There are several reasons why you might be interested in wheel spacers. However, it’s essential to ensure that these additions are safe before they are added to your vehicle.
Of course, the information about wheel spacers is a bit mixed. In many cases, they are called unsafe but is this really the case? Read below to learn everything that I learned about wheel spacers.
Are Wheel Spacers Bad?
Generally, wheel spacers are safe as long as they are installed correctly. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean that they aren’t bad. For instance, they change the geometry of your suspension, which can lead to extra wear and stability issues. However, they also improve handling. In the end, you’ll need to weigh the pros and cons before installing wheel spacers.
Wheel spacers are quite complicated. Before installing them, read below for everything you need to know.
Do Wheel Spacers Cause Problems?
Wheel spacers can be a good addition to your car. However, they can also cause some problems.
For instance, wheel spacers can sometimes cause heavier steering. However, this typically only occurs with rather large wheel spacers.
When you use wheel spacers, you make a wider track for your vehicle. Therefore, it becomes harder to navigate curves and turns. In many cases, you’ll need more skill to stay on the proper track.
Of course, you can limit this issue by installing smaller spacers.
Higher Failure Rate
Anytime you add more pieces to your car, you may end up with a higher rate of failure. There are simply more pieces of the car that can fail.
However, that doesn’t necessarily mean that they will fail, just that the odds of something messing up goes up upon installation.
When you increase the width of your vehicle, you’ll end up with a wider frame. In some cases, this may not be a huge problem. However, it can cause issues in narrower lanes and may impact your ability to drive.
Increased Wear and Tear
Sometimes, wheel spacers can cause excess wear and tear to your vehicle’s suspension.
Because your track is suddenly wider than your car was originally designed to have, it may put excessive strain on certain parts of the suspension and hub.
Over time, this may lead to failure earlier than it might have otherwise.
Therefore, your car may become dangerous to drive, and you may need to make repairs sooner – which is more money out of your pocket.
Are Wheel Spacers Actually Safe?
While there are some downsides of wheel spacers, they are generally considered to be safe.
In fact, a wheel’s weight is not supported by the weight of the wheel studs. Therefore, adding spacers shouldn’t be a problem in the least.
In most cases, there is no reason to avoid wheel spacers.
However, you should understand the downsides of the use of wheel spacers. For instance, they can cause extra wear on your suspension and hub components.
Do Wheel Spacers Ruin Bearings?
When you instance wheel spacers, you do increase the leverage on your wheel bearings.
When you use larger wheel spacers, the leverage will be larger. Over time, this feature will reduce the life of the wheel bearings.
As you might imagine, this wear will lead to rolling resistance and lead to power loss.
Plus, you’ll have to get them changed more often, which will lead to extra money out of your pocket.
Do Wheel Spacers Affect Handling?
Yes. Installing wheel spacers will affect your cat’s overall handling.
Generally, the widening of the track will increase the amount of grip your tires get. Therefore, your car will be able to corner faster.
In many cases, this extra handling is why wall spacers are installed, to begin with.
However, it’s essential to install wheel spacers on all of your wheels. Otherwise, only certain wheels will get the extra grip, leading to increased problems with handling and steering.
Will Wheel Spacers Affect Alignment?
Adding wheel spacers does not change the wheel alignment in most cases. You’re just pushing the wheels out more, after all. Usually, you shouldn’t have to get your wheel realigned when adding wheel spacers.
However, if you mess with lowering, camber, or caster, then another wheel alignment will be necessary.
Is It Safe to Use 2-inch Wheel Spacers?
When used properly, you can safely use 2-inch wheel spacers. You should get them installed by a reputable shop, though. Otherwise, they may not get installed properly and lead to other issues.
Generally, these wheel spacers are not connected with any safety problems. However, there are some downsides to installing them, such as extra wear on your car’s suspension.
With that said, there are benefits as well, such as better handling.
In the end, you’ll need to weigh the pros and cons before installing any sort of spacers. However, there aren’t any serious safety issues you need to be concerned about.
Why Are Wheel Spacers Illegal?
In some locations, wheel spacers are illegal. In the United States, these additions are not currently regulated. In other words, there is no federal law that affects their use on the road.
However, some locations do have laws against them. For instance, wheel spacers are completely illegal in Australia. You can’t have them there at all.
Sometimes, these laws aren’t against spacers specifically. However, some laws do make it illegal for your wheels to extend beyond your fenders.
Therefore, wheel spacers can inadvertently cause you to break laws.
Before installing these wheel spacers, you should check your local laws. Speaking with a local mechanic is a good idea as well, especially since you’ll need to get these spacers professionally installed as well.
To know more about wheels, you can also see our related posts on what are wheel bearings on a car, what are wheel adapters, and what are wheel studs.
Wheel spacers aren’t necessarily dangerous, but that doesn’t mean that you should install them.
For instance, wheel spacers can cause your car’s suspension to undergo more strain. Therefore, you may end up needing to replace your suspension sooner rather than later.
However, there are benefits to wheel spacers as well. For example, many people find them aestheticially pleasing. Plus, they are add to your car’s handling, which can be very useful.
You’ll need to weigh the benefits and downsides to determine if wheel spacers are right for you.