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Iridium spark plugs are a real benefit for a gasoline engine.

Иридиевые свечи зажигания

Cold and snow, as is known, we always come completely unexpectedly. And, not only for city services, but also for car enthusiasts, too. Owners of gasoline cars are well aware of the importance of such a small detail as a spark plug. Especially in winter. The only spark between its electrodes affects whether the car gets into a frost, or not.

Today we will talk about a fairly new product in the automotive parts market - iridium spark plugs, let's try to figure out what it is - the last squeak of candlelight or the real benefit for a gasoline engine?

Modern spark plugs in their ideology and design are not much different from those that were half a century ago. The differences lie in the details. Designers of spark plugs work within the technological triangle: increase the life of spark plugs, increase the reliability of ignition and more complete combustion of fuel-air mixture. The consequence is fuel economy, cleanliness of exhaust gases and increase in interval of replacement of candles.

The candle's ability to stably and reliably ignite the fuel - the air mixture can be increased by increasing the spark gap (the distance between the electrodes) or by reducing the diameter of the central electrode due to the use of refractory and chemically stable noble metals in its manufacture. But a large spark gap leads to an increase in the required voltage for the appearance of a spark, and the use of refractory metals increases the cost of a candle. The developers of spark plugs go in two ways to meet the demand of different categories of buyers.

Thus, in the standard spark plugs of the nickel alloy of the leading candle manufacturers DENSO and NGK, a U-shaped groove on the side electrode (DENSO) and V-shaped propyl on the central electrode (NGK) appeared. Both technologies achieve a common goal - to increase the gap between the electrodes and to displace the spark and the ignition core to the open space of the combustion chamber without the use of precious metals.
The use of iridium alloy for the manufacture of candle electrodes makes it possible to reduce the diameter of the central electrode to 0.7-0.4 mm in different models compared to 2.5 mm in nickel candles due to the high melting point, mechanical strength and chemical resistance of iridium.
Иридиевые свечи зажигания

What gives us a thin iridium electrode?

The small diameter of the central electrode and the chamfered edges of the side electrode make it possible to obtain a powerful spark, since a lower voltage is required to break the interelectrode gap, and the ignition process also significantly improves, since the overwhelming influence of the electrodes themselves on the propagation of the flame front in the combustion chamber is reduced.

Hence a number of advantages:

  • Increased engine power;
  • Reduced fuel consumption;
  • Reduction of toxicity of "exhaust";
  • Soft start of the engine even in severe frost.

In addition, the refractoriness of iridium significantly increases the life of such a candle.

When comparing the performance of standard, platinum and iridium spark plugs on the test bench, the following was revealed: On an ordinary candle everything is as usual. Sparks rush through the entire gap, and their color is different - from pink to bright blue. With the operation of a platinum spark, there are no sparks visible, they all merged. Candles with a thin iridium electrode at work give a clear stable white cone. The color of the spark, by the way, in itself speaks volumes. Red or pink spark - a weak, often giving out flashes. Blue, blue - more intense, and white - the most stable and hot. All iridium candles with thin electrodes give just such a spark. This indicates their reliability in complicated operating conditions, which in real life can be mass. This is a cold start of the engine, and a discharged battery, and simultaneously included powerful power sources in the car, "planting" the voltage in the on-board network.

Fuel consumption on the engine with injection iridium candles with a thin central electrode can be reduced by 6-7% compared to standard candles. Not so noticeable is the influence of iridium candles on the consumption of gasoline on carburetor motors: no more than 2%. In general, there is a regularity: the thinner the central electrode, the less fuel the motor consumes.

Although not much, at 3-4%, but the power of the engine on iridium candles is growing in comparison with the standard ones.

So are the "precious" candles of their money worth? Let's count.

The standard NGK spark plug on Carina, the 5A-FE engine, BKR5EYA-11 costs 139 rubles. Iridium candle BKR5EIX-11 costs 599 rubles. The difference in the cost of a set of candles is 1840 rubles. Let the consumption of 95 gasoline per week is 50 liters. This is approximately 1350 rubles. Reducing fuel consumption on iridium candles is 6-7%. This is 95 rubles a week. Total, that the candles paid off, you need to travel for 5 months. These candles live almost the entire life of the car from one owner. Improved dynamics, increased reliability of work, reduction of toxicity of exhaust gases and long life of the catalyst of exhaust gases is already so, additional bonuses.

How to be the owners of cars with carburetor engines? Certainly, choosing candles, one must be guided not only by the required characteristics, but also by common sense. Yes, the "ruble" benefit in this case will be less noticeable, although all the other "pluses" of the "precious" candles will not disappear anywhere.

And here is another argument: The use of iridium candles is uniquely justified on motors that have difficulty accessing candles and in which candle replacement alone will cost almost as much as their cost.

Of course, the choice of iridium spark plugs is a choice in favor of comfortable driving and gentle use of the car.

By the way, iridium candles can work on any gasoline (meaning its quality), since they are quite inert with respect to additives. But in order to reduce the impact of low-quality gasoline on the life of candles, we recommend you fill the car with fuel only on proven gas stations, where you are guaranteed not to fill diesel fuel instead of 95 gasoline!