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Platinum plugs necessary?

Hi everyone,

I’ve been enjoying my Santa Fe for a while now and it’s due for new spark plugs according to the manual.

I’ve searched several parts websites to see what kind of plugs it needs and they have all said that all it needs are ordinary plugs that cost $8-$10 each.

I spoke to the dealership today and of course they’re telling me it needs the extravagantly expensive platinum plugs that can cost up to $100 each.

I am here in search of the advice of the great community here on if I really need the platinum plugs and just what the advantage is of those vs. regular ones.

Car specs:
2013 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport
4 cylinder, 2 liter, turbo boosted
All Wheel Drive (AWD)
58,000 miles

Platinum plugs cost about $10 each at the parts store. Installation might add a few bucks but not $100 per plug. Worth it IMHO because they last longer. Stop going to the dealer for simple things like this.

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Rock Auto doesn’t even list platinum plugs for your engine.

Instead they list iridium plugs for $8.50 each.

Are you sure the plugs require replacement at 58,000 miles?

Because platinum/iridium plugs are designed to last 100,000 miles.


Iridium spark plugs retail for $15 to $20, they might have said $100 for the set of spark plugs.


I second the question as to whether it is time to replace the spark plugs.


Iridium, platinum, they all last much longer than the conventional copper plugs. As I remember, the copper plug replacement interval was about 60,000 miles, while the iridium and platinum plugs last 100,000 miles or more. Check your owner’s manual. I am quite sure it recommends iridium or platinum. I would be very surprised if the original iridium or platinum plugs need to be changed at 60,000. You could use the conventional copper plugs, but considering the longer service life, iridium or platinum plugs are not more expensive than copper plugs.

Get the owners manual out, look up spark plug interval, and it should also state the exact type needed (or it might be in the engine compartment). The exact same type of spark plug it came with is the proper replacement.


Look in the manual, it tells you what spark plugs they recommend. I just changed my wife’s Tuscon and all it ask for is cheap plugs.

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Thanks Mustangman,

I would love to avoid the dealership, but my career as a botanist requires me to travel all over the state sometimes for months at a time, and as much as I would like to do my own maintenance it usually just isn’t within my 1/2 day off I usually have each week when I have time off.

Thanks Tester,

Manual says to replace at 45,000 miles which really seems strange to me also and to replace with iridium plugs.

I also looked at rockauto and other sites and saw the same thing you linked to hence why I’m here asking about this because I thought they should last 100,000 miles also.

Take it elsewhere, a good independent place would be fine.

The replacement schedule is so short, probably because it is turbo charged. I haven’t see your car model, but 4 cylinder cars are really easy to do unlike V6 engines with three plugs hidden in the back. If you are handy with tools, you should be able to do it by watching a few youtube videos and asking a friend who’s done it before watch over you. It shouldn’t take more than a couple of hours even for a first timer.

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Thank you Roger124,

I have the same feeling which actually comes from first hand experience because I have a 2003 Santa Fe prior to this one with the type of V6 engine you described.

Having far less money back then and bouncing between seasonal jobs with National Park Service I started taking things apart under the hood shortly after I bought it and pretty quickly realized what tough job it would be with engine that took up the whole compartment and three cylinders almost against the firewall on a transverse engine.

If you can link some videos it might be great for future searchers here that might find this thread useful.

I’ll go search a bit as you suggest.

The joys of having a rare model of car :-).

I just looked online on the site for the maintenance schedule for your car. It calls for replacing the plugs, which are iridium, at 90,000 miles. That’s both for the turbo and for severe or normal service.

Where are you reading that you need to replace your plugs at 45,000 miles?
Is this a maintenance schedule that the dealer gave you?

You can forget about it till you hit 90,000 miles.

Were it my vehicle, I’d use the exact plug by brand and part number the owner’s manual says to use. That’s what the engineers who designed the engine specified, and I’m guessing they know far more about this topic than the dealerships. Not sure how difficult a job it is to replace the plugs on your car, but on my Corolla it takes me about 45 minutes. And that’s at a diy’er pace. It’s easy enough to do, so I change the Corolla’s plugs every two years, or about every 15,000 - 20,000 miles. I hold the opinion it is better to error on the side of changing plugs too frequently rather than not frequently enough.

The Hyundai maintenance guide that I looked at shows to replace the spark plugs @ 45,000 and 90,000 miles for the 2.0 L turbo engine and at 105,000 miles for the 2.4 L and 3.3 L V6.

Most of the iridium spark plug that I replace are at 120,000 miles, some call for replacement at 60,000 miles with the same series engine. The interval has much to due with the success of the long term EPA emission testing of each engine.

A microscope would be needed to spot any wear on iridium plugs after 120,000 miles, they don’t wear much. If I had a vehicle with iridium plugs I would probably never replace them however your engine may have a durability problem with the spark plugs so you may want to replace them some day.

Iridium is about 8X harder than platinum and does not erode nearly as fast as platinum. I have no doubt that your engine came with iridium plugs.

What that means is that the center electrode, the one that the spark arcs from, doesn’t get vaporized by the heat of the arc as fast as the platinum does. However, the ground electrode, the one to which the arc travels, is still platinum and still erodes… but since the arc travels to it rather than from it the material doesn’t get removed. Ergo, erosion overall is much slower.

Irridium plugs don’t need to be changed as often as platinum plugs, but they still need to be changed occasionally. The spark still causes erosion, and contamination is still a factor. Your owner’s manual will tell you how often, but typically it’s around or in excess of 100,000 miles. Personally, I like 60,000 miles. As I mentioned, contamination from the combustion process is still a factor, and plugs are cheap.

For the make, I recommend only NGK or Denso plugs. They’re OEM to many Japanese manufacturers (I realize Hyundai isn’t Japanese) and I’ve had much more reliable performance from them than I have from other makes.

I saw two different 4-cylinder engines listed for the 2013 Santa Fe, and you didn’t mention which you had, so I’ll leave looking up the plugs up to you.

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I stand corrected. Thanks Nevada_545.

When I went back to reread the maintenance schedule for that car, I see I did miss the 45,000 box.

So yes, even though it says they use iridium coated plugs, Hyundai does recommend replacement every 45K.

This point isn’t important, but the plugs are not “iridium coated”, the center electrode is 100% iridium.
Just thought I’d pass that on.

I hadn’t given it much thought. Thank you for that clarification.

However in my reply, when I used the word “coated”, it was a cut-n-past from the Hyundai maintenance schedule. The words they used are:

Replace Spark Plugs (Iridium Coated)