Ruthenium vs Iridium: Which Spark Plug is Ideal For You?

Ruthenium vs iridium is a comparison that many car owners consider when choosing the ideal spark plug that they can use. Both materials are used to make plugs, and come with their own benefits and downsides, so it might be hard to select the ideal choice for your vehicle.

Ruthenium vs Iridium

Ruthenium and iridium are both high-quality plugs, as the latter offers more durability while the former is more affordable, but in general, it depends on your personal preference. In this guide, we will look at both plugs and help you choose the ideal one for you.

Features Ruthenium  Iridium 
Abbreviation  Ru Ir
Melting point  2334˚C 2446˚C
Boiling point  4150˚C 4130˚C
Price Cheaper Costlier
Best For  Fuel Economy High-Performance Engines


What is the Difference Between Ruthenium vs Iridium?

The main difference between ruthenium and iridium is that iridium is more expensive, giving you better corrosion resistance and durability, while ruthenium is cheaper but still offers good quality. If your major concern is durability, you can go for iridium, while ruthenium is good for those on a budget.

Ruthenium and iridium are two metals that can be used in plugs, with the former being a platinum-group metal while the latter is a corrosion-resistant metal. Ruthenium plugs feature ruthenium electrodes, and they are less expensive but they also wear out faster. Also, plugs with iridium electrodes are more durable but also more expensive.

Most car manufacturers also recommend using iridium plugs because they offer the best performance and are highly durable. But, if you’re on a tight budget or your car is not compatible with iridium plugs, you should use a ruthenium plug. Iridium is more corrosion-resistant than ruthenium, as the latter is a softer metal.

– How Ruthenium Spark Plugs Work

Ruthenium spark plugs have a similar construction to other spark plugs, consisting of a metal shell, an insulator, and an electrode. However, in the case of ruthenium spark plugs, the electrode tip is typically made of a durable alloy that includes a small percentage of ruthenium.

The electrode tip of a spark plug is exposed to the combustion chamber of the engine. When an electrical current is sent through the spark plug, it creates a spark at the electrode gap. This spark ignites the air-fuel mixture in the combustion chamber, initiating the combustion process that powers the engine. Ruthenium has excellent conductivity properties, allowing for a more efficient ignition process and a strong, consistent spark.

– How Iridium Spark Plugs Work

Iridium spark plugs have a similar construction to other spark plugs, consisting of a metal shell, an insulator, and an electrode. However, in the case of iridium spark plugs, the electrode tip is made of a fine wire of iridium metal.

When an electrical current is applied to the spark plug, it generates a high-voltage spark at the electrode gap. This spark ignites the air-fuel mixture in the combustion chamber, initiating the combustion process. The use of iridium in the electrode tip allows for a sharper and more consistent spark, which results in efficient combustion and improved engine performance.

– Features and Downsides of Ruthenium

Ruthenium is a rare metal that can be found in platinum ores. The metal is a hard, silver-white metal with a melting point of up to 2,500 degrees Fahrenheit. Ruthenium comes with different interesting properties, as it is highly resistant to corrosion, with a high boiling point and melting point.

Downsides of Ruthenium


The material is highly brittle and will shatter if you drop it on a hard surface. Ruthenium is the material that is used in alloys due to the resistance to corrosion, but it is also used in spark plugs and other electrical devices. You can find ruthenium plugs in high-performance engines because they produce a lot of power.

– Pros of Ruthenium Spark Plugs

There are different advantages of using ruthenium spark plugs for your car, especially in the case of high-performance engines. Ruthenium spark plugs offer a high resistance to corrosion, so they can take on the harsh conditions and high temperatures that you get in a high performance engine.

Due to the high melting point and boiling point of ruthenium plugs, they can withstand extreme heat in the engine without vaporization or melting. Also, while these spark plugs are brittle and will shatter if it drops, this makes it a good choice to prevent fouling and keep your electrodes clean. Also, these plugs produce a lot of power.

– Cons of Ruthenium Spark Plugs

There are a few potential downsides of ruthenium spark plugs that you need to consider. For one, ruthenium plugs are more expensive than traditional plugs, although they are still cheaper than the iridium spark plugs. Also, they might not last longer than your standard plug options.

Keep in mind that ruthenium plugs don’t work for all kinds of engines, and this is another downside to keep in mind. Before you purchase one to use in your vehicle, you should consult with a reliable automotive specialist or contact the manufacturer. This will allow you to know whether the ruthenium plug will be compatible with your vehicle.

– Fuel Economy and Ruthenium

Ruthenium plugs come with a better fuel economy than iridium plugs, although the difference between both isn’t too significant since iridium plugs also provide top performance. Ruthenium plugs also offer good performance, and feature good durability and resistance to corrosion.

– Performance and Ruthenium

While iridium plugs seem to offer top performance, ruthenium plugs are also a good choice for high-performance engines. It will work great for engines and the high boiling and melting point increases its durability. There is no clear-cut answer on which provides better performance, but ruthenium is not always considered to be as good as iridium.

– Features and Downsides of Iridium

Iridium is a rare metal that is known as the hardest metal in the world. It is used to make plugs and features a very high melting point, making it suitable for extreme conditions in high-performance engines. Iridium is a highly brittle material so it would be hard to work with it.

Features of Iridium


A plug with an iridium electrode can withstand very high temperatures, and it is highly durable. This allows it to last up to 100,000 miles before you need to replace it. This makes iridium plugs a good option for high-performance motorcycles and cars. They are the most expensive types of spark plugs.

– Pros of Iridium Spark Plugs

There are a number of pros that you get with iridium spark plugs, and this makes it a good choice for high-performance engines. Iridium plugs are highly resistant to corrosion, even more so than ruthenium plugs, and so they can withstand the harshest conditions in a high-performance engine.

With the high boiling point and high melting point, iridium plugs can withstand very extreme heat without vaporizing or melting. But, the melting and boiling point temperature of iridium plugs are similar to that of ruthenium plugs. Also, iridium plugs produce a lot more power than any other plug, so it is ideal for high-performance engines.

– Cons of Iridium Spark Plugs

There are a few downsides that you need to consider when using iridium spark plugs. For one, they are the most expensive plugs, even more expensive than traditional plugs and ruthenium plugs. Also, iridium plugs are not usually readily available at local retailers because they are scarce.

Also, iridium plugs require more maintenance and care than your standard traditional spark plug or ruthenium plug. The pros of this plug are more than the cons, and so this is an ideal investment for many drivers.

– Fuel Economy and Iridium

Ruthenium plugs have better fuel economy than iridium plugs. Despite this, the difference is small so you won’t have to worry about losing your fuel efficiency. If you have trouble starting your car with an iridium plug or your engine is running rough, ask a mechanic to check it for you.

– Performance and Iridium

In terms of performance, it might be hard to choose between both spark plugs. But iridium plugs are seen as the best option for a high-performance engine. It produces more power than most types of plugs so it is an ideal choice for drivers that want the best performance. Iridium is a good choice if you’re looking for maximum performance.

Frequently Asked Questions

– Are There Spark Plugs That Are Better than Iridium?

No, there are no spark plugs that are better than iridium. Iridium plugs are better at starting engines than most types of plugs, because it concentrates its spark in the central electrode. Also, iridium plugs require less voltage. This gives you high ignitability, and will reduce your power consumption.

Platinum electrode plugs are usually considered as a good choice to match up to iridium plugs. But iridium is eight times stronger and six times harder, with a much higher melting point. They are designed with fine electrodes and have great wear characteristics. So, they can last longer than your platinum plugs.

– How Long Will an Iridium Spark Plug Last?

An iridium spark plug will last for up to 3,000 to 4,000 hours. This depends on the gas quality and the engine uptime. It can last up to 100,000 miles or more. With the corrosion resistance and durability, you can expect more from an iridium plug.

– How Often Should Your Spark Plugs Be Replaced?

You should replace your spark plug every 30,000 miles, as recommended by most automakers. But, if you’re using an iridium plug, you will be able to replace the plug less often since they are durable. It’s best to check the owner’s manual for the specific requirements of your vehicle.

If you are not sure about replacing your plug, you should contact a mechanic to check it for you. The mechanic will check if they are fouled or dirty, and provide you with a replacement.

– What is a Traditional Spark Plug Made From?

Traditional spark plugs are usually made from copper and brass. Since both materials are cheap and durable, you can use it for most applications and easily purchase it. They are also widely available for purchase. But traditional plugs are not always a good choice for high-performance engines.

Iridium and ruthenium plugs have a higher melting point and boiling point than copper and brass, and they are highly resistant to corrosion. This makes them ideal for engines that need a high degree of heat resistance.

What Are the Benefits of Using Ruthenium or Iridium Spark Plugs?

When it comes to car maintenance, the bluedriver vs fixd scanner comparison is worth considering. Ruthenium or iridium spark plugs offer numerous benefits. These advanced plugs provide better fuel efficiency, improved ignition, and a longer lifespan compared to traditional copper plugs. With their enhanced durability, they can withstand higher temperatures and reduce emissions, resulting in a smoother and more reliable driving experience. Upgrade your spark plugs and experience the difference yourself.


When making the choice between ruthenium vs iridium plugs, it boils down to your personal preference and which one you can afford. The main difference between ruthenium and iridium is the price, as the former is cheaper to purchase but the latter is more durable. Ruthenium plugs are cheap to use, offer corrosion resistance and durability, with a high melting point and boiling point.

Iridium plugs are also highly resistant to corrosion and produce more power than other plugs, as they are good for high-performance engines. If you’re unsure about the plug that you should use, you can ask a mechanic for advice. But in general, an iridium plug is the ideal choice if you can afford it, while ruthenium plugs are cheaper to use.

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