Spark plugs are small parts. They don’t cost that much too. Yet the replacement cost can give you a headache.
So, how much does a spark plug cost? A typical spark plug costs less than $10 with a copper spark plug available at just $2.5. Platinum and iridium spark plugs are costlier and are available in the range of $5 to $12.
However, the replacement cost of a spark plug is much higher. For a motorcycle, the spark plug replacement cost will be around $60. For cars, the replacement cost will be as high as $150 to $250.
As for why is that and what other factors influence spark plug cost, let’s dive into the post.
How much does a spark plug cost?
A typical spark plug costs less than $10 with a copper spark plug available at just $2.5.
Platinum and iridium spark plugs are costlier than copper spark plugs. Still, you can easily get them for around $5 to $12.
Iridium spark plugs are available at even high prices though depending on your desired specifications. However, even the best iridium spark plugs for automobiles should be available for less than $15.
For any spark plug, be it copper, platinum, or iridium, be it from any manufacturer, you should be able to purchase in the range of $2 to $12. At the max, $15.
So, a spark plug will cost somewhere between $2 to $15 depending on the type, variant, and manufacturer.
If you are buying a set of spark plugs, then a set of 4 or 6 spark plugs should be in the price range of $10 to $60. The price depends on the spark plug type and how many plugs are there in a set (usually it is 4 or 6).
Now that we know the cost of a spark plug in general, let’s dive into the cost of each spark plug type.
Copper spark plugs cost
Copper spark plugs are the cheapest spark plugs. They are low-coreadilysily available, and are the widely used spark plug type.
A copper spark plug usually costs around $2.5.
Even accounting for the various versions and manufacturers of different copper spark plugs, you would still get a copper spark plug in the range of $2 to $5.
Sure there might be some higher-range copper spark plugs. Usually branded as copper plus, copper premium, or whatever the trend is there to name an improved version.
Even then, these spark plugs should be available at a reasonably low cost.
I mean, if you ever see a copper spark plug costing $10, just skip it. You can buy an iridium spark plug (the costliest of the lot) for that price.
If you are buying a set of spark plugs, then a set of 4 or 6 spark plugs should be in the price range of $10 to $20.
Platinum spark plugs cost
Platinum spark plugs are what we call the middling spark plugs.
In terms of performance, they lie somewhere middle in between copper and iridium spark plugs. In terms of cost, it’s no exception as well. They are costlier than copper spark plugs but are cheaper than iridium ones.
A typical platinum spark plug will cost you around $5.
Depending on the manufacturer and versions, the price might vary. Still, you will be able to purchase most platinum spark plugs in the range of $4 to $8.
Again, too costly a platinum spark plug will pose a dilemma of going for iridium spark plugs. Since iridium spark plugs are better than platinum ones in terms of performance, if you ever find a platinum spark plug costing you $12-$15, skip it and buy an iridium one.
If you are buying a set of spark plugs, then a set of 4 or 6 spark plugs should be in the price range of $20 to $50.
Iridium spark plugs cost
Iridium spark plugs are the costliest spark plugs out there in the market.
An iridium spark plug costs somewhere between $7 to $12. And at the max, $15.
This is actually far higher than what a conventional spark plug would cost. A typical copper spark plug will cost around $2 to $3. Which makes an iridium spark plug around 4x costlier than a copper spark plug.
The higher cost for an iridium spark plug is easily offset by the benefits it brings over the conventional ones. The high-performance, long-lasting operation, and heat-withstanding capabilities are good compensation factors for its high cost.
Again, in the end, it’s up to you how to trade off between the cost and the performance.
A set of 4 or 6 iridium spark plugs will typically cost you around $25 to $60.
How much does it cost to change a spark plug?
For a motorcycle, the replacement cost for a spark plug should cost around $60 including parts and labor charges.
But for a car, the replacement cost will be far far higher. The labor charges will be too much. Typically, replacing 4 spark plugs in a car should come at a replacement cost of around $150 to $250 (Expect a labor charge of at least $100).
That is costly. Especially for a part that hardly weighs 50 grams.
The reason why replacing spark plugs in a car is costly is that it is labor intensive when compared to that of a motorcycle.
So although spark plugs are available at a low cost, the labor charges are sure going to give you a headache.
That’s why the best practice is to replace spark plugs during your vehicle maintenance and servicing.
In this way, the replacement will come under overall labor charges and will save you some dollars.
Can I replace the spark plug myself?
You can replace the spark plug by yourself, especially on a motorcycle.
How often do you need to change your spark plugs?
A motorcycle spark plug usually has a lifespan of 10,000 miles (16,000 kilometers).
The changing frequency varies depending on the type of spark plugs as well.
For copper spark plugs, it is 10,000 miles.
For platinum and iridium spark plugs, it is much higher. Typically around 30,000 miles and 50,000 miles respectively.
You also might have to replace early if the spark plugs have gone bad.
How do I know if my spark plug needs changing?
You need to change the spark plugs if they are not working properly.
Symptoms of a bad spark plug can include hard starts, engine misfiring, low fuel economy, reduced power and acceleration, and engine idling.
A spark plug can go bad because of several reasons – ranging from a rich fuel mixture to engine oil or coolant leaks to a dirty carburetor or air filter.
To deep dive into these reasons, you can check out our post on bad spark plug causes.
Once you are sure the spark plug is not in good working condition, you can then go ahead and change the spark plugs.