Ruthenium vs. Iridium Spark Plugs – What is the Right Choice?

Ruthenium and Iridium are 2 common materials that are used to manufacture spark plugs. Electric current gets delivered from an ignition system to a spark-ignition engine’s combustion chamber due to spark plugs.

Both spark plug types bring superior performance and maximum durability to the inner combustion engine.

Every car engine spark plug requires replacement over time. Since Ruthenium and Iridium are the 2 best spark plug options, many people can’t decide which spark plug to pick.

To help you in this regard, we created this guideline on Ruthenium vs. Iridium.

Let’s read carefully.

What is a Ruthenium Spark Plug?

Spark plugs are being developed with new materials to promote more extended service life, outstanding performance, and spark transmission. The manufacturer NGK has manufactured upgraded spark plugs named ruthenium spark plugs. Precise metal ruthenium is used to make the electrodes of these plugs.

Ruthenium is a component of the platinum group. Its symbol is Ru, and 44 is its atomic number. The melting temperature of ruthenium is relatively high: 4233° F. But when the discussion comes about the alloy, it is much more corrosion-proof and resists oxidation effectively compared to iridium. As a result, it becomes a significant choice to‌ ‌use‌ ‌in‌ ‌electrical‌ ‌contact‌ ‌to‌ ‌make‌ ‌them‌ ‌wear-proof. ‌

What is Iridium Spark Plug?

Iridium spark plugs are one of the best spark plugs on the market. Iridium spark plugs offer impressive combustion, lesser emissions, enhanced fuel economy, and extra horsepower. When you replace your car’s faulty plugs with iridium spark plugs, the engine will perform smoothly and doesn’t need much effort to keep the combustion process going.

Remember, an inferior spark plug will damage the other components of your vehicle. Iridium spark plugs are the best in their class and last up to 60,000 miles. Even some iridium spark plugs offer benefits for at least 120,000 miles, based on the vehicle. Overall, iridium spark plugs are the ideal choice for use on high-performance engines.

Comparison Chart – Ruthenium vs. Iridium

A comparison chart will help you to learn the difference between ruthenium and iridium quickly.

FeatureRutheniumIridium
Group NameIron familyCobalt family
Durability2 times longer than iridium spark plugsAverage of 50,000 miles
ToxicityLow ToxicToxic
Melting Point2334° C2000° C
Service Life4X2X
PropertiesSuperior anti-corrosion and anti-seizing propertiesAnti-corrosion property.

What are the Key Differences – Ruthenium vs. Iridium

Ruthenium and iridium have similarities and dissimilarities both. Although they do the same job, one is better than the other in a few points of view.

Here we are going to share the key differences between ruthenium and iridium.

Design

Ruthenium spark plugs come with 2 different designs named: double fine electrode and projected square platinum electrode.

Characteristically, both designs are used for different purposes.

DFE or double fine electrode maximizes the ignitibility. Also, minimizes discharges for low heat engines. It is ideal for the applications of non-turbo. Moreover, the PSPE or a projected square platinum electrode is suitable for supercharged and turbo engines.

While iridium spark plugs don’t come with a separate design.

Durability

In terms of Durability, ruthenium is a CHAMPION!

As per NGK, ruthenium spark plugs life span is more than the platinum family’s other materials. More importantly, ruthenium lasts a long 2X compared to iridium spark plugs.

More importantly, ruthenium is a better performer than iridium in harsh weather.

High Ignitability

High ignitability is a remarkable feature of ruthenium. Maximum combustion is guaranteed in order to ensure better acceleration and faster fuel response and complete fuel burn as a result of a cold start. Due to the faster cold-start, your car exhaust will release less raw gas in the opening minutes of the beginning of the engine.

Iridium responds faster to the operation of the throttle, and thus immediate improvement happens to your car engine’s acceleration profile. You will experience the difference without losing time.

Fuel Efficiency

No confusion that old spark plugs will be less efficient than the fresh ones.

Without any hesitation, use a ruthenium spark plug in your car. When you use ruthenium, be sure that your vehicle will need less effort to continue the combustion process. As a result, your vehicle’s fuel efficiency will improve in the long run.

On the other hand, due to the improved ignition profile, iridium also helps to improve the fuel economy of your vehicle when driving in the city or highway. However, the efficiency rate is not as high as ruthenium.

What Are the Benefits of Ruthenium and Iridium?

Learning about the benefits of ruthenium and iridium, you will be able to make your decision accurate.

Ruthenium

  • Ruthenium ensures smooth, trouble-free, and responsive acceleration after you step on the gas pedal.
  • Ruthenium can deliver adequate ignition to stimulate your car motor’s combustion process. Thus, rough idles can easily be smoothed out.
  • Don’t mistake replacing your faulty spark plugs and use ruthenium spark plugs. Ruthenium will solve ignition problems, lackluster acceleration, and misfires efficiently.
  • Ruthenium is a reliable spark plug that plays a crucial role in getting your car started.

Iridium

  • The average lifespan of iridium spark plugs is 50,000 miles. Even some users may get 80,000 miles.
  • Iridium is a highly corrosion-resistant alloy. It melts at 2,000° C. This way, it becomes a highly reliable part that aids your vehicle to perform all the time efficiently.
  • Iridium spark plugs don’t require high voltage to create power. Since it includes a small electrode and comes with a unique design, it needs less voltage compared to other spark plugs designs.

Ruthenium vs. Iridium – Which one to Buy?

Whatever spark plug you choose, always give priority to your personal preference. Since both ruthenium and iridium spark plugs offer the same performance, you can select any of them for your car.

Both spark plugs are reliable, durable, offer better performance and value for the price.  

Full Stop

When you are required to buy a new part for your vehicle, you will find various choices on the market. Hopefully, this ruthenium vs. iridium article will lead you to the right path.

Both options are exceptional in their benefits and drawbacks.

One thing that you need to be kept in mind, read the instruction manual and buy replacement parts for your vehicle that the manufacturer recommends. Also, always research before making the final decision.