Is your engine misfiring or seeming hesitant during acceleration? Does it sound erratic when idling and you seem to be suffering from a loss of power as you drive? If you’re also finding that the engine surges at times then there is every possibility that your spark plug wires have seen better days.
The spark plug wires are an essential link in your vehicle’s electrical system; they carry electric current from either the distributor or the spark coil to the spark plugs. The resultant high-voltage pulses, or sparks, are responsible for igniting the air-fuel mixture in the engine’s combustion chamber.
10 Best Spark Plug Wires for Performance
Last update on 2021-09-26 at 20:24 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
Healthy spark plug wires are necessary to allow your engine to function properly. They are not responsible for increasing the horsepower of your vehicle, but if you choose the right set, they can have a positive effect on its overall performance. Though OE spark plug wires are always available, they’re not always the best route to go when you want to get the absolute best out of your car. Here’s a handy guideline of the Best Spark Plug Wires for Performance available now.
If you’re looking for better performance and a smoother shift then you should seriously consider this spark plug wire set. Manufactured by leading-brand, MSD, they offer superb low resistance and high EMI suppression or choke.
In every 12 inches of a superconductor, there are 40 feet of copper alloy conductor tightly spiraled around an ultra-strength core, this carries high voltage. The volume of copper has huge conductive capabilities while it ensures low resistance. When less spark energy is lost, more reaches the plug, resulting in a superior spark. The overall resistance value is a very impressive 50 ohms. The unique dual snap-lock feature guarantees that they are simple to fit and will remain tightly in place for their lifetime. There are 2 stainless steel terminals, 1 each for the wire conductor and the other for the outer jacket. The protective sleeve is tough and durable; it will remain resistant to abrasion and high heat for its life span.
- Great value for money
- Gives your vehicle a much-improved performance
- 3 coatings of copper keep heat in and protect against wear and tear
- Suitable for streetcars and cruisers
- Minority of users suggest cable a fraction too short
This spark plug wire set from MSD is a superconductor, due to the super way high-voltage is carried around the vast amount of copper wire and the super spark that is created due to little energy escaping.
Each 12-inch long wire has only 40-50 ohms of resistance, this is also super when you compare it with other brands; most have 10 x this amount, others more! Less electrical resistance equates to less current needed to fire up the engine.
Everything about this set screams quality and durability, the stainless steel terminals that are corrosion resistant, the outer-sleeve designed to withstand high temperatures and abrasions, and the conductive core that has Kevlar material inside to improve its strength. Like other MSD sets, this one also features dual crimp fasteners, to clip the wire and its outer casing separately, for added security.
- Reliable and trusted brand
- Marked improvement on drive and fuel usage
- Ultra-low resistance only 40-50 ohms
- Durable and toughDual crimping system
- They may be a fraction too long
NGK is another well-trusted brand when it comes to high-quality spark plugs. The company prides itself on being able to supply spark plug wiring sets for almost any vehicle; as such, they meet strict OEM standards.
The variable pitch wire-winding design that NGK has designed, creates great resistance to RFI, it scrambles the waves of electricity that have been formed by ignition. It produces a powerful spark, that spark is so superior that there can be a notable decrease in fuel usage. Each boot is numbered to correspond with its matching cylinder and each wire is color-coded too. This makes installation a walk in the park! The corrosion-resistant steel terminals are designed for a nice, tight fit whilst also offering maximum protection from vibration.
The outer jacket is made from ultra-high heat-resistant materials that keep your conductive wires safe from the elements.
- Improved vehicle performance
- Considerable noise decrease
- Easy to install
- Look great under the hood
- Unique design offers huge resistance to RFI, EMI
- Not suitable for vehicles with direct ignition
When over 91% of Amazon customers give a product a 5-star rating then you can be assured of quality.
These NGK 5mm ignition wires are designed for your 4-cylinder engine, as such, each boot has been numbered 1-4 for easy recognition and each wire is color-coded. What could be simpler? They are manufactured to very high specifications to replace OE spark wires in almost any suitable vehicle.
If you’re looking for superior firing and fuel savings then look no further; they come in at a great price too.NGK has incorporated their unique variable pitch winding design that results in unrivaled EMI and RFI noise suppression. The patented ‘C’ clip design will withstand moisture and is extremely durable.
- Outstanding durability
- Amazing noise suppression
- Superior firing and fuel savings
- Easy to install
- Look great under the hood
- Only suitable for 4-cylinder vehicles
If your Mini has been sounding rough when idling or its developed a miss, then these spark plug wires are well worth investing in. After installing them users described an immediate boost in the performance and most said the car fired up the first time with a better and more precise ignition.
The 7mm set is not only the simplest thing to fit, numbered 1-4 just like your cylinders and color-coded wires, but they look great beneath the hood too. The outer silicone jacket is designed with durability in mind; it can resist under-hood temperatures of up to 482 degrees f. As with all NGK products, the variable pitch winding method gives the wires outstanding resistance to EMI and RFI noise and amazing conductivity.
- Simple installation “it’s a 5-minute job”
- Considerable noise dampening
- Improved performance and ignition
- Designed to last
- Only suitable for 4 cylinder vehicles
ACDelco is part of the GM Group and as such, they supply high-quality replacement parts available for almost 96% of domestic vehicles on the road today.
This set of 8 spark plug wires are all designed with maximum spark delivery and protection in mind. The leads are interchangeable, making them simpler to fit, though it is advisable to remove an old one, replace it, and so on and so forth. The unique distribution boot-shaped design boasts a secure locking fit and a watertight seal, whilst the terminal provides good spark plug retention and has excellent anti-corrosive features. These wires are made from strength-enhancing fiberglass with high-temperature silicone enhancers.
These wires and the outer jacket are designed to be durable, reliable, and with long service life. As you would expect from ACDelco parts, these are perfect stock replacements, users describe getting that ‘new car feeling’ back.
- Fit most makes of domestic vehicle
- Simple to install, wires are interchangeable
- Reliable and durable
- Offer ‘outstanding performance’
- Users don’t talk of performance enhancement, but of returning to that fresh from the factory feel.
Another renowned name in auto replacement parts has come up with a no-nonsense piece of kit. Only available in black, but when your product meets or exceeds every OE/OES specification, who needs fancy colors?
This 7 and 8mm spark plug wire set is Class E rated; there is no higher grade achievable within the industry. This is due to the carbon fiberglass core offering superior conductivity and the superb silicone jacket that the wire is safe from moisture, fuel, oil, and chemicals. It can withstand temperatures of between -40 and 428 degrees Fahrenheit. This set is a good replacement for your factory-fitted set; it is simple to install. Apply a small amount of pressure to each boot until you hear a click, then be assured that it is securely in place and watertight.
- Quality assured
- Identical form and fit to factory-fitted parts
- Easy to fit
- Designed to only fit round coils, not square
- Only available in black
If you trusted GM enough to choose one of their vehicles, then surely, if you need to replace a component, you will buy one that comes with a GM recommendation. That is exactly what this 8-wire spark plug wire set from ACDelco is. Identical to your factory fitted part. It offers a very simple installation for the home mechanic as the boot clicks onto the coil snugly to form a watertight barrier.
The terminal ensures that the spark plug is securely held in place; it has high-quality corrosion resistance. The carbon and fiberglass competition maintain superior conductivity, while the excellent Class E wire rating means it is an ideal setting to resist EMI and it is a successful RFI noise suppressant. Overall, a very well manufactured and fit-for-purpose piece of kit.
- GM recommended replacement component
- Simple to fit
- Durable and reliable under varying conditions
- Recognized and trusted brand
- Some users notice a difficulty in making the ‘snap’ connection.
- Only available in black
If you have to swap your Toyota leads then why wouldn’t you swap them for the only ones Toyota deemed good enough to install in their vehicles on the factory floor? They are not even identical copies; they are genuine articles, made by Sumitomo. Each order will contain everything you need for a straight swap, a set comprised of 3 wires and boots, clips, and separators. Imagine getting your Toyota engine with more than 100k miles on the clock, running as smoothly as the day it was driven from the factory. Place your order here!
- Genuine OE product
- Everything included for installation
- Easy to fit, like for like
- Return your Toyota to factory spec
- Reliable fire and smooth performance
- Only available for Toyota vehicles
If you are looking for a great performance-boosting set of spark plug wires for your Chevy Truck/SUV, then consider these from Hinson. They are ideal for use in the 1st Generation (1999-2006) and 2nd Generation (2007-2014) Chevrolets. They are suitable for 4.8L, 5.3L, 6.0L, and 6.2L engines. The seller advises they are suitable for all 2006 GM V8 trucks, including the Hummer.
Each individual wire is 12 inches long and has stainless steel terminals encased in high-temperature-resistant gray boots. The black coil boots are made from EPDM silicone and users state that they are simple to angle and position. The 8.5mm wires are superconductors allowing high-voltage to pass through.
- Users notice a marked improvement over stock wires, both power, and mileage
- Boots are multi-angle for ease of installation
- Competitively priced for such high-quality
- Red sleeve finish offers great eye-appeal under the hood
- Some users noted that some of the wires are an inch too long
What do spark plug wires do?
They are just wires that carry electricity from one place to another.
It just so happens that the current they need to carry is usually upwards of 40,000 volts and the conditions beneath a vehicle’s hood are treacherous, with ultra-high temperatures, and dangerous fluids and chemicals everywhere.
The current only have a short journey to make, carrying a huge jolt of electricity generated by the ignition coil, to the spark plug. This, in turn, ignites the fuel-air mixture in the combustion chamber.
Does it matter which type of spark plug wires I buy?
All spark plug wires achieve the same outcome, just in different ways, depending on your requirements.
For instance, if you drive a standard car under normal everyday conditions and it still has all of its factory-fitted, OEM, components, and then you would be wasting your money trying to upgrade to a performance-enhancing set, you won’t notice a boost. The OEM-style parts will suit your car’s needs entirely, and return it to that factory fresh feel.
If your car is high-performance then installing a premium set of spark plug wires could not only boost the ride and feel of the car but you should also see a noticeable increase in MPG.
Also read: Best Shock Absorbers for Light Trucks
Three Main Types of Spark Plug
1. Distributed Resistance Spark Plug
If your car is pre-1980 then there is a very good chance this is the spark plug wire variety you’re using. Over 95 % of American cars were fitted with these, and for good reason, if they were fitted as standard you should try to keep it that way.
This feature fiberglass impregnated with a carbon core that gives the wires a high resistance. This enables them to reduce RFI that occurs each time you’re in the vehicle.
2. Magnetic Resistance
This style has seen a marked increase in usage since the rise in the popularity of cars from the Asian market.
The design features a core tightly wound with copper wire or nickel alloy that helps in the reduction of RFI. It has less electric resistance, which then requires less current to travel through the wires.
3. Fixed Resistor
This style is much more popular in vehicles manufactured in Europe.
Resistors found in each spark plug boot are to help control the levels of interference.
Will this fit?
Easily the most often asked question on this topic!
On the product page, Amazon offers a check chart that requires you to enter the year, make and model of your vehicle and they will be able to tell you which spark plug wires are designed for your vehicle.
What is an ignition cable?
It is just another name for a spark plug wire, that’s all
I keep seeing the abbreviations RFI and EMI, what do they mean?
RFI – Radio Frequency Interference
The ignition system in a car is the biggest culprit in interrupting your radio signals and in extreme cases, causing damage to the vehicle’s onboard computer signals.
Fitting a spark plug wire set with high RFI suppression can help to remedy the problem.
EMI – Electro-Magnetic Interference
Installing a set of wires that have high EMI resistance can help to stop any electrical issues that might be causing problems with your vehicle.
How do I know that my spark plug wires need changing?
Firstly, give them a quick look, if they have begun to oxidize,(rust) at the terminal but show no outward sign of damage or cracks, then a quick clean up and they should last for a little while longer.
Lots of retailers and manufacturers will advise every 30,000 miles but that may be a ruse to get us to part with our cash!
Once a crack appears and the connectors show wear then they will be under-performing and need to be changed. Once the crack gets bigger and breaks, that lead will die, and so might your car. Checking the resistance with a multimeter will probably show that it is too high; there will be too much current and not enough wire.
How will my car behave if I need new spark plug wires?
Badly! It may sound rough when it is idling, has reduced power, or engine surges. If the engine is missing, this will affect your mpg, as the fuel will be running too rich.
The engine may seem hesitant, this might be due to a break or crack in the outer casing of your wires, the electric current cannot continue its journey from the battery to plugs and so it can cause interference.
Are spark plug wires easy to fit?
Pretty much, yes. Some brands actually number and color code each wire to make it more obvious. Where that isn’t available, I suggest you do each wire one at a time. Remove one old wire and replace it, before you move on to the second one. Keep following the same route and you should avoid any mishaps.
Always make sure you have achieved a secure fit, whether it is with a clip or you are just listening for a click! sound.
Do I need any specialist tools to fit my spark plug wires?
An adjustable wrench and some boot puller pliers are great to get into those harder-to-reach places. Have a small socket set on stand-by in case you need help holding on to the spark plugs. Grab a can of WD-40 to assist in prising the worn set-off!
What is dielectric grease?
Please, please do not fit your new wires without first adding a small amount of this to your boots. And not the ones on your feet!
It’s silicone-based tune-up grease that repels against moisture and protects against corrosion. It provides a great seal to keep the volts in and the damp out.
Whether you are trying to boost the performance of your sporty car, trying to get the new car feel back to your old has been, or attempting to stop a misfire or noise, then buying the right set of best spark plug wires for performance is a great place to start.
We hope this guide has armed you with enough detail to make an informed choice.
The only decision that remains is which one to go for?