Wheel spacers can be described as an accessory designed to move your wheels away from your vehicle’s body. They’re an easy and cheap upgrade that can offer street-focused vehicles as well as off-roaders.
What are Spacers on Wheels Do? Spacers Do?
Wheel spacers fit onto the wheel assembly. By slipping between the wheel and assembly they form a space which puts the wheel further away. This creates more space between the hub structure and wheel. It is important to remember that spacers aren’t able to change the hub assembly, they just shift the wheels. This results in a bigger space between wheel well and the wheel well.
The advantages of having wheel spacers also make them a favorite option for people who are in the off-road and street scenes. Wheel spacers can only be found as an aftermarket component and are not pre-attached to any vehicle.
Wheel spacers range from 5mm (0.20 inches) on the smaller end, to the larger size of 45mm (1.75 inches) or more. The larger sizes are typical for off-road vehicles.
Click here for VW T5 wheel spacers.
Wheel Spacer pros and cons
Although they are generally beneficial but there are some points to be considered prior to putting an entire set of wheel spacers.
Wheel Spacers: Pros and Cons
One of the main benefits of a wheel spacer for those who prefer performance is the improved handling. By extending the distance between two wheels on the left, the vehicle is more secure. This enhances the overall handling, grip and turning.
Allows for wider/larger wheels or tire sizes (without Rubbing)
For cars that are designed for road use wheel spacers permit owners to install wider tires to increase traction and improve handling. Off-roaders typically choose tires that are larger than the standard ones. Without spacers, the tires may be rubbing against wheel wells or flares of the fender.
A larger wheel could be another motive to buy spacers. Many drivers opt to use bigger rear wheels the car, and that’s why certain wheel spacer sets come with two wheels that are larger that are for the rear, or come with a pair that is that are only for the rear.
Allows for larger Brake Calipers
Performance brakes tend to be bigger than stock brakes. A wheel spacer allows for a bigger caliper that could not fit in the factory wheel space.
Gives Vehicle a Unique Stance/Look
No matter if you’re a fav or not, it’s not going to be said that wheel spacers alter the appearance of a vehicle. Small spacers can make your wheels into line with stock fender flares, which some find appealing. Spacers that are aggressive will give your vehicle more of an aftermarket look giving your vehicle a look that is distinct from the stock vehicle.
A set of quality four wheel spacers could be priced around 100 pounds. Given the significant impact they have on performance and appearance the spacers are a good value for your bucks. There aren’t many aftermarket modifications that can make this much of a difference in dollars.
Easy to Install
Wheel spacers are simple to put on. The process is the same as installing an entirely new wheel on. It can be done at home in your garage or on your driveway with a few tools. Every wheel is blasted out in around 15 minutes. This is a an easy project to do on every day.
Steering Efforts Increased
The better handling wheel spacers provide has a drawback one: more effort for steering. When the wheels are further from each other, it requires more input from the steering wheel for the tires to turn. This is because of the greater radius of the tire’s scrub or angles of steering angle in relation to the tires. It is noticeable at slower speed. With modern power steering technology, this disadvantage is easy to forget about.
Lower Quality of Ride
The engineers who built your car did an excellent job of optimizing it right from the beginning. But the addition of spacers puts things out of balance. Being able to set the wheels further from their suspension components will result in less performance on the road. The more distance between the wheels and the more detrimental the effect on comfort.
More Wear on Components of Suspension
Because the wheels are located further than the car, greater stress is placed onto the suspension. With a more pronounced design, parts like the wheel bearings get worn out faster.
Are Wheel Spacers safe?
If installed properly, premium wheel spacers are extremely safe. However, using wheels that aren’t protected with fenders, or wells could be considered prohibited in your area. The codes for vehicles are created to reduce the risk of rocks or debris hitting pedestrians or other drivers. Find your local laws and find out what regulations are in place.
As previously mentioned wheel spacers also cause suspension components to wear faster. This can cause problems in the long run however, it’s not inherently dangerous.
Wheel spacers could result in your tire rubbing against the opposite side. As opposed to the tires internal edge hitting the flare of your fender the outer edge could rub against it. It’s all dependent on the shape of the wheel wells. If your tires rub even after installing spacers this is a problem that shouldn’t be overlooked.
Wheel Spacers against Wheel adapters
Wheel adapters and wheel spacers appear similar and are connected in several ways. Wheel spacers can be used to shift a wheel forward. This is for performance as well as aesthetic motives. Wheel adapters are also used as spacers because of their design. They also provide an additional advantage by altering the lug nut design of the wheel. This allows the owner of a vehicle to purchase new wheels that they like.
For example, a person with four-lug wheels may opt for an adapter for five-lug wheels. They could also switch their five-bolt design from 5×4.5 to 5×4.5 to 5×5. This will permit them to use aftermarket wheels that would otherwise not be compatible.
While each provides a distinct advantage, wheel spacers and adapters can sometimes be mixed into one item. With a price that is similar as regular wheel spacers you can purchase an adapter kit for wheel spacers. This kit will spread your wheels, and allow you to modify how bolts are arranged in one step.