Comparison of Ruthenium and Iridium Spark Plugs

Before discussing the difference between iridium and ruthenium spark plugs, let us tell you what a spark plug is. It is a device that plays a vital role in supplying the spark that results in igniting the mixture of air/fuel. It also creates the explosion that plays an important role in making the engine able to produce power. There are different types of spark plugs available in the market so you can buy the one that is suitable for you.

It would be best if you first compare all the types of spark plugs before buying one for yourself. You can see the common types of spark plugs are double platinum spark plugs, platinum spark plugs, iridium spark plugs, and copper spark plugs.

The most common types of spark plugs are iridium and ruthenium which are mostly used in vehicles. This guide is about ruthenium vs iridium spark plugs that explain the difference between these two types of spark plugs.

You will learn about their features and advantages in detail. After reviewing ruthenium spark plugs vs iridium, you will be able to decide which one would be best for your vehicle depending upon your vehicle type and mode.

What are Iridium Spark Plugs?

Before explaining ruthenium spark plugs vs iridium, let us discuss iridium spark plugs in detail. No doubt, iridium spark plugs are one of the best spark plugs that offer efficient performance and are enriched with superior technology. These plugs are made up of iridium metal which makes them durable and long-lasting

You will see that your vehicle’s engine is operating cooler and cleaner after the installation of an iridium spark plug than before. You do not need to replace them regularly like other spark plugs. The melting point of the iridium spark plug is about 4471oF. Moreover, it is highly resistant to wear and tear. Let us tell you that this type of spark plug can last up to 60,000 miles.


Following are some of the advantages of iridium spark plugs that will help you understand ruthenium vs iridium and find the best one for you:

  • The life expectancy of iridium spark plugs is about 50,000 miles where it may also get to 80,000 miles depending upon the vehicle type.
  • It is highly resistant to corrosion.
  • Its melting point is 2000oC which makes it reliable and enhances its performance
  • No high voltage is required for iridium spark plugs for creating power.
  • It consists of a unique design and contains a small electrode to manage the need for voltage.


  • Iridium spark plugs are expensive and cannot be afforded by everyone. So, you need to spend money on buying it to enjoy its durability for a long time.
  • You can see that the performance of this plug is not enhanced when you repair it after some kind of damage is done to it.
  • If the dust or debris gets stuck into the iridium spark plug, there are great chances of flammability.

What are Ruthenium Spark Plugs?

Ruthenium spark plugs are the ones that last for a long time and provide you with better vehicle performance. It also provides the service of spark propagation. You can see there are electrodes in this type of spark plug that are made up of precious metal ruthenium

Let us enhance your knowledge by explaining that ruthenium is a chemical element whose symbol is RU. The atomic number of this element is 44. The melting point of ruthenium is 4233oF. It is best to use this spark plug as it is wear-resistant.

You can see ruthenium spark plugs offer superior and remarkable oxidation resistance. It is also enriched with advanced highly ignitable technology that makes it durable and lasts for a long time. It also comes in two different designs i.e. PSPE and DFE tip design.


  • Ruthenium spark plugs provide responsive, trouble-free, and smooth acceleration to your vehicle when you step on the gas pedal.
  • Adequate ignition can be delivered by ruthenium spark plugs for stimulating the motor combustion process of your car. That’s why rough idles can be smoothed out easily and efficiently.
  • All ignition problems can be solved with the help of ruthenium and it can also manage misfires and lackluster acceleration remarkably.
  • You will not find any difficulty in starting your car when a ruthenium spark plug is installed in it.


  • Ruthenium spark plugs can not offer good performance in extreme conditions.
  • Its average lifespan is only about 100,000 miles between changes.
  • You can not enjoy excellent acceleration when driving at a fast speed or under heavy loads. These spark plugs overheat and get damaged quickly.

Ruthenium VS Iridium Spark Plugs – Key Difference

If you want to know NGK ruthenium vs iridium, you must compare them on the basis of their features. The comparison of their features explains which one is better than the other one. You can see there are many differences in ruthenium and iridium spark plugs but you will also notice some similarities between them.

The major similarity between these two spark plugs is that their function is the same. It means they are used for the same purpose in every vehicle. But you might notice the difference in cost and some other factors among them. Let us discuss some of the major features that could explain the difference between the iridium spark plug and the ruthenium spark plug.

1. Design

You can see that there is a difference between the design of iridium spark plugs and the ruthenium spark plugs. The iridium spark plugs are the ones that are available in only one design so you cannot get the one depending upon your preferences or there is no choice for you in this type of spark plug.

On the other hand, you can get the ruthenium spark plugs in two different designs so you are provided with the choice to buy the one that is suitable for you or the one you like. Their designs are named as a double fine electrode and projected square platinum electrode.

Different designs are used for different purposes, thus their usage is different. The DFE plug is the one that plays a vital role in minimizing the discharges for the low heat engines. It also results in maximizing ignitability which makes it suitable for the non-turbo application. The PSPE is majorly used for supercharged and turbo engines.

2. Durability

If you want to know which spark plug is more durable and will last for a longer time, let us tell you that ruthenium spark plugs are the ones that are great when it comes to durability. The lifespan of ruthenium spark plugs is more than other types of spark plugs such as platinum.

But if we compare ruthenium spark plugs with iridium spark plugs in terms of durability, iridium spark plugs are the ones that are more durable. They are designed in a way that they can last for about 120,000 miles.

3. Ignitability

Let us explain which type of spark plug has high ignitability. For your information, ruthenium plugs are the ones with high ignitability as it provides maximum combustion and makes sure the fuel response is quick and the acceleration is better.

Your car or any other vehicle will release less raw gas because of a faster cold start. Whereas, the iridium spark plug responds faster to the throttle operation and plays a vital role in quickly improving the acceleration profile of your vehicle.

4. Fuel-Efficient

Many people consider buying a spark plug that is fuel efficient which in turn also saves you some money. We all know when a spark plug is new, it provides great fuel efficiency as compared to the old ones. But when we compare iridium and ruthenium spark plugs in terms of fuel efficiency, ruthenium plugs are the ones that win the race.

When you install a ruthenium spark plug in your vehicle, the acceleration of your car will require less effort while performing the combustion process which in turn results in enhancing the fuel efficiency over time. No doubt, the iridium spark plug is also fuel-efficient but it offers less fuel efficiency as compared to the ruthenium spark plugs.

Which Spark Plug is the Best?

After considering and reviewing the details of both types of spark plugs, it depends upon you which one to buy. It is because you must buy the one that is suitable for your vehicle and is under your budget. But if you want an opinion, it is recommended to buy the ruthenium spark plugs.

You must be thinking about why this type of spark plug is recommended when there are slight differences between them. Let us tell you that ruthenium spark plugs are the ones that provide you with greater performance and enhance the performance of your car engine.

But on the other hand ruthenium spark plugs offer less mileage as compared to iridium spark plugs. Similarly, iridium spark plugs also have some advantages and some disadvantages. Both spark plugs are durable, reliable, and offer better performance, so you can buy any of them for your vehicle.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Which factors should be considered when comparing iridium and ruthenium spark plugs?

You need to check their durability, performance, reliability, and cost to find out which one is better for you depending upon your needs.

2. What is the cost of a ruthenium spark plug?

The cost of a ruthenium spark plug is about 1143 dollars.

3. Which spark plug is affordable, ruthenium or iridium?

When it comes to budget, you should buy the ruthenium spark plug because it is more affordable than the iridium spark plug.

4. What is NGK?

NGK is one of the famous companies that manufactures and designs different types of spark plugs such as iridium, platinum, ruthenium, etc.

5. When should you change the spark plug of your vehicle?

When you notice your vehicle is not running properly like before and there is backfiring during acceleration, it would be best to change the existing spark plug with a new one.


When you are thinking of buying a spark plug for your vehicle, you must review different types of spark plugs for this purpose. The reason behind going through the detail of each spark plug is to determine which one is better for your vehicle. You should also consider which one will provide better performance.

You should never forget to consider your budget first. No doubt, both ruthenium and iridium spark plugs offer good performance but they both have some pros and cons. So, you must consider them and buy the one that is fuel-efficient, reliable, and durable so that your money does not go wasted and the spark plug could last for a long time.

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