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What Are Wheel Spacers?

Wheel spacers can be described as an accessory that has one goal: moving your wheels further away from the body of your vehicle. They’re a popular and affordable upgrade that can provide both street-oriented cars as well as off-roaders.

What do Spacers on Wheels Do? Spacers Do?

Wheel spacers are fitted to the wheel assembly. Through slotting between the wheel and assembly they form a space which places the wheel further out. This expands the distance between the hub of the wheel arrangement and the wheel. It is important to remember that spacers aren’t able to change the hub assembly, they simply change the direction of the wheel. 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 are available in the aftermarket and are not pre-attached to any vehicle.

Wheel spacers range from 5mm (0.20 inches) on the smaller end, to approximately 45mm (1.75 inches) or greater. Larger sizes are more typical for off-road vehicles.

Wheel Spacer pros and cons

While they generally offer benefits but there are some points to be considered prior to putting on a set of VW T5 wheel spacers.

Wheel Spacers Pros and Con

Pros

Improved Handling

One of the most important benefits of a wheel spacer for drivers who are performance-oriented is better handling. Through extending the distance between both wheels the vehicle is more stable. This enhances the overall handling, grip and turning.

Allows for wider/larger wheels or tire sizes (without Rubbing)

For vehicles that are geared towards road wheel spacers permit owners to put on wider tires to increase traction and improve handling. Off-roaders typically choose tires that are higher than the stock ones. Without spacers, the tires may be rubbing against wheel wells or flares of the fender.

A larger wheel can be another good reason to buy spacers. Many drivers opt to use the rear wheels of a larger size the car, and that’s why certain wheel spacer sets include an extra pair of wheels to the rear or are sold with a pair that is with rear wheels only.

Allows for larger Brake Calipers

Performance brakes can be larger than the stock set. A wheel spacer allows for a bigger caliper that could not fit in the factory wheel space.

Gives Vehicle a Unique Stance/Look

If you’re a fan of the sport or not, it’s not going to be said that wheel spacers alter the look of a car. Small spacers can make your wheels into line with stock fender flares, which people find appealing. Spacers that are aggressive will give your vehicle more of an aftermarket look and create a design that stands out from standard vehicles.

Cheap

A set of quality four wheel spacers will be priced around 100 pounds. With the huge impact they have on performance and appearance it’s a great value for your bucks. There aren’t many aftermarket upgrades that offer such a difference for the price.

Easy to Install

Wheel spacers are simple to put on. It’s about similar to putting an entirely new wheel on. You can complete the task within your garage or on your driveway with a few tools. Every wheel is taken out in just 15 minutes. This is a an easy task for all days of the week.

Cons

Steering Efficiency Increased

The better handling wheel spacers provide is not without a cost that is a greater effort to steer. When the wheels are farther apart, they require more input from the steering wheel to make the tires turn. This is because of the greater radius of the tire’s scrub or angles of steering angle to the tires. It is noticeable when driving at lower speed. With modern power steering technology, this disadvantage is easy to forget about.

Reduced Quality of Ride

The designers who created your car did an amazing job in optimizing the car at the factory. But the addition of spacers puts things off balance. The wheels that are further from their suspension components will result in lower performance on the road. The more spacers more, the greater the impact on comfort.

More Wear on Components of Suspension

Because the wheels are further in relation to the automobile, greater tension is put upon the suspension. With a larger configuration, components such as your wheel bearings are likely to get worn out faster.

Are Wheel Spacers safe?

If installed correctly, top-quality wheel spacers can be very secure. However, using wheels that aren’t protected in fenders and wells could be considered not legal in your locale. The vehicle codes are intended to reduce the risk of rocks or debris hitting pedestrians or drivers. You should check your local laws to learn more about the rules.

As we’ve mentioned before wheel spacers also wear down suspension parts faster. This could be harmful over time however, it’s not inherently dangerous.

Sometime, the wheel spacers may result in your tire rubbing against the other side. In lieu of your tire’s inside edge striking the flares of the fender the outside edge may be rubbing against the flare. This is based on the design of the wheel wells. If your tires rub even after installing spacers this is a problem that shouldn’t be overlooked.

Wheel Spacers and Wheel adapters

Wheel adapters and wheel spacers seem similar and can be related in several ways. Wheel spacers help shift a wheel forward. This is done for both performance and aesthetic motives. Wheel adapters can also be used as spacers because of their design. They provide a further benefit by altering the lug nut design of wheels. This allows the owner of a vehicle to purchase new wheels that they like.

For instance, someone who has four-lug wheels could use an adapter for five-lug wheels. Also, they can alter their five-bolt pattern from the 5×4.5 to 5×5. This will allow them to fit aftermarket wheels that would otherwise not be compatible.

Although each has its own advantage, wheel spacers and adapters can sometimes be mixed into one item. With a price that is similar to standard wheel spacers you can buy an adapter kit for wheel spacers. It will allow you to space your wheels, and allow you to modify how bolts are arranged in a single step.