Ruthenium and Iridium Spark Plugs

Ruthenium and Iridium are the most common materials used to construct spark plugs. These components enable the delivery of electric current from an ignition system to a spark-ignition engine’s combustion chamber, enabling superior performance and maximum durability compared to other options.

As these two materials have become popular for this purpose, many people struggle to decide which is best for their car engine’s needs. To aid in this decision process, we developed a comprehensive guide on Ruthenium vs. Iridium that outlines the advantages and disadvantages of each material.

This guide should help individuals decide which type of spark plug will bring them optimal results.


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What Is the Ruthenium Spark Plug?

What Is the Ruthenium Spark Plug
What Is the Ruthenium Spark Plug?

Manufacturer NGK has developed upgraded spark plugs made with a precise metal alloy of ruthenium, which is part of the platinum group.

Ruthenium, represented by its symbol Ru and atomic number 44, has a high melting temperature of 4233° F, making it more corrosion-proof and resistant to oxidation than iridium.

This makes it an ideal choice for electrical contact application as it increases wear resistance for extended service life, outstanding performance, and spark transmission.

What Is the Iridium Spark Plug?

What Is the Iridium Spark Plug
What Is the Iridium Spark Plug?

Iridium spark plugs are a superior choice for car owners who want the best engine performance. They provide exceptional combustion, along with lower emissions and increased fuel efficiency. Iridium spark plugs also add horsepower to an engine’s power output, making them ideal for higher-performance vehicles.

Furthermore, these spark plugs are designed to last up to 60,000 miles – and sometimes can last as long as 120,000 miles – meaning they need replacing far less often than standard plugs.

For drivers looking for improved performance without sacrificing durability or reliability, iridium spark plugs are an excellent choice that will pay dividends.

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What Are the Main Differences Between Ruthenium and Iridium?

What Are the Main Differences Between Ruthenium and Iridium
What Are the Main Differences Between Ruthenium and Iridium?

Ruthenium and iridium both have their similarities, as well as differences. Both metals are often used for the same purpose. However, one may be better depending on certain points of view. The key differences between ruthenium and iridium include: Ruthenium has a higher melting point, is harder to work with due to its brittleness, and is more expensive than Iridium, while Iridium has a higher corrosion resistance and greater hardness.


Ruthenium spark plugs have two designs: Double Fine Electrode (DFE) and Projected Square Platinum Electrode (PSPE). DFE maximizes ignitibility and minimizes discharges for low-heat engines. It is ideal for non-turbo applications. PSPE is better suited to supercharged or turbo engines. Iridium spark plugs do not come with a separate design of their own.


Ruthenium is a clear winner when it comes to durability. NGK, the leading manufacturer of spark plugs, has found that ruthenium spark plugs have a longer lifespan than those made with other materials in the platinum family. Furthermore, they can last up to twice as long as iridium spark plugs. Additionally, ruthenium outperforms iridium in harsh weather conditions and provides more reliable ignition power for engines.

High Ignitability

Ruthenium’s high ignitability is remarkable, ensuring maximum combustion and improved acceleration. This results in faster fuel response and complete fuel burn, particularly during cold starts. As a result of this increased efficiency, car exhaust will release less raw gas in the opening minutes of engine operation. Furthermore, iridium’s fast response to the throttle facilitates an immediate improvement in the acceleration profile without losing time waiting for this benefit to take effect.

Fuel Efficiency

It is without any confusion that old spark plugs will be less efficient than fresh ones. Using a ruthenium spark plug in one’s car has been recommended as it provides more effortless combustion, improving the vehicle’s fuel efficiency over time. Iridium sparks are also known to increase fuel economy for city and highway driving; however, this does not offer the same efficiency level as ruthenium.

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What Are The Benefits Of Ruthenium And Iridium?

What Are The Benefits Of Ruthenium And Iridium
What Are The Benefits Of Ruthenium And Iridium?

They can make an accurate decision by learning about the benefits of ruthenium and iridium.


  • When the gas pedal is pressed, ruthenium spark plugs provide smoother, more reliable acceleration.
  • The ruthenium’s efficient ignition helps to keep your car engine running at its peak performance level.
  • As a result of this improved efficiency, rough idling can be reduced or eliminated.
  • It is important to note that replacing faulty spark plugs with ruthenium ones will solve ignition issues and any lack of acceleration and misfires in cars with such problems.
  • Ruthenium spark plugs are known for their reliability. They play an essential role in getting your vehicle up and running again quickly and easily after it has been turned off or if it experiences a problem starting up in the first place!


  • Iridium spark plugs have an average lifespan of 50,000 miles; some users get up to 80,000 miles out of them.
  • The durability and reliability of iridium spark plugs are due to their corrosion-resistant alloy composition with a melting point of 2,000° C.
  • This high-performance alloy helps ensure the vehicle performs at its best.
  • Due to their small electrode design and unique shape, these spark plugs require less voltage than other types for optimal performance and power output – making them energy efficient and reliable in operation over long periods..
  • It is important to note that regular maintenance is still required even with iridium spark plugs so they can perform optimally throughout their life cycle – this includes replacing them when necessary (every 50K miles).

Ruthenium or Iridium – Which One To Buy?

Ruthenium or Iridium – Which One To Buy
Ruthenium or Iridium – Which One To Buy?

Regardless of which spark plug you choose, it is important to prioritize your personal preference. Both ruthenium and iridium spark plugs provide the same level of performance for cars.

These two spark plugs are reliable and durable, offer improved performance, and are good value for money.

Therefore, deciding on one of these two options is wise when considering the quality and cost-effectiveness they promise.

When choosing a new part for their vehicle, many consumers find themselves overwhelmed with the various options on the market.

This article provides an overview of two popular alternatives: ruthenium and iridium. Both have distinct benefits and drawbacks, and it is important to read the instruction manual before deciding which is best for your specific model.

Additionally, researching multiple sources can help ensure you make an informed purchase that meets your needs. Ultimately, following these steps will lead you to the best choice for replacing parts in your vehicle.

FAQs About Ruthenium and Iridium Spark Plugs

Why is ruthenium used in spark plugs?

Ruthenium HX offers the most comprehensive fuel burn of any precious metal spark plug, providing quicker throttle response, steadier idle, and improved cold starts. The product has been tested to meet stringent standards to ensure its performance is as promised.

What spark plug is better than iridium?

A more budget-friendly option than iridium spark plugs is using platinum spark plugs. This type of spark plug provides an upgrade or reliable performance, especially if a car has an electronic distributor ignition system, making it one of the top recommended options.

How long does ruthenium spark plugs last?

Ruthenium spark plugs are a less common option, but they offer superior durability and can last up to 100,000 miles. They provide an outstanding choice for those looking to maximize the lifespan of their vehicle’s spark plugs.

What is the best spark plug material?

Platinum spark plugs have a longer life than traditional spark plugs and are better equipped to handle high temperatures. This allows them to burn off deposits more efficiently and prevents fouling while maintaining consistent performance over time. As such, platinum spark plugs provide an excellent choice for engine ignition systems due to their superior heat resistance and durability.

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