As a crucial part of your gas-powered vehicle’s ignition system, spark plugs serve two maintenance purposes under the hood. Not only do spark plugs ignite the fuel-air mixture within an internal combustion engine, but they also relocate heat from the engine to the cooling system. The metal electrode on a spark plug is typically made of platinum, copper, or an iridium alloy. Are you wondering if there are drawbacks to using iridium spark plugs? Here’s what we know:
A brief history of spark plugs
There doesn’t seem to be a definitive answer as to who exactly invented the very first spark plug. Still, most sources credit the creation to Belgian-born Jean Joseph Lenoir, who invented the internal combustion piston engine around 1860.
Some years earlier, a West African immigrant living in France also devised a spark plug, but like Lenoir, Edmond Berger never patented his invention, explains Napa Know How Blog.
In August 1898, Nikola Tesla was granted patent number US609250A for an electrical igniter. Still, it wasn’t until 1902 that Bosch engineer Gottlob Honold patented the high-voltage spark plug we recognize today. Similarly constructed spark plugs have been built into every gasoline-powered automobile engine since, says Automotive History.