The spark plug plays a vital role in kickstarting the engine by firing up the fuel/air mixture with the spark. There are multiple spark plugs with different materials; however, failure is a common problem mainly due to corrosion. Even if it is under the hood, it is not entirely secured.
With the advancement in every industry, there has always been an improved solution that gives better efficiency and saves money.
A platinum spark plug was a suitable replacement for a copper plug; these days, ruthenium and iridium are renowned names that offer better durability, fuel efficiency, and corrosion resistance.
You might have been confused about which one will be better to vouch for. If the answer is yes, then this detailed comparison of Ruthenium vs Iridium spark plugs is for you.
Ruthenium – What Is It?
Ruthenium is rare hard metal with excellent wear and corrosion-resistant capabilities compared to palladium and platinum.
The fun fact here is that Ruthenium is found in platinum and is better than platinum when handling heat and surviving in challenging environments.
A ruthenium spark plug will improve the overall engine efficiency.
The electrode created from this metal is tough and more rugged if I compare it to copper or steel; not to forget, it has a boiling melting point of 4233° F degrees.
The core reason to buy this is its corrosion-resistant capabilities. You should use this type of ignition accessory if you own a high-performance engine as it produces excellent power.
On the other hand, brittleness is also a metal property, and you must be careful when it is in your hand.
Iridium – What Is It?
Iridium is one of the earth’s most durable materials with a higher density. Furthermore, the heat it can handle is more elevated than ruthenium.
Also, since it is a natural conductor of heat, your engine will run smooth and clean as you have never felt before.
There is a downside that is the same as ruthenium: brittleness.
If you’re wondering about its peak melting point, it’s 4471° F degrees.
Ruthenium vs Iridium – The Ultimate Battle Of Spark Plugs
These spark plugs have their benefits and downsides, so first, let’s begin with the advantages they offer.
Pros of Ruthenium Spark Plug
- It might not be the most robust material on earth, but the efficiency it provides is priceless.
- Switching to this one can save up to 20% on fuel efficiency. Hence, you save more money and pollute the environment less simultaneously.
- You will get double mileage when this ignition plug is installed in your car instead of iridium.
- Buying this one is the best decision when running on a tight budget, thanks to its affordability.
Pros of Iridium Spark Plug
- It has more platinum protein, making it highly durable and reliable.
- It has remarkable corrosion-resistant mechanical properties and oxidation, making it suitable for any environment.
- The life span is also long, and you can use them in any engine.
- It requires low voltage to operate. It is ideal for individuals who do not want to spend the money or time to upgrade their engine but still want to benefit from an iridium plug.
That’s the benefit now; let’s see its downsides.
Cons of Ruthenium Spark Plug
- It does not perform well when the engine runs at high speed or is under heavy load; it wears out quickly due to overheating.
- Its quick-wear impacts the engine performance directly, reducing the kilometer and increasing the gas consumption.
Cons of Iridium Spark Plug
- It has a better lifespan and gives an efficient performance, which comes at a cost. An Iridium spark plug is pretty expensive in comparison.
The Conclusion: Which One Should You Go and Buy
To begin with, both have their ups and downs. Buying one depends on many factors, including the budget, vehicle types, engine’s compression ratio, the miles you drive, and the driving you do.
The first concern is the budget; a ruthenium spark plug is suitable if you can’t stretch your budget and have a fixed amount.
Both of these can be used in racing cars to lawnmowers. The questions are how much you are willing to spend and how you use your automobile vehicle.
If it’s an excellent fuel efficiency you want despite the engine going under heavy load, then iridium is the best choice.
However, if your requirement is minimal, e.g., keeping the low load on the engine and expecting a better mileage range with low maintenance and good fuel-saving, ruthenium is the way to go.
Below is a table that helps you better understand:
|Durability||It has a better lifespan than any other platinum spark plug.||This one also has a good life, but it varies depending on the type of vehicle. Sometimes you get 60,000 miles, and you can expect up to 1,20,000 miles in the low-load vehicle.|
|Ignition||It has the highest ignitibility, offering complete fuel combustion.||Your vehicle has a great acceleration profile with this spark plug.|
|Fuel Efficiency||Thanks to its highest ignition profile, it offers better fuel-saving on the road.||This one also provides excellent fuel efficiency on long trips, like highways.|
|Design||It comes in two designs, double fine electrodes (DFE) and projected square platinum electrodes(PSPE). Where DFE is good for non-turbo engines and PSPE is suitable for turbo engines.||It comes only in one design and is ideal for any engine.|
Frequently Asked Questions
Q.1. Which is more durable, iridium or ruthenium?
Ans. Ruthenium plugs are excellent in terms of durability! Ruthenium spark plugs have a longer lifespan than their competition, such as the platinum family, according to NGK.
Q.2. Is ruthenium more cost-effective than iridium?
Ans. Yes. Ruthenium is a budget-friendly option in comparison and gives value for money performance for its asking price.
Q.3. For which type of vehicle iridium spark plug is the best choice?
Ans. Iridium spark plug comes in only one design and is suitable for any non-electric engine. However, if you drive more on highways and often cover long distances, iridium is the best option, be it a car or truck.
Q.4. Is it worth switching to a ruthenium or iridium spark plug from an old copper plug?
Ans. You get a better heat melting point in ruthenium and iridium than in copper. Not to mention, the improved fuel efficiency is also an added advantage that comes with it. Hence, it is worth every penny if you consider switching your old spark plug with the new ones.