Ruthenium vs Iridium: Which is the Best Spark Plug?

Written by

Charles Bolte


Vernon Hoppe 


When choosing the spark plug material, you might have encountered the 2 top contenders in the market, ruthenium vs iridium. These materials are known for their lasting and reliable performance in supporting the combustion process.

Even with these common perks, both of them also offer something different. Those factors are what identify them as the best at their own game. That’s what we’ll feature in this blog today!

Ruthenium Iridium
Corrosion resistant More stable and corrosion resistant
High melting point at 2,500°F Highest melting point in Platinum group at 4,435°F
Produces more power Hardest metal

Overview of Ruthenium Spark Plugs


This type of spark plug material is a rare element that people in the automotive industry value. It has a remarkable resistance to corrosion, which is vital for the function of a spark plug. With that characteristic, efficient operation is ensured.

In addition, ruthenium is also known as an element that fits in the platinum group. Platinum is a strong material used for corrosion-resistant equipment for automobiles, petroleum, and other industries.

Now, regarding ruthenium as a spark plug, you can also rely on its performance during a high temperature. It has a high melting point of 2,500°F, which means it can last longer powering up the vehicle.

Overview of Iridium Spark Plugs


On the other hand, iridium is also an element under the Platinum group. However, it is considered a precious material due to its scarce source on the earth’s crust.

Compared to the first spark plug type, iridium can provide more stability and performance in high temperatures.

This element has the highest melting point of 4,435°F, the highest temperature of all elements from the Platinum group.

This factor is one of the reasons why it is being used as a material for spark plugs. With its composition, it can cater to the combustion needs of the vehicle. Also, other industries, such as electronics, trust this material’s durability and stability.

Similarities of Ruthenium and Iridium

1. Durability and reliability


As mentioned, both ruthenium and iridium are evidently great choices for spark plugs. They are durable and reliable, which is important for supporting the combustion activities in the vehicle.

These platinum materials offer upper-hand performances, ensuring corrosion protectant and electrical flow. Despite these similarities, they also provide their little edge, which is why knowing the spark plug types comparison is vital.

2. Corrosion and wear resistant


Both of these materials are resistant to corrosion and wear, which is vital for spark plugs. These characteristics will help the material to last longer for engine operations.

Differences between Ruthenium and Iridium

1. Application


Due to the differences in their features, these two spark plugs are used for different applications.

In detail, most prefer Iridium when there are harsh and corrosive chemicals and other harmful elements.

Meanwhile, when dealing with high heat, Ruthenium spark plugs becomes the better choice between the two.

2. Price


One of the most known differences that these 2 have is the price range. Even though both offer almost the same type of system, the iridium is considered more expensive. According to this source, the iridium spark plug is about $20 and more.

Iridium is the hardest metal in the platinum group and has the highest melting point, so it could be why it is worth more.

3. Origin


Additionally, ruthenium is collected from the production of nickel, unlike iridium which can be naturally found from a meteorite. Even though that’s the case for iridium vs ruthenium, this proves they are rare materials for spark plugs.

4. Concentrated spark


One of the important feature is the concentrated spark for iridium, which is influenced by the diameter size of the electrode in this type of spark plug. It is important to note as this factor ensures quick combustion resulting in engine responsiveness.

5. Fuel efficiency


Meanwhile, fuel efficiency is another vital characteristic of spark plugs, which ruthenium can offer more.

6. Pros and Cons

In connection to the comparison, let’s dive deeper into the 2 platinum metals that are top contenders for buying spark plugs. Like any other vehicle accessory, there will always be some vital perks and cons that everyone should be aware of.

Let’s check them below!

Spark plug material Pros Cons
Ruthenium ● Wear & corrosion resistance

● Fuel efficient

● Erosion resistance

● Ignition efficient

● Ensured engine performance

● Longevity and durable

● Can’t last longer than iridium

● Non-toxic


Iridium ● Wear & corrosion resistant

● Better fuel efficiency

● Longevity and durable

● Concentrated spark

● Ensured engine performance

● Suitable for modern vehicle

● More stable

● Expensive than ruthenium

● Not that accessible

● Toxic

Ruthenium and iridium both offer almost the same advantages. That involves longevity, durability, engine performance, and more. Although other factors might put them a bit of an edge against each other.

Which is Better?

It can be analyzed that choosing the better option will always depend on the buyer’s preference for their vehicle. So, is ruthenium better than iridium or the other way around, there’s no right and wrong answer.

If it depends on the product’s service and price, ruthenium will be the obvious choice. However, iridium is the suitable choice if the price is not in the equation. Still, that doesn’t mean the others can’t perform their duty.


Knowing the cons and benefits of iridium and ruthenium is a great deciding factor in understanding the ruthenium vs iridium comparison. This comparison is necessary as both offer impressive functionality and assistance to ensure engine performance.

However, choosing between the two will remain subjective to the person who wants to buy the spark plug. It can be due to the cost or longevity of the item, but both types are suitable options.

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