What are Ruthenium Spark Plugs?

Spark plugs some of the essential components in every vehicle’s engine that are not only responsible for igniting the fuel to enable the engine to start and run during combustion; they also play a crucial role in your vehicle’s engine performance and efficiency. Hence, you must be careful to choose the best spark plug with optimum performance and efficiency.

Many traditional platinum and iridium spark plugs could not stay till their specified lifespan because of the demand for more power and less gas mileage by most modern vehicles’ engines. Modern engines are fitted with much functionality that demands more power to run efficiently; hence, NGK manufactured the ruthenium spark plugs.

You may have been using other types of spark plugs that have not been able to deliver to your satisfaction; Ruthenium HX is the way to enjoy durability and quality performance for excellent engine performance. More relevant information about this excellent plug technology is supplied below.

What Are Ruthenium Spark Plugs?

ruthenium spark plugs worth it

Ruthenium spark plugs have high ignitability, which guarantees optimum combustion efficiency, thereby ensuring an excellent complete fuel burn, with minimal emission, swifter throttle response, smoother idle, better cold starting, and faster acceleration.

NGK ruthenium plugs are high ignitability spark plugs with the most advanced technology in the automotive aftermarket. The plugs are designed to offer great power and efficiency in a vehicle’s engine.

The ruthenium plugs offer the capacity that was limited in iridium and platinum spark plugs. NGK spark plugs are good spark plugs, but the ruthenium is an excellent plug type when it comes to durability and performance. In order for your vehicle’s plugs to emit electricity across its small gap to create the ignition that your vehicle’s engine requires for combustion to enable your car to start, the plugs must be properly gapped.

Incorrect gapping of plugs, especially plugs that are not pre-gapped, can cause great harm to your car’s engine or hamper the engine’s ability to engage a complete combustion cycle to enable the engine to start. Ruthenium plugs are pre-gapped, such that you may not need an adjustment in most cases; as a result of this, it promises efficiency at all times.

Some car owners from the ruthenium spark plug forum wonder if the plug is a “lifetime” plug because its durable alloy electrode provides a service life that is 2X that of iridium spark, as well as 4X that of standard nickel electrode spark plugs.

Ruthenium Spark Plugs Design

Ruthenium plugs are designed with reliability and efficiency for every car’s engine. The plug is available in two different designs to your car’s engine performance maximization. The designs are as follows.

Ruthenium Spark Plugs Design

DFE (Double Fine Electrode)

The DFE design possesses the capacity to maximize ignitability with reduced emissions for engines with low heat, and they are best recommended for non-turbo applications.

PSPE (Projected Square Platinum Electrode)

The PSPE design comes with a capacity that projects the best ignitability and improved service life for engines with high heat. This plug design is both recommended for supercharged and turbo engines.

Pros And Cons Of Ruthenium Spark Plugs

Most spark plugs perform excellently well under good conditions but can be very poor under certain conditions, and as such, you must consider the pros and cons when choosing a spark plug for your vehicle. Some spark plugs come with improved capacity from their previously manufactured counterparts. Simultaneously, they also bring along their challenges.

Ruthenium plugs are some of the best spark plugs you can get around with high performance and efficiency; however, they also have limitations.

Suppose you are considering NGK ruthenium HX Vs. NGK laser iridium to enable you to switch to the best spark plugs, it would be best to check out the pros and cons of ruthenium plugs and compare them to that of iridium.

Pros

Affordability

Ruthenium plug is best suitable for car owners operating on a tight budget with less to spend on spark plugs because of their affordability. The plug’s price does not demean its performance as they work excellently even at such an affordable price.

If you wish to save money and still enjoy a spark plug with good performance, ruthenium is your best bet as a car owner.

Provides optimum gas mileage compared to iridium

Iridium spark plugs are nice, but they do not give an excellent gas mileage compared to ruthenium spark plugs. It is proven that switching from iridium to ruthenium can improve your vehicle’s fuel consumption advantage by 20%. 

Therefore, if you wish to get the most out of your vehicle’s engine fuel consumption economy, you may have to switch from whatever spark plugs you have to ruthenium.

Some other pros of ruthenium spark plugs are;

  • Enhanced ignitability for cold start.
  • Ability to withstand high temperature with a high melting point (4233 degrees F).

Cons

Inability to perform efficiently under extreme conditions

Engines accelerate and operate at different levels while banking on the power of the spark plugs. Ruthenium plugs usually do not perform efficiently under extreme conditions like an engine running at high speeds or carrying heavy loads.

Due to this setback, the plugs overheat and possibly wear out faster. They are not usually recommended for some specific engines because of this limitation.

Less durable compared to iridium spark plugs

Ruthenium spark plugs are durable, but in comparing ruthenium vs. iridium spark plugs, ruthenium wears out faster than iridium, resulting in inconsistent and weak performance.

The weakness in performance goes hand-in-hand with increased gas mileage which negates the essence of the plug’s design. Ruthenium plugs have an average lifespan of about 100,000 miles before any replacement.

FAQs

Q: Are ruthenium spark plugs better than iridium?

Ruthenium has been one of the most durable and efficient spark plugs; the spark plug’s alloy electrodes have the capacity to provide up to 2X iridium spark plugs’ service life, as well as 4X standard nickel electrode spark plugs’ service life.

Although ruthenium melts around 4233 degrees F (2334 degrees C), which happens to be a little bit lower than the degree at which iridium melts, they are still one of the best spark plugs you can get around, with a longer lifespan and a better efficiency.

Q: Is NGK ruthenium good?

NGK ruthenium is beyond good; it is an excellent spark plug with more capabilities than its counterparts. One of the main advantages of NGK ruthenium is its high ignitability than enhances cold starts.

In comparing NGK ruthenium spark plugs Vs. Copper, ruthenium provides a better and complete fuel burn than the others, which results in a swifter response from the throttle, enhanced cold starts, and smoother idle. NGK ruthenium is really a great product that you can trust at all times to deliver efficiency.

Q: Are ruthenium spark plugs pre-gapped?

Most spark plugs are pre-gapped, including the ruthenium spark plugs. Different spark plugs are gapped to various levels according to the manufacturer’s specification for different vehicle make and model.

Ruthenium plugs are gapped to .026; hence, you must learn to stick to this level when setting the plug gap with a spark plug tool because any unnecessary adjustment can make the spark plug unable to complete a combustion cycle or result in an unexpected engine problem. Hence, NGK recommends that users must avoid gapping the plugs.

Q: Is ruthenium a good spark plug?

Ruthenium plug is an excellent spark plug that provides the most advanced technology in spark plugs to the automotive industry, with a capacity that delivers better power and efficiency for your vehicle’s engine.

Ruthenium plugs are different because of their superior oxidation resistance, enhanced blistering/anti-peeling, advanced high ignitability, with DFE & PSPE tips designs. Ruthenium offers more efficient performance and durability than platinum and iridium spark plugs. They also provide more power with optimum gas mileage.

Q: Can you gap ruthenium plugs?

Ruthenium plugs are pre-gapped, and as such, you don’t need to gap them. However, you can possibly adjust them if the need arises to do so. But you must be very careful so that you don’t bend or break the fine-wire electrodes.

Endeavor to use a tool that enables you only to move or shift the ground electrode without prying against the electrodes. If you must gap a ruthenium plug, ensure to maintain anything around .026; otherwise, an incorrect gapping could affect the plug’s ability to ignite during combustion and sometimes lead to engine problems.

Final Words

NGK manufactures spark plugs with exceptional qualities, and ruthenium spark plugs seem to come in a different style. Ensure to consider the relevant information that has been provided in this article if you must get the best out of the type of plug you choose for your vehicle.

As a car owner, it would be best to critically consider the benefits and limitations of the plugs currently in use in your vehicle if it will require a replacement to something better. If you currently use iridium, kindly refer back to the pros and cons of ruthenium to see if it’s something that suits your needs.

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Osuagwu Solomon

Osuagwu Solomon is a seasoned automotive technician for the past 9 years, and a technical writer. He loves writing about auto professional repair guides, DIY repair guides, and buyer’s guide. After spending six years in the automotive workshop, he decided to impact his knowledge to people aside his domain, and he has achieved this by centering his Automotive writing skills on REPAIRS.

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