feel like a burnout, sometimes I don't. Scotty's a real producer.

  5. Hi Scotty, yes iridium plugs will last somewhat longer BUT the insulator around the centre electrode is made of the same ceramic material used in basic copper core plugs and this insulator often fails well before the plug gap burns out. The insulator is the weakest link in pursuit of a long life plug. I often use basic copper core plugs instead nowdays especially if the spark plugs are fairly easy to access, they are alot cheaper and still last 30,000 to 50,000 miles. Copper is also a better conductor than Iridium and will give a bigger better spark.

  6. Performance Spark Plugs do exist but they're like $100 a pop and they require an aftermarket ignition system as well which costs anywhere between 1000 and 2500 USD, AND these are only available for few specific cars.

    However, those are made for special cars that are made for racing for example, the idea of them is to have shorter ignition times to make more consistent power which is only noticeable in racing basically, they're like the sequential gearboxes, they're made for a specific thing for specific use and usually specific vehicles.

    But, like i said, to have any actual use from the racing plugs, you need an entire system swap and also most likely an aftermarket ECU which will set the timing and such correctly so it's not exactly worth it unless you have already spent enough money on your car to have literally everything else.

    Edit : Just to throw a "running joke" (which is a real thing though) there's actually Racing Batteries as well, they're lighter and have higher momentary power, thus they're pretty much perfect for racing.

  7. Do spark plugs wear out with age? My car is a 1993, with only 38,000 original miles, should I think about changing the plugs since the car is over 20 years old or should I go by mileage?
    Some people say change plugs every 30,000 miles so I was just wondering when I should consider changing plugs and wires

  8. Iridium plugs are excellent and i have been using them for many years and they last a long time with better performance & economy.
    The down side is the delicate thin electrode that goes through the core of the plugs can break off like it did with me when i took the plug out,thankfully it did not do any damage to the bore.
    The electrode on the iridium is very thin compared to a regular plug.
    Regular plugs are more robust than iridium ones that's the only negative to iridium's,but apart from that iridiums are great and i would not go back to regular plugs.

  9. i all ways use a spark plugs socket but some of the spark plugs are cracking in not time ac platinum so we are trying auto lghts

  10. When I had 88 turbo Supra that called for OEM double platinum plugs I tested out other plugs, iridium somehow started to melt and for fun I put it AC Delco copper plugs that I gapped with machine shims and added 50%+ to the OE gap spec from .032 to .050 like a mad man. From that I noticed very slightly better spool at low RPMs and what really surprised me was that the engine got extremely smooth above 6k RPMs. Sure they last about 15-20k miles on a strong ignition system, but they could be changed out in 30 minutes with no hassle on the Supra. I also make sure to leave the stem as flat as I can, because if you leave it at an angle when it wears it going to quickly go out of the gap you set.

  11. I just changed the plugs and wires in my '09 Wrangler, after 106000 miles. Amazing. I remember changing the plugs in my old Beetle every couple of years.

  12. Don't buy spark plugs on Ebay or Amazon. NGK and Denso among other brands are being sold as original but are knockoffs with inferior quality from China. The packaging also looks real. Go to the NGK website and they show you what to look for, if it seems like a great deal online, good chance they are fakes. Buyer Beware!

  13. I have a 01 grand cherokee that originally takes champion copper plugs, can i use iridium plugs on my next tune up?

  14. I have a 01 grand cherokee that originally takes champion copper plugs, can i use iridium plugs on my next tune up?

  15. Hey Scotty, I have a question: When it comes to OEM spark plugs, why would a second party manufacturer do it better? Keeping in mind, OEM, acdelco, gmc, and pontiac, buick, insist on their parts. Their options were garbage. Meanwhile better technology, manufacturing, tolerances, specs, and a higher price are available. Im ok with paying more, why stay with the oem parts?

  16. Anyone know if E3 plugs are any good? They were the only ones in stock but the parts guy recommended against them. I'm scared to try them.

  17. I don't know why you cannot resist or avoid to watch SCOTTY KILMER'S technical video…people became addicted i think to your technical and practical tips…because as you said too many people and some company saying bullshit talks to boost their sales. ..thanks a lot Scotty…(beam me up-Start Trek)… and there is one good old saying in the Star Trek movie by Scotty …it doesn't mean its old you have to throw away…old is gold…Ok , Kilmer thanks a lot for the video tips…

  18. Hello Scotty, is it right to clean the iridium spark plugs with carbon or brake cleaner, or they will be destroyed? Thanks.

  19. I've found that ngk plugs work really good in MOST cars/trucks regardless of the make. Autolight is mostly Ford, anything else and it's a hit or miss. denso is for most Japanese/Korean/& some European cars. Bosh works best for European cars. acdelco is obviously GM and weirdly a lot of the Korean cars. motorcraft for Ford's obviously. E-3 is just a scam, I've rarely seen a car run right or if it does run good. it doesn't make any difference making the extra cost not justifiable.

  20. Scotty, another great video. There really is no magical spark plug if so the manufacturer would recommend them. I have 2010 mustang with 53,000 miles on the original plugs. Noticing a drop in Mpg and a slight stumble on idle i spent the extra dough on E3 diamond fire plugs as they are nickel just as the OEM motorcraft and claim better gas mileage. They are half the weight and triple the price. May have made a bad choice. we will see when I change them out. Just like my dad who was a ford mechanic for 35 years you know your stuff, keep up the videos.

  21. I was about to change my spark plugs, but when I removed the boot on, I noticed there was a lot of oil that had filled in around the spark plug. I couldn’t even see the plug. It was completely submerged in oil. What does that mean?

  22. Scotty, I have a fwd V6 2008 Toyota RAV4. Just over 100,000 and runs good as new, however, I was thinking of replacing the sparkplugs. The local Toyota dealer said that it would cost about $300. Are they that difficult to get at them to replace. I have replaced sparkplugs on straight 4 and 6 cylinder cars. What do you think this service should cost for standard plugs. Interested in your comments.

  23. Put iridium plugs on a 2001 Outback and it burned the electrode right off. Went back to regular NGK just plain old NGK regular and they work the best. Same thing on a Harley Road Glide iridium plugs suck went back to original ngks.

  24. Recently discovered your videos- they are excellent. BTW, my 04 Jetta (5 speed manual) which I bought new is going strong after 170,000 miles with nothing more than the normal maintenance that you promote. Keep those good tips coming. Thanks.

  25. I love your videos brother. Am ordering tools on amazon so i can change the spark plugs myself thanks for the help on all these videos

  26. Great instructional video once again Scotty. But, I must know…. what mechanical skills have you taught the Cute Kitty keeping you company most of the time?

  27. oh yeah I don't mind getting things going for repairs on my truck  if I have shop or friend with some knowledge and tools to borrow.

  28. Copper sparks better than platinum or iridium, but is not used OEM because they have to be changed out every 30,000 miles instead of 100,000 My 4 cylinder turbo runs better with the copper and as it's an inline 4 they are easy to change.

  29. Hey, Scotty! I have a 2005 Ford Taurus. 3.0 Vulcan engine. Used double platinum Motorcraft plugs. Changed them out and put new Ones in . Just wanted to know if those Iridium plugs would be better. Changed the plugs at 121,000 now have 154,000 miles still get 25.0 miles per gallon. Run Valvoline 5W20 high mileage full synthetic now. But used Motorcraft 5W20 synthetic blend. For the first 150,000 miles. Shawn

  30. It would be a lot easier to work on our own cars if the engineers who designed them had to work on their own cars.
    I learned the not so hard way to stay away from those gimmicky multiple electrode plugs. For two seasons I used a standard plug in my weed whacker. A year ago I went to Lowe, well, I won't say the name of where I went, and all they had was the E3 multiple electrode plug. It was only a few dollars.
    I installed it, and all last season that tool took several pulls to start, ran rough for the first minute, and seemed to suck the gasoline.
    With both previous standard plugs, it started consistently on the first or second pull and ran strong.

  31. Spark plug companies don't want you using anti seize as the spark plug companies don't want to be liable but its better a new plug then a new aluminium head

  32. 4 electrode plugs are NOT a gimmick, it's what every military fighter and bomber had on it, back in WWII.  why ?  because if one electrode became fouled or burned, it could still ground to one of the other electrodes and fire.  Scotty you're a smart guy and good mechanic, but you need to look some stuff up.  take a spark plug from a B17 bomber, see what it looks like.  it has 4 ground electrodes.  so the ultimate is an iridium or platinum plug with 4 electrodes.  if the gap burns wide on one side, it'll fire one of the others instead.  see ?  the 4 tip plugs are well worth the price.

  33. I've had problems with iridium compared to platinum.  the iridium plugs, broke the ceramic insulators from heat !!  happened to 2 or 3 of them over time.  I think the iridium runs HOTTER, and cracks the porcelain- or, the porcelain cannot adhere to it as well.

  34. platinum 4 tip bosch plugs gave my cars better mileage and power, noticeably so instantly when I put them in.  Scotty, I've been working on cars for 40 years now, since I was 16, now I'm 57.  12 years in industry as a repair garage.  including diesel and truck repair.

  35. Scotty you crazy! "Before its too late, and i end up in here" hahaha also your vids have helped me put BIG time in the last few years. I always go to you to get the info i need so i can do the job right! Thanks for the great videos! 👍

  36. 1969 Corvette Stingray restored by your own hand? Much props Scotty Kilmer, i have a 2018 turbo civic sport but i am so jealous right now 🙂 !!!

  37. Hi scotty I have question I lie in Kuwait middle east I changed the spark plugs when temp gauge shows on 1/4 while it's operating temperature is 1/2 is it ok?? (It shows 1/4 after I left the car shutted off for 2.30 or 3 hours )

  38. Sigh. I remember when washer fluid was $0.79 and NGK resistor plugs were $1.89.
    Last year I went to X home center store for a spark plug for my weed eater. All they had were plugs with a dual electrode. The thing ran like crap with those plugs and drank the gas. This spring I went back to standard plugs.
    Once again it starts on the first or second pull, runs fine, and that tiny tank of gas goes a lot farther.

  39. I’ve found my passion watching your videos and learning Scotty thank you I didn’t even know that I loved working on cars this much I simply type in ____ my problem here and Scotty Kilmer and I always get Results thanks brother

  40. Scotty your information is priceless. When it comes to hands on stuff I've pretty much "been there done that" because I was an outside machinist before I ever touched a car. But I love the challenges of working on them "never a dull moment".I'm slowly collecting more automotive tools and absorbing information like a sponge. Love your videos and your enthusiasm keep up the good work!!

  41. Scotty, what would you do if you had a 2009 Ford ranger with a spark plug that appears to be cock eyed above cylinder 2? Can’t seem to get the new plug wires to fully seat.

  42. Today I went to Honda dealership, I was quoted $27 per spark plug (I almost had a heart attack). I told the employ that I will pass on buying them.

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