The spark’s gone – as much as you loved them, your Nissan’s spark plugs surrendered to mileage. I mean, it happens to all of us.
So what’s a good replacement?
I see a lot of people going for fancy iridium plugs, picking among different brands…
Look, there’s a very simple and efficient choice: just stick to OEM. It doesn’t matter if you drive a Sentra, Altima, Murano, Xterra, Titan…
In the case of Nissan, the OEM would be NGK’s spark plugs (check prices and fitment).
Now, to some extent which plugs you have to pick depends on your model year.
With 2002-2009 models, you have platinum plugs. The direct OEM replacement are these PLFR5A-11 platinum spark plugs. They’re the best pick for:
…and of course, the Nissan Titan. 🙂
Newer vehicles are a bit all over the place – the aftermarket parts differ across models.
However, there’s one thing in common: the OEM replacements have switched to iridium as a material.
For example, the DILKAR6A-11 spark plug fits most 2007-2017 Sentra, Altima and Rogue models.
I suggest you use the car fitment feature of Amazon to check if you have a 2008+ Nissan vehicle. It generally works well.
If you for some reason have any issues with NGK (even though they’re the best spark plug brand for Nissan), you have an alternative.
That would be Denso’s spark plugs.
Generally, NGK and Denso are the go-to OE quality for Japanese cars. Apart from Nissan, you’d see a lot of Toyotas or Hondas running with those two brands.
Let’s look at a few important things you need to keep in mind.
NGK spark plugs and your Nissan:
A quick cheat sheet
First, the spark plug gap. For Nissan vehicles, it should be .044” which is 1.1mm. In most cases, the spark plugs come pre-gapped, so you don’t need to do anything with them as reviewers mention.
If I were you, I’d just check them when they come out of the box. Don’t tinker with them if they’re at .044”. Both platinum and iridium are delicate and you might damage them.
Installation isn’t rocket science, as long as you follow a few basics.
Here’s a very good video on changing the spark plugs on a Nissan Altima 2.5L. Ignore that they try to recommend their own plugs, just follow the process:
Second, I’d think twice about putting any anti-seize or trying to lube the threads when installing. NGK, as well as other leading manufacturers, usually advise against that.
Over-torque. If you lube these guys up, you’ll change the torque specs, risking breaking the threads in the process. So be careful with that.
For example, on the NGK platinum plugs, the torque would be:
18-25.3 lb. ft. for cast iron
18-21.6 lb. ft. for aluminum
Always double-check the specifications so you don’t ruin your set of spark plugs.
Best spark plugs for Nissan cars:
Simple: in a world where proper quality control is a scarcity, NGK upholds it for every single product of theirs.
There’s a reason why you see Nissan owners praising them – like this guy over at the NissanClub forums.
First comes the thermo edge design of the plug. With some intricate manufacture, NGK have supplied their spark plugs with outstanding insulation resistance. This exact design also eliminates (well, virtually eliminates) the possibility of misfires too.
There’s also this with the newer NGK Iridium spark plugs:
They maintain great stability thanks to minimized dispersion, unlike a lot of offbrand plugs. Note that Denso’s parts behave in a similar way to NGK. Denso also do a lot of proper R&D to improve their products.
And third: they last for a long, long time. Even on their platinum spark plugs, NGK give you an approximate lifetime of 90k miles. 90K!!
Given the fact that iridium lasts even longer, you can expect upwards of 100k miles on the NGK IX iridium plugs, as long as everything is in order with your Nissan.
So, What Are the Benefits of Replacing Spark Plugs?
New high-quality spark plugs offer more performance benefits, among which include:
Consistent optimal combustion
Newer spark plugs produce superior ignitions that lead to optimal combustion of air and fuel in the engine. This, in turn, generates additional energy, thus powering your vehicle more and improving performance.
Better fuel economy
According to The National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence, misfiring spark plugs can lower fuel efficiency by thirty percent. Therefore, replacing spark plugs at specified intervals can maximize fuel economy and save you from incurring extra fuel costs.
Smooth and energetic sparks
The first time turning the ignition after getting a new spark plug can be a new eye-opening experience. All those times, your car was experiencing jerky starts that the old spark plug may have caused.
Types of Spark Plugs
Some people may think that spark plugs are all the same, but they have differences. Some have increased efficiency and perform better compared to others. It all depends on the spark plug type recommendation from your vehicle manufacturer.
All spark plugs have a side and central electrode. These electrodes were initially made using copper, but now they are manufactured from materials such as platinum and iridium.
There are various types of spark plugs, including iridium, copper, and platinum spark plugs. Let’s take a closer look at each one of them.
Copper spark plugs
Most parts of copper spark plugs are made out of solid copper. The central electrode is created using nickel alloy, and its diameter is the largest compared to the other spark plugs.
Nickel alloy is a soft material and not a very durable one, unlike other metal alloys. This means it isn’t long-lasting. Copper spark plugs are a good option for older vehicles, especially the ones built before 1980.
Iridium spark plugs
These spark plugs last the longest. The center electrode of the Iridium spark plug is small; therefore, it uses less voltage to induce the electric current, thus offering efficient combustion. That is why most car manufacturers recommend iridium spark plugs for their vehicles. Moreover, these spark plugs are made of a material harder than platinum and thus last longer. The only downside is that they cost more. However, if you are searching for reliable performance spark plugs, then iridium spark plugs are the best way.
Platinum spark plugs
The center electrode of a platinum spark plug is a platinum disc welded to the tip area. It is more durable than a copper spark plug and can last up to 100,000 miles.
Platinum spark plugs offer the most powerful combustion of all of them. They generate more heat hence reducing the debris buildup. If you have a new vehicle that has an electronic distributor ignition system, an affordable platinum spark plug is your best bet.
So there it is, hope this article helped you a bit. Obviously, you’re free to pick whichever brand you want.
However, I really recommend you to stick to NGK as the best spark plug brand for Nissan cars. In a way, they’re similar to what Bilstein is to Nissan suspension replacements – a staple, quality choice.
It doesn’t matter whether you drive a Titan or stick to the classics like Sentra or a ’05 / ’06 Altima.
Speaking of the latter, I also have a quick guide on the best aftermarket brakes for Altima models.
Funnily enough, the brand I recommend there is Bosch. The same Bosch that is a huge competitor to both NGK and Denso when it comes to spark plug types.
If you have any questions, let me know. I’ll try to reply to the best of my knowledge 🙂