Ruthenium Spark Plugs: Are They Better Than Traditional Plugs?

Ruthenium spark plugs are a type of spark plug that uses ruthenium as the primary catalytic metal. Ruthenium is a rare transition metal that is found in small quantities in many different minerals, including iron ore.

Unlike other metals, ruthenium is extremely resistant to corrosion and has a very high melting point, making it an ideal choice for use in spark plugs.

Ruthenium plugs offer several benefits over traditional spark plugs. First, they are much less likely to experience “fouling” or deposits build-up on the electrode, which can cause misfires.

Second, ruthenium spark plugs provide better ignitability than traditional plugs, meaning they will ignite the air/fuel mixture more easily and efficiently.

Finally, ruthenium plugs tend to last longer than traditional plugs, providing you with extended service life.

In this article, we shall be highlighting how ruthenium spark plugs work and how they compare with other spark plugs.

What is Ruthenium?

Ruthenium is one of the transition metals in group 8 of the periodic table. It is a hard, dense, silver-white metal that is resistant to corrosion.

Discovery date 1844
Discovered by Karl Karlovich Klaus
Origin of the name The name is derived from ‘Ruthenia’, the Latin name for Russia

The metal has a relatively high melting point and boiling point compared to other transition metals. It is also one of the least reactive elements, making it useful for a variety of applications.

It’s often used as a catalyst in chemical reactions. It is also used in electrical contacts and electrodes, as well as in jewelry and other decorative items.

Ruthenium is sometimes added to other metals to improve their strength or resistance to wear.

The metal is found in trace amounts in many minerals, but its chief ore is rutile, a titanium dioxide mineral.

Additionally, it’s also produced as a by-product of platinum and nickel mining. Most ruthenium is used in the form of compounds, rather than as the pure element.

This rare metal is used to make spark plugs for gasoline engines, as well as to coat X-ray tubes and electrical contacts. It is also used in certain types of catalytic converters and fuel cells. Ruthenium-based compounds are sometimes used in cancer treatments and as anti-inflammatory drugs.

Group 8 Melting point 2333°C, 4231°F, 2606 K
Period 5 Boiling point 4147°C, 7497°F, 4420 K
Block d Density (g cm−3) 12.1
Atomic number 44 Relative atomic mass 101.07
State at 20°C Solid Key isotopes 101Ru, 102Ru, 104Ru
Electron configuration [Kr] 4d75s1 CAS number 7440-18-8
ChemSpider ID 22390 ChemSpider is a chemical structure database

Table Source:

Ruthenium is a relatively rare element, but it is not considered to be a precious metal. However, because of its many useful properties, ruthenium is an important part of the global economy.

How Long Do Ruthenium Spark Plugs Last

These spark plugs have an extremely long lifespan and can last between 100,000- 120,000 miles.

However, it is important to note that these plugs require special care and maintenance in order to ensure their longevity.

For example, ruthenium plugs must be regularly cleaned and inspected in order to prevent build-up of deposits and debris.

Additionally, the gap between the electrodes must be checked frequently and adjusted as needed to maintain optimal performance. Ultimately, following these simple guidelines will help keep your spark plugs functioning properly for many miles to come.

If you notice any issues with your spark plugs, such as a decrease in performance or fuel economy, it is best to replace them sooner rather than later.

Are Ruthenium Spark Plugs Better

Yes, these spark plugs are better than traditional spark plugs for a number of reasons. First, ruthenium has a higher melting point, so it can withstand higher temperatures without degrading.

This means that ruthenium spark plugs will last longer, provide better performance and need to be replaced less often. Additionally, ruthenium has a lower resistance than other metals, so it conducts electricity more efficiently.

This results in a stronger spark and better engine performance. Finally, ruthenium is less likely to cause misfires than other types of spark plugs, making it the ideal choice for high-performance engines.

Lastly, these spark plugs create less pollution, so they are better for the environment.

Ruthenium spark plugs can cost more than standard spark plugs, but they may be worth the investment if you want your car to run well for a long time.

Ruthenium Vs Iridium Spark Plugs

Iridium spark plugs are made with a fine iridium tip, which is said to conduct electricity better and create a more reliable spark. Ruthenium plugs have a ruthenium-tipped electrode that is also designed to conduct electricity well and create a more reliable spark.

Both types of spark plugs are said to offer superior performance compared to traditional copper or platinum spark plugs. So, which one is better?

Iridium spark plugs tend to be more expensive than ruthenium plugs, but they also offer some advantages. Iridium plugs last longer than ruthenium plugs and they don’t require as much maintenance.

In addition, iridium plugs provide better ignitability and fuel economy. If you’re looking for the best performance, iridium spark plugs are the way to go.

Ruthenium plugs also have their benefits. Ruthenium plugs provide better engine idling, lower emissions, and improved fuel economy.

They’re also said to be less likely to cause misfires. If you’re looking for a plug that’s more affordable and easier to find, ruthenium plugs are a good option.

Iridium spark plugs are highly resistant to corrosion and oxidation, meaning they’ll last longer than ruthenium plugs.

So, which type of spark plug is right for you? It really depends on your needs and preferences. If you want the best performance, go with iridium plugs.

If you’re looking for a more affordable option that’s easier to find, go with ruthenium plugs. Whichever type of plug you choose, make sure to follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for installation and maintenance.

Ruthenium Spark Plugs Pros and Cons

Ruthenium spark plugs are known for their longevity. They can last up to three times longer than platinum spark plugs, and they don’t require as much maintenance. Ruthenium is also less likely to cause engine misfires, making it a good choice for high-performance engines.

Improved efficiency –

Ruthenium plugs have a higher thermal conductivity than other types of spark plugs. They offer up to 30% more efficient than traditional spark plugs. This means that they can transfer heat more efficiently, which can lead to improved engine efficiency.

Reduced emissions –

These spark plugs can help reduce tailpipe emissions by up to 50%. This is because they burn fuel more completely, resulting in less carbon monoxide and other pollutants being released into the atmosphere.

Improved performance –

Ruthenium spark plugs can provide better engine performance, thanks to their improved thermal conductivity and ability to burn fuel more completely. In addition, ruthenium’s resistance to engine knocking means that it can allow for higher compression ratios without sacrificing reliability.

Lower cost –

Ruthenium is a relatively rare metal, so it is usually more expensive than other metals used in spark plugs.

Although ruthenium plugs may cost more than traditional plugs, they can offer significant savings in the long run. Thanks to their longer lifespan, durability and improved efficiency, ruthenium spark plugs can help you save money on replacement costs and fuel bills.

Increased durability –

They are designed to withstand the high temperatures and pressures of today’s engines. They can resist corrosion and wear better than other types of spark plugs, making them a good choice for high-mileage vehicles.

If you’re looking for a spark plug that offers improved engine performance, reduced emissions and increased durability, ruthenium plugs are a good option to consider.


Ruthenium plugs are not without their drawbacks, however. One major drawback is that they require special care and maintenance in order to keep them working properly. Another drawback is that they can be difficult to find, since they are not widely available.


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