What’s the Price of Good Combustion?

With advancements in trucking, sometimes it’s necessary to take a “step back” when it comes to repair and maintenance. Take for instance, a spark plug, which is considered one of the basic tune-up items in the garage. With several options available today, you’ll need to add another step in the repair process to determine what spark plug is best for your vehicle: copper, platinum, iridium or ruthenium?

Which also brings up the question, “How do we keep up with these ever-evolving alloys?”

Most prefer to use what the vehicle manufacture recommends or what they can afford. But some of these new sparks plug designs make some eye-catching “claims.”

Recently, vehicle manufacturers have been using iridium spark plugs with 100k mile replacement intervals. Iridium is one of the durable and best plugs on the market, which can withstand high engine temperatures and highly resistant to wear-and-tear.

Ruthenium spark plugs – the most advanced spark plugs on the market – are made from a hard, rare metal that also withstands high temperatures. Ruthenium plugs have high ignitability, which guarantees smoother idle and better cold starts.  Many claim that this latest technology will last even longer than iridium.

Could this help in areas subjected to extreme weather cold snaps?  Maybe we are getting close to a “life of the vehicle spark plug”   Some consumers already follow this logic with their vehicles. It usually ends up costing more in the long run with down-time repairs.

Ruthenium has a very high melting point of 4233°F (2334°C), and testing has shown that this new metal technology is more stable under combustion pressure during engine operation. There are also designs available for forced induction engines, which demonstrate better durability to high temps compared to others.

The jury is still out on the viability and performance of these leading precious metal spark plugs.  But whatever plug you end up using, just remember not to neglect your firing pins!

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